A guide to the must-see cities in Malta

A guide to the must-see cities in Malta

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A guide to the must-see cities in Malta
  • Malta Tips
  • May 15, 2021

This article will act as a guide in that it will give you an elaborate view of the top cities. They are considered must-see places on the island during your holiday in Malta.

The stunning maltese archipelago known as Malta is made up of a number of different neighbouring islands. You can explore them during your holiday in Malta. 

There are three main islands which are often considered, which are Malta, Gozo and Comino.

As you will see, this country has a great deal to offer any kind of tourist out there during your holiday in Malta. 

Must-see cities

Keep reading to gain valuable insight about the top must-see cities in Malta which will be of value when you are seeking to visit them during your holiday in Malta


Founded in 1566, Valletta is Malta’s current capital city and it is definitely a must-see place during your holiday in Malta.

Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area.

Built on a peninsula that’s only 1km by 600m situated in between two natural harbours (Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour), the city of Valletta sits on higher ground. 

This stunning city was built in a grid-like layout which is said to have been chosen to allow the sea breeze to provide relief from Malta’s hot summer weather to all who set foot in it.

Valletta is also Malta’s commercial and administrative centre, with several government departments occupying some of its historical buildings and several financial and logistics companies whose offices are situated there.

Despite the fact that it is relatively small in size, Valletta is packed full of sites of historical significance. Big buildings dating back to the 16th century and to this day, it retains its 16th-century elegance. 

As a testament to all this place has to offer the world, the city of Valletta as a whole is recognised by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value, and it was described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’.

However, That does not mean the place is swarming with tourists .

Although tour groups are not an uncommon sight, particularly during the summer months.

Regardless, visiting any country’s capital is always a treat, and valletta is no exception, especially during your holiday in Malta.


This city is a true treasure trove of fascinating sites just waiting to be explored during your holiday in Malta.

Resting on a spectacularly high view point looking out over the island of Malta is the ancient city of Mdina.

Views of Mdina

This stunning ancient city sits on a hilltop and has panoramic views across the island from all directions. 

In fact, being built on a plateau, it is one of the highest points of Malta, providing exceptional views for all to enjoy.

Mdina was once the original capital city of Malta and is much older than the current capital city, Valletta, as it dates back around 4000 years. 

In fact, From its inception up until medieval times, Mdina was the capital city of Malta. 

First built by the Phoenicians at around 700BC. Mdina used to be part of the same settlement as its neighboring city, Ir-Rabat, until it was conquered by the Arabs who turned it into a fortress city. 

Later, the Knights of Malta governed the city and built the stunning grandiose Baroque gate which can still be seen in the entrance today in 1724.

Today, the majority of the luxurious residences of Mdina have been passed down through the generations. 

Approximately 243 people live within the walls encompassing an area of around 0.9 square kilometres. 


As you drive through the beautiful Maltese countryside, you’ll see a walled city situated at the very top of a hill, standing tall above the land below. 

This is the ancient city of Mdina, and it is safe to say that it will most definitely steal your heart. 

The main entrance to Mdina, known as Mdina Gate or Vilhena Gate, is the first spectacular example of what to find beyond it. Designed by Charles Francois de Mondion, the Baroque style gate was named after Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena.

Walking through the streets of Mdina, the architecture one will find is truly a once in a lifetime experience on one’s holiday in Malta.

The narrow, dimly lit pathways of Mdina have hidden doorways embedded in tall walls that lead to properties with vast interiors.

In fact these are massive Norman and baroque homes and palaces, some of which have 20 rooms or more. 

Inhabited in the past by noble families, many of these residences have been passed down through the generations and are still associated with the wealthier people.

Doors are painted and decorated with a vast array of vibrant colours and have unique brass door knockers in a multitude of shapes, usually animal related, such as dolphins or lions. 

These houses are tucked away in hidden locations, with balconies lined with beautiful flowers and strands of ivy. 

As lunch hour approaches, the enticing aroma of freshly cooked food fills the air and makes its way through the narrow streets.

Cars are also strictly limited and visitors are expected to abide by the noise restrictions in this ‘Silent City’, but fortunately, this adherence appears to come naturally.

This is because, as soon as you walk through the gates of Mdina during your holiday in Malta, it is like you are being transported back in time.


Sliema originally started out as a tiny fishing village but developed into a small city during the eighteenth, and up until the twentieth century, which was brought about by the many wealthy British settlers who settled there, looking for a quiet refuge, yet being close to the then commercial hub of Valletta.

It is now home to thousands of residents and it is safe to say that it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malta.

Over the past 50 years or so, this city and the surrounding areas underwent another massive transformation.

That is, there was a lot of commercial development which saw the beautiful stately properties of its past inhabitants replaced by large apartment buildings as well as  modern offices.

However, regardless of this, Sliema still has a very distinct feel to it. 

This particular character which this city possesses cannot be found anywhere else and is highly appreciated by travellers locals alike. 

Night view of Lady of Mount Carmel church at Sliema

In fact, Sliema is a top tourist destination and is also a sought after residential area for local residents, with some of the most, if not the most expensive property available in the country.

One of its main stunning and unmissable features is its 10km promenade that runs along the north eastern coastline, It is a key commercial district. 

Its coastline extends into around three other cities, towards Ta’ Gżira, Xbiex and also St. Julian’s.

The neighbouring city of St. Julian’s, with its well-known nightlife area in very close proximity to Sliema, while Valletta is nearby as well (and easy to reach with a short fiveten minute ferry trip across Marsamxett Harbour), offering lots of culture, history and places of interest to appreciate.

In fact, it acts as a wide walkway into these three cities and joins them together. Early in the morning you will find lots of people out for a jog on this promenade

With the numerous bars and pubs situated there, Sliema is a very good choice for a holiday in Malta for couples and groups travelling together.


Mellieħa is a city located in the Northwest part of Malta, and it is a beautiful place to visit during your holiday in Malta. 

Mellieħa got its name from the ancient Punic and Roman languages and means salt. 

As you can see, in ancient times, names of places were often derived from food or raw materials which came from that particular location.

You will find this a common occurrence in the names of places on the Maltese islands.

In this case, it is very easy to figure out that given its closeness to the sea, this location was one of the regions in which salt was collected for use, from the salt pans which once existed at Mellieħa bay.

This city has a lovely character and picturesque scenes which is the reason why it tends to be considered as more of a summer resort area which is great to see during your holiday in Malta.

This unique city is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by numerous valleys which provide beautiful panoramas. It’s just a 5 to 10 minute drive away from Ċirkewwa, so you can easily hop on the ferries to Gozo and Comino.

The Mellieha area is most well-known for its beautiful beaches.

In fact, it has some of the most beautiful and popular beaches which are worth a visit during your holiday in Malta.

These include Golden Bay, Paradise Bay and Mellieha Bay known better locally as Għadira Bay.


The small and picturesque fishing city of Marsaxlokk is located in the South Eastern part of the islands, and it is truly a great place to visit during your holiday in Malta.

Small fishing city of Marsaxlokk

Interestingly, the name Marsaxlokk comes from the word “marsa” which means port and the word “xlokk” which means south in Maltese.

The city has around 3600 inhabitants and in the past, most of the inhabitants worked as fishermen in its surrounding harbour.

This is the reason this city is so famous for its daily open-air market, as well as its big Sunday fish market offering a selection of the finest fish on the island which were caught that very morning.

It also stands out from the other places due to its numerous brightly painted boats decorated with their signature “eyes”  called Luzzus which would be wonderful to see during your holiday in Malta.

These line the sheltered harbour in a vivid colourful display that has been the subject of countless photo shoots.

This city has an ancient history which dates back to the ninth century BC. 

It was in this bay that the first Phoenicians arriving in Malta landed on the archipelago.

It was also here that the Turkish fleet anchored during the Great Siege in Malta.  

As a tourist destination, Marsaxlokk is popular for the peaceful walks one can take around the charming coast and harbour. 

In fact, Marsaxlokk Bay remains a slice of authentic Maltese life, despite the encroachment of industry.

This wonderful city is also known for its secluded and untouched swimming zones. 

Marsaxlokk has a small sandy beach on the east side called St. Peter’s Pool at Delimara is 20 min away by foot. 

This swimming location is a great place for diving, snorkelling and also cliff jumping down into the natural pool. The multitude of smooth, weathered limestone ledges also make good sunbathing spots during your holiday in Malta.

Don’t miss the saltpans that can be seen at this location either during your holiday in Malta.

Stay with Us

Without a shadow of a doubt, Malta truly provides a wonderful environment which tourists enjoy over and over again during their return trips and holiday in Malta.

With the multitude of diverse locations to see during your holiday in Malta, there is certainly no shortage of amazing adventures to be had on this archipelago 

Being that the maltese islands are extremely small, we at be.HOTEL Saint Julians are just a stone throw away from these stunning cities.

We provide a comfortable four-star accommodation spanning one hundred and thirty one guest rooms which are spread over 8 floors.

When looking to relax after your day of adventures we also offer our guests a selection of food from Piacere Mio Gelateria as well as a café to enjoy with their meal, and also drinks.

A great option during your holiday in Malta. 

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