Is Malta Worth Visiting? Discover Evolve insider tips for your 2024 Adventure!

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Is Malta Worth Visiting? Evolves insider tips, tried and tested 🤫

Is Malta worth visiting?

Is Malta worth visiting?

You are thinking about where to go this year and this small rock on the boot of Italy popped up in your search results. So should you visit Malta?

I (Matt) have lived in Malta since 2019, I consider it my home, and I have had the pleasure of hosting 100's of digital nomads at Evolve Coliving.

So I have some good tips and tricks for you, and I can also tell you some of our Coliving Members' consistent favourites.

Do I think Malta is worth visiting? Absolutely, and although biased, I think a huge villa with a coworking, pool, jacuzzi and more, full of like-minded digital nomads and remote workers, makes the experience 10x more fulfilling!

Overview of Malta

Malta is a Mediterranean island nation with a rich history, a blend of fascinating cultures, 300+ days of sun and a stunning coastline with amazing diving.

When considering longer stays, keep in mind it is English-speaking, has great tax schemes (including for the Malta Digital Nomad Visa) and is amazingly positioned between Africa and Europe.

It has a buzzing expat and digital nomad scene with various coworking spaces, the Evolve coliving community, and some great bars, restaurants, and events! 

Key Takeaways

  • I will touch on the tourist spots mentioned by all the other blogs, but I will try to just give mine and our colleagues personal recommendations and where we go as locals who call it our home.

  • I will highlight the good, but I will give an honest account of Malta: the good, the bad and the ugly.

  • I will stay unbiased. We are friends with the owners of some of these spots, and some of whom we don't know. But if we became friends, it was because we had consistently good experiences and kept going back. Some places we have discounts for but no affiliation. 

Also, note that this will be an overview and ever-evolving guide, I may write more detailed blog posts on specific places going forward, but this is only meant to point you in the right direction 😊

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Exploring Malta's Diverse Appeal: A Mediterranean Gem

Location, location, location!

Tucked between southern Italy and northern Africa, this small island is a melting pot of cultures (Read: has been consistently invaded by various colonisers throughout its lifetime).

This history dating back thousands of years, has caused Malta to be home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historic cities that tell the tales of its past civilizations.

Below are all the influences on Malta over its time!

Phoenicians (around 800 BC): The Phoenicians, an ancient Semitic-speaking people from the Levant region, were among the first to colonize Malta. They used the islands as a stopover for their trade routes in the Mediterranean.

Ancient Greeks (around 700 BC): Following the Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks also established their presence in Malta.

Carthaginians (6th century BC): The Carthaginians, descendants of the Phoenicians in North Africa, took control of Malta around the 6th century BC.

Romans (218 BC): Malta fell under Roman rule in 218 BC during the Second Punic War. The islands were used as a base for their naval operations.

Byzantine Empire (395 AD): After the division of the Roman Empire, Malta became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire.

Arab Rule (870 AD): The Arabs conquered Malta in 870 AD, and their influence was profound, particularly in the Maltese language, which still bears many similarities to Arabic.

Normans (1091 AD): The Norman conquest of Malta in 1091 AD marked the beginning of Christian rule over the islands.

Sovereign Military Order of St. John (1530): Also known as the Knights Hospitaller, this order was given control of Malta by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1530. They fortified the islands and left a lasting architectural and cultural legacy.

Byzantine Empire (395 AD): After the division of the Roman Empire, Malta became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire.

Arab Rule (870 AD): The Arabs conquered Malta in 870 AD, and their influence was profound, particularly in the Maltese language, which still bears many similarities to Arabic.

Normans (1091 AD): The Norman conquest of Malta in 1091 AD marked the beginning of Christian rule over the islands.

Sovereign Military Order of St. John (1530): Also known as the Knights Hospitaller, this order was given control of Malta by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1530. They fortified the islands and left a lasting architectural and cultural legacy.

And if the vibrant history isn't enough, its sun-soaked shores and status as a good holiday destination have made it one of the popular tourist destinations in Europe, leading to constant development in infas

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Galore

Malta hosts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites,

The Megalithic Temples: These are among the oldest free-standing structures in the world, dating back to between 3600 BC and 700 BC. The seven temples are Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien, Skorba, Ta' Ħaġrat, and Ggantija on Gozo

The ancient Hypogeum of al-Saflieni: An underground temple with intricate chambers and burial vaults.

City of Valletta: Inscribed in 1980, the capital city of Malta, Valletta, is known for its well-preserved architecture and street layout reflecting the rule of the Knights of St. John from the 16th century. The city is notable for its artistic and cultural elements, including Baroque architecture, fortifications, and a mix of medieval and modern elements. These days, it has some great bars and restaurants, and it is beautiful to explore during the day. It also has a great buzz for a night out down Straight Street, the former prostitute street for sailors!

You can continue your historical adventure at Mdina, St. John's Co-Cathedral, Fort St. Angelo, The Three Cities, Blue Grotto, Marsaxlokk, The Inquisitor's Palace, Tarxien Temples, Dingli Cliffs, Mosta Dome, Manoel Theatre. All are unique and genuinely worth visiting!

Maltas Sun-Soaked Shores

Malta has a beautiful coastline!

Sandy beaches such as Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), Paradise Bay, Pretty Bay and the famous Blue Lagoon in Comino are typically in the far north or south and around 20mins+ drive away from the main area of Sliema.

If you go during the high season, due to the limited sandy beaches and space, and high tourist numbers, some of the more popular ones can also be crowded.

I have personally come to love rocky beaches because of the proximity and lack of sand and fuss. One beautiful stretch of coastline would be from Balluta Bay to Tigne Point, which hosts a number of awesome bars which we can talk about later, like Exiles Paradise. There are other locations for rocky beaches also though such as St. Peter's Pool, Fomm ir-Riħ, Wied iż-Żurrieq, Għar Lapsi

It is worth noting that the sun sets in the North West in summer, and South West in winter. So you can catch the sunrise from the East, and sunset from the West, and there are plenty of sandy and rocky spots to do both!

Whether you enjoy basking in the sun, building sand castles, or engaging in water sports, Malta’s sun-kissed shores cater to all tastes.

Malta's Culinary Journey: A Taste of the Island

This section is far from an exhaustive list of restaurants in Malta. But I will list a few great spots I and our Evolvers have personally tried and consistently recommend, and you can see us at a few spots in the pics.

  • Pepperoncino - Beautiful traditional and homely food by Balluta Bay

  • La Sfoglia - Great quality Mediterranean food in an unexpected spot in Valetta

  • San Paolo Naufrago - Amazing pizza on the steps in Valetta

  • Salumeria Gardens - Great pizza at a very cute enclosed garden by St Julians

  • Grana - A very modern spot which does great pizza in Sliema

  • Exiles Beach Bar - Go for the vibes, beer and burgers! Great beachside location for a sunny weekend.

  • Sotto - Another great pizza spot in Valetta

  • Aki - Very fancy Japanese Sushi place in straight street in Valetta, I just go for the cocktails!

  • Hammets - Amazing quality food, a few locations on the island, and great cocktails. 

  • Manon - Very tasty spot in Valetta, I enjoy the lamb.

  • The Country Terrace - An insane spot by the port in Gozo, White table cloth with views over the harbour. There is a 50% discount on the weekends if you search on Google for the discount, but you have to pay cash for it. 

  • Tmun - Beautiful fine dining spot in Gozo.

  • Il logga - Tiny hidden place in Gozo, one to the best lamb dishes I remember eating. 

  • Terrazzo - Amazing views in Gozo and the bread had the best crunch I can remember! 

  • Da pippo - Homely cafe / pub style Italian restaurant in Valetta

The Social Scene: Bars and Nightlife

Malta is a vibrant island for day drinking or after the sun sets. The island’s social scene includes lively bars and nightlife, offering a mix of high-end lounges and laid-back bars in all over the island!

  • Exiles Beach Bar - Top summer spot in Sliema, open sides, on the rocks, live music and great vibes!

  • The thirsty barber - Fancy cocktails and live music, a gem among the rough in Paceville. 

  • The Crafty Cat - Funky Irish bar in Sliema, great pub quiz and a strong fruity toothy larger!

  • La Luz - Cool speakeasy-style bar in Sliema, great cocktails 

  • Hole in the wall - Just cool, very chill 'low-key', board games and great toasties!

  • Surfside - Not the best food or service 😅 But location, location, location! Beers and party 😀

  • Bottega - Cool wine bar in Valetta with live music and a vibe! 

  • The pub - Mr Oliver Reed died here, nice spot for a pint in Valetta!

  • Gin Yard 32 - This very cool Gin bar on Straight Street Valetta has tasty drinks and a nice starting spot for a bar crawl!

  • Bridge Bar - Take a spot on the steps in Valetta and listen to the typically more classical live music they have here while you enjoy a house wine!

  • Cafe Society - Pull up a cushion and take your spot on the steps in Valetta while you enjoy the hip vibes and unique cocktails.

  • Babel - More live music! Funky sofas and good vibes in Valetta 😀

  • The Brew - A nice gastro pub in Sliema

  • The Black Sheep - Another nice gastro pub in Sliema, there is a few like this in a concentrated spot, making the whole street a nice lively vibe. 

  • Black Gold - Sticky floors, messy nights and cheap pints, get in! 

  • Compas - A nice sea front kisosk style spot in Sliema, one of the few that serves shisha

  • Native - 2 am and feeling good? Head to native for some tunes and a 5am finish 

  • Nordic - Next door to Native is Nordic, of a similar vibe.

  • Dixie's Kiosk - One of my favourite little hidden gems. A simple kiosk in Sliema that does cheap food, good and good beer with great views over Balutta Bay.

  • Cafe Del mar - A glamorous beach club offering a bar, restaurant & pool with DJ music, plus sea & sunset views.

Creative and Cultural Encounters

Below is a curated list of things that we have enjoyed consistently on the island.

  • Sip and Paint - Nice experience where you are guide to copy a painting while you sip on wine in a nice environment.

  • Craft Cat Quiz Night - Great for a laugh and to test your general knowledge, or lack thereof it!

  • Watercolours Diving - This is the perfect spot to give diving a go and venture beyond the beach into the world of shipwrecks and caves!

  • Sliema Fight Co Fitness - Stay fit and healthy while here; join Sliema Fight Co for a great fitness community and to learn some self-defence and/or fighting techniques. 

  • Kayaking - A great activity to do to explore the beautiful Mediterranean sea.

  • English Cafe and Connection Ville - Some brilliant meetups every night of the week; from hiking to rooftop parties, they have it all. And Connectionville is more focused towards those business orientated folks. 

  • Coco talks - Some very cool meetups on the island for the new digital nomad network state, Web3, Crypto, spirituality, psychedelics and much much more.

  • Mediterranean ceramics - A great way to spend a day painting some locally made ceramics!

When to visit

The best time to visit Malta would depend on the activities you prefer. If you love the sun and want to spend your days on the beach, the summer months of June, July, and August are perfect for you. These are also the peak tourist seasons in Malta, so expect larger crowds during this time.

If you prefer a more relaxed trip with fewer crowds, consider visiting Malta during March-May and October and November.

The weather during these months is pleasant, and you’ll get to experience Malta without the summer rush.

If you’re a fan of festivals, April is a great time to visit. During this month, you can experience Holy Week and the Malta International Fireworks Festival, adding a touch of local culture to your trip.

Getting around

Navigating Malta proves to be relatively straightforward. The island has a good public transportation system, mainly relying on buses. They are cheap and can take you to different cities and towns on the islands.

If you prefer a more flexible mode of transport, consider renting a car. Just remember that they drive on the left side of the road in Malta, and traffic can be a bit frustrating, especially during peak hours.

For a more convenient and comfortable ride, taxis are a good option. Companies like Bolt and eCabs offer professional services and easy-to-use apps, making it easy to get around the island.

Also, the e-scooters, both stand up and sit down, also operate on the island through a number of companies such as Wizzascoot and Bolt. 

Our Summary

From exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites and sun-soaked shores to indulging in delectable cuisine and experiencing vibrant nightlife, Malta offers a rich and diverse travel experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this Mediterranean gem.

So why wait? Pack your bags, book your tickets, and head to Malta for an unforgettable vacation.

After all, there’s a reason why this Mediterranean gem is considered a paradise by those who have visited.

It’s time for you to discover it for yourself!

Have you considered the Malta Digital Nomad Visa?

Join us at Evolve Coliving, Malta. Where we find your tribe and you enjoy the vibe. 

@ Evolve Coliving, Malta. The Medeterian Home For Digital Nomads. Find out more about the Malta Digital Nomad Visa and apply to stay at Evolve Coliving below.
We attract awesome digital nomads to live together. 

We aim to foster a sense of belonging, mutual support, collaboration and social cohesion among Evolves members in a close-knit and supportive living environment, enhancing well-being and promoting a more fulfilling and purposeful way of living.
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We believe this will build a strong and lasting community and over time we strive to build a global community by developing a network of 5 partners in 5 top digital nomad locations worldwide.

Is Malta Worth Visiting? Frequently Asked Questions

Is Malta good to go to?
Malta is an amazing travel destination! The stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, delicious food, and warm locals make it a top choice for many travelers.
How many days is best for Malta?
You can jump around the hotspots in a week or so, but for the full Evolve experience, we recommend two to three months, as this allows you to connect with the community at Evolve, relax, unwind and really soak in all the culture and experience Malta has to offer.
Is Malta a good place for Americans to visit?
Malta is a stunningly beautiful place, boasting impressive historical cities and amazing beaches. With a safe environment, it's easy to explore the island and is definitely worth adding to your travel list in 2024!
What is so great about Malta?
Malta is a truly remarkable destination, boasting the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state in the world. With stunning ancient architecture and beautiful Mediterranean sun, Malta has something to offer everyone.
When is the best time to visit Malta?
The best time to visit Malta is during the summer months of June, July, and August if you're looking for sun and beach, or the spring or autumn months for fewer crowds. But honestly 300 days of sun means Malta is a beautiful destination all year round.
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