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Welcome to Malta Island!
Although one of the smallest islands in the Meditteranean, Malta is rich with history. Essentially any civilization that has conquered the area has been through Malta, with evidence that people inhabited the island as early as the Neolithic period (4 millennium BC). The island has some of the most ancient buildings and because of its position on the water in the sea, its colonial period lasted from the era of the Phoenicians to 1964 with the British.
Malta is a stunning place that feels like a mix of many different cultures coming together to form something new and unique. Festivals, holidays, traditional food, and historic sights are everywhere, and as a worldwide local you’ll never feel like you have missed any experiences. This guide will show you some of the best experiences to get you started on your Maltese journey.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re visiting during the summer months, be aware that the Malta weather gets deadly hot. As an unsuspecting tourist, the sun might be the worst thing you have to watch out for. While the Maltese people are very friendly and helpful, they may come off as a little reserved, as Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion here and is practiced fairly seriously. Remove hats and sunglasses when visiting a religious site, and have your knees covered.
Eat Like a Local in Malta
So you’ve just gotten off a long plane or boat ride and you’ve settled into your Malta hotel--you’re probably hungry, right? Lucky for you, Malta has some amazing food that can be found on any bustling street corner. Malta has some of the best seafood you can find anywhere in Europe. As a worldwide local you’ll probably want to try the traditional dishes. Hobz biz-zejt loosely translates to “bread with oil,” and is a local favorite with tons of variation on how its made. The flat sourdough bread is prepared in a wood oven and once it’s thick and crispy, a layer of tomato paste is put on top, followed by capers, olives, garlic, and black pepper, then finally olive oil. If you’re looking for something light and delicious, definitely give it a try.
Worldwide Local Tip: You’re walking down the ancient cobbled streets of Malta when the amazing aroma of fresh baked goods wafts past your nose. What is it? It’s pastizzi. Found in almost every village, city, and street corner in Malta, with kiosks open from 6 am to 10 pm selling pastries and snacks at rock-bottom prices. We guarantee you won’t be able to resist the smell. Most are filled with things like cheese and or peas, and of course, they are washed down with Malta’s favorite soda, Kinnie. Grab a pastizzi and Kinnie, and do a little people watching.
Don’t Miss Mdina
One of Malta’s most important places is Mdina. Mdina is known as the “silent city” and was the former Malta capital. The city is enclosed behind massive walls dating back to over 4000 years. During the medieval era, it was known as the “noble city,” as the noblemen of Malta lived here. What makes Mdina interesting is that the majority of the people who live here (about 300 people) are descendants of these noble medieval families. The area is closed off to cars so there are only pedestrian traffic and sodium-lamps light the narrow streets, in a place where time seems to stand still.
Worldwide Local Tip: Another interesting place that is sort of “closed off,” is the hypogeum. Only 80 visitors are allowed per day at the Hal Saflieni hypogeum, due to its very small and limited space. The burial site was discovered by accident in 1902, and the site itself is over 6000 years old. The walls of the site bare hand-painted depictions and intricate carvings all around. It’s a little creepy but its something almost no tourist gets to do while in Malta.
Art in Malta
There’s no shortage of masterpieces around Malta, but one of the most iconic and beautiful pieces of work can be found in the St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Merisi DI Caravaggio came to Malta in 1607, after fleeing Milan for killing a man in a duel. He sought refuge with Knights of the Order of St. John and they granted it to him in exchange for painting the cathedral. The paintings here are a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the most spectacular pieces of art in Europe, and that doesn’t include the opulent extravagance of the church itself.
Worldwide Local Tip: There are a lot of feasts and festivals in Malta some of which are connected through its religious people and some through cultural customs. There are 16 public holidays so make sure you’re here when there is one. Head to a small local village and indulge with the people in tons of food, drinks, and festivities. There’s a band, food stalls, flags, and fireworks. In addition, every village has its own feast day on top of public holidays. It’s easily the most fun way to get acquainted with the locals
Enjoy Your Stay!
Malta is full of everything a worldwide local would love. Friendly locals, amazing food, culture, art, history, and amazing warm Meditteranean weather are just a few of the experiences you’ll discover on this beautiful island.