4-5 days in Malta: the ultimate itinerary


Itinerary: How to Spend 4 or 5 Days in Malta

You’re planning to spend 4 or 5 days in Malta for your next holidays?


In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared a detailed itinerary to visit Malta in 4-5 days and see all the must see attractions of this little Mediterranean island.

I addition to the best places to visit each day, I also give you my best tips as well as a list of the best places to stay in Malta depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do during your 4-5 days trip to Malta?

4-5 Days in Malta: What to Do and See?

Day 1: Valletta / The 3 Cities

You can’t go 4 or 5 days Malta without spending at least one day in Valletta, Malta’s capital. The city isn’t too spread out so it’s totally possible to explore it on foot in just one day. It will be quite a busy schedule to be able to see everything, so let’s get started!

To visit Valletta in 1 day, I recommend you to start by Valletta’s must-see attraction, St. John’s Co-Cathedral. It’s a very touristic site, so you should visit it as early as possible in the morning to avoid waiting in line.

It’s also a great way to start your trip to Malta as the cathedral is truly splendid.

Pillars and walls are covered with gold and the 8 chapels dedicated to each of the Order’s languages are beautifully decorated. The ceiling is covered with frescoes and under the floor made of marble tiles lies the tombs of the Knights of the Order. It’s so beautiful you won’t even know where to look at first!

You will need to wear appropriate clothes to visit the St. John’s Co-Cathedral: you will have to cover your legs and shoulders with a shawl distributed at the entrance and high heels are not allowed. This is serious, as they could damage the floor.

Find all the information about your visit on the cathedral’s official website.

Let’s continue with another must see historical attraction, the Grand Master’s Palace, once home to the Grand Masters of the Order of Malta.

Nowadays, the building houses the office of the president of Malta and her cabinet. It’s however still open to visitors. You can visit the State Rooms (the Council Chamber and the Official Dinning Room are especially impressive) and the armory where you can see armors and weapons worn by knights. When they died, all their gear was returned to to the Order.

When you’re done with the Grand Masters Palace, head to Lower Barrakka Garden to go see the “Siege Bell War Monument and enjoy the view over the harbor.

Then go to Upper Barrakka Garden to attend the traditional 12pm cannon shooting ceremony! It comes from an old Valletta tradition: foreign vessels would be greeted by a cannon shot from the saluting battery. The garden is mostly worth it for its amazing view over the 3 Cities, located on the other side of the harbor.

Three cities Malta
The three cities from Valletta

After your lunch break, it’s time to go to the Three Cities to continue your 4-5 days trip to Malta.

To reach the 3 Cities, take the panoramic lift located in Upper Barrakka Garden. Right after you exit the lift, cross the street and go on the left to reach the piers. From there you can take the Valletta – 3 cities shuttle. A round trip ticket costs 2.80€ and the ride lasts 10min.

The 3 Cities are the following towns: Cospicua, Senglosa and Vittoriosa. The boat takes you to Vittoriosa pier. From there you can explore all 3 cities on foot as you please, or go on a ride on a small tourist train. In the 3 cities, you can enjoy several nice views over Valletta.

Towards the end of the afternoon, take the shuttle back and finish the day on Merchant and Republic street. Those are the 2 main commercial streets in Valletta, with lots of stores and gift shops.

If you need more info about Valletta’s main points of interests, you can read my article: The 10 best things to do in Valletta.

For your 4-5 days trip to Malta, You should rent a car. You won’t need it in Valletta, but it will be very useful for the following days.

With a car, you won’t waste time with public transportation. In Malta, schedules are a bit random and bus routes aren’t very optimized for sightseeing. With a car, you will be able to see a lot more things.

When I travel, I always use Rentalcars.com to rent a car. It’s the best price comparison website! Most of the time, there is no cancellation fee so I would recommend that you book your car rental now if you already have your travel dates. It’s the best way to get the best prices.

To compare car rental prices in Malta, click here (you should bookmark this website for future trips too!)

Where to stay in Valletta

  • 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.
Typical houses in Valletta
Malta typical houses, in Valletta

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

For the second day of your 4 or 5 days Malta itinerary, start by visiting Mdina. The city is located about 20-25min by car from Valletta.

Former capital of Malta, Mdina was then replaced by Valletta, because the knights wanted to be closer to their ships.

During my trip, I really liked Mdina. This fortified city is very charming with all its narrow streets.

Things to see in Mdina:

  • St Paul’s Cathedral and its museum
  • Vilhena Palace
  • Falson Palace
  • Villegaignon Street
  • Walk around the old moats turned into a garden.

You can then easily go visit Rabat from Mdina. No need to take your car, you just have to exit Mdina through the bridge, cross a square and that’s it, you’re in Rabat. The two cities are right next to each other.

Rabat is famous for being the place where Paul the Apostle sought refuge after his ship sank in Malta. Several monuments are dedicated to him, including a church, a cave and catacombs. You can visit them all.

Then head back to Mdina, get your car back and go to Dingli cliffs, only 15 minutes away. Located 250m above sea level, those cliffs are Malta’s highest point. You can go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful view.

In the afternoon, you should go to the beach in Ghajn Tuffieha Bay. It is, in my opinion, one of Malta’s most beautiful beach.

Located in the wild, this sandy beach with shallow water is the perfect place to swim. It’s also possible to rent sun beds if you want to be more comfortable. Be careful of jellyfish, there were plenty of them when we were there.

Voyage Tips Advice
I recommend spending the night in Mellieha: you will be closer to Gozo island (the next step of your itinerary) from there than from Valletta.

Where to stay in Mellieha

  • Pergola Hotel & Spa: located in Mellieha with a view over the bay, the village, Gozo and Comino. Studio apartment with kitchen amenities starting from 80€/night, breakfast for an additional 8€. Best features: kitchen amenities, view, excellent service, 3 swimming pools.
  • Maritim Antonine Hotel & spa: located in Mellieha, 1km away from a vast sand beach. Very spacious and elegent double room starting from 140€/night, breakfast included. Best features: rooftop swimming pool with a scenic view over the bay, heated pool and hot tubs, good buffet with many options, next to bus stops going to Valletta or to the beach. It’s the best value for money in Mellieha.
  • Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands: located in Golden Bay and 2min walking distance to a lovely beach. Big double room with balcony (sea view or countryside view) starting from 150€/night, breakfast for an additional 20€. Best feature: direct access to the beach, view, delicious breakfast, during summertime you can get complimentary sun bed and umbrella on the private beach.
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay

Day 3 : Gozo

For this third day, you will explore Gozo Island, Malta’s more rural little sister.

From Mellieha, go to the Cirkewwa ferry departure point, about 10min away by car.

You won’t have to pay anything on the way to Gozo island, you will only pay on the way back (20€ for one car and two people). The trip lasts about 20mins and there are ferries all day long. Everything is very well organized and boarding/debarkation is quick.

Inside the ferry, there is a convenience shop and a cafeteria if you want to eat something.

The first thing you should do once in Gozo is to go to Victoria, the biggest city on the island. You will be able to visit the Citadella, located on the top of a hill. It offers a nice scenic view over Gozo.

After the Citadella, wander in the city center lovely streets, you will find plenty of gift shops there. There are also many coffee shops and restaurants on Repubblika and Fortunati Mizzi streets. That’s perfect for your lunch break!

In the afternoon, head to the Northwest of Gozo, in Dwejra. As it’s where the famous Azure Window (which collapsed) used to be located, it’s a very touristic spot.

Even if the Azure Window is no more, there are many other things to see there, such as the Inland Sea, the Deep Blue Hole and Fungus Rock.

Dwejra is also a famous location among Game of Thrones lovers: some scenes from the TV show were shot there. Another good reason to visit it during your 4-5 days itinerary in Malta!

On your way back, stop by Ta’Pinu Basilica, one of the most stunning church in Gozo. The basilica is sumptuous, surrounded by fields and nature. I really loved that place!

Voyage Tips Advice
Looking for a cheap and quick lunch? Go to Rizzles Caf. You will find various food options: pastizzis, pies, pizzas and sandwiches at a very affordable price. For dessert, you can get a big slice of cake for only 1.50€! You can eat there or order to take away.

Address: St Francis Square in Victoria.

Where to stay in Gozo

  • Guesthouse Bambina: Guesthouse located in Xaghra, 10min walking from the beach. Modern with a zen vibe double room starting from 75€/night. Best features: amazing house with a swimming pool and a great view over Gozo, friendly staff, direct access to the beach, very good value. My favorite in Gozo! Book early!
  • Casa Gemelli Boutique Guesthouse: Charming hotel located in Victoria, the capital of Gozo. Fully renovated double room starting from 90€/night, breakfast included. Decoration is a mix of modern and traditional. Best features: central location, close to all the bus stops, homemade breakfast, friendly and helpful staff.
  • The Duke Boutique Hostel: Located in the center of Victoria. Very spacious and comfortable double room starting from 100€/night, breakfast included. Best features: location, great bedding, rooftop terrace view, great breakfast with many options, great staff, some rooms have a hot tub on the balcony.
  • Kempiski Hôtel San Lawrenz: Luxury hotel located in San Lawrenz, close to Inland Sea ad Ta’Pinu Basilica. Spacious and modern double room with balcony starting from 116€/night. Breakfast for an additional 25€. Best features: amazing view, huge swimming pools, indoor pool, free parking lot, outstanding breakfast, nice spa. It’s simply the best hotel in Gozo.
Ta’Pinu Basilica

Day 4 : Comino / Gozo

For this fourth day in your Malta itinerary, go visit Comino, Malta’s smallest island.

From Gozo, you need to take a small shuttle boat to Comino. The trip lasts about 20-25min and costs 10€. There is a boat leaving every hour (even a bit more during high season). The boat departure point is close to the Mgarr ferry departure.

The boat will drop you off at Comino’s main attraction, the Blue Lagoon. With its fine sand and crystal clear water, it’s a real paradise!

But there is one downside to this paradise: it’s very crowded! It won’t feel like a desert island, that’s for sure.

There are many day trips coming from Malta, they are bringing tourists all day long. It spoils a little bit the whole experience but one needs to share the fun!

Nevertheless, it’s still a great spot to take a dip, relax and enjoy the sun.

If you’re looking for a calmer spot, there are 2 other beaches in Comino (2 small sandy beaches). They are located next to the only hotel of the island. If you want a quieter spot to swim, you should definitely go there.

In Comino, you will also find public bathrooms and food trucks to get something to eat. I was positively surprised by the quality and affordability of the food despite the lack of competition around.

You can spend half a day to one full day in Comino, it’s up to you.

If you prefer to stay for half a day, it’s then time to take the boat back to Gozo.

In the afternoon, you should go to one of my favorite place in Gozo: Marsalforn salt pans. Park your car and take a stroll along the salt pans and the sea. You can even walk a bit further and reach Wied Il Gashri, a small fjord where you can take a dip.

Looking for more things to do in Gozo? Check out my article: The 10 best places to visit in Gozo.

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

Day 5 : Popeye Village / Blue Grotto / Marsaxlokk / St Peter’s Pool

To finish your 4-5 days itinerary in Malta, you will need to go back on the main island.

After you exit the ferry, stop by Popeye Village located only 5-10min away from the harbor.

The whole village was built to serve as a set for the movie”Popeye” with Robin Williams. Today, it’s a small amusement park to discover the world of this famous character. You don’t have to go inside (especially if you don’t like spinach!) but the village with its colorful houses is very photogenic.

Then, let’s head to the Blue Grotto. It’s a famous Malta attraction thanks to its intense blue water. Enjoy the view from the belvedere or opt for one of the boat tours to get inside. Tours last about 30min and leave from Wied Il Zurrieq (only 2min drive from the belvedere).

Continue to Marsaxlokk fishermen village and more precisely the small fishing port with its traditional colorful boats. This charming village is a must see during your trip to Malta.

If you are there on a Sunday, you will also have the opportunity to shop at Marsaxlokk market for the cheapest souvenirs in Malta.

Colorful boats in Marsaxlokk harbor

In the afternoon, go to St Peter’s pool located 10 minutes driving from Marsaxlokk.

St Peter’s pool is a natural pool where you can jump directly from the rocks. It’s a famous spot, especially among young people. However, I wouldn’t recommend going there if you are with young children, because you can only access the water by jumping or going down a ladder.

On the right of St Peter’s Pool, you will find rocks shaped like hot tubs next to the water. It’s a quiet place to take a dip.

It’s a good idea to spend the last night of your 4 or 5 days holidays in Marsaxlokk, because it’s located just 15min driving from the airport. Very practical!

Voyage Tips Advice
If you’re only in Malta for 4 days, here is my recommended itinerary:

  • Day 1: Valletta / The 3 Cities
  • Day 2: Mdina / Rabat / Dingli Cliffs/ Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
  • Day 3:
    • Option 1: full day in Gozo, similar to the 5 days itinerary (sleep in Gozo or in Mellieha)
    • Option 2: full day in Comino (sleep in Mellieha)
    • Option 3: morning in Gozo + afternoon in Comino (sleep in Gozo)
  • Day 4: Popeye Village / Blue Grotto / Marsaxlokk / St Peter’s Pool

Where to stay in Marsaxlokk

  • Port View Guesthouse: Guesthouse located in Marsaxlokk, a lovely fishermen village with a popular Sunday market. Modern and comfortable double room starting from 70€/night, breakfast included. Best features: next to the sea, good breakfast and excellent service.
  • Harbour Lodge : Located right next to the fishing port. Quiet and comfortable double room starting from 85€/night, breakfast included. Best features: quiet location, free parking lot, free shuttle to the airport.

You’re going to visit Malta in 4 or 5 days and have questions? Ask me anything about your trip in the comments section below.

Going to Malta: Flight prices

Flight prices to Malta vary widely, so it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner. It’s the best way to pay the best price!

When you get the results, don’t hesitate to check out multiple website to make sure there is no hidden fee.

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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4-5 days in Malta
4-5 days in Malta: the best things to do and see.

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

Discussion19 Comments

  1. Vincent

    Hello Vincent, I Just want to say a big thank you for all the information. I’ve been reading and searching different places you mention and it’s been so helpful. We’re planning a trip to Malta next year and all your info is really helpful in deciding what, to do, how to get around and where to visit. Again, thank you 🙂

    • Vincent

      Hello Susan,

      Excuse me for the late reply, I am currently traveling in Italy and just saw your comment.

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to write your kind message.

      I am really glad my articles about Malta are helping you to plan your stay!

      Enjoy your trip, and if you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask me.

  2. Vincent

    Vincent, this is fantastic!

    Thank you for this info. We are going for 10 days in November with my 70 year old parents. I was thinking of 2 days on Gozo, 4 nights in Valetta/Birgu and 4 nights somewhere else. Where would you recommend?

    We are mostly interested in history and culture and countryside and would like somewhere that is not completely quiet as it’s November. We’ll have a car.


    • Vincent

      Hello Rachael,

      I am glad my blog is helping you to plan your stay in Malta!

      You should have a look at my 10 days in Malta itinerary, it should answer most of your questions regarding the things to do and where to stay during your trip.

      You can find it here: How to spend 10 days in Malta?.

      After reading it, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments of the 10 days article!

      Have a great day,


  3. Vincent

    Hello Vincent,

    A big thank you for all the information. I’ve been reading and searching different places you mention and it’s been so helpful. We’re planning a trip to Malta coming April 20 for 7 days. We are family of 4 with 2 kids. I was wondering if you can recommend a central place to stay in Malta if we wouldn’t want to change accommodation each day.

    Thank you!

    • Vincent

      Hello Sukhada,

      I am really glad my articles about Malta are helping you to plan your stay!

      If you don’t want to change accommodation each day, the best is to stay around Mellieha, on the North East coast.
      You will be closer to the best beaches, to Popeye Village and you can also easily go to Comino and Gozo.
      From Mellieha, Mdina is only 20 minutes by car and Valletta 40 minutes.
      The island is very small.

      If you stay 7 days in Malta, you can also have a look on this article: A week in Malta.

      Enjoy your trip, and if you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask me.

  4. Vincent

    We will be visiting Malta toward the end of May for 5 days.
    I want to see everything but don’t want to rush so I think I might have to miss a few things and plan another trip to see what I miss.

    I really like to see the blue grotto ,Saint peters pool go to the fishmarket, Tuffieha Bay, Mdina, Upper Barrakka Garden, the 3 cities, and St. John’s Co-Cathedral.

    We don’t really want to rent a car and we would rather just stay at one hotel. We were planning on staying at the Grand hotel excelsior.

    Do you think all that is possible? With no rental car and staying there?

    Your articles are super helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to be some detailed. But any other info or help you could offer would be amazing!

    • Vincent

      Hello Michele,

      I am really glad my article helps you to plan your trip to Malta!

      Yes, staying at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valletta for your 5 days in Malta is a great idea!

      From there it’s easy to visit Valletta (St John Cathedral/Upper Barrakka) and the 3 Cities on foot.

      From Valletta, by bus, you can also easily go to Mdina, Tuffieha Bay, Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk for the fish market (only on Sunday morning).

      For St Peter’s Pool however, there is no bus, so you will have to stop at “Delimara” bus stop and then walk about 2 Km to reach the St Peter’s Pool.

      If you don’t want to bother with the buses, you can also hire a taxi driver and do Marsaxlokk + st Peters’Pool + Blue Grotto in one day. You can ask Darren, from Gozo Taxi Service (he also plan cabs journeys on Malta island) here: Hire a cab in Malta. I use his services a lot when I go to Malta, especially for airport transfers.

      Enjoy your trip to Malta, and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!

  5. Vincent
    Denise Rizzo Ridenour

    Hello Vincent,
    I have been to Malta twice, the last time with my husband and son about 7 years ago. I am thinking about another trip in April combined with either Italy or Greece.

    Would you have any recommendations as to which country we combine the trip with (easier travel/expense efficient?) and which country destination we start with/end with?
    I’d like to avoid the super long flights by breaking up the trip.

    Appreciate your feedback!

    • Vincent

      Hello Denise,

      For your trip, the easiest/cheapest destination to combine with Malta is Italy for sure.

      There are many cheap flights to Sicily (Catania and Palermo), Rome, Pise (great to group with a visit to Florence), Naples etc…

      The choice will depend on what the kinds of place you would like to visit, the activities you enjoy and if you want to rent a car or not.

      For example:
      – Heading to Palermo, on the West coast of Sicily, is the perfect choice if you enjoy hiking along the sea and visiting achaeological sites (rental car more or less mandatory)
      – Rome or Pise/Florence are a better choice for cultural tourism etc..

      And you can of course combine several destinations depending on the duration of your trip.

      How long do you plan to travel in total?

      If you want, you can have a look at all my articles in English about Italy/Sicily here: Destination Italy
      And you can also have a look at my travel guides about Greece there: Destination Greece

      Don’t hesitate to tell me more about what you enjoy doing so I can help you further!

      Have a great day and a nice trip 🙂

  6. Vincent

    HI Vincent
    I am staying in Malta with my adult son for 5 days/4nights in Melleiha, We arrive on Monday and leave on a friday in April 6-10. It seems like there are so many things to see, Im getting a little overwhelmed! LOL I also wanted to slip a relax day or eve by the pool/beach if possible! I booked a private driver for 4 hours on tuesday morning. We can set our own itinerary on where to go. What are your recommendations for us to see and do?
    Please let me know and I appreciate any help or recommendations for our few days there.
    Thank You,


    • Vincent

      Hi Joline,

      Great choice for Mellieha, you will be close to the best beaches of the island.

      For the 4 hours with a private driver, you should go to the places that are the hardest to reach by bus:

      -Dingli Cliffs, the blue grotto viewpoint (and the short boat excursion inside the Blue Grotto, if you want), Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool.

      For the other days, you can pick the the places/activities you are the most interested in from this itinerary, no problem!

      Enjoy your trip to Malta!

  7. Vincent

    Hi Vincent,

    I liked your article.
    I am planning a 5-day trip to Malta and would like to know if it is possible to include a day trip to Sicily (Taormina and Etna). How comfortable will it be?
    Also, what are the available options for weekends for tour in Malta?

    • Vincent

      Hi Saumitro,

      This is unfortunately not really possible to go for a day trip to Sicily, it takes too long (2 hours of ferry one way).

      The ferry arrives in Pozzallo, in the south of Sicily, it’s really not convenient to visit Taormina and the Etna. Pozzallo – Taormina is another 2 hours drive, so that would mean 8 hours of transportation in the day (+ ferry boarding, getting a rental car etc…)

      For the day tours and activites in Malta, I have written a guide talking about all the best things to do on the island, you can read it here: The 27 Best things to do in Malta.

      You can have a look at all the available day tours (both standard and private tours) and their schedules by clicking on the links and buttons in the article.

      And if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask me!

      Enjoy your trip to Malta 🙂

  8. Vincent

    Hi Vincent,

    Thanks for valuable information.

    Do you have any contacts of private tours who can provide us a cab with a driver to roam around places in Malta for all 5 days?


    • Vincent

      Hi Saumitro,

      You’re welcome!

      Yes sure, you can call my friend Darren from Gozo Taxi Service, he will arrange you everything for Malta and Gozo.

      Here is his phone number: tel:+356 9914 9280

      You can also have a look at his website: Gozo Taxi Service website

      Leave him a message in case he doesn’t answer and tell him you’re calling from me 🙂

      Have a great day!

  9. Vincent

    Hi Vincent,

    Thanks a lot for your superb Malta travel guidance. The trip was really awesome and memorable. We enjoyed a lot.

    Keep writing blogs, it helps travelers like me to explore new places comfortably.

    Saumitro Sinha

    • Vincent

      Hi Saumitro,

      I am really glad you enjoyed your stay in Malta and that my guide was useful!

      Maybe see you soon on the blog for another trip!


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