It is unlikely that you will only have 24 hours in Malta. However, if you are planning on scuba diving in Malta, or spending a good amount of time on one of Malta’s beaches, it is possible that you will only have 24 hours in Malta to actually explore. In fact, that was exactly our case when we visited Malta for a weekend back in September 2017. One day was spent at the England vs. Malta football game; one day was spent deep in the water scuba diving the P-31 wreck with Cresta Dive Centre; and, our final day was spent actually seeing what Malta is all about.
After our 24 hours in Malta, we can confirm that you definitely need more than one day in Malta to see it all; while it doesn’t seem like there is much going on for non-divers and non-beach goers beyond Valletta, there are actually so many things to do in Malta.
While it won’t be possible to get to everything, it is possible to tick off many of the top things to do in Malta in just one day. In this guide to 24 hours in Malta, we are covering the things that we did, as well as some of the things that we wanted to do during our one day in Malta. This will help you get a good feel for both Malta’s history and culture, as well as treat you to some stunning views. Here’s our guide to one day in Malta:
How to Spend 24 Hours in Malta
Morning – Explore Valletta
Start your day exploring Malta’s capital, Valletta. Depending on where you are staying in Malta, you can access Valletta by either bus or ferry (or foot, if you are staying right in the center!). We chose to take the ferry over from Sliema (€1.50 one-way) so we could admire the view of Valletta on our way. The ferry takes only 10 minutes and deposits you at the base of Valletta.
Make your way up to the Upper Barrakka Gardens for some incredible views of the Three Cities. Then wander down past the Opera House and you’ll reach Republic Street. To the left is the City Gate, a modern structure you’ll get the chance to walk through later! Turn right and head down Republic Street. This is where most of Valletta can be found, from little shops to cozy cafes. Stop for a coffee at a pastizzi at one of the cafes in St. George’s Square.
Afternoon (Option 1) – Discover Malta’s Military History in the Three Cities
From Valletta, you can again take either the bus or ferry over to Malta’s Three Cities, a collective name for the three fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua. If you’re in for a treat, ask one of the boaters to take you on a tour of the Three Cities in their traditional Maltese boats.
The Three Cities is a great area to explore for anybody who has an interest in military history. Both the bus and ferry will drop you nearby to the marina. Admire the massive yachts parked in the marina while you walk along the waterfront to Fort St. Angelo. Take some time to explore the fort and admire the views. There’s a wealth of information on display, including some multimedia exhibits.
If you have some room in your budget, rent a golf cart from Rolling Geeks and ride around for a self-paced audio tour of the Three Cities (€75 for 2.5 hours). When you need a break from exploring, stop for a glass of wine at one of the restaurants along the marina. Then, pop into the Malta Maritime Museum to learn more about Malta’s maritime history, and to check out some historical maritime artefacts and model ships.
Afternoon (Option 2) – Taste Maltese Wine in North Malta
If you want to do something a bit different, consider booking a wine tour and tasting with Mar Casar. You’ll need to book in advance in order to arrange the day. Following the wine adventure, take a bus or taxi to Malta’s prehistoric temples. From there, you can stroll on down to the Blue Grotto.
Evening – Wander the Streets of Mdina
Head to Mdina in the evening, where the pedestrian only streets are nearly empty. This is a much quieter area of Malta and it’s lovely to just wander the narrow streets and admire the beauty of Malta’s old capital. For dinner, consider a restaurant serving traditional Maltese dishes. We ate at Bacchus, where we both enjoyed the rabbit leg and a Maltese red wine.
Late – Party in Sliema
Sliema’s Strand is home to bar after bar open late into the night. It’s a lively area located across the water from Valetta. We were staying in Sliema, but it’s easy to reach by ferry or bus if you are staying somewhere else. We enjoyed trying different bars at The Brew, but any of the places along the strand are lively and open late. It’s definitely a touristy area, but it’s reliable if you’re looking to stay out a bit later!
Malta is an absolutely beautiful destination and one that we look forward to visiting again. If you have any recommendations for how to spend a weekend in Malta, drop them below. We can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful country – next time, we’d love to explore Gozo and Comino!