Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Everything you need to know about Malta

An extensive group of islands form in the centre of the Mediterranean sea to form Malta. It’s culture, desertlike land and famed set location for ‘Popeye Village’ make this an addition to the bucket list.

In June 2019 we set ourself a mission to find the cheapest and most desirable destination for the upcoming month of July 2019. With our flight search we found return tickets to Malta from Bristol airport for £66 each, bargain right? To find out how we find the cheapest possible flights, read our flights tips and tricks blog.
With only hand luggage we managed to pack all necessary items for our trip and it worked perfectly.

We researched in advance the most idyllic places to stay and see whilst in Malta and on a stricter budget than normal. We set ourselves 2 weeks to see as much as possible whilst keeping a few days for relaxation. Here’s how we explored Malta:



Bugibba (North Malta)

4 nights

Gozo (Gozo Island)

5 nights

Marsascala (South Malta)

4 nights

We split our Malta trip into 3 sections, allowing us time to explore the North and South of the island with a more relaxing time on Gozo.


Although travelling to Malta was dirt cheap, the island itself was expensive compared to other European destinations. The price of accommodation varied, and we didn’t find our stays deeply luxurious – that being said our BnB stay in Gozo Il- Gardjola Bed and Breakfast was exceptional for a competitive price.

Malta accommodation

With two weeks of eating out, accommodation and touristy packages it soon added up to being a more expensive holiday than first budgeted. A meal for two in a restaurant can easily add up to €30+ especially when adding drinks to the bill, which again when comparing to other destinations can be considered expensive. In hind sight we would probably go for a maximum of 10 days as we ticked off everything we wanted to see and do within this time.

Public Transport

The public bus service on Malta and Gozo is a good way to travel the islands as they link to all major touristy spots. They are cheap to board and usually efficient. One thing to note is that the price of your bus ticket will never change from 2 euros during the summer and 1.50 euros during the winter, for each individual ride. Whether you are going to the other side of the island or down the road, your ticket price will still be the set price. The night rate is 3 euros all year round. Depending on the amount you are planning to travel around Malta determines whether you should purchase the multi-day ticket. Locally referred to as the Tallinja card, there are a few deals that are on offer making your travels easier and sometimes more economical.

Explore Card – Unlimited travel by bus for 7 days at 21 Euros (adult) or 15 euros (child)

Explore Plus Card – Unlimited travel by bus for 7 days, 2 ferry trips on the Valetta Ferry and 1 day hop on/hop off bus tour OR a boat trip to Comino.

We opted for the Explore Card paying for 2 weeks for each, totalling 84 euros – see it starts to add up… Honestly we estimated that we broke even with the explore card but mainly enjoyed the hop on/hop off allowance aspect of the card. We bought our Explore Card when arriving at the airport! If you don’t buy an explore card carry small change for buses.
One slightly annoying factor when travelling by bus is that there is no bus that links the North to the South. All buses have a changeover, on one such day we had 4 changeovers and it took around 4 hours in blistering heat and crammed buses, making for a very unhappy duo. Another negative that must be mentioned is that times during the day buses are almost always full. If you are heading to the beach and are halfway along the route waiting for a bus, you will more than likely not get on a bus for hours due to the amount of tourists all heading in the same direction. Our advice would be to get to a main town/city hub or travel from the beginning of the bus route. This was one thing that deeply annoyed us holding the Explore Card unable to use public transport.

Renting a car?

Renting a car is a great option if you’re planning to go to destinations that are off the beaten track.  It is a great way to travel the island without having to wait for a bus and at your own pace. Research in advance the places you want to visit and whether the bus will make it there, or how many changeovers you may encounter. They also have an app which is hit and miss telling you everything you need to know about your journey, but Google Maps served us perfectly.


If you’re a foody then Malta may or may not win you over. It’s difficult to describe some of its weird and wonderful food. Personally we found some of the local delicacies not to our taste but can imagine some may enjoy. One very popular traditional pastry we did enjoy was the Pastizz. Usually with a filling of Ricotta or Mushy peas the Pastizz is a well-known traditional Maltese food, that you can find in all Patisseries embedded into the walls of the streets. They are also sold in bars and from street vendors.

Pastizzi in Malta


New Madras Indian Restaurant – If you are fanatics of Indian cuisine like us then New madras Indian Restaurant is a must. The food was aromatic and delicious. Although slightly more expensive than other restaurants in Bugibba we would definitely recommend saving up for one night at this dining experience. A lovely setting for a romantic evening.

Fat Harry’s Dining – If you are looking for great pub grub sitting outside enjoying a cold glass of beer or wine, then this is one place that must be enjoyed. We decided to share a burger and a side order after seeing the enormous servings that were hitting other tables. The staff were efficient and brilliant. They even had the rugby on which was an added bonus.


Summer Nights Pub and Grill – We can’t say anything bad about this restaurant except that it was closed on our last night in Malta. We went to Summer Nights Pub and Grill three nights in a row after experiencing food sensations that are rare to come by. The food was to die for, the wine to match to die for and service in a lovely setting all added to the magic of this restaurant. If you are in the South of Malta you have to go to this Steakhouse.

malta food


Chalk Cafe Bar – We found a lovely quaint cafe whilst visiting the Ancient walled city of Mdina. Just outside the walls we stumbled across the small picturesque Chalk Cafe Bar, where we sat and enjoyed a more traditional Maltese Ftira. A ftira is a ring-shaped, Maltese bread with loaf, usually served with fillings like Tuna, Maltese sausage, sardines, fresh tomato, onion, capers and olives. One of the more strange items we tried whilst in Malta. Interestingly, in Gozo the neighbouring island the ftira is served more like a pizza than a sandwich highlighting the regional variations between the islands.

Palazzo Castelletti – A small walk down the road from Chalk Cafe Bar and you will find Palazzo Castelletti, the perfect setting for some lovely drinks. Tranquil in atmosphere and a perfect place to unwind with a cocktail.

Malta International food festival – As you find with travelling to new and different places you may be lucky enough to stumble upon a special occasion much like ours at Mdina when we found the Malta International food festival in 2019. With a huge variety of sweet, savoury and souvenirs on offer this made for a perfect evening. What’s better than nibbling on a Kinder Beuno soaked waffle whilst washing down with a cold beer and listening to live music? The Malta International food festival is a must.

mdina food festival

Gozo/Marsalforn Bay

L’oro da Napoli Restaurant – Marsalforn Bay is located to the North of Gozo and has a huge variety of restaurants and bars open. You know when you can’t find what you want to watch on Netflix because there’s so much choice? It was a bit like that. We picked the restaurant that looked the most inviting and we are thankful we did. There was a beautiful glowing sunset whilst we devoured a bottle of wine and lovely main dishes. We would recommend booking in advance and asking for a table on the balcony and a time around sunset, it will not disappoint for it’s location and menu.

Food in Malta


The one thing we noticed when visiting Malta in July was the horde of tourists in certain destinations. The beaches are few and far between and those that are open are bombarded by umbrellas and tourists. Not our cup of tea. We recommend heading out earlier and beating the mad rush of people. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday Malta is probably not the place for you!

If you’re looking to book a tour, head into any town and you will find a huge number of offices dedicated to tourist packages. We booked our Malta boat trip through these offices. All tend to offer the same pricing but shop around first, so you don’t get ripped off or scammed.

A Brief look into the Religion of Malta

The majority of the Malltese are Roman Catholic and hold various Festas (a religious festival) throughout Malta and Gozo. Starting at the end of May right through to the end of September festas are held to celebrate the feast of its patron saint or others deeply respected within its community. Within active communities these celebrations last for the entire weekend and vary week to week in location. We were lucky enough to enjoy the festa in Victoria, the main hub of Gozo. Rooftops and balconies are decorated along with the Cathedral being lit up.

A typical Maltese festa lasts three days or longer and on any of these evenings you will see a flooding of festive locals. We witnessed a blinding firework display nearing the end of the evening accompanied by the local band performing for hours on end. It was a truly special occasion and advise to research the local festas you may be able to visit and watch during your holiday for that added cultural experience.

all you need to know about malta

Fun Facts

DO NOT visit the Azure Window in Gozo as advertised across the island, it collapsed in March 2017 and does not stand any longer.

Tap water is supposedly safe to drink in Malta but tastes dreadful. The desalination process leaves the water heavy in minerals and difficult to stomach. Water is cheap to buy from the local shops and we advise leaving in the fridge for a nice cold beverage after a dip in the pool.

Malta is a very safe place for tourists to visit. The crime rate is low when regarding violent crimes and with no terrorist activity recorded in several years you can feel safe when visiting Malta.

The most common dishes in Maltese restaurants are pizza, pasta, seafood and cheese and meat platters.

The best time of year to visit Malta is recorded to be April – June (spring – early summer). The weather is desirable with cooler evenings and sunny days whilst avoiding the main tourist dates.

The film set of the musical production ‘Popeye’ was constructed in 1979 and still stands as a tourist attraction just two miles from Mellieha in the Northern region of Malta. Popeye Village is fun to visit for children and adults. PS bring your bathing suit!

Popeye village in Malta

Check out everything you need to know about ‘Popeye Village’ here!

Travelling Translated


This blog might contain affiliate links. This means if you click on it and buy something, we’ll possibly make a small commission from it, at no additional cost to you. This enables us to keep sharing our travel tips and stories for you to enjoy.

Travelling Translated

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.