From megalithic temples to modern marvels: discover Malta’s must-see sites

Take a trip through Malta’s fascinating history at these bucket-list sites

Wednesday 11 October 2023 09:06 BST
<p>From ancient temples to stunning harbours, Malta is made for exploring </p>

From ancient temples to stunning harbours, Malta is made for exploring

From incredible architecture to ancient maritime history, Malta is packed with unique attractions to explore. What’s more, these sun-blessed islands make an ideal break any time of year, whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, partners or family. To help you plot your next memory-packed trip, we’ve rounded up just some of Malta’s many must-see sites, taking you from past to present on an itinerary packed with marvels old and new...

Megalithic Temples of Malta

Six megalithic temples are spread across the island of Malta, built by Neolithic inhabitants some six thousand years ago. Built from large limestone blocks, the architecture of these sites are entirely unique to this part of the world, with five of them being classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The best-known temples are Haġar Qim and Mnajdra, which are 500 metres apart from each other on Malta’s southwestern coast, with a small visitor centre displaying historic artefacts.


History fans will enjoy exploring postcard-pretty Marsaxlokk

In the southeastern region of Malta, Marsaxlokk is a beautifully picturesque spot. It’s a small but colourful, traditional harbour village known for its history (it was used as an anchorage by a Turkish fleet during the great siege) and fisher life. Today, the village has some of the finest fish restaurants on the island and is a popular place for taking a harbourside stroll before settling in for a meal - particularly in the summer, when a walk along the promenade can be paired with an ice cream. There’s also Peter’s Pool, a cove-like beach with a walking route, as well as Ghar Dalam Cave, which contains animal remains from the end of the Last Glacial Maximum.


The former Roman capital of Malta, Mdina is an architectural landmark on the island dating back almost 4,000 years. Also known as the Silent City, it sits behind high walls with narrow pedestrianised streets winding throughout. It was once the home of noble families, with many descendants still living in the city, with the houses being passed down through generations. After strolling around Mdina, head to the nearby St Paul’s Catacombs. This Roman burial chamber is the largest in Malta, created when the Roman law stated that inhabitants couldn’t be buried within the city walls.

The Three Cities

Whether you take a tour or wander at leisure, The Three Cities should be on your to-do list

The Three Cities are a snapshot of Maltese history, encapsulating the three fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. The cities were built by the Knights of St John in 1530 and are building up popularity with visitors for their well-preserved palaces, churches and forts. You can join an organised tour to take you through the three cities, or wander around in your own time to capture a slice of traditional Maltese life and the island’s rich maritime history.

St John’s Co-Cathedral

St John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the top attractions in Malta. Located in Valletta, the Roman Catholic church was built in the 1570s, designed by architect Girolamo Cassar. It’s Baroque in style with marble flooring, ornately painted ceilings and intricately designed features. It’s filled with artworks and gifts that have been left here over the centuries, and in the adjoining oratory, there’s two original art pieces by Caravaggio, including the famed ‘The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist’, as well as Flemish tapestries.

Grand Harbour and Barrakka Gardens

Enjoy a relaxing stroll in the sunshine around Marsamxett Harrbour

Just a short walk away from one of Valletta’s iconic piazzas, Castille Square, the Grand Harbour is a natural harbour that’s been in use since at least the Phoenician times, making it one of the world’s oldest saluting batteries still in operation. It’s been built up over the years and is steeped in Maltese history, stretching out along the Valletta peninsula whilst providing views out to the Three Cities. On the edge of the Grand Harbour are the Upper Barrakka Gardens on one side of Valletta, which provide views out to the harbour, and the Lower Barrakka Gardens at the other end, looking out over the sea.

Mosta Dome

Also known as The Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, this is one of the most well-known churches in Malta. Located in the central village of Mosta, the dome is the fourth largest in the world and holds a particularly close history for many locals. In 1942 during WWII, a bomb was dropped, falling through the roof onto the floor of the crowded church - without exploding, many lives were spared. Today, the unique architecture and interior of the dome is its main attraction for visitors, with blue, white and gold accentuating its interior.

To make it even easier for you to relax and enjoy your holiday in Malta, with Jet2holidays, you can secure your accommodation and return flights in one, along with 22kg baggage and return hotel transfers, all protected by ABTA and ATOL. Booking in advance means you can get the best price for your break, while with holidays secured with a low £60pp deposit* and the Pay Monthly** option, you can spread your payments out while you look forward to your upcoming break.

* Terms and conditions apply** On bookings made ten weeks or more before departure. Terms and conditions apply. Please visit for details.

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