5 Days in Malta: Ultimate Travel Guide & Itinerary

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Last summer, one of my friends and I decided to go to Malta for a much needed holiday. It was my first time in Malta and I was completely struck by this country’s beauty. Whether you are spending a week there or coming for a weekend break, Malta has plenty to offer.

What is also great about this destination is that it remains a place undiscovered by mass tourism in Europe. I don’t really understand why now that I know about the magic of this place! Ruled by almost everyone from the Romans, Sicilians, Phoenicians, French and most recently the British, Malta has a rich and vibrant culture. The country has some of the oldest buildings ever created, wonderful and atypical landscapes, lovely beaches, great food, and friendly people.

So why are you not already booking your tickets now? Let me gather my memories and share with you how to spend 4 days in this amazing country I guarantee you will want to fly there tomorrow! Oh and if you want to know how I managed to craft such a cool itinerary, get this malta guide, it’s one of the best I’ve read!

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Day 1 • Sliema

We decided to have our accommodation in Sliema for the whole week because the city appeared to be the cheapest and best base while traveling around the country. My friend also happened to have some friends in Sliema from her previous travels to the islands so it was great to hang out with locals and expats to get a true Maltese feel!

Oh, and did I forget to mention that Malta is Instagram-worthy? I couldn’t stop taking pictures every 5 minutes because I was so stunned by the beauty of this place.

The city is well-connected and you can take the ferry from Sliema to Valletta for €1.50 or €2.80 return. It only takes 10 minutes and the view is super pretty!

View of Valletta from Sliema

Compared to Valletta, it appears that Sliema isn’t that pretty and worth it – the place is super busy, traffic is loud and crazy and there are clusters of white apartment blocks and skyscrapers right on the seafront. Sounds lovely right? Don’t get discouraged, Sliema actually has a lot to offer. If you walk a little bit behind the main seafront street, Sliema’s atmosphere gets super cute and quiet. It is a really traditional Maltese town filled with narrow streets, colorful balconies, and super chill people.


I also tried traditional savory pastries from Malta called Pastizzi which are little snacks typically stuffed with mushy peas, ricotta cheese, spinach corned beef or other flavors. I had two and I was stuffed, they were super delicious!

One more thing that I loved about Sliema is that you can swim anywhere! Despite lacking sandy beaches, the city’s coastline is made of rock-cut salt pools which are really great for swimming and for soaking up some sun.


Day 2 • Valletta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta. It is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage limestone fortress city and was chosen to be the 2018 European Capital of Culture. We had a one-day trip to Valletta and it was truly wonderful. Like I mentioned above, taking the ferry from Sliema to Valletta is super easy and affordable. 


What I enjoyed about this capital is that the entire interior is pedestrian. I advise you to go on a walking tour to discover what the capital city has to offer.

You can walk up and down narrow streets, check out the fortified walls and the stunning architecture and feel like you are in the good old historic days.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Valletta doesn’t feel like a capital at all it is super laid-back. This is due to the “island lifestyle” coupled with the southern Mediterranean vibes that I love since I am myself from a Mediterranean city, Nice in the South of France.

In Valletta, we ended up visiting the massive St. John’s Co-Cathedral, strolled around the Upper Barrakka Gardens and had an awesome dinner at a cute cozy Italian restaurant called Pizzeria Sotto. We had a few drinks around Strait Street (which was once a type of red-light district for sailors) and took the ferry back to Sliema.


Day 3 • Marsaxlokk & St. Peter’s Pool

Having read several recommendations about the Marsaxlokk’s fish market we decided to go there one morning. The promised lovely fish market turned out to be a tourist trap. Even though it is located in a true picturesque harbor where we managed to snap some beautiful pictures of the colorful boats, the market itself turned out to be a bunch of Chinese-made souvenir stalls. What a disappointment! I looked it up when I got back and it turns out that the fish market is only worth it on Sundays and super early morning. So keep that in mind if you want to visit Marsaxlokk!


However, we didn’t get discouraged and we decided to have lunch there. The restaurants were fairly busy and most were also tourist traps but we managed to find a little one serving fish and sea-food dishes caught daily by the locals.

After lunch, we wanted to go to St. Peter’s Pool, a natural swimming pool with crystal clear blue-green waters. Like cheap tourists that we are, we decided to walk there from Marsaxlokk and not take the overpriced water taxi.


Was it worth it the 30-minute walk uphill in the scorching sun? Not really, unfortunately, we went to St. Peter’s Pool on a bank holiday so the place was completely packed with locals and tourists altogether. When not too busy I assume it is a lovely place to relax and swim but we weren’t really lucky.

We climbed a little more to get an overlooking view of the natural pool and it was actually really pretty. Just super packed. So I recommend if you want to go there to make sure it is not during the weekend or any bank holiday! And maybe pay for the water taxi to get there – the walk almost killed me (disclaimer: I am not a good hiker whatsoever so maybe you guys can manage better than I could).

St. Peter’s Pool

Day 4 • Ħaġar Qim & the Blue Grotto Caves

Ħaġar Qim is a megalithic temple complex standing on a hilltop overlooking the sea. Why did we decide to go there? Well the temples speak for themselves – they are UNESCO World Heritage site said to belong to the Neolithic era, i.e. 3600 – 3200 BC. They are one of the oldest standing buildings in the world! The surrounding stark and isolated landscape made everything more magical and spectacular. Bear in mind however that it is a lot of walking in dusty and hot weather.

Small tip: in addition to the temples, you get admission to a small but super cool and informative museum. Do not miss it!

Ħaġar Qim

One thing that really blew my mind at the temples is that one of the prehistoric chambers has an elliptical hole that is aligned with the Summer Solstice. This means that one day a year, on the first day of summer, the sun’s ray pass through and shed a light on a stone slab inside the chamber. How crazy is that in the Neolithic area?

After visiting Ħaġar Qim, we went to the Blue Grotto. The boat ride around the Blue Grotto caves is a well-known thing to do in Malta. Unfortunately, the area was completely overtaken by tourism and the boats were rapidly succeeding one after the other to get as many clients as possible.

The Blue Grotto

It was obvious that the company wanted to make as many trips as possible to earn as much money as they could (8€ per person for 15 minutes, some of those guys must be filthy rich). I did think that the boat trip was worth it though! I loved seeing those turquoise-colored waters. There is also a great panorama view from the top.

The Blue Grotto

Day 5 • Gozo

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to Comino, the smallest inhabited island of the Maltese archipelago but we did visit Gozo for one day. This beautiful island should definitely be on everyone’s Malta itinerary. Needless to say, it was on ours! It was really easy to get to Gozo from Sliema. There is a bus directly taking you Cirkewwa where you can get a ferry directly to Victoria, the main city in Gozo.

You can also do an organized Gozo tour to make things easier. Here is a full-day Gozo tour I recommend! And if you want to do both Gozo & Comino islands in one day, I’ve heard great things about this tour here (that is quite affordable!)

Victoria, also known as Rabat amongst locals

Even if we went after the collapse of the famous Azure Window, we still enjoyed our time in Gozo. There is a lot to see and do there including the wonderful city of Victoria and its grand Citadel and the Inland Sea where we spent a few hours relaxing. The Inland Sea, also known as Dwejra, is a lagoon of seawater linked to the Mediterranean Sea through a narrow natural arch. It looks like you are swimming in a lake even though it is still technically the Mediterranean!

If you are feeling adventurous, you have to try this quad biking tour around Gozo which is one of the coolest way to check out the area!

I advise you to rent a car to explore the island, it makes everything so much easier. But if you don’t drive, you can always hire a private tour that will allow you to avoid crowds and take wonderful photos!

The Inland sea of Dwejra

After spending a week in Malta, I can definitely say that it is a hidden European gem. The country is wonderful, fun and extremely beautiful! One week was not enough and I hope I can go there again soon.

So guys, have you been to Malta? Do you want to go now after reading this article? I certainly hope I made you add this place to your bucket list. Let me know everything in the comments below!

Want to keep reading? You might like those articles as well…
Top Instagram Spots in Malta / All of the Hidden Gems in Malta



  1. Lola
    July 24, 2018 / 9:47 AM

    Malta looks very stunning. I never thought about going there before but your article makes me want to visit! Thank you!


    • July 26, 2018 / 9:52 AM

      Thank you so much as well for reading Lola! I hope you do visit Malta it is a wonderful country! Happy travels 🙂

  2. Kait
    April 10, 2019 / 7:43 PM

    Saving this as planning to book 5 days in Malta next year. This will be invaluable.

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