So you have twenty four hours in the fabulous country of Malta, and if you want to find fun and interesting things to do, quite frankly, you are completely spoiled for choice. That’s why we took a look at some of the best, most unmissable treats the island has to offer and put to together a great way to spend a day in Malta.
Rise early and wander through the streets to enjoy the early morning air, there is nothing quite like it. Head down to a local café for breakfast. Most shops, cafes and restaurants open at around 9am and we would recommend a smaller local café. If you are in Sliema, Id Café is well liked, as is Caffe Cordina in Valletta. If you are not sure about the quality of a restaurant or café take a look at the premises, if there are a lot of locals eating there then there’s a good chance that it has an outstanding reputation. Once you have found your café, preferably one with a view, sit back and order from the famous traditional food on offer. A really celebrated breakfast treat is the pastizzi, which are puff pastry parcels that are filled with ricotta, a tasty savoury treat. Another popular morsel is the Qassatat, this is a short crust pie, usually with ricotta but it can have many different fillings.
Head to Valletta, the capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and really is beautiful to explore. Wander the winding streets and discover the true Malta along the way. Take a stroll through the Upper Barrakka Gardens for breath taking vistas of the Grand Harbour and Fort St Angelo. When you have seen enough head to Merchant’s Street and drift through the market place for an authentic taste of Valletta with its pretty streets and busy people. Once you have enjoyed your marketplace visit try make way over to St John’s Co-Cathedral, this is a spectacular Baroque building that really is the jewel in the crown of Valletta. Make sure to see the Caravaggio works while you are there.
After such a packed morning a spot of lunch is in order. Malta has fantastic traditional dishes and a real lunchtime treat would be some great fresh fish. Try simple fried swordfish or octopus with garlic known as qarnit bl-aljoli in Maltese. There is also a treat to be had if you order the whitebait or salted cod, although salted cod can be considered too salty by some so order with caution.
For a relaxing afternoon take a trip to the Blue Grotto, of course you could stay in Valletta, but the Blue Grotto really is worth the trip. The Grotto is about 14km from Valletta so a bus is probably the best way to get there, and make sure to take your swimming costume. The Blue Grotto is a spectacular natural arch and caves that really is a must see for any visitor to Malta, not only this but the waters of the caves are renowned for the phosphorescent colours that can be truly awe inspiring. It is possible to take boat trips around the caves and arch, which will give you a perspective unavailable from the shore, and this is also an excellent spot for diving.
There are plenty of great local restaurants that will offer you marvellous traditional food in the towns and villages surrounding the Blue Grotto, and this might be a good place to stay for a quiet, tasty meal in beautiful surroundings. However, if you are looking to dine in a location where you can also experience a more lively nightlife then a trip to St Julian’s might be just the ticket. Once you have chosen your dining location there are loads of must try traditional dishes, such as the rabbit stew. Although eating rabbit is something that many other countries are unfamiliar with, Maltese rabbit stew really is delectable. However, if rabbit really isn’t for you then why not try the Falda Mimlija, which is a stuffed pork dish. Just divine.
Once you have eaten and the night is still young, it’s time to enjoy your evening in St Julian’s or the neighbouring Paceville. You can find bars and clubs with many different kinds of music to suit most tastes, including some excellent local live music, jazz clubs, themed bars, sports bars and even a casino. The choice really is yours.