Malta is an island nestled between Sicily and the North African coast. A guarantee for great weather, all year round. Even in December and January, the time we visited, we were happy we brought our sunglasses and packed light.

We stayed for 10 days and could have easily stayed longer as there is plenty to do and see.

Malta is not your typical island – there is a plethora of activities and experiences beyond sun-soaked beaches. Ancient temples, medieval forts and fascinating landscapes will keep you on your toes.

Budget guide Malta

While Malta may not be the most budget-friendly, we managed to keep our expenses in check. In this Budget Guide we’ll break down our costs but also share some of the highlights the island has to offer.

Budget Guide to Malta

We took a direct and quite affordable flight from Prague to Malta which cost us €139.33 per person.

Groceries are surprisingly reasonably priced and the supermarkets have a decent selection considering Malta is an island. Much like in the rest of Europe, prices in Malta have gone up a lot in 2023. Many restaurant menus you’ll find online are outdated and you should expect to add a few euros to every menu item you see.

Malta, Valletta, town, fruit market street

Eating and drinking out is very expensive here and luckily our accommodation always came with a well-equipped kitchen. We did visit some restaurants and even when eating on a budget, you can’t expect to eat for under €10.

We stayed in Malta for 11 days (10 nights). With €41.88 per person per day, Malta was one of the more expensive destinations we visited. However, we were not on a strict budget and we could have spent less. Here is a breakdown of our spending:

11 days in Malta:
Accommodation (10 nights):
€272.32 total
= €24.76 per night
= €12.38 per person per night
€57.80 total
= €5.78 per day
= €2.89 per person per day
€44.3 total
€4.43 per day
€2.22 per person per day
Eating out:
€149.55 total
€14.96 per day
€7.48 per person per day
Entrance fee (Ġgantija):
€20 (total)
€193.22 total
€19.32 per day
€9.66 per person per day
€921.36 (excluding flights)
€83.76 per person
€41.88 per person per day

Here are prices of some everyday 2024 items:

Apples: €2.89 per kilo
Beer (pub): €4
Beer (shop): €1.16
Coffee (americano): €1.80
Ftira: €5
Instant noodles: €0.64
Pastizzi: €0.55
Pasta (restaurant): €12.50 for the cheapest dish
Water (1l): €0.37 + €0.10 deposit

Where to stay?

Malti hostel, Malta, St Julian's

We split our stay between: St Julian’s, Sliema and 2 nights on the island of Gozo (Victoria). If you plan to visit Malta for the first time, we can recommend to stay somewhere between Sliema and Valletta (though on the higher side). From there you can reach other destinations fairly easy via the public transport.

This is why it’s not necessary to change accommodation if you just intend to stay in Malta.

Private room (Hostel Malti): €307.90 (total 7 nights) = €22 per person per night
Private room (Roma Hotel): €59.60 (total 2 nights) = €14.90 per person per night

How to get around the island?

public transport, Malta, Tallinja Card

Public transportation is severely lacking on Malta. There was no bus connection from the airport when we arrived in the evening. The only way to get from the airport is to take a taxi. Specifically, using the Bolt app is recommended by the locals. Our ride to St. Julian’s cost €12.90 according to the Bolt app, but only €5 was taken from our account – maybe there was some sort of discount?

Buses in Malta are completely unreliable. Once, we waited for an hour for the bus to come. If you don’t get on the bus on one of the first few stops, you will probably wait in vain. The buses were always packed full of people so the driver no longer stopped unless it was to let people get off – and this was in the low season. We walked to the Ross square in St. Julian’s to buy a 12-journey bus ticket (€15). This was one of very few places where you can find a ticket machine. You can buy a ticket from the driver otherwise.

Bolt (taxi) from airport to St. Julian’s: €5
12-journey bus ticket: €15 (per person)

Best Things to do

Our Malta trip was a mix of culture and outdoor adventure. Here is our list of Best things to do in Malta.

Visit the capital Valletta

The skyline of Valletta is probably one of the most photographed motifs of the island. Located on a peninsula, surrounded by medieval fortified walls, Valletta resembles a fortress rising high above the sky.

Valletta, Malta, fortress, view

Inside the fortress you can explore different historical buildings and sites like the Saint John’s Co-Cathedral or the Barakka gardens. There are two parts: the upper and the lower gardens.

To reach the upper gardens you need to climb up the stairs leading up to the walls. You can also take an elevator for 1 euro. The viewing platform overlooks the grand harbor with the famous Three Cities. This is where the knights of St. John lived while they built Valletta. Don’t miss the information board mapping several Games of Thrones filming locations. Some are in direct vicinity, others spread around Malta.

Hemmo at lower Barakka gardens, temple, Valletta, Malta

Once you’re done marveling, head to the lower gardens to relax on one of the benches alongside the fortified walls. The views are equally stunning. This is also the ideal place on sunny days to seek some shade under a tree.

Floriana gardens

Surprisingly, we found the most nature in and around Valletta. One of the reasons why we kept coming back during our stay.

Valletta, Floriana, Malta, Argotti botanic garden, fountain

Especially one garden had a lasting impression on us – the Argotti Botanical Garden in Floriana. We were not prepared to find this piece of heaven in Valletta’s neighboring town – Floriana. It’s a mix of park and botanical garden with a collection of indigenous and exotic plants, among them many succulents and even a banyan tree. There is an enchanting fountain and some interesting sculptures.

Valletta, Floriana, Malta, Argotti botanic garden, plants

Right below the gardens you can continue your tour to St Philip’s gardens standing on a viewing platform.

Manoel Island

One of the best viewpoints of the Valletta skyline is from Manoel island. The island is a walking distance from Sliema and Gżira. You can reach it by crossing a bridge.

Valletta, view from St Manoel, Malta

The island is famous for Fort Manoel, which was built during the time of the Order of St. John.

St Julian’s

This is the place where most visitors stay alongside Valletta and Sliema. It’s filled with plenty cafes, restaurants and bars. We spent many evenings at Spinola bay, sitting on a bench by the water or walking by the promenade lit by soft lantern light.

St Julian's bay, Malta

If you want to include some exercise into your trip, you can follow the promenade along the coast all the way to Gżira (7 km). Or at least to Sliema.


The Mosta dome (Rotunda of Mosta) was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome and is famous for being the third largest unsupported dome in Europe. It’s really impressive imagining the colossal dome spanning from one side to the other without being stabilized by pillars.

Mosta, Malta, Rotunda, sunset

While doing your research or visiting the interior you’ll learn about the miracle of Mosta. During WWII, a bomb was dropped on the church while a large crowd took shelter. Luckily the bomb didn’t detonate and from that day on, the miracle was celebrated.

Mosta, Malta, countryside, valley

As we had more time to spare we decided to walk around, even leaving the town and entering the countyside. We came across a valley where parts of the Victoria trails passed through.

Mdina and Rabat

Mdina became known as the silent city after it stopped being the capital of Malta and many people left. But there is more to it. Noise in general is not well received by the residents. That’s why cars are prohibited in the old town and even visitors respect the silent treat.

Mdina, Hemmo walking in old town, Malta

Game of Thrones fans can keep an eye out to spot Kings Landing (just the first season was shot here, the rest in Dubrovnik).

Already when we arrived at the bus stop in Mdina, we were enchanted by the calm atmosphere and naturally adopted it. Walking quietly between the high sandstone walls, marveling at picturesque doorways and staircases, or taking a rest on a bench or at a café will give you a nice break if you come from Valletta, Sliema or St. Julian.

Mdina, bridge, horse carriage, Tina sitting on the wall, Malta

Rabat is just a short walk from Mdina, and appears to be more lively. There were souvenir shops and cafes. Our highlight was this little courtyard close to the St. Paul’s catacombs. It belongs to a monastery and gave us some really meditative vibes.

Megalithic temples

The megalithic temples of Malta (Ġgantija, Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Skorba, Ta’ Ħaġrat, and Tarxien) belong the UNESCO world heritage and are older than the Pyramids. To visit at least one of these sites is a must-do in Malta.

Ġgantija, Malta standing at megalithic temples, Gozo, Malta

We did our research and chose to visit Ġgantija as we anyways planned to include Gozo on our trip. On top of that, it’s the second oldest man-made structure on earth.

Ġgantija, megalithic temples, Gozo, Malta

We stayed in Victoria from where we could walk all the way to the site. It consists of a visitor center where you can buy the tickets and learn about the Neolithic period. How the people lived. What they harvested. How they dressed. The most interesting are the crafts and small sculptures that could be preserved. Among them is a collection of limestone figures depicting human faces and bodies.

Ġgantija, Xagħra Circle, Gozo, artefact

Once you made it to the last exhibition post, you can leave the visitor center and head to the Temple complex which consists of two temples, each built in another time period, 700 years apart (3600 BC, 2900 BC).

The term “megalithic” derives from the giant slab stones found in different sections of the construction, believed built by Giants. Especially those at the entrance are impressive, as well as those in the back, presumed to have served as altars to sacrifice animals and potions to the deities. You’ll also encounter perfect shaped holes.

Ġgantija, Hemmo standing at megalithic temples, Gozo, Malta

When you walk towards the temples, you will see what looks like one complex. Only from the front side you can see that there are two separate entrances. Take your time to explore the interior as there are many interesting details and facts to read on the information posts.

Worthy to note is also the scenic panorama surrounding the whole site. On our way to the temples we passed some laid-back villages and enjoyed stunning views of the countryside.


To get to Gozo island, you need to take the bus to Ċirkewwa from where the ferry departs. The ferry tickets (return included) cost €4.65 and can be purchased at the ticket office there.

The ferry ride lasts 20 minutes and can be either enjoyed sitting inside the cabin or on deck. Keep in mind to bring a scarf or hat to protect from the wind.

Tina on the ferry, Mġarr to Victoria, Malta, Gozo

Once you arrive in Mġarr at the harbor, you can take a bus to Victoria. We booked a room in Victoria for 2 nights from where we explored the island on our feet.

The main attraction is the 16th century medieval fortress Ċittadella, proclaimed UNESCO world heritage.

Ċittadella, Gozo, Malta, fortress, sunset

We were not prepared for the mesmerizing views from the walls of the fortress. This was one of the best sunset views we ever experienced. The sun illuminated the honey-colored walls and towers in such a spectacular way that we couldn’t take our eyes away from it.

We kept climbing up the winding stairs and exploring the maze of alleys and squares.

Gozo, countryside, panorama, Malta

While spending time in Victoria we explored the countryside without any transportation. If you follow the road out of town, you’ll see a road leading up a hill. This was the way to Ġgantija. The only challenging part was climbing up the hill. However, you can take little breaks and enjoy the stunning views of the island panorama. In fact, this was the most memorable part of our Gozo trip.

Gozo-Malta ferry (return): €4.56
Private accommodation: €55.46 (total 2 nights) = €13.87 per person per night
Entrance to Ġgantija & Ta Kola: €10 (per person)

Pastizzi and sweets

The traditional savory pastry is filled with either ricotta or mushy peas. They’re not only cheap but won over our hearts.

pastizzi, fountain, tritoni, Valletta, Malta

Imqaret, Malta, Mdina

Especially, if you’re in Valletta, check out the food stalls on the main square by the Tritoni fountain.

If you want to try out sweet pastry, Imqaret, a traditional date biscuit, will be easy to find. It goes well with a coffee or tea.


Traveling Malta during the European winter will throw you back into late summer days. That alone is a good reason to visit the island. Although it can rain occasionally and the wind can be stronger, the overall climate is very pleasant. Plus, it’s less crowded and you can find more affordable flights and accommodation.

Valletta, Malta, upper Barakka gardens, fortress, viewpoint

There are some caveats to look out for: pay attention to the traffic and if possible avoid busy streets. Protect yourself from the sun by using sun screen and staying in the shade. Additionally, if you’re relying on public transportation, ensure you allow ample time for potential delays.

Despite these few considerations, Malta has some memorable moments in store that won’t strain your wallet too much.

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