Updated: Aug 28, 2022
✈️ BHX to MLA
💰 £80 Return Flight
🛌 £20 A Night
This was yet again another last minute trip, hence why the flights weren't the cheapest. I was also only spending a few days in the country due to work commitments. I had no idea what Malta had to offer; I'd only heard that a few scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed there. Malta is quite small but despite that; it is filled with a lot of popular beautiful cities, such as Valletta, Mdina and Bugibba. I opted to stay in Sliema, which isn't quite as picturesque but has good transport links to explore the island.
Airport to Sliema
I booked my transfers online with a licensed taxi company, the journey time being roughly 20 minutes. I remember coming out of Luqa airport and seeing a man holding my name on a sign. In my head, I was like "Is that me yeah?" 😂 So childish.
I booked a 4* Hotel but you know that old chestnut where the UK and the rest of Europe clearly count stars differently. The hotel was clean and had a few facilities such as a spa and swimming pool. One thing I hate about booking single occupancy hotel rooms is that hotels like to act stingy with double beds. Sometimes I'll ask to change rooms, but it was only £20 a night so I wasn't too fussed. I'm one of those people that only uses the hotel to sleep, not really too bothered about all the added extras.
Although Malta is a fairly tiny island there is absolutely loads to see. A great bonus of the country being small in size is that it's somewhat easy to venture out to tons of different areas in a relatively short amount of time.
My hotel was within walking distance of the seafront and many amenities. Your typical fast-food chains as well as commonly known high street clothing stores could also be found locally. On my first day, I strolled down to the harbour to catch a ferry from Sliema to Valletta, the capital city. The ferry is extremely cheap, with a return fare costing just under €3, the journey time roughly 20 minutes.
Make sure you check the ferry schedule though as if you miss the last boat back, you'll have to get a taxi back which will cost you a small fortune!
Stairs, Stairs, Stairs. A poignant moment for me was turning down one street and just seeing the highest set of steps I've ever seen. There was a lot of that around the city, good thigh workout though eh? Valletta has many attractions to cater to all likings such as museums, theatres, shops and cathedrals. A must see is the Saluting Battery, each day at 12pm a real cannon is let off as some kind of ceremony. Not something you see every day so well worth looking out for.
Mdina - The Silent City
On the second day of my trip, I decided to try out a hop on, hop off tour bus, costing €14 for the day. This is a cheap way of safely seeing sites as no need to search for reliable transport throughout the day. I won't bore you with the long list of things I saw that day, I'll just stick to the highlights.
Mdina is hands down one of the most architecturally stunning places I've ever been to. One thing that stood out to me was how spotless the streets were, not an ounce of litter.
If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, then it is absolutely essential you make time on your trip to visit Mdina. There are tours on offer pointing out where parts of the series was filmed.
Mdina city was a maze of beautiful narrow streets and pathways. Perfect for your Instagram feed. I spent a lot of time roaming the streets and taking in the spectacular views. The whole city just gave me Game of Thrones vibes. I also visited the Mdina Dungeons Museum... which was... interesting. Lots of dark spaces and life-sized dolls depicting historic events.
Other places of interest
As I keep stating there are lots to see and do in Malta. A hidden gem is "Popeye Village," which is actually where the show was originally filmed all those years ago. Today it is a tourist attraction home to a museum, cinema, performance acts and more.
St. Julian’s is a popular town if you're on the search for nightlife. Think Ibiza but Malta. The streets are lined with clubs, bars and the area really lights up at night. There are also beaches and restaurants in the area for when you're ready for a bit of relaxation.
The Blue Lagoon in Comino is another honourable mention. You'll need to catch a ferry to get here as this is not located on the mainland; setting you back about €10 return. This location is perfect for those looking to swim in crystal clear waters.
"Yay or Nay"
👍🏾 If you're searching for a cheap getaway this is the place for you. I think Malta is a good starting point for a first Solo travel trip as it's quite easy to navigate. Transport is cheap and reliable. The island is small enough to be explored quickly and easily. If you've seen enough of the mainland there are also smaller islands you can catch a ferry to. Malta is also fairly ethnically diverse, lots of colourful tourists from all walks of life, so need to worry about that aspect.