Malta is a beautiful fusion of ancient and modern, offering everything from beaches and cities to prehistoric sites. And though you could easily drive from one side of the island to the other in under an hour, there’s an incredible amount to see and do along the way. From shopping in Valletta and exploring Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra to experiencing Malta at night in the ancient city of Mdina, here’s how to spend 24 hours in Malta.
Morning: Sightseeing and Shopping in Valletta
With only 24 hours in Malta, there’s not a minute, or a meal, to spare. Hop in the car and get things started with a delicious breakfast atCaffe Cordina in Valletta; located in a beautiful old palazzo, this is a great place to sample traditional Maltese pastizzi (delicious flaky pastry parcels) or a breakfast ftira (freshly baked bread with toppings). Located on Republic Street, Caffe Cordina is also perfectly placed for shopping in Valletta – stop by The Silversmith’s Shop (218 Republic Street, +356 2123 1416) for authentic silver filigree jewellery to bring home.
Continue down Republic Street, past the impressive Grand Master’s Palace, and you’ll find yourself at St John’s Co-Cathedral. The Knights of Malta established this place of worship back in the 16th century. Today, it’s a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, gilded and grand, and home to Caravaggio’s “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist”.
From here you can continue your cultural explorations in Valletta with a trip to either the National Museum of Fine Arts (don’t miss the Turner watercolour of Malta) or the National Museum of Archaeology (including awe-inspiring artefacts from Malta’s Neolithic period), both within five minutes of the Cathedral.
Filling though pastizzi are, by now you’ve probably worked up an appetite for lunch. Follow in the footsteps of the locals and search out sustenance at Trattoria da Pippo (136 Melita Street, +356 21248029) – this is the place to come for generous helpings of delicious Sicilian, Maltese and Mediterranean food. It’s a popular place, so book ahead.