.. July and August, the sea is full of jellyfish.
.. port of Gozo, namely upon return.
.. there are steps on the wall. These lead to the upper level and offer a more complete view of the temple. (Almost no-one knows of them!)
.. there is charge by the hour. (Mainly on central streets.)
.. that you enjoy it without the hordes of tourists.
Malta is a country with a lot of traps. Tips for Malta, however, will make your travel life easier. It is best to know everything before your arrival on the island, in order to avoid lines, move around in ease and comfort and save money and time.
- The best seasons to visit Malta are Spring and Autumn.
- There is sunshine 300 days a year.
- In all beaches of Malta, topless sunbathing is prohibited (Caution: it is implemented by law).
- During the summer months temperatures soar and the atmosphere gets sultry.
- All the electrical outlets are English-type. Buy adaptors or ask the hotel to provide you with some. Socket type: G (3-pin plugs, U.K.), 230 Volts, 50Hz.
- All shops accept credit/debit cards.
- In the summer you should always carry a bottle of water, a hat and sunscreen.
- The roads, apart from the coastal one, are bad and quite narrow.
- Driving happens on the left side (right-wheeled car).
- Even the baggage claim goes on opposite direction!
- Do not rent a fast car. Maximum speed limit on the island is 80km/hour!
- In the summer there are a lot of mosquitoes.
- Rain always brings dirt!
- Great caution: In the months of July and August, the sea is full of jellyfish.
- The souvenirs in Gozo are up to 50% cheaper than the rest of Malta.
- When you visit Gozo, make sure to bring cash. Many stores do not accept card payments.
- All the Maltese speak English.
- Most festivals and local celebrations take place in August. The greatest celebration is on the 15th of August (Assumption of Mary).
- Maximum speed limit on the island is 80km/hour.
- In the narrow country roads, it would be best to follow some other car, so it “opens the road” for you.
- In the parking lots of tourist attractions, authorized employees offer help for any amount of money you wish (or none at all).
- Traffic in the city during rush hour can be insufferable. Start early or brace yourselves with lots of patience.
- You can move around by bus or taxi.
- Buses are the cheapest means of transport, but not the best one, as they pass scarcely and are never on time!
- If you want to travel around the island, rent a car or motorcycle.
- Purchase the tallinja card for unlimited trips.
- In order to travel around the Grand Harbour or visit the Three Cities, prefer the traditional gondola (stop: Laskaris station).
- Get the ferry to travel from Sliema to Valletta.
Airport to City Center:
- By bus:
X1, X2, X3 and X4, depending on your destination. Cost of a standard ticket.
- By taxi:
Transportation costs around 15€, Trip duration 15 minutes.
- You embark ONLY through the front door and disembark ONLY through the back door.
- Ticket cost is increased during the summer months, while it doubles for the night lines.
- The ticket is valid for transportation in a period of 2 hours.
- You can purchase your tickets from the driver, as well.
- Caution! Make sure you are holding tightly to something! Most drivers are pretty aggressive.
- Buses run from 05:30 to 23:00.
- Night bus lines are prefixed with the letter N.
- Entrance to the old town of Valletta is prohibited for visitors.
- Parking within the yellow lines is prohibited, within the blue lines is allowed only to residents, while within the white lines it is free.
- Caution as there are white lines where there is charge by the hour. (Mainly on central streets.)
- If it is the first time you drive on the left side, prefer an automatic car.
- Avoid overtaking.
- In Valletta, if you do not find a free parking space on the street, prefer the Floriana parking (3€ for the whole day, See HERE).
- Archaeological sites, museums and attractions are swarmed by groups during the summer months.
- Try to visit the most popular places early in the morning or before closing.
- The catacombs at the Parish Church of St. Paul & Grotto of St. Paul are the most impressive ones.
- The island’s smallest catacomb is at St. Agatha’s Historical Complex.
- You can reach the wonderful Tal-Mixta cave also via the path starting at Ramla Bay (Gozo).
- Access is possible only via ferry. Ticket cost is 10€ per person (round-trip).
- Do not sit at the front side of the ferry. If the waves reach you, you will be drenched.
- In Comino there are no cars (apart from the ones of 2-3 residents).
- The hidden gem of Comino is called Crystal Lagoon. It is 10 minutes away from the Blue Lagoon and has crystal-clear waters and fewer people. IT IS LOCATED HERE.
- It is really hard to see big waves in the inlet of Blue Lagoon.
- If the weather is bad, prefer to visit it on a different day.
- In order to find a spot in Blue Lagoon visit it on a weekday, early in the morning (first ferry). The situation from 08:00 to 11:00 is somewhat tolerable!
- At the Blue Lagoon, after 11:00 it all becomes suffocating with 5,000 people “fighting” for 1 square meter of land (in high season). Avoid it!
- Do not sit on the loungers in front of the boats. The people waiting to leave and smell from the ferries’ exhausts will turn your swim into a living hell!
- Prices at the food booths, before high season, are reasonable.
- Make sure you are equipped with water and snacks.
- Leave your car in the camping site (free) and walk to the Coral Lagoon.
- Wear non-slip shoes, as the ground is rough and there is danger of falling.
- Diving from its top (15m height) is safe.
- Avoid visiting if there are strong winds.
- Embarking by kayak or jet ski from Little Armier Bay, you will need around 20-30 minutes to reach the cave.
- If you dive, it is very hard to reach the top again on your own. Someone will have to lift you up.
- The best ways to get inside are by canoe or jet ski. The entrance is not large enough to let boats pass through.
- Transportation from and to the island happens only by boat. Ticket cost: around 5€/passenger and 16€/passenger with car. (An underground tunnel is under construction.)
- Important: Payments happen at the port of Gozo, namely upon return.
- Trip duration 25 minutes.
- Trips take place 24/7, only they are scarcer during the night.
- For a free tour of the Cittadella castle, download the app (Ćittadella).
- At the Cittadella castle, there is free wifi connection.
- There are not a lot of ATMs on the island, while many shops accept cash only.
- There are magical places, such as the Tal-Mixta Cave, the Ramla beach, the Ta’ Pinu church, the Salt Pans and more, which you can visit only if you rent a car.
- For a safe experience in the caves, prefer the 20-minute boat ride.
- You will find the spot with the best view HERE. (A little on the right from the Viewpoint.)
- In order to check if the weather allows a boat ride, you will have to call +356 2164 0058 (09:00-17:00).
- Do not attempt to get in the sea if it is boisterous, as there is great danger of the waves throwing you on the sharp rocks.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
- In order to find a ticket, you must have made reservations 3-4 months in advance during high tourist season, and 2-3 months the rest of the year.
- It is not worth booking only the video presentation. It is short and quite poor.
- Make sure to bring a jacket, as it is rather cold (no matter the season).
- Take the tour a bit before 4 in the afternoon, so that you watch the Saluting Battery from the sea.
- The tours start HERE.
- You can simply go from Valletta to one of the Three Cities (cost 2€/person) or opt for the Grand Tour (passes along the Three Cities and ride around the Grand Harbour, cost 8€/person).
- For the gondola to embark there must be at least four passengers.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
- The best time of day is during sunset.
- The location offers free WiFi connection.
- Taking the lift down is free, while going up costs 1€/person.
- You can climb up the stairs, without any cost.
- For a small fee (3€) you can watch the Saluting Battery from up close. For tickets, see HERE.
- The change of guard happens every last Friday of the month, in the square of St. George and starts at 10:00 (duration 45 minutes).
- The palace has two entrances, one on the square of St. George and a side entrance on the Republic Square.
- If the palace’s rooms are closed, it is not worth visiting only the hall with the armors.
- The closest stops to the gardens are Paola and Xintill.
- Visit it only if you have a car. Access by bus is difficult (1.5-2 hours).
- The best days are the weekend, as many events take place.
- Go to the stone platform to see the village from the sea.
- The best spot for photographs is right across the village.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
- Visit it on the opening in order to enjoy its beauty, without the over-crowdedness.
- Heels are prohibited, as they might cause damage to the marble floor.
- Before the exit, on the right side, there are steps on the wall. These lead to the upper level and offer a more complete view of the temple. (Almost no-one knows of them!)
- Visit the village on a weekday, so that you enjoy it without the hordes of tourists.
- On Sundays, the only way to find a table is if you have booked one or if you are really patient!
- At the Sunday market, the booths with groceries start to pack up after 12.
- The road that leads to St. Peter’s natural Pool is hopelessly narrow (at some points there is not enough room for two cars). When you get there, the only place to park is a field, with a 2€ charge!
- Try some of their local wines. They are quite cheap and of fine quality.
- Many restaurants close during the afternoon, while their kitchen closes after 10.
- Try the Maltese beer Cisk and the Kinnie refreshment.
- Tap water is generally safe to drink (except if the hotel has some kind of notice).
- Visit a minimarket and buy local products. Their quality is very good and prices are almost the same as in supermarkets.
- For authentic Maltese flavors, you will have to visit some of the “unknown” villages of Malta (Dingli, Mgarr, Siggiewi and others).
- In August, many restaurants remain closed for holidays.
- You will find authentic pastizzi in Rabat.
- The original Qaghaq ta’ l-Ghasel contains only marmalade and orange peel. Avoid the recipes containing chocolate!
Tourist Traps ⚔️
- Be careful when using the means of public transport during rush hours, as cases of thefts have been reported.
- Hop on Hop off: Only the same number of people that get off can get in on each station. You might have to wait for up to 1.5 hour to board!
- Paceville in St. Julian’s is the area of wild partying! Be careful as many drunken people are wandering the streets, in many spots you can smell vomit and urine and thefts by pickpockets are many.
- Avoid the Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel. The photographs are completely misleading.
- On Sundays in Marsaxlokk some restaurants do not serve fresh fish, but take advantage of the large crowds to sell out whatever they have left from the previous days. Do your research before sitting anywhere.