Only have a short time in Malta?

Go through this section and get ideas on how to make the most of your visit!

"Help! I've only got limited time in Malta!" We hear this all the time.

You’ve booked yourself on that fantastic Mediterranean cruise you’ve always wanted to take, you do some quick research on Malta and you suddenly realize that there’s LOTS of stuff to see and do while on the island of Malta!

But you’ll only be staying in Malta for 1 day, just a few hours to be exact!

How on earth do you decide which places you’re going to visit on an island that is practically considered an open air museum?

We get queries like this regularly. This is why we’ve decided to have a whole page dedicated to those visitors who only have a short time in Malta.

First things first.

Make sure that you’re on deck for the sail in! You don’t want to miss your cruise ship’s entrance into Valletta's Grand Harbour!

The harbour is simply spectacular and completely natural. It’s surrounded by fortified cities and bastions and truly one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

When arriving by cruise ship, you will be docking at the Valletta Waterfront.

For more info on cruise schedules, facilities, etc you can visit their website here.

So how should you spend your limited time in Malta?

You have various options available and it all boils down to personal taste.

Do you want to use your stop in Malta simply to relax and maybe have a short look around Valletta? Or do you want to get a "taste" of Malta and go to as many places as your time here permits?

Maybe you're not too familiar with the Maltese islands and you don't really know which are the top attractions in Malta. Let us help you make the most of your time in Malta!

Have a look at the info below ... We've tried to detail all the options that you have available when only visiting Malta for a few hours.

Using the bus

time in malta - mdina

If you decide to use public transport, it’s best if you stick to Valletta and Mdina (the medieval capital of Malta).

Many say that visiting Mdina alone, made their time in Malta magical!

Having said that, how you spend your time in Malta, really depends on how “hectic” you want your stay to be.

If you’re after a relaxed pace, then exploring Valletta only would probably be your best option.

You can take the bus up to the Valletta Bus Terminus (just outside the city), then start exploring from there.

A taxi ride to the Terminus will last around 5 minutes and is quite cheap, especially if there’s four of you.

Of course when you have a look at what Mdina has to offer, you might want to reconsider … this medieval city is really something else!

Mdina is some 45 minutes from Valletta by bus. So if you decide on exploring both Valletta and Mdina, we recommend that you go to Mdina first, return to Valletta and spend the rest of your time there. That way you’ll already be in Valletta when the time approaches for you to return to the cruise ship.

Have a look at our sections on Valletta and Mdina below so that you can decide on what you want to visit and do while there ...

Valletta - The Capital City of Malta

Mdina - The Silent City

Exploring by taxi

You can opt to take a set tour or pay for a fixed time. A lot of visitors take a taxi up to Valletta to save time, then depending on how much time you’ve got left, walk it back to the cruise ship.

mosta dome malta

The Mosta Rotunda - One of the most impressive churches you'll see in Malta!

Possible stops could be Mdina, Mosta (to see the Mosta Rotunda), the Blue Grotto (where you can take a short boat ride to the famous caves) and Marsaxlokk, a typical fishing village.


The charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk

If you’re passionate about old structures, then you must see the Hypogeum. It’s a building from the New Stone Age period. It’s extremely important to book in advance, if you plan on going there.

Have a look at our sections on Mosta and the Hypogeum below and decide on whether this is something you'd want to do ...

Mosta Dome

Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum

Approximate Taxi Rates

From the Cruise Terminal to Mdina: One way about Euro 21.00

From the Cruise Terminal taking a one hour tour: Euro 24.00

From the Cruise Terminal taking a two hour tour: Euro 42.00

From the Cruise Terminal taking a three hour tour: Euro 56.00

Hop on Hop off Tours

You can get the tickets from a booth at the port. Some cruise liners stay in Malta for around 7 to 8 hours, while others stay for only 4 to 5 hours. If you’re staying for only 4 hours or so, then it’s best to go on the 2 hour tour, then spend the rest of your time exploring Valletta. If your stay is for some 7 hours, then it’s safe to take the 3 hour tour.

It is not really advisable to get off, because these tours are not that frequent.

Take a Guided Private Tour

Worrying that you won't be able to fit in all that you want to see?

Why not take a guided tour.

These tours have a very organized itinerary to make sure that you get to see the main attractions and still make it on time back to your ship.

You can get the tickets of these tours from the Valletta Waterfront’s booking office.

Tours include visiting main places of interest such as Mdina and the Blue Grotto.

blue grotto malta

The famous Blue Grotto - One of the most photogenic attractions in Malta!

And of course, the tour will have a tour manager so that you can explore the sites and get to know the story behind each place that you visit.

You'll be amazed at the amount of knowledge that you will acquire on this tiny island, in such a short time in Malta!

While in Valletta ...

If you’ve still got time, why not take a trip around the Grand Harbour in a little water taxi? These colourful Malta boats are a bit of a national symbol. If you're interested to learn more about these traditional boats, visit our

Malta Boats page.

There are booths at the port selling tickets for these 45 minutes trips (costing around Euro15 per person). The trip includes an audio guide and goes to places that you cannot really see from your cruise ship.

cathedral valletta

St. John's Co-Cathedral - Valletta

Valletta is a stunning city and if they could, most visitors would want to explore every corner of it. Who wouldn't want to make the most of their time in Malta?

But even though Valletta is tiny, you can easily get exhausted walking and admiring all its monuments, baroque buildings, museums, etc.

If it all becomes a bit too much, you can take a citicab to go around Valletta. These tiny cabs are eco friendly and you can either stop one or phone CT Cab on 0035679333321 or 0035621333321.

Does all this sound a little bit too much for you?

No problem. Take the easiest option and just spend your time in Malta, wandering around the streets of Valletta at your own pace.

There are plenty of outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can just sit down, have a drink and watch the world go by.

As you can see, there are plenty of routes that you can take to make the most (according to your personal tastes) of your short time in Malta.

And if like most visitors you end up feeling that you'd have liked to see more, you can always visit again!

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