2-3 days in Malta: the ultimate itinerary


Itinerary: How to Spend 2 or 3 Days in Malta

You want to visit Malta and you’re looking for the best 2-3 days itinerary?

Then look no further!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this detailed itinerary. During your trip, you will be able to visit Valletta, the capital, as well as Mdina, Rabat, the Dingli cliffs or even some of the nicest beaches in Malta and Comino.

And in order to make your trip to Malta truly unforgettable, I will also give you my best tips as well as a list of the best accommodations on the island depending on your budget.

So, how to visit Malta in 2 or 3 days?

2-3 Days in Malta: What to Do and See?

Day 1: Valletta / The 3 Cities

If you only have 2 or 3 days in Malta, there is no time to waste. So let’s start your itinerary with Valletta, the capital!

You won’t need to rent a car for this first day in Malta. There are 2 ways to reach Valletta from the airport:

  • Take the X4 bus, there is 1 leaving the airport every 30min. The trip lasts about 25min and costs 1.50€ (2€ during summertime). It’s the cheapest option.
  • Take a taxi. The 15min ride costs about 15€. Fares are fixed, so don’t hesitate to insist if you are offered a more expensive fare.

Drop your luggage at the hotel and start to explore Valletta’s must see attractions. The city is quite small so it’s very easy to visit everything on foot in one day. You’ll have, of course, a busy schedule but you won’t have to run from one site to the other.

The best way to visit Valletta in 1 day is to start with St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the city’s iconic monument. If you want to visit only one historical site in Valletta, I strongly recommend this one. It’s the most touristic one but also the most beautiful!

A quick tip for you: if you want to avoid waiting in line, you should visit early in the morning or around 12:30 during lunch break.

It’s hard to imagine how sumptuous the cathedral interior is by just looking at its exterior. Inside, everything is covered with gold and painted in a stunning composition. It’s not huge, but it’s for sure one of the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen.

Under the marble floor lay the tombs of 375 the Knights of the Order: they were burried in the cathedral. There are also 8 chapels dedicated to each of the Order languages.

Make sure you wear an appropriate outfit. If you come wearing shorts, a t-shirt or a sleeveless dress, you’ll have to cover yourself with a shawl (provided at the entrance of the cathedral).

You can find more information to visit St. Jhon’s Co-cathedral on the official website.

St. John's Co-Cathedral
The interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Let’s continue this 2-3 days trip to Malta with another Valletta attraction, the Grand Master’s Palace. This is where the Grand Masters of the Order of Malta used to live.

You’ll be able to visit the State rooms and the armory: it has an impressive collection of weapons and armors, once belonging to the Knights. The palace is today home to the office of the President of Malta and her cabinet.

After you exit the palace, head to Lower Barrakka Garden. From there you’ll enjoy a nice view over the harbor.

Continue your visit of Valletta by the sea to then reach Upper Barrakka Garden, another famous spot to enjoy a scenic view over the 3 Cities. It’s also famous for the saluting battery, a cannon shot ceremony held every day at 12:00 and 16:00. Cannons were originally shot to greet foreign vessels arriving at the port.

The 3 Cities is your next destination, and it’s very easy to go there:

  1. Take the panoramic lift located in Upper Barrakka Garden
  2. Once out, cross the street and go left to reach the piers.
  3. There is a shuttle boat that will take you on the the 3 Cities in just 10min. A roundtrip ticket is 2.80€.

The shuttle boat will drop you at Vittoriosa, one of the 3 Cities. The two others are Cospicua and Senglosa. They are well known for their beautiful views over Valletta. It’s really a great spot to go on a nice stroll on foot, or with the tourist train if you’re tired.

To visit the Three Cities, you can also opt for a guided tour. This tour even includes a tasting of local wines!

At the end of the afternoon, take the shuttle back and finish your day on Republic Street and Merchant Street. Those are the main commercial streets in Valletta, a great place to do some shopping and buy souvenirs.

There are also plenty of coffee shops and restaurants there, perfect to have drinks and enjoy a good traditional Maltese meal.

Looking for more places to visit in Valletta during your weekend in Malta? You can check out my article about the city:  The 10 best things to do in Valletta.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The best way to discover the typical streets and the history of Valletta is for sure to opt for a guided tour! The guides are really great, they will tell you many anecdotes about the city.

To book your guided tour of Valletta, simply click on the button below:

This tour is also offered in a private version (only for your group – Book here) and in a historical version: “Valletta during the Second World War”. Click there to book it.

And if you want to enjoy a magnificent view of Valletta from the sea, you should take a boat trip, on board a traditional Maltese boat, a”Luzzu”.

You need to book this boat tour using the button below:

Where to stay in Valletta

For your 2-3 days trip to Malta, it’s best to sleep in Valletta. It’s by far the most practical option for a short stay!

Here is a selection of the best places to stay in Valletta, for all budgets. In Malta, the best hotels are fully booked very quickly, so if you know your travel dates, you should book your accommodation as soon as possible.

  • Private Room : Located 300 metres away from Fort St Elmo and 700 meters from the Upper Barrakka gardens. Comfortable double room from 75€, breakfast included. Strong points: the excellent location, the hospitality and kindness of the host, the calm.
  • Grand Harbour Hôtel: Hotel with traditional architecture, located in the heart of downtown Valletta, only 100 meters away from the Upper Barraka Gardens. Standard double room from 90€ per night or view sea + Three Cities view for 110€, breakfast included. Strong points: ideal location, magnificent view, roof terrace.
  • Tano’s Boutique guesthouse: Hotel located in the center of Valletta, very close to all the best places to visit. Spacious and bright double room from 115€ per night. Strong points: the central location, the calm, the terrace on the roof for breakfast. The best value for money in town!
  • Grand Hôtel Excelsior: 5* Hotel located on the waterfront, the view is stunning! Very nice rooms starting at 170€ per night. Strong points: The swimming pool, jacuzzi, free parking, the amazing breakfast and many other things that will make your stay in Valletta truly exceptional. My favourite place to stay in Valletta!
  • Hôtel Phoenicia Malta: Luxury hotel located on City Gate square. Spacious, bright and tastefully decorated double room from 349€, breakfast at 17€. Strong points: the infinity pool with view on the port, the huge garden, the place and the free private parking. It’s simply the best hotel in Valletta, if you can afford it.
Three cities Malta
The three cities from Valletta

Day 2 : Mdina / Rabat / Dingli Cliffs/ Ghajn Tuffieha Bay

For this second day of your 2-3 days itinerary in Malta, it’s a good idea to rent a car. As you don’t have much time on the island, you shouldn’t waste your time with public transportation. The schedules aren’t respected and the bus routes are not very convenient for sightseeing, making you waste a lot of time.

We always use Booking.com Cars to rent cars.

Why? Here are the 3 reasons:

  • It allows you to compare prices between all rental agencies. Super easy to find the cheapest one.
  • No cancellation fees, pretty convenient if you need to modify or cancel your booking
  • They offer a full protection insurance covering accidents and damages, with very fast reimbursement (tested and approved!)

If you already know your trip dates, you can compare prices and rent a car now by clicking here.

Once you got your car, drive to Mdina, about 25min away from Valletta. Mdina is Malta’s former capital before it was abandoned by the Knights of the Order. They wanted to be close to their ships in case of an attack, so Valletta was the best location for the new capital.

Mdina is a lovely fortified city with charming narrow streets. Cars are not allowed at all (there is a free parking at the entrance however), so you’ll be able to walk around freely in a peaceful atmosphere. Here are the main attractions in Mdina:

  • St Paul’s cathedral and its museum
  • Vilhena Palace
  • Falson Street
  • Villegaignon Street 

Voyage Tips - Advice

To learn everything about the history of Mdina, there is nothing better than a guided tour! You have the choice between:

  • A guided tour of Mdina: The meeting point is at the main entrance of Mdina.
  • A private guided tour on foot: The same tour as above, but only for you and your fellow travellers! The date and departure time of the visit will be adapted to your itinerary in Malta.
  • All-inclusive night tour: This night tour includes a visit to Mdina, a 5D show in Valletta about the history of Malta and a visit to the town of Mosta. Transport to and from your hotel is also included.

Mdina fortified city

After visiting Mdina, just cross the big public square to arrive in Rabat, the neighbouring town. There, you will be able to visit the church, cave and catacombs dedicated to Paul the Apostle. According to the legend, he took refuge in Rabat when his ship sank near the Maltese coasts.

Once you will have visited these 2 towns, go back to your car and head to Dingli cliffs. It’s Malta’s highest point, located only 15 min from Mdina by car. Go for a walk on the top of the cliffs and enjoy the beautiful viewpoints. A must-see during your 2 or 3 days itinerary in Malta!

To chill for an afternoon and enjoy one of Malta’s best beach, head North and stop by Ghajn Tuffieha Bay. The ochre sand is very beautiful! On the beach, there is a small café where you can rent sun beds and umbrellas. There is also a public bathroom.

In addition to enjoying the sea and sun, you should also really walk on the path starting from the stairs. It goes to the big rock formation on the left side of the beach. There, the view is stunning: you can see Gnejna Bay located a little bit down on the left.

After this busy second day, it’s time to go back to your hotel in Valletta for a good night’s sleep.

Voyage Tips Advice
You will need to have some change for the parking lot at the beach. It’s “guarded” by an old man who will help you park (even if there is only 2 cars parked) for a coin or two. 
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
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Day 3: Comino Blue Lagoon or Gozo

Option 1: Discover Comino’s Blue Lagoon

If you’re lucky enough to visit Malta in 3 days, you should go to Malta’s smallest yet very touristic island: Comino and its famous Blue Lagoon.

There are 2 ways to go to Comino from Valletta:

1) Go up North by car or by bus.

You have 2 departures points for Comino: one is in Cirkewwa, where you can also take the ferry to Gozo – Malta’s second island. The other one is in Marfa Bay, right next to Cirkewwa.

In both places, you’ll find taxi boats to go to Comino in 20-25min. A roundtrip ticket costs 10€.

There is 1 boat per hour, a bit more during high season, and you can come back to Malta whenever you want to.

2) Go to Comino with a private tour organised from Valletta or other cities such as Sliema/St Julian’s/Bugibba

The advantage of these day trips is that you will have access to all the amenities of the boats (slides, deckchairs and shaded areas, snorkeling equipment, lunch etc..).

They need to be booked by clicking on the orange links and green buttons below:

1) Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon: the classic day trip to the Blue Lagoon, they can organize the transportation from most cities of Malta of you after booking for an extra fee.

2) Catamaran boat trip to the Blue Lagoon: same as above, but on a huge Catamaran! A great choice for a nice day at sea. Same as above, transport can be organized after booking.

3) Sailboat trip to the Blue Lagoon and other bays: want to discover more than just the Blue Lagoon? Choose this one! Snacks, wine and lunch + Free transportation from Malta included.

4) Private boat trip to the Blue Lagoon from Valletta: You can also do a private boat trip to Comino Blue Lagoon from Valletta! It’s a great was to discover the capital and Malta’s coast line from the sea.

5) Private sailboat trip to Comino Blue Lagoon: Same as above, but on a sailboat with skipper! As it’s also a privat tour, you will decide of the day’s program. Enjoy!😎

6) Private VIP boat trip to Comino and Gozo: Simply the best private boat tour to Comino and the Blue Lagoon. Josef, your skipper, will make sure you will have an amazing moment at sea.

It needs to be booked by clicking on the button below:

Either way, once you arrive in Comino, you will be blown away by the Blue Lagoon! The lagoon is known for its crystal clear turquoise water and fine white sand. Despite the lack of coconut palms, it really feels like you’re in Mauritius. No one can resist going for a swim there.

In addition to enjoying the blue lagoon, you should also go for a walk around the island. The must-see attraction here is the Comino tower, it takes around 15 minutes to get there. This short walk along the sea is super beautiful!

A quick tip: If you see a flag at the top of the tower, it means you’re allowed to visit it and access its rooftop. It offers a fantastic 360° scenic view over Comino island, Gozo and Malta. There is no fixed entrance price, it’s “pay what you want” for the visit.

In terms of amenities, in Comino, you will find several food trucks to eat at, one hotel and public bathrooms. While you’re there, don’t forget to drink a cocktail served in pineapple and take a selfie with it, it’s apparently very trendy these days 😛.

You will see, visiting Comino is really a great way to end your 2 or 3 days Malta itinerary!

If you go to Comino with the shuttle, try to get there in the early morning (before 10:00, ideally around 9:00) to enjoy the site in the best conditions possible.

After this time, hordes of tourists start arriving and the place don’t really feel the same. I’m not kidding, this is the most touristic site in Malta. I had never seen so many people gathered in such a small piece of land.

At the end of the day, you will return to Valletta where you will spend one last evening.

If you want to take advantage of your stay in Malta to party (on your last evening or maybe even on several evenings during your stay !), you should:

  • Go on a pub crawl and make friends from all other the world – Click here!
  • Dance all night long in one of Paceville nightclubs
  • Opt for a boat party with an open bar

Blue Lagoon beach Malta
The Blue Lagoon and its crystal clear water, in Comino

Option 2: Visit Gozo

Instead of visiting Comino and the Blue Lagoon, you can also choose to visit Gozo on your 3rd day in Malta!

Gozo is Malta’s 2nd island, more rural, quieter and offering magnificent scenery.

Travel Tips

To get the most out of Gozo, I advise you to rent a quad bike or opt for a guided quad tour. It’s a lot of fun!

I’ll detail the options a little further down in this guide.

To get there, take the Gozo Channel Line ferry, from Cirkewwa on Malta island. The trip lasts about 20min and you can board with a vehicle. Boarding is fast and well organized.

In the ferry, you can find a cafetaria and a convenience store selling food, magazines and souvenirs.

  • Ticket Fare: we paid 25€ for 3 people and one vehicle.
  • Useful tip: you only have to pay on your way back.

From June 1, 2021, you can also take the fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo.

The ferry departs from Valletta Grand Harbor and will take you to Gozo in 45 minutes.

This boat only takes passengers and no cars. You will disembark at the same place as the other ferry, at Gozo Mgarr harbor.

For prices and schedules, you can find all the information on the official website.

Once you arrive in Gozo, these are the best places to visit:

  • Victoria, also called Rabat by the locals, is the main city in Gozo. It’s a great place for shopping and food, but the main attraction is for sure the Cittadella, the fortified part of the city. Located on a hill, it’s home to the Cathedral, the old prison, archaeological sites and of course, amazing views over Gozo from the ramparts.
  • Djewra region in the North-West, famous for the Azur Window (unfortunately it collapsed in 2017), Fungus Rock, the Inland Sea and the Deep Blue Hole
  • Marsalforn is a popular beach town during summertime, the main attraction being the 3km long salt pans on the edge of the city.
  • Ta’Pinu shrine is a dazzling church. Built on a small hill, you can see it from far away.
  • Ta’Cenc cliffs, 130m high, offer a lovely scenic view. If you have a drone, this is the place to use it!
  • Ggantija temples, among the most impressive and best preserved temples on the island
  • Ramla Bay beach, the biggest sand beach in Gozo. A perfect beach for families with plenty of space for kids to play.
Ramla Bay Mixta Cave Gozo
View over Ramla Bay from Tal Mixta cave

If you want to visit Gozo as a day trip or with a guided visit, you will have the choice between the following tours: (you can click on the links for more info and to book the one that suits you the best!)

The best guided visits of Gozo from Malta

My favourite: guided quad bike tours of Gozo!

These guided quad tours are so good, I’ve contacted the provider to offer you a promo code.

Only voyagetips readers are entitled to it, and it’s only available for the first 50 bookings made in 2024.

So don’t wait, and when you book, try entering the promo code “tips5” for an instant 5% discount! 😎

If want to ride a quad bike in Gozo, but don’t want a guided tour, you can also rent a quad by clicking here. A GPS map is provided, so you’ll know exactly what to visit!

And if there’s no more availability for the guided tour and quad rental, you can see if the other provider who organizes guided tours of Gozo has any availability (click here)

Here are other great tours options, if you don’t want to drive:

The discount code “tips5” is also available for the 2 tuktuk tours below, which are offered by the same provider as the quad bikes.

And last solution, you can take the Hop-on Hop-off tourist bus to visit Gozo.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can find more details about all the best places to visit in Gozo in my article: The 10 best things to do in Gozo.

quad bikes hire Gozo
Quad bikes hire Gozo

Voyage Tips Advice

If you only have 2 days to visit Malta, here is what you can do:

  • Option 1: Follow our day 1 and day 2 itinerary, so you will visit Valletta in 1 day + Mdina / Rabat / Dingli Cliffs/ Ghajn Tuffehia Bay during your second day in Malta.

  • Option 2: Spend one day in Valletta et go to Comino on the second day of your weekend in Malta.

Are you ready to visit Malta in 2-3days? If you have any question to plan your itinerary, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments of this travel guide.

Other activities for 2-3 days in Malta

Are you up for more activities during your long weekend in Malta?

No problem: Here you will find the complete list, with many ideas that you will certainly enjoy. There is definitely something for you!

For more information about these activities and to book them, simply click on the following links:

The 4 best activities to do in Malta

It’s your first trip to Malta and you want to focus on the best activities and excursions?

In that case, I have selected for you the 4 activities and excursions you can’t miss during your trip to Malta.

So, here are my 4 favorites!

1) Going on a boat trip to Comino Blue Lagoon

2) Visiting Gozo by Quad bike or Jeep

  • Full day Quad bike tour in Gozo, with departure from Malta (transport included). Return by boat via Comino and the Blue Lagoon! Definitely one of the best activities in Malta!
  • Renting quad bikes in  Gozo: To visit Gozo, you can also rent quad bikes! You can get the best quad bikes (brand new, 450cc) by clicking here and booking them directly on Quad Bikes Gozo website. The rental include helmets, free 2nd driver and a GPS map of Gozo’s best places to visit.
  • Gozo: Jeep tour – Pick up at your hotel in Malta included. A great way to discover Gozo if you don’t want to drive!

3) Diving in Malta and Gozo

4) Jet-ski-tour around Comino (Blue Lagoon)

In addition to the 4 amazing activities mentioned above, here is the complete list, with all other activities you can do in Malta:

1) The best activities in Malta (and from Malta)

Boat trips to the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Catamaran
Blue Lagoon – Catamaran

Visiting Gozo from Malta

Guided visits and excursions in Malta

Other activities to enjoy in Malta

Partying in Malta

If you want to take advantage of your stay in Malta to party (on your last evening or maybe even on several evenings during your stay !), you should:

  • Go on a pub crawl and make friends from all other the world – Click here!
  • Dance all night long in one of Paceville nightclubs
  • Opt for a boat party with an open bar.

Hiking tour in Malta
Hiking tour in Malta

2) The best activities in Gozo

Boat trips

Other activities / Guided tours

Nautical activities

Gozo from above
Gozo from above! 

Book your 2-3 day tour to Malta in 1 click

In this guide, I gave you all my best tips to plan your 2 or 3 days trip to Malta by yourself.

To make your life even easier, I am now offering you to book your trip to Malta in 1 click on “Autotour by Voyage Tips”!

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To book your tour to Malta and Gozo now, it’s very simple:

  1. Select the duration of your trip by clicking here or on the button below
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Renting a boat in Malta

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your itinerary in Malta, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental.

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Malta? 😊

Book your trip now and save money!

Malta travel Guides

You’re traveling in Malta? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Malta: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Malta are listed there.

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Visit Malta in 2-3 days
Visit Malta in 2 or 3 days: the best things to see during your trip



Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Discussion5 Comments

    • Vincent

      I am glad my 2-3 days itinerary in Malta is helping you to plan your trip!

      If you have any question, don’t hesitate 🙂

      Enjoy your holidays in Malta!

  1. Pavlo Shyrokyy

    Thank u so much for such a useful data Vincent! Just one question, would u recommend the same itinerary to all those people not staying in Valetta? In my case I will be staying in a village called Marsaskala from the 2nd Dec. 20:25 until the 4th Dec. 21:45. Moreover, I don’t have the possibility to rent a car…Any advice? Do u think I will have enough time to at least visit the places you mention in the first 2 days’ sections? Thank u so much again!

    • Vincent

      Hi Pavlo,

      You’re welcome, I am glad my 2-3 days itinerary in Malta is helping you to plan your trip!

      If you stay in Marsaskala and don’t have a car, you can do the following:

      – Day1: you do the itinerary I suggest in this article and go to Vallettta and the 3 Cities. There are direct buses from Marsaskala to Valletta, so it’s very convenient.
      – Day 2: You won’t be able to do everything, because you will have to change buses a few times. You shoud first go to Mdina and Rabat, then to Ghajn Tuffieha Bay to see at least 1 beach! You won’t really have the time to go to Dingli Cliffs I believe, unless maybe you take a taxi to get there. (And even, not sure, as in December in Malta, the night falls at 17h, so you will have rather short days!)

      For detailed info about Maltese buses schedules, you should check this website: Malta Public Transport.

      Enjoy your trip!

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