With over 7,000 years of history, some of the world’s oldest free standing structures, an incredible culinary scene, and breathtaking beaches, Malta makes for the perfect location for a family vacation. Located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the African Coast, the Maltese Islands have something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and I’ll show you some of the best things to do in Malta with kids.
If you plan on driving around you may need to obtain an international driver’s permit.
Here’s what’s in this article:
Unique area attractions
Historic sites & districts
Historic religious sites
Bustling shopping areas
Kid-friendly swimming & beaches
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Kid-friendly Malta Attractions
The Malta Experience
St Elmo Bastions Mediterranean Street Valletta, VLT 1253, Malta
With over 7,000 years of history to unpack, visitors must partake in The Malta Experience. Located in the 400 year old Holy Infirmary of the Knights of St John, Europe’s largest hospital built by the Knights, The Malta Experience takes you on an adventure through time in cinematic style.
Malta Fun Trains
A great way to explore the historical capital city of Valletta with the family is on a Fun Train. Take a 30-minute tour of the city on a trackless train. The tour starts at the center of the capital and passes by fortifications with views of the Grand Harbor.
St. Publius Square, L-Imdina, Malta
This splendidly morbid attraction is sure to entertain you and the kids. Complete with sound-effects, blood curdling screams and creepy lifelike animatronics, the Mdina Dungeons come to life for those brave enough to visit this maze of cells, chambers and caverns. You don’t just get to learn about the darker side to Malta’s history, but experience it too! Definitely a moment the kids won’t forget.
Playmobil Fun Park
As a Playmobil kid myself, I just had to include this amazing Malta family attraction. Known for their exciting playsets, Playmobil Fun Park offers an array of indoor and outdoor themed play areas that encourags children to socialize and use their imaginations. The park also offers a cafe and gift shop.
Triq Tal-Prajjet, Il-Mellieħa, Malta
Enjoy a fun family day in the little village that was used as the filming location for the 1979 film, Popeye! It is not just a day out, but a fun experience for the whole family. There are darling stilt huts built for the film that you can explore, plus a ton of other movie related attractions. There is a lido with water trampolines, boat rides to enjoy and tons of yummy eateries. You can even take part in filming and see yourself on the big screen.
Kid-friendly Historic Sites in Malta
City of Valletta
Valletta, the capital city of Malta, Europe’s smallest capital, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to 320 monuments all within 0.2 square miles, making this one of the world’s most concentrated historic areas. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John have all ruled Valletta during its long history and the historic sites in Valletta encapsulate every aspect of civil, religious, artistic and military life within this fortified city.
I won’t list all 320 sites here, but some mentionable sites in Valletta include, the Cathedral of St John, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Auberge de Castile et Léon, the Auberge de Provence, the Auberge d’Italie, the Auberge d’Aragon and the Infirmary of the Order and the churches of Our Lady of Victory, St Catherine and il Gesù Auberge de Bavière, the Church of the Shipwreck of St Paul, the Library and the Manoel Theatre.
If you love history, then you have to visit the many temple sites on the islands of Malta and Gozo. The temples qualify as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are the oldest free-standing structures known to man. Borġ in-Nadur Temple is a fortified Bronze Age domestic settlement from 200-BC and four-apse temple. The Buġibba Temple is a megalithic monument that sits right in the garden of a luxurious Maltese resort and was built between 3150 to 2500 B.C.
Ġgantija Temples are one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and date from around 3600 to 3200 BC, older than the pyramids of Egypt. The temple of Ħaġar Qim (c. 3600 – 3200 BC). The incredible Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground structure from 3300 BC that acted as a sanctuary and necropolis, having over 7,000 bodies recovered from the sites.
This site is a dense concentration of these cart ruts caused by wooden-wheeled carts eroding the soft limestone from around 2000 BC after new settlers came over from Sicily, starting the Bronze Age in Malta.
Mdina has a history that dates back 4,000 years and is Europe’s finest example of an ancient walled city with an extraordinary mix of medieval and baroque architecture. Mdina served as Malta’s capital until the medieval period. This is still a walled-city and no cars are allowed, adding to the it’s nickname, “The Silent City.”
Historic Religious Sites in Malta
Rabat is said to be the home of Apostle St. Paul after being shipwrecked in Malta in route to Rome in 60 A.D. The City also contains a system of catacombs that were used as burial sites during Roman times. The St. Paul catacombs are the earliest evidence of Christianity in Malta, they also served as a worshiping place for the early Jews of Malta.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta
Located in the city of Valletta, this Roman Catholic church was built by the Order of the Knights in 1577. During the 17th-century the interior underwent embellishments, adding elaborate motifs of gilded foliage and elaborate marble monuments making this cathedral a magnificent example of Baroque-style. Over the centuries the cathedral was given elaborate gifts and houses two of Caravaggio’s most important paintings.
The Church of Assumption of Our Lady
The original construction of the church was in 1400, but centuries later residents wanted a larger, more impressive parish and in 1912 construction on the site began. The current church features two bell towers and boasts the fourth largest dome in the world.
Ta’ Pinu Basilica
Shrine, Ta’ Pinu, Road, Gharb, Malta
Located on the island of Gozo, Ta’ Pinu dates back to the 1500’s. It has undergone several restorations, but what this site is best known for is the voice of the Virgin Mary being heard by several people over the years with many miracles being attributed to Our Lady of Assumption.
Fun places to shop in Malta
Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village
3646+22X, Triq Franġisk Portelli, Ta’ Kerċem, Malta
Located on the island of Gozo’s highest natural point within the village of Gharb is the Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village. Gharb is the oldest village on the island and the crafts village boasts the finest in local craftsmanship, like handmade pottery, lace, blown glass and leather. You can even view a demonstration on lace making at Maria’s Lace Shop.
Ta’ Qali Crafts Village
VCR9+868, Attard, Malta
Located just a few minutes from Mdina in the former RAF wartime airfield, is a unique area to purchase handmade souvenirs from local craftsmen. Each shop is situated within historic airfield hangars, where you can browse interesting local crafts.
One of Malta’s most famous open-air markets. It is a great place to experience local Maltese culture and find a variety of goodies from souvenirs, fresh produce, clothes, jewelry and more.
Embassy Shopping Center
VGX6+CWH, St. Lucia’s Street, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1165, Malta
Located in Valletta, this newly established shopping center is a big shopping mall. You can find everything here from local brands to your favorite worldwide names. Like most malls, there are game parlors and activities for the kids as well as a variety of eateries.
Swimming & Beaches in Malta
Located near the village of Manikata on Malta’s northwest coastline, Golden Bay is one of Malta’s most popular beaches. Golden Bay offers silky red sand, clearwater and gorgeous views of the surrounding golden dunes.
Għajn Tuffieħa Bay
Ghajn Tuffieha, meaning Apple’s Eye, is surrounded by glorious cliffs and clay slopes. The red sand and clearwater make this an idyllic swimming spot. There are water activities, food and drinks available for those looking for a full day out.
This popular diving, snorkeling and swimming spot is situated just off the Buġibba/Qawra promenade near the Malta National Aquarium. There are a number of water sports and exhilarating activities available with equipment for hire.
This pebbly beach is one of Malta’s most secluded beaches, perfect for those of you who are looking to relax. Located on the island of Gozo, Mgarr ix-Xini is flanked by steep rocks one either side and is bustling with marine life, making this a great spot to snorkel. This gem of a bay was used by the Knights of Malta to hide during the Siege of Malta. The splendid sixteenth-century watchtower, built to protect the Island from the Turks still remains today.
Paradise Bay is a hotel beach located at the northernmost tip of the island near the island hopping ferry. The beach offers great views of the islands, Comino and Gozo, and sits below towering cliffs. It is open to both the public as well as the guests of the hotel.
Island of Gozo, Malta
Near the town of Nadur and nestled between the cliffs, this pebbly beach and secluded waters host spectacular sea life, making this a great place for snorkeling. Its intriguing caves also make this a great spot for divers. Above the sea the caves serve as boat houses for local fishermen, each with its own colorful door. Daħlet Qorrot is surrounded by lush countryside and is a favorite area among hikers.
Near the village of Siġgiewi, below the dramatic Dingli Cliffs, Għar Lapsi is a stunning naturally formed swimming pool, popular among locals. Snorkelers and divers will love the reef bursting with sea life and a network of intriguing caves. The name of the beach translates to Cave of the Ascension due to the shrine dedicated to Jesus’ famous ascent into Heaven situated within its caves. The beach is best known for its 131 foot cave.
Popeye Village, Malta
Neighboring Popeye’s Village, Anchor Bay is a secluded swimming spot surrounded by rocky slopes. It is famous for its gorgeous azure waters, picturesque scenery, and intriguing network of caves. Interestingly, the bay was the location for the filming of the 1980’s Popeye movie. The partially submerged Scorpion Cave is known for its swim-throughs and the sea bed dotted with anchors, making this a fun place for divers and snorkelers.
This family-friendly bay is perfect for families with little swimmers as the waters are calm, clear and initially shallow with a gradual slope. From the bay you can enjoy breathtaking views of both Gozo and Comino Islands. The soft yellow sand makes it ideal for sunbathing and having a relaxing day by the sea.
Near the seaside town of Mellieħa, White Tower is a large sandy beach great for families. The water is azure and calm for swimming. There are sunbeds and refreshments available.
The Blue Lagoon is often referred to as the most beautiful spot in the Mediterranean. Located in the channel of Comino and Cominotto, you can enjoy the luxury of sandy beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters. This lagoon is easily accessible from Malta and Gozo by ferry. There are also boat tours of the caves available.
That’s a Wrap!
If you are looking for the perfect Mediterranean getaway, complete with history, breathtaking beaches and family fun, look no further than Malta. This safe, small and beautiful country is easy to explore and jam packed with great restaurants, natural beauty and historic sites. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip now.
If you would like help planning your next family vacation, contact me directly. I am a travel agent and a Malta Travel Specialist. My services are free and I can assist in all your travel needs.
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