Attractions in Malta are plentiful. Unfortunately not all those who visit the Maltese islands have the luxury of staying on for long periods of time. This is why, we felt the need to have a section wherein we mention the absolute must-see and most popular places in Malta.
Malta is full of tiny traditional Maltese villages which may at first leave the visitor perplexed as to why friends or colleagues had suggested that he or she visits them.
You may perhaps be on the lookout for some boisterous monument or sight, but really the attractiveness of many tiny Maltese villages is just that. No grand sights to boast about! Just simple, traditional villages filled with the famous warmth and friendliness of the Maltese people.
However, we realize that if you’re pressed for time you won’t really have enough time to savor this, so in this section we’ve put together a list of the major attractions in Malta, as regards to cities, towns and villages to visit.
VALLETTA"A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen"
The capital of Malta owes its World Heritage Site status to the Knights of Malta. They were the ones who built the city and most of its baroque architecture remains to this day.
Some 320 monuments adorn the city, together with many fascinating old buildings, palaces and museums. Not to mention art galleries and some of Malta’s finest restaurants and cafes.
The whole city is surrounded by grand fortifications which are a sight in themselves. An outstanding cathedral hosting the only signed Caravaggio in the world is one of the major attractions in Malta. The island’s main commercial hub, Valletta also holds the largest concentration of shops. Valletta is definitely one of the most popular attractions in Malta, if not THE most popular! Click here for more info on the capital of Malta - Valletta.
The silent city
This tiny fortified city was once the capital of Malta. Appropriately called the “silent city”, prepare yourself to be awed as you walk through its narrow streets and alleys. Mdina is home to just 400 inhabitants. You can almost “feel” the history with each step that you take. Mdina is car-free. Yes, you read that right! No cars are allowed in Mdina. It's for good reason that Mdina has earned a reputation for being one of the most evocative attractions in Malta!
With only a handful of shops, but plenty of palaces, a cathedral, and a couple of museums including the gory Mdina Dungeons, Mdina remains one of the most captivating places in Malta to this day. Go to our Attractions in Malta: Mdina page here for more info on this fascinating city.
THE THREE CITIES
Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua
The three cities occupy two peninsulas on the other side of the Grand Harbour from Valletta. Vittoriosa (Maltese name: Birgu), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) are a pleasure to wander through. The cities have an individual romantic medieval charm to them, with Vittoriosa having the highest amount of attractions from the three.
For more information on these three fascinating old cities, visit our Places in Malta: The Three Cities page.
A large village in the northwestern part of Malta, Mellieha is a popular destination in the summer months, but is equally beautiful during the rest of the year. Hosting a large number of luxurious villas, the village is also a much sought-after area by wealthy Maltese and foreign individuals to take up residence.
The village is home to an interesting shrine off Mellieha square, which houses a miraculous icon of the Madonna. Mellieha also boasts Malta’s most popular beach - Mellieha Bay or L-Ghadira, as it is known in Maltese. Lots of visitors agree that Mellieha is one of the most beautiful villages to stay in.
Although Mosta is largely an urban town situated in the centre of Malta, it’s a highly popular destination for many visitors. It’s prime attraction is the Rotunda (or Mosta Dome). Claimed to be Europe’s third largest, the dome is definitely impressive. It can be seen from various vantage points all across the island.
The Maltese people have warm memories of the dome because in World War II, while 300 people were waiting for mass, a bomb pierced the dome, slid across the floor but miraculously, did not explode so nobody was hurt. To this day, the Maltese claim that the reason behind the bomb not exploding was simply divine intervention. For more info on the Mosta Dome, go to our Malta Attractions: Mosta page here.
Tarxien, Paola, Birzebbugia, Marsaxlokk, Qrendi and Zurrieq
The Southeast is perhaps the “quieter” side of Malta, with no particularly unique villages. However, the southeast of the island is home to Malta’s infamous Neolithic temples, located at Tarxien, Paola and Qrendi.
Zurrieq is mostly known for the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Grotto, a huge domed cave opening at sea level with fascinating deep-blue waters. For more info on these stunning set of caves, go to our Blue Grotto page.
Marsaxlokk is the quintessential Maltese fishing village. The harbour is home to hundreds of colourful luzzu boats. For more info on this charming fishing village, go to our Marsaxlokk page here.
Birzebbugia is famous for Ghar Dalam Cave and the prehistoric animals that were found in this cave. The cave is 145-metre-deep and also hosts the island’s oldest human remains.
Of course, the above Attractions in Malta List only includes the major regions that you should visit if you're pressed for time.
If early Christian rituals are of interest to you, there are two interesting catacombs a few minutes away from Mdina. St. Paul and St. Agatha's catacombs are located in Rabat Malta. Visit our Catacombs: Rabat Malta page for more details.
Not too far away from Rabat, is the quiet village of Attard. If you want to take a breather from all your sightseeing, you'll be greatly rewarded by paying a visit to the tranquil San Anton Palace and Gardens in Attard Malta.
If you're going to Gnejna or Fomm ir-Rih bay, then a stop at Mgarr is a must.
If you have time and your itinerary allows it, a visit to Gozo island - Malta's sister island is a definite must! As is Comino - a tiny island between Malta and Gozo. In fact, if you're visiting the islands in summer, you really must take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, which is Comino's highlight and one of the most photographed attractions in Malta!
Then check out these other sections on our website, to get more detailed information on the other attractions of Malta that you would not want to miss ...
Gardens And Parks
Museums in Malta and Gozo