With 2 days in Malta, you can encounter a slice of Malta and its beautiful coastlines, culture, and ancient ruins. This Two days in Malta Itinerary will help you make the most out of your short trip to this beautiful island. Due to limited time, we focus only on the southeastern part of Malta.
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Day #1 Valletta and Vittoriosa
Let’s start our trip by exploring the capital of Malta. It is one of the most popular Malta tourist attractions, named by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.’ Valletta was built by the Knights of St John, who decided that all corners of the city had to be embellished by statues or niches. Find what to do in Malta’s capital city!
City Gate and Valletta’s streets
Enter the city center through the glorious main gate and look right at the Parliament Building, completed in 2014. The center of Valletta is pedestrianized, full of restaurants (click here to read about the best places to eat in Valleta), cafes, souvenir shops, and hidden gems. Make sure that you visit the western part of Valletta. Few steps from the Anglican Cathedral of St. Paul’s you can find the buildings with colorful, picturesque balconies.
TIP#1 If you are a cinema lover, keep your eyes open and look for little tablets that display the names of the movies shot in the given part of the city.
The St. Jonh’s Co-Cathedral
Don’t hesitate to enter this Malta’s most impressive church. It is one of the top Malta places to visit due to its greatest treasure – the massive painting of John the Baptist by Caravaggio. The inside of the cathedral is impressive. A large number of arts and golden decorations, as well as beautiful ceilings and the marble floor scripts, will leave you with your mouth open.
Upper Barrakka Gardens & Lower Barrakka Gardens
Go to Upper Barrakka Gardens and enjoy the best views over the waterfront of Valletta and Vitteriosa. You can get there by foot or use the lift in the harbor. There is a free public toilet as well as a few benches and a little cafe. Don’t miss the cannons fire at noon!
Lower Barrakka Gardens are not as famous and touristy as the Upper one but worth visiting. It is a small, peaceful place with beautiful monuments, flowers and trees, fountain and great views.
TIP#2 Grab something to eat at the local Food Market Is-Suq tal-Belt. It is located halfway between the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens, at Triq il-Merkanti.
Vittoriosa lies opposite Valletta, and you could already see its harbor from the Upper Barakka Garden balcony. You can get here from Valletta by various buses (A2, A3, A11) or by water taxi from Valletta (cost 1.5€). It is also one of the stops of Hop On Hop Off bus.
Vittoriosa is less busy and less crowded than Valletta and also a much older city than the capital. You can spend a chilly and relaxing afternoon here, admiring the picturesque views of Valletta. Once there make sure to visit the walls of Fort St. Angelo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also the oldest fortification on the island. Have a stroll at the Vittoriosa Waterfront full of expensive yachts and boats.
Day #2 Mdina, Mnajdra and Hagar Qim, Marsaxlokk and Blue Grotto
Let’s start our day with one of our favorite places to visit in Malta. Mdina, the former capital of the island, is called the Silent City. The city is located in the central part of the island. You can get here by bus, admiring the medieval city walls, which are located on one of the few hills in Malta. The city is surrounded not only by walls but also by a moat – now there is a park where you can rest during hot days. Go to the tourist information office at the main gate and grab a map of Mdina. High walls of the city give shade and coolness on a hot day, narrow streets and sandstone-colored houses add even more charm to this place.
There are several tourist attractions in Mdina (churches, museums), but our favorite activity was strolling through the narrow streets of Mdina. They are picturesque, and you can easily escape from crowds of tourists who enter the main gate of the city (which was also The Game of Throne filming location in S01E03). Last but not least, enter the city walls and admire the beautiful views of the panorama of the island and city of Rabat.
Mnajdra and Hagar Qim
One of the most unusual things to see in Malta if you have only 2 days are megalithic temples Mnajdra and Hagar Qim. They were added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1992 as the oldest buildings of this type in the world, built by man. You can reach the archaeological sites by an asphalt path. The first position is Hagar Qim, whose name means “standing boulders” and was founded around 3000 BC. The complex of these temples is considered one of the most beautiful in Malta. Mnajdra, located 300 meters away, consists of three neighboring temples, which are surrounded by a common wall. Both buildings were reconstructed, and now there are under huge, white canopies to protect them from erosion.
You can get here from the town of Luqa [bus 201 leaves every hour]. The temples located less than 2 kilometers from the famous Blue Grotto. They can also be accessed directly from Rabat.
Tickets: Adult Price €10.00, Senior & Student Price €7.50, Children Price €5.50
TIP#3 When traveling from Mdina to the Mnajdra and Hagar Qim temples, don’t forget to take some photos of the Dingli cliffs.
Visit Marsaxlokk and try fresh fish caught by local fishermen served in plenty of small restaurants. The most recognizable element of the city are the luzzu – colorful fishing boats with Osiris eyes painted on both sides of the bow moored in a small marina. Every early morning there is also a daily market where you can buy almost everything, from fresh veggies, fish and seafood to toys made in China.
One of the most popular activities in Malta is visiting the Blue Grotto. If you find spare time and are not sure what to do or what else to see in Malta, you may add it to your itinerary. Hop into one of the many boats waiting for tourists, and they will take you for a 25-minutes ride along the cliffs and six caves, including Blue Grotto. Boat ticket: 8€.
How many days in Malta
We usually spend a weekend in Malta. We have been there several times, and we think that two days in Malta is a minimum to feel the atmosphere of the island. If you want to explore Gozo island, the Blue Lagoon and relax on the beach, we recommend going to Malta for a week. With only one day in Malta, we recommend mixing Valletta and Mdina guide from our “2 days in Malta” itinerary.
Best time to visit Malta
In our opinion, the best time to visit Malta is from May to June or September to October. These spring and early fall months afford hospitable temperatures, which are ideal for sightseeing and beach lazing. We do not recommend visiting Malta in August, especially if you travel on a budget. In many budget accommodations, you need to pay extra for air conditioning. Also, you probably don’t want to spend your weekend break in Malta escaping from the heat instead of enjoying all the beautiful places to see in Malta. Make sure that you check in advance when are public holidays in Malta.
Where to stay in Malta
Airbnb in Malta
There is a lot of affordable options for apartment rentals in Malta via Air BnB. Malta usually is quite expensive in the high season, but if you look carefully, you can find great apartments in Malta with an excellent location. Click here to see our favorite apartment in Valletta.
Hotels in Malta
Looking for the best accommodation in Malta may cause you a headache. There are so many options, starting from 5-star hotels in Malta to cheap hostels in the Valletta center. We are always checking booking.com for the best deals for our backpacking family, and our favorite hotel in Malta we have stayed so far is Urban Valley Resort & Spa. Click here to check the availability and prices.
All-inclusive in Malta
If you look for all-inclusive Malta options, there are several hotels in Malta offering such deals. One of the best-rated hotels in Malta with all-inclusive option is Labranda Rivera.
What to eat in Malta
Maltese cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean, Italian and British cuisine. The most popular dishes are pizzas, pasta, rabbit, seafood, and delightful desserts. We are not a big fans of rabbit or seafood, therefore we decided to enjoy the local street food and smaller dishes. Here are our favorites:
- Ftira is a maltese sandwich filled with e.g. tuna, tomatoes, olives, capers, mozzarella. Served hot or cold.
- Pastizzi is the most popular street food in Malta. It is a puffy pastry filled with ricotta, spinach or peas. It is extremely cheap, you can have it for less than 1 euro.
- Qaghaq tal ghasel is a round cake filled with honey stuffing with a specific taste. It is served mainly during the festivities.
- Sheep cheese is a local delicacy on Gozo island.
Getting around Malta
Airports in Malta
There is only one airport in Malta, located 5km southwest of Valletta, which serves all of the Maltese Islands.
Hop-on Hop-off Malta
This Malta sightseeing bus is a good option if you are looking for 3 hour Malta bus tour including Malta North and South Routes. If you think the guided bus tour is a good option for you, click here to check the details and the latest prices.
Buses in Malta are one of the most modern in Europe. They are frequent and operate daily between 5 AM and 11 PM (incl. night service on Fridays, Saturdays, and public holidays). Click here to check the Malta bus routes and Malta bus timetables. You can buy single tickets valid 2 hours from the driver (cost: 1.5€ in winter and 2€ in summer) or purchase bus cards to save time and money. Read more about the Malta bus tickets. For our 2 days in Malta itinerary, we recommend buying single tickets.
Malta boat trips
Several Malta boat tours let you to explore the surrounding islands by boat. You can spend an entire day enjoying clear, blue waters of the Mediterranean or choose one of the Malta private tours and explore the 3 Cities.
Malta walking tour
How about a walking tour with an expert guide? If you are interested in the history of Valletta and want to discover not only Malta must-see but also its hidden charms, we recommend the walking tour led by a licensed guide.
Bonus: Malta Day Trips
If by any chance you can spend more than 2 days in Malta, you may consider taking one of the several day trips from Malta to Gozo such as a full-day Gozo Jeep tour.
Few word from us
We hope that you enjoyed the selection of our best places to visit in Malta and you are now confident about what to see in Malta in two days. If you have any questions or you can recommend other best places to go in Malta, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading our 2 days in Malta itinerary!