Best Things to Do in Malta With Kids

The islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino can give you memorable experiences with your family. A backdrop of sun, beaches, history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience for your family. Children can explore the ruins of ancient temples, play on the beach, whilst adults can go back in time exploring the old cities and villages or just relaxing and recharging. There is truly something for everyone here.

In this brief article, we will describe the top 10 things to do in Malta for families. Pack your bags, take off is imminent!

Sliema and Gzira offer the most conveniences and charm for families visiting the islands. With their proximity to all key attractions and their vibrant atmosphere, these coastal towns serve as ideal bases for your family adventure in Malta.

1. Beach, sun and water fun

This is why many are coming to Malta! To enjoy the sea. Swimming in it, looking at it and being around it. There is something magical about the ocean and being next to it gives you respite from the claustrophobic cities many of us now live in. Being able to look into the infinite horizon gives me peace, especially during sunset or sunrise. There are many beaches in Malta. Mellieha beach, golden bay, etc. Rocky, sandy or pebbles? Make your choice. Smaller kids will enjoy the sand, slightly older ones will probably enjoy the rocky parts so they can dive into the sea. If you are a family with older kids they will surely enjoy an hour or two of canoeing, paddleboat, and maybe even some time on a jet ski or at the wind surf school.

2. Exploring Sliema and Gzira

    These two busy fun towns are full of fun things to experience. From swings for children, relaxing swimming pools, to swimming in the sea and beautiful vistas of Valletta. There are many boat tours departing from here. You can spend days here bar hopping, dining, relaxing, partying and walking on the promenade and making some good memories.

      3. A day in Valletta

      The capital of Malta is one of many fort cities around the islands. Gzira and Sliema give you the perfect view of Valletta just across the natural harbor. You can reach Valletta easily by water taxi, bus or Uber / Bolt / eCabs and even on foot.

      In Valletta you can find: St. John’s Co-Cathedral, many Cafe’s, the upper barrack gardens, the open market, the parliament buildings, the lower barrack gardens and many other curious nooks and crannies all over this small but interesting city built on a peninsula. Valletta is very small but is truly unique being designated a UNESCO world heritage. You can move around the city easily on foot.

      4. An afternoon in Mdina

        Mdina is an old and intriguing city atop a plateau. It is an experience during the day, but there is something magical about it in the evenings and at night.  Mdina is a fort city, with high walls towering on every side.

        There are horse drawn carriages, which you can use to explore the area. The small city has a very limited number of cars. The streets, architecture and ambience are fantastic. Make sure to get lost in the small city and explore the many small streets. Especially those on the left hand side as you are coming in.

        There is a very nice viewing platform and a nice cafe towards the back of the small city, with really fantastic views of all the island. Mdina Dungeons museum will give you a peek into how people lived in the olden days. Mdina glass, a local Maltese glassware manufacturer has a shop there.

        Mdina is next to Rabat, another interesting and typical village which you can explore. 

          5. Attend a traditional Maltese festa

          A “festa” is a big village party, celebrating the local patron saint. The whole village is “dressed up”. There are stalls, music and brass bands marching and playing traditional music. It’s fun! The stalls offer many traditional Maltese foods

          This is the official calendar for festas in 2023, dates for future years should be close.

          Most “festas” have both a morning party and an evening village celebration. The morning celebration is usually very lively and “rowdy” . In Maltese it’s called “March ta’ filghodu” (morning March). It’s OK to go with kids, but if they are a bit older (8+) it will probably be easier to navigate the crowds and potential happy chaos. To organize yourself best is to find the feast taking place when you are in Malta and then give a call to the church or the band club (Kazin tal-banda) of that village to see if they have a morning march.

          At night there are spectacular fireworks. Both at ground level and in the sky.

          Immerse yourself in Maltese culture and tradition at a traditional village festa. Experience colorful processions, lively music, and delicious local delicacies. After a day of festivities, return to your conveniently situated short-term rental in Sliema or Gzira, where you can relax and reflect on your cultural experience.

          6. Typical Maltese evening out for families in Malta

          Out at around 18:00ish. Go to the playground with the kids. Tire them out, if they are young enough they might even sleep allowing you to go to the restaurant in peace :!)

          You can do this easily in Sliema and Gzira with their long promenade and the playgrounds in Qui SI Sana and Gzira Gardens. But you can also do it in Bugibba, Zurrieq, Mellieha, Birzebbuga etc.

          Pick a nice restaurant of your choice, there is something for every budget (google maps is your friend) and then walk back to your short term rental 🙂 Going out with young children in Malta is a very common place.

          7. Spend a great day by the sea

          First, choose a nice beach. For the younger kids (-8):  Little Arimer, Mellieha, Golden bay and Sliema. For older kids you can also include some of the more rocky and harder to get to beaches like : St Peter’s Pool in the south or Selmun beach. Think early for easier parking and have a look on Google maps to familiarize yourself with the area.

          When swimming, you need to keep an eye out for the jellyfish, whose sting can ruin your day. Ideally one parent should be wearing swimming glasses and having a look around now and again below the water level. Ask the people “Did you see any jelly fish?”. It is a common thing to do.

          The problem is not as bad as it sounds, I have never been stung (touch wood) but I try to be smart about the issue. Jellyfish are very slow moving creatures, and I have swam many times a few meters next to them without any hassle. Some species do not sting. Have a look at this Jelly fish chart.

          I am not too keen on the sunbed and umbrella thing taking over our beaches, but if you have small kids these things are a blessing! Being able to rest those bones somewhere comfortable and getting a break from the sub, will save some of your energy and skin.

          Plenty of water and a packed lunch, help. Although most beaches will have some kind of snack bar/s.

          Taking a ball or a frisbee will also make the day more fun. A snorkel or plain swimming glasses are a great idea!

          Hats and sunglasses are a must, those UV protection bathing suits for kids and even for adults are a good idea especially if your body has not taken strong sun recently.

          Those who want to explore more can do some exploratory walking around the beach or a canoe trip. 

          You can spend the day swimming, playing, reading your book, drinking coffee (there is always coffee around) and some people watching :). Teach your kids that swimming stroke and how to dive in the water. 

          Play a Maltese traditional game “cama cama”. Ideally played in groups of more than four and a place where to dive easily in the water. It starts with all participants swimming in the sea and to kick it off, the youngest calls out one of the group. The called one needs to run out of the water to the jumping spot , call out a name and then jump in the sea. See for how long you can keep this up! You can also say the type of dive to use when jumping with the name. (head dive or bomb dive (curl into a ball) or foot dive etc or “carpjat” (jump up, touch your toes and then head dive)

          8. Explore a seaside promenade

            Take a hike! Mini-hike, long-hike, walk by the sea, jogging. Malta is the perfect spot for getting your blood flowing whilst enjoying the vistas of this exotic island.

            I point you to the many walking ideas. Again you can plan to dine later or find a playground halfway through. 

            Sliema, Gzira, Bugibba, Marsascala, Marsaxlokk , Birzebbuga and Xghajra  are the most popular in that order for me to take a long walk. During the week and in non summer months, these promenades are less busy.

            Taking a break from the walk, cafes abound everywhere, there are playgrounds sprinkled all over the island as well.

            A small bike or a trotinette will keep the little ones busy. A second hand cheap one from google marketplace, there are always a few for sale, especially if you are having a longer stay.

              9. Historical / Site seeing / City exploration

              Spend a day or exploring historical places, this is an open air museum. The three cities (Bormla, Senglea, Birgu), Rabat, Valletta and Mdina. Places like Qormi and Zejtun which you can do in a few hours are interesting and different. 

              Combine the visit with a restaurant or a picnic-packed lunch.

              If you have older kids, 16 plus you can turn it into a competition on who takes the best pic, or finds the most interesting thing.

              A cheap walktalkie, will allow you to let your kids go a bit further on their own while staying in contact.

              The older temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and their museums are quite interesting. Hypogeum is also quite interesting but you need to book earlier.

              10. Nature hike

                Go-inland ! There are many nice parts of the island which do not touch the sea.

                My favorite walk is walking across the thinnest part of the island from coast to coast (but not from the traffic road) (didn’t I just say no sea)

                You can do a similar walk from Mellieha to Popeye village.

                Probably it is best not to do these walks in your flip-flops and in the summer months avoid 10:00 till 17:00 because of the sun.

                11. Boat Trips

                From the Sliema and Gzira promenades there is a good selection of boat trips that can be taken such as : round the island, one day in Comino, harbour cruise a water taxi to Valletta, and may other destinations.

                Looking at Malta from the sea is stunning and gives you a whole different perspective. The kids will enjoy the different pace and scenery and hey it is fund for the adults too 🙂

                  12. A Sunday morning in Marsaxlokk

                  On Sundays in Marsaxlokk there is a lively open air market. Which all the family can enjoy. You can arrive in the morning between 9 and 11 go to the Marsaxlokk swings. Then walk to the market, which is usually rather busy. I would encourage you to visit the church as well, take take a few moments to connect with your inner self.

                  There are plenty of restaurants to choose from but there are plenty of spots to sit down and have your packed lunch as well. 

                    13. A day in Comino

                    Comino is a beautiful little island in between Malta and Gozo. The beach there is small and mega crowded to avoid all that, you need to go with a boat day trip, this makes the trip much more relaxing and fun. You will have shade, a slide and avoid the crowds. Try to choose one which stays on site (at least most of the day) and one which has lockers as that helps.

                    In Comino you will find the blue lagoon, and you can also swim to the smaller island of Kemmunette. This should be done, with children (and adults) who are really comfortable in the sea as sometimes there is a current. Always follow the instructions of the life guard post.

                    If your family wants a change in pace and something really different, Comino is highly recommended.

                    13. A day in the South East

                    You can spend a day in the Zurrieq area. First visiting the temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdar. Then have lunch or coffee and a packed lunch then you can have a boat trip to the blue grotto.

                    13. A Day in Gozo

                    Gozo is the sister island of Malta. Whilst similar in nature, the scenery is quite different. It is more hilly and this allows the country views to have more depth. You can explore Gozo in day, a visit to the cathedral ta Pinu, a visit to Rabat and the citadel (which looks similar to Mdina) and a trip to the blue hole and or a beach uch as Xlendi or Marsalforn. A small hike and the day is done. 

                    Start this trip early as in Malta there is quite some traffic, and Malta wakes up early the roads are busy as from 7:00am

                    14. Popeye Village

                    Popeye, the spinach guy has a theme park in Malta. The movie setup of Popeye, remained in place as a tourist attraction and it is super fun for kids. They have pools and the sea is accessible as well. It is easiest to get there by car.

                        I encourage to consider the experiences above first, which are unique to the islands.

                        15. Esplora Science center

                        Esplora: If you want to take a break from the sun and have something interesting and educational to do. Esplora is a science center in the South of Malta. You can easily spend half a day or even more. You can combine it with a visit to the Maltese film center See Also other attractions nearby : Kalkara attractions.

                          16. Malta National Aquarium

                          Explore the underwater world. A transparent tunnel will allow you to see in all directions of the aquarium. There are over 200 species of sea creatures in the aquarium the glass-walled underwater tunnel. Aquarium

                            17. Splash & Fun Water Park

                            Beat the heat at Splash & Fun Water Park in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta’s water park. They do have very good, fast and thrilling slides. A swimming pool with waves  and a lazy river. Do take swimming googles with you as the water is chlorinated.

                              Moving around these experiences, we highly recommend a short term let it is cheaper especially when you are renting for a number of people. With the advent of food ordering online, you have room service at your finger tips.

                              Don’t wait any longer – book your stay in a Sliema or Gzira apartment today and make your next family vacation in Malta truly unforgettable!