Whether you are on a hectic business trip with little time for leisure, or just passing through on a cruise, we have compiled a practical list with the absolute essentials of what to see, eat and do when you’re visiting the island of Malta for just one day.
MUST SEE: Sights and Attractions
- Valletta, Fortress City and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Start your day on the waterfront by the Upper Barrakka Gardens, built on top of a bastion on the highest point of Valletta, the Gardens offer fantastic views of the Grand Harbour. Then make your way to the centre of the city, where you can explore its many streets and traditional buildings with colourful wooden balconies. Republic Street, which is the main street of Valletta, is lined with different kinds of shops ranging from the latest fashion to traditional Maltese souvenirs.
- Visit the amazing Blue Grotto
Another option to start your one day in Malta is to head straight to the outskirts of Wied iz-Zurrieq, on the South part of the island, and spend the day admiring the striking rocky coastline and snorkeling on the inviting waters around the Blue Grotto. There are plenty of fishing boats willing to take you on on a tour of the caves, weather permitting.
- Dine in Fashionable Sliema
End you day by taking the ferry from Valletta to Sliema. The ferry leaves from the Marsamxett harbour and takes about 10 minutes each way. Here you can find the most fashionable shops and lots of great restaurants serving the best of Maltese food. For the best restaurants head to Howard Street and Stella Maris Street.
MUST TRY: Food and Drink
Pastizz (plural pastizzi) is a savoury pastry from Malta, which usually has a ﬁlling either of ricotta or of mushy peas, and are called pastizzi tal-irkotta, “cheesecakes”, or pastizzi tal-piżelli, “peacakes”. On a cold winter’s day try the hot ricotta pastizzi which are perfect with a glass of local wine or cup of coffee.
A traditional Maltese sweet made with pastry and a ﬁlling of dates. The word imqaret in Maltese, is the plural of maqrut (diamond shaped) and it signiﬁes the diamond shape of the sweets. It is very popular in Malta and it is sold in street markets, particularly around religious holidays and village festivals. On hot summer days try it served with ice-cream.
- Ħobż biż Żejt
Great snack food made from a thick slice of crusty Maltese bread soaked in olive oil and rubbed with juicy red tomatoes and topped with mint, a little onion, garlic, tuna or anchovies and capers.
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Wooden Balconies image by Gabriele Tudico via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Blue Grotto slider image by Federhirn via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Valletta image by Cycling man via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Pastizzi image by Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sliema harbour image by Erik Söderström via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Valletta city perspective image by Andrea~S via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Blue Grotto feature image by Andrea Castelli via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Fish soup and bread image by Lemon and Anchovies food blog