What You'll Find in This Post
- Malta for Families
- Where is Malta located?
- Best Things to Do in Malta with Kids
- Best Beaches in Malta:
- Best Place to Stay in Malta:
- How Long to Stay in Malta:
- Malta Travel Tips
- Getting Around Malta
- What to Eat in Malta
Malta for Families
Malta is a perfect European getaway for the family. There are so many things to do in Malta with kids the tough part is choosing what you are going to do with the time you have there. We wanted to visit a place in Europe that we had never been to, a place we didn’t know anyone personally who had visited and a place for us to discover with no preconceived notions. So, our top pick was Malta and was pleasantly surprised to explore this hidden little gem. After visiting for 2 weeks we wanted to share what to do in Malta with kids so other families can have the same great experiences as us.
Where is Malta located?
When we started planning our trip to Malta, the first thing I had to look up was where is Malta located? Especially since we didn’t know anyone that had been, it was a quick search on the map to find out that Malta is located below Italy and above the North African coast. Sign me up! It has a mix of both beach life with an abundance of history and culture.
So for those families who what different types of things to do in Malta, this is the perfect balance to please any family member. Beautiful turquoise blue seas to swim in, soft or rocky beaches, inlets and coves undiscovered for anyone who loves a great beach life. The island also boasts tons or historical events, an infused mix of the architect from the variety of nations who ruled this land previously. It was nothing like anything we have ever seen before, and we loved everything about this little island of paradise.
Malta is made up of two islands in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea; the main island being Malta and the second being Gozo. Which also confused us at the beginning of our planning. Both have their uniqueness and highly recommend you try to visit both.
Best Things to Do in Malta with Kids
1. Spend the day in Valletta
Enjoy the day wandering around and getting lost in the cobblestone streets of the capital of Malta, Valletta. Check out the beautiful St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Upper Barrakka Gardens, grand harbour, Valetta’s waterfront, or Republic street for some shopping. Our favourite was the sheer size of the city gates and the beauty of the fortified grand entrance. There are kids play area and parks scattered through the city, which provides a great option for breaks in the city. The city of Valletta is one of the best things to see in Malta.
2. Sightseeing around Malta Island
The hop on hop off bus option provides an easy way for families to visit the best places to see in Malta. Either Malta (North & South Route) and Gozo island all have hop on hop off options. If you have limited time on the island, this is a great way to get around at a very good price. We did the Gozo bus trip and it was the perfect way to see Gozo in one-day.
3. Day trip to Gozo Island
An easy day trip or spend a few nights in Victoria on Gozo. We took the first ferry across from Cirkewwa (Malta) over to Gozo which took about 30 minutes. The return boat leaves from Mgarr (Gozo) so be sure to not take the last ferry of the day across just in case they reach capacity or cancelled for weather since you will then be stuck on Gozo.
We purchased our Hop On Hop Off tickets for Gozo that morning at the Cirkewwa ferry station so that when we arrived in Gozo, we could simply just find the bus and hop on. The tour will take you around to island for the best things to do in Gozo, Malta. Our best places to visit in Gozo were Victoria, Ggantija Temples and where the remains of Gozo Window Azure in Dwerja.
4. Day trip to Blue Lagoon
A must see in Malta is going to the Blue Lagoon. If there is one thing you must see it is the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon. You can arrange boat tours that can take you here, but we simply went with the local ferry service. We took the first boat out in the morning and got to the Blue Lagoon before all the tour boats came.
We rented a couple of chairs on the rocky shore and spent most of our time in this amazing water. After a few hours, we opted to leave as the lagoon can get very busy with tour buses and ruins a bit of the tranquillity of it. Our suggestion is to go first thing on the first ferry and plan to leave early to have the best experience. Even if you can only do the tour boats, the Blue Lagoon is still one of the best places to visit in Malta.
5. Popeye Village
This is a fun thing to do in Malta with kids. A bit of a mix of movie sets, cool props for them to play with and pretend play. It can be a bit of Malta tourist attractions but we just went along with it as something fun to do with the kids. The movie set has an amazing backdrop in the inlet, and spend an hour or two wandering in and out of the houses on set. It tells the story of how movies use to be made. They have some mini-golf and water trampolines for the kids to play on.
6. Malta National Aquarium
Located in the Bugibba area, this aquarium in a fun activity to take the kids to for a few hours. It also is a good way to beat the heat and get out of the sun if your little ones need a break. Always exciting for the kids to check out all the marine life and fun kid friendly activities always happening here.
7. Visit the Best Beaches in Malta
The beaches are the best places to visit in Malta. An island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea will provide a coastline surrounding the entire island which different beaches that provide each their own unique offerings to visit as a family. So here is a breakdown of the top beaches to visit in Malta.
Best Beaches in Malta:
This was by far our favourite beach. It takes a bit to get to but well worth and we went here for 2 days. This beach has a small food/drink shack if you need and restrooms. The kids did get a Slurpee treat from here on a hot day! Do be warned though, there is a long flight of stairs to get up and down to the beach. Well worth the extra exercise but may not work for those who have a tough time with stairs and/or strollers. It felt a bit off-the-beaten-track but still had some small services.
This beach is easy to get to along the main bus stops. It is the largest of beaches in Malta and has a great long sandy beach with the feeling of still being close to the town. It is a larger beach, which has umbrella and chair rentals, food services, restrooms and most any other services you would need. You also get a great view of boats that are in anchored in the inlet.
Is located the Northwest coast of Malta, it is a soft sandy beach with a few hotels located close by. Food and drink services are readily available and reminded us more of a resort type beach.
A beautiful inlet on the small island of Camino. You will have to access this from a small boat/ferry services from Cirkewwa. My suggestion would be to get the first boat trip out in the morning, this is a very busy beach. So we preferred to go early in the morning and then leave by lunch when the organized tours all started to come. It was VERY busy. There also aren’t many places to suntan or sit. The rock is almost volcanic and rocky, but the lagoon itself is soft smooth sand. You may want water shoes for the kids if you have to walk around far on this island. There are a few (tiny amount of chairs for rent), but you better be there early to rent.
Is in the Northern part of Malta island, in the area of Cirkewwa. Which can make for a good combo day of beaches if you are returning back from a day at the Blue Lagoon. The day we decided to go, there was a side wind that caused some large waves, so, unfortunately, we had to pass on spending the afternoon but looked like a small little bay beach to check out.
Best Place to Stay in Malta:
After staying for 2 weeks in Malta there are so many areas that we will consider the next time we go. For simplicity, we did rent an apartment in Malta for the entire time in one spot. We were travelling fulltime and moving a lot before so we wanted to stay in one location and then just take day trips from one place. It all really depends on what you are looking to do in Malta to find the best place to stay in Malta for families or the best area to stay in Malta for families.
We stayed in the Bugibba area, which was more family orientated, some rocky beaches, great smaller restaurants, with a long walkway running along the coast to enjoy evening sunset walks. You will find more locals in this area and a great spot to rent an Airbnb. This would be my main recommendation for where to stay in Malta for families.
If you are looking for more of a happening vibe, lots more people, hotels, restaurants, shopping, harbour, nightlife, etc. this city would be the best place to stay in Malta. There was a lot of families who stayed here and split their time between the city of Valetta and a beach resort.
Mellieha Bay (Għadira):
Is a smaller area but has great soft sand beaches at your doorstep. If you are looking for a lot of beach life in Malta this would be a great spot.
This is on Gozo island and had a great feel to this city but in a smaller more remote sense than Valletta. Next time we would spend a few nights here for the atmosphere.
If you are looking for strictly a beach visit, this would be a great spot with a hotel very close by and the beach at your doorstep. There is not much else to do in the area though so just be prepared for no nightlife or variety of restaurants.
How Long to Stay in Malta:
We spent 2 weeks on the island, and really enjoyed the slow pace of exploring the island. That being said, if you are looking for a quick 1 week trip or even weekend break in Malta from Europe, this can easily be done but you’ll just have to limit your sightseeing or beach lounging days. The flight times are relatively quick from Europe so it is easily manageable for a family.
- Although their official language is Maltese, English is spoken and written everywhere. We had no issues communicating in English while in Malta, which makes it an easy visit for those who don’t like the language barrier with some other European countries.
- There are a few big grocery stores, but in the area that we stayed, we enjoyed supporting the local grocer on every street corner. Small grocery stores are located everywhere so you can easily buy your essential foods. If one doesn’t have something, just continue onto the next.
- We flew on RyanAir flights to Malta there were also options for EasyJet flights to Malta too! You can get direct flights from most anywhere from Europe.
- Be sure to check out Malta tourism site to make sure all the
Malta Travel Tips
Getting Around Malta
- If you are ok with driving on the left side, I would recommend you get a car rental in Malta. Although the traffic can be tighter and more aggressive than North American roads, the ability to go on your own would have let us explore more.
- Buses were what we used to get around. The public transportation can take you around to all the island to any of the areas you want, just be aware of the schedule and fees. The drivers will also help you with where to go in Malta in English! The prices were a bit more expensive than in other European countries.
- You can pick up the bus tickets at most corner shops around the bus stops. You will need to buy your ticket before you get on the bus.
- Best way to get to your hotel or Airbnb is to use taxi from Malta Airport.
- Check the ferry services online for timetable, delay or ferry schedules to Gozo island.
What to Eat in Malta
With the rich cultural heritage with many different influences from other cultures, the food in Malta is unique. There are many family friendly restaurants in Malta that offer kid-friendly menus and play areas for them to play outside on.
Here are some of our best foods in Malta:
- Bread, bread, bread! Probably the best bread we have ever had in the entire world is the Maltese bread. We ate at least a loaf a day just plain, totally worth every carbohydrate that we consumed. A must on your visit, the best ones are the local bakery and small grocer.
- Any kind of seafood, being in the middle of the sea is the best choice to enjoy.
- Local pizza restaurants! I’m not certain if it is the Italian influence or their perfection in bread, but the pizza was amazing in Malta.
There are so many things to do in Malta with children. We hope that you have found some great information for planning your family holiday on what to see in Malta and narrowed down the top things to do in Malta with your family.
We visited Malta on our 1-year world journey from September 1 -14, 2017. Our children were 5 & 7 years old when we went to Malta as a family.