As most of travelers do before venturing into a new adventure I do my research on the place i`m headed to so I could at least feel safe about the places I want to see and things I want to do. When I came to Malta, that was not the case however. I`ve got my acceptance letter, bought tickets, checked the weather forecast ( I was really excited to have sunny weather in autumn as well!) and ventured into the unknown…
Quite some time has passed since I came here and today I found myself thinking that this adventure has been going for a while. I have graduated from university, I`ve started building a small life here and I feel quite… local.
During my time here I observed attentively surroundings and the lifestyle on the island and learned quite a few things about surviving here.
Here are a few tips a traveler should consider when visiting Malta.
1. Malta is crowded. Especially during tourist season May to October. Sometimes it might even feel overcrowded with so many people around you wondering around that you can barely find a place to put your feet while walking along the promenade. On the other hand, during winter months the island might feel empty with few locals running errands, ex-pats residing here and yes, some tourists wondering around.
2. It gets HOT here.
I have witnessed both hot summers and rainy winters here. I suggest you pick wisely the season to come here. December through February are rainy months and it can get as cold as barely +8 degrees and with the humidity and the howling winds you would definitely not enjoy the island so much. However, coming July or August here are not better. It gets really humid and hot here. If you want to move around and see places walking around +38 degrees heat and will be hard. Besides, there`s barely any shade here! If you plan to come, I suggest late April to early June or, Late September to end of October. Spring is beautiful here, with flowers blooming and everything is so green! The weather is warm and if you are brave enough you might even take swim in the sea! Late September and October are still very warm with pleasant weather 24 hours around the clock and it is not as crowded anymore here!
3.Don`t have a strict timetable.
If you have made plans of places to visit don`t just follow around the strict plan, it won`t work out. Forget the schedule. Especially if you plan to use local buses. There is a lot of traffic here and quite a few accidents happen as well. Expect bus delays, or buses not stopping at all at a stop because they are overloaded with passengers already or.. Just because the driver is in a ‘hurry’, he might not stop to pick you up!
4. Get lost in Valletta. Or actually just wonder around as getting lost is practically impossible. It is such a well designed city that it makes practically impossible to get lost there! Go to Valletta, get yourself familiar with it, see the city as it is, not only the main touristic sights. Visit it during the day and wonder around the many churches and all the small shops, take a coffee in one of the smaller side streets. Come back to Valletta in the evening and get away from the main streets, where you`ll be able to find lovely bars playing live jazz music or small restaurants right at the sea front.
5. Eat like a local.
You would think that with so many restaurants on the islands ( and yes, there are a lot of those here!) it wouldn`t be a problem to eat like a local. But to tell you the truth, most of the restaurants here don`t specialize in Maltese cuisine or if they, they often adapt the dishes to tourist`s taste. But there are quite a few places to make your tummy happy here! For local ftira
try Maxokk bakrey
in Nadur, Gozo or Emanuel`s bakery
in Qormi, Malta. Both serve different types of ftiras, but both are incredibly good! ( A note if you are planning to go: do call them to order the food as they only do take away) If you wanna sit somewhere and enjoy the food, try Ta` Nenu
and The Harbour Club
in Valletta, or Sotto Vento
in charming Birgu. Or, if you are in Gozo don`t miss out on the opportunity of having lunch at The Boat House
I know these are just a few observations and a few suggestions but I hope you`ll find them useful! Let me know your top tips when visiting the Maltese islands, I would love to hear your thoughts!