Three days in Valletta give you ample time to soak up the historic city’s atmosphere, tick off top sights by land and by sea, and go island hopping around the Maltese archipelago. Here are a few ways to experience the best of Valletta in 72 hours.
Day 1: Explore the City
Malta’s compact size makes it a great place to explore on foot, meaning that walking tours are one of the most enjoyable ways to see the sights. Most walking tours cover landmarks such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace, and the new Parliament building, and point out Baroque architectural details that you may otherwise have missed. Tours by Segway follow a similar itinerary but cover more ground in a shorter time, while hop-on hop-off bus tours have the added appeal of letting you set your own itinerary and pace.
Nighttime tours let you see Valletta, as well as the nearby historic cities of Mosta and Mdina, at their most atmospheric. Options include ghost tours, open-top bus tours, and walking tours that tend to include tickets to Malta 5D, a multimedia show about Maltese history and culture.
Day 2: Get Out on the Water
Get a different perspective of Malta and its surrounding islands on a cruise. Full-day sightseeing cruises typically sail all the way around the Maltese coastline and anchor at secluded bays that can only be reached by boat, so that you can enjoy free time snorkeling or swimming. Some cruises let you disembark at the car-free island of Comino for a stroll or to visit the famed Blue Lagoon. Other, shorter, cruises typically stay closer to Malta’s coastline and cover the Grand Harbour, coastal villages, and the Three Cities, a collective name given to the ancient fortress cities of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa.
Back on dry land, nighttime entertainment options include immersing yourself in traditional Maltese culture with a folklore dinner-and-show package or soaking up the nightlife of Paceville and St. Julian’s on a bar crawl of some of the area’s best nightlife spots.
Day 3: Explore Gozo
On your final day, head over to Gozo—a 30-minute ferry ride from Cirkewwa Harbour—to explore more of the archipelago. Full-day Jeep and coach tours of the island typically include hotel pickup and drop-off, and take you to top attractions such as the UNESCO-listed Ggantija Temples, Ramla Bay, and the hilltop citadel in Victoria—excursions let you skip the stress of car hire and navigation. If you prefer some flexibility, make your own way to Gozo to take in views of mountainous terrain aboard a hop-on hop-off, double-decker bus, which allows you to travel at your own pace.
Stay on Gozo for dinner to discover why the island is famed for its food. You’ll find plenty of excellent restaurants focused on fresh, local produce around Mgarr Harbour, from which you can catch the ferry back to Malta afterward.