After putting up with the bitter cold weather in London, Poland and Berlin I knew it was time to go for a quick getaway to a milder climate. That’s when a quick search on Sky Scanner led me to choose Malta as my first weekend getaway for 2017. Having previously visited Malta about 6 years ago, I figured it was time to go back. For those of you who have never been to Malta I figured I would break this post up into the basics. Getting to, getting around, where to stay, where to eat and what to do with just 72 hours in Malta.
Getting to the island
I booked my flight a few months ahead of time. Believe it or not the total cost to and from Malta was just 50GBP with Ryanair, with a flight time of just over 3 hours.
Of course, if RyanAir is not for you there are many different airlines that fly into Malta such as Air Malta, British Airways and on occasion even Emirates.
The Malta airport is small and everything moves smoothly. It is very easy to find your gate and get in and out of the airport without wasting too much time. The airport is located in the middle of the island so it takes roughly 45 min to get anywhere by taxi.
A helpful tip when you are leaving Malta: do not get to the airport too early unless you just want to sit around. There is not much to do after you clear security. Make sure you grab some food before you go through security. There are plenty of restaurants and fast food to choose from in the main entrance but once your through, if it’s after 5pm, all the kitchens will be closed and you are limited to sandwiches or drinks.
If flying is not your thing, you can also get to Malta by ferry from Sicily or by a cruise.
It was disappointing since the last time I was there classic old colorful buses roamed the street. They have since been replaced with normal city buses. But I heard they might bring back the old type at some point, which would be fantastic. The bus stops are easy to figure out and you can buy your ticket as you board the bus. All bus numbers under 100 go to Valetta and those starting with X go to the airport. They also have night buses. As with most city buses, make sure you press a button on your stop otherwise the driver won’t stop.
The original taxis called white taxi are available at the airport with a fixed price to any place you want to go. If you catch them on the street, make sure you agree on a fare, otherwise you may get ripped off. The better and cheaper option are private taxi companies which you can book online or on the phone. I personally used Hicabs which I was very happy with.
- Renting a car
You can easily rent a car right at the airport. People in Malta drive like crazy so you must be very careful. I would also recommend insurance as the roads are narrow and there is always the chance of a scratch.
Where to stay
The island is very small and with the great connection services you can stay wherever you like. My favorite area to stay is in St Julian’s. That’s where I stayed during both of my visits to Malta. It’s not the quietest part of the island but its very pretty and has the best nightlife. You could stay in the capital, Valetta, to experience great cultural events and history, Mellieha if you want to spend time on the sandy beach or Silema which is a modern tourist area with many hotels and restaurants. The place I stayed this time was called Instyle apartments, located in St Julians/Paceville. It was very close to all nightlife streets but you couldn’t hear any noise from outside. It was a very lovely place and I would definitely go back.
Where to eat
There is plenty of great restaurants around. I didn’t have enough time to explore all of them.
The best place I tried this time was called New York Best it’s a kind of fast food chain, with burgers, pizza, sandwiches and salads but the quality of food is amazing. I ate there twice during the weekend because I liked it that much. The other place we went to was an Irish pub in St Julians called Dublier. I am not normally a big fan of pub food but I must admit my cheesesteak was delicious.
What to see in 3 days
Malta is a beautiful island with so much to explore, so 3 days is not enough time to see everything. Of course, I could have seen more than I did but my trip was pretty relaxed. On the first day, I was a little bit tired because of waking up early for the flight the night before so I didn’t have too much energy to go out and start sightseeing. That day I was walking around St Julian’s, where I was staying. It’s a tiny town so it was perfect. There are a few casinos, a marina with fancy boats and a nightclub which makes this part of the city pretty popular.
On the second day, we decided walk to Valetta. It was supposed to be a 45 min walk which turned out to be 2 hours because the coast is so pretty, you just want to stop every 5 minutes. To make it quicker we did catch a ferry from Silema. It was 5 min journey and it cost 1,5euros. We got to Valetta quite late, so I didn’t get a chance to explore a lot. It’s a very beautiful city with many historical buildings, cute cafes and shops. I heard St. John’s Cathedral is a must.
For the last day, I planned to visit Mdina Old City. Unfortunately, I had to change my plans . I just stayed in St Julian’s to keep exploring. I would have definitely gone there if I had more energy and the weather was better as it was raining.
The next time I go to Malta I will definitely visit the Blue Lagoon. The photos of the crystal clear water looks fabulous. I did get to see it from the plane. The other place I would go is Gozo, which is a separate island nearby. I would also take a boat tour in Xlendi Beach which goes to cliffs and caves.