We arrived in Malta the night before so we had the opportunity to begin our day in the morning. Upon arriving, we took a direct bus X2 from the airport to Sliema which took about 50 minutes. You can find out more about bus schedules and timings here. Alternatively, for quick information about the country and how I went around etc, click here.
As for accommodation, we decided to stay at Sliema as there was easy bus access to other parts of the country from here. We searched for our accommodation through AirBNB and stayed with Ana who was honestly the most genuine host I've ever met. She's really helpful and would definitely go the extra mile to help you out. I definitely recommend her!
We took a ferry from Sliema Bay to Valletta which took only 4 minutes! You can opt for the bus too but it's good to see Sliema from a different perspective, and the view of Valletta from across is pretty fascinating.
Valletta is beautiful as the city holds so much character! It generally had a very medieval/ mediterranean feel due the materials used in the buildings. We took the backroads up to Valletta and found ourselves on Republic Street which is the main shopping street in town. There were small stalls selling different types of souvenirs and there was one particular store that caught my attention as they turned walnuts into souvenirs which was quite unique.
We've heard about Manoel Theatre and how nice it is inside but when we went there, it was closed. The place looks quite trashed and I'm not sure whether it has been completely shut down or not. Maybe you'll have better luck the next time you head there.
Next, we headed to Parliament Building which was right next to the City Gate. Recently designed by architect Renzo Piano, the building definitely considers its context and in a playful way replicates a cheese grater. There was a ball-like rest area behind the building, which as an Interior Architect student, I found it really serene as it provided shade in such a hot weather but still administers to the view around it with a few openings! It felt like a temporary installation but I can't be too sure.
Known for their coloured doors, extended balconies and unique door knobs, the houses here in Valletta all have a different approach to this, almost as though this was their expression of art. I would recommend going to Ursula Street as the dynamics here are perfect for a snapshot!
Ditch the city map you have at this point and get lost in the wonders of the city! Turn into any street you feel like turning in to and follow where your instinct leads you. The smaller, quieter streets are often the ones with the most personality.
We found ourselves in Upper Barrakka Gardens with the view of the Grand Harbour as well as the other side of the country (Kalkara town to Paola town). It was a great place to chill as there was shade alongside the sea breeze and view! The only thing that was missing was a Gelato in hand. There is also a canon shooting demonstration here at 9am and 4pm everyday with an entrance fee of €2.
We took the 222 bus from Sliema to Cirkewwa early in the morning which took about an hour and a half. Cirkewwa is the only town in Malta which has a ferry to bring you across to Gozo & Comino, so if you're looking to get to those islands, you have to head up to Cirkewwa first.
Do note that all ferry prices are return prices, they do not sell single journeys. Thus, to be more time-efficient, we took the €10 ferry up to Comino first where the Blue Lagoon is which took roughly half an hour to get to. Be sure to let them know you wish for your return ticket to be from Comino to Mgarr, Gozo as they will issue you a separate ticket for the same price.
It isn't called Blue Lagoon for nothing as the ocean was crystal clear and downright blue! My favourite colour in different shades. Ahhh!!
We left our stuff on a rock and swam to the little island across known as Cominotto where it was less crowded and there was a small cave that we ventured into. The swim wasn't that far and you could reach the ground half of the time but it was pretty rocky at Cominotto.
Using the return ticket mentioned earlier, we took a small boat from Comino to Mgarr, Gozo. Head to the information counter inside the building where you purchase ferry tickets to get directions on how to get around Gozo. I've also attached a map of the bus routes below. In order to get to different places in town, you would mostly need to grab a bus from Cittadella so do plan your time properly according to the bus schedules. If you have a Talinja Card, you can use it here with no extra charge.
We walked around for a little bit to hunt for food and delighted ourselves with slices of pizza and sat by the fountain to have it. Literally, street food! Always the best!
We then headed to Azure Window which was surprisingly bigger than expected. Do keep an eye out for the Blue Hole right at the bottom (if you went up the cliff) as it is pretty cool! I didn't manage to snap a great picture of it but here's what I got.
We then headed back to Cittadella to grab a bus up to Ramla Bay where the sand was sun-glow orange. Perhaps it was because it was nearing sunset, but the fact that it was sand dunes seemed to have an effect on it, almost like the colour of sand from the desert. We had our dinner there whilst enjoying the sunset by the beach before making our way back to Sliema.
Day 3 was all about exploring what was near to us. We had a really chilled day walking along the coast from Sliema passing by St.Julian's before ending up at Paceville.
I would definitely recommend walking along the coast of Sliema as the government has kindly made a few natural bay-like pools that allows you to access the ocean but still have a "pod" of your own. You can probably only see things like these in Maldives on an expensive resort. I won't say it's as great as that because of how it looks, but hey, if you want to use a more natural material, this is probably what you'll end up with. Not complaining though, it is still rather amazing.
St. Julian's was the more central part of town where you could find plenty of shops and restaurants. We found a really cosy cafe and had fresh fruit juice here. Nothing better than a refreshing juice on a hot day!
Sunny weather, great company, chilled music and ocean dipped feet, it was the life! I definitely needed this getaway and was so happy I managed to make it here even though I missed my flight initially! Find out more about what to do if you missed your flighthere.
We then headed to Paceville, which is apparently the Nightlife hub of the country. Both locals and foreigners from all parts of the country would take a bus down to enjoy the nightlife here. Unfortunately for us, we weren't able to experience the vibe as it was a Sunday so everything was closed. Nevertheless, it was a great end to a great trip!
How was your trip to Malta? Do drop a comment below, would love to know how yours went!
Also, for a quick information about Malta itself, do click here
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