Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, the enchanting archipelago of Malta is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its sunny climate, azure waters, and family-friendly atmosphere, this stunning destination offers many activities that cater to both young and old.
As a local expert on picturesque Malta island, I am thrilled to share the best things to do in Malta with kids. From ancient fortresses to exciting water sports, there’s no shortage of adventures awaiting families in Malta.
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Where is Malta?
Malta sits in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy and north of Libya. The Maltese Islands consist of five islands, but only 3 are inhabited – Gozo, Malta, and Comino. Valletta is the capital of Malta and a popular starting point for a family vacation.
What to do in Malta with Kids
Most of the family-friendly activities are found on the main islands. There is regular ferry service between Gozo and Malta and boat transfer services connecting Gozo, Malta, and Comino.
1. Explore Valletta
Since many Maltese vacations begin here, it makes sense to discuss the city’s attractions. We recommend a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of Valletta, discovering hidden gems and quaint shops along the way.
Kids will love exploring the Upper Barrakka Gardens, where they can watch the canon being fired at noon. The gardens also offer breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour, making an excellent backdrop for family photos.
After some time exploring the historic city and its hidden nooks and crannies, stop for Maltese pastries at one of the local cafés. We recommend a Maltese honey ring or almond cake.
2. Dive into History at the Ġgantija Temples
If your family loves historical attractions, head to the Ġgantija Temples on the enchanting island of Gozo, a quick ferry ride from the main island. These prehistoric temples are over 5,000 years old and are the perfect place to learn about the area’s fascinating history.
Wander through the narrow passages and marvel at the colossal limestone blocks, the entire experience is magical. These sacred structures date to 3600 BC, making them older than the Egyptian Pyramids. Kids of all ages will love exploring this archaeological treasure imagining what life was like for the people who built these so long ago.
With panoramic views of Gozo’s scenic landscapes surrounding you, a visit to the Ġgantija Temples is not just a tour but a way to immerse yourself in ancient history.
Note: This is a popular place to explore in the summer months, but go early to avoid the heat. It is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malta. We also recommend exploring the island on a Gozo tuk tuk tour for a unique experience in Malta.
3. Go on an underwater adventure
For a fun day trip, don’t miss an opportunity to snorkel in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is made for underwater exploration, having numerous spots suitable for children of all ages and skill levels. Malta’s crystal-clear waters reveal a stunning array of marine life, from vibrant coral reefs to elusive sea creatures.
Some popular snorkeling spots include The Blue Grotto (which has stunning sea caves to explore), St. Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk (shallow waters are perfect for kids), and the wreck of Um El Faroud (better for older children and experienced snorkelers). There are many tour companies that can take you out for a day at sea.
4. Relax on Malta’s beaches
Malta has several family-friendly beaches, each one offers something a little different. Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay, and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay are some of the best options for a day of fun in the sun.
These sandy beaches have shallow water, making them perfect for young swimmers. Sun chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
Whether your kids want to build sandcastles, swim, or try water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking, these beaches provide the perfect setting for a relaxing day on the beach.
5. Discover the Magic of Mdina
Known as the “Silent City,” Mdina is a beautifully preserved medieval hilltop town in the center of Malta. Explore the town at your own pace. Be sure to take in the panoramic views from the bastions and the impressive architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Mdina as the filming location for King’s Landing in the first season.
If you’re traveling with older kids, they’re sure to enjoy the Mdina Dungeons that offer a glimpse into the darker chapters of Malta’s history. Through realistic sets, interactive exhibits, and storytelling, the Mdina Dungeons tell the stories of former prisoners and town residents. It’s a unique addition to a Malta family holiday.
6. Head to the Playmobil FunPark
The Playmobil Fun Park in Malta is a local theme park with an outdoor pirate ship and treehouse as well as an indoor play area. Set in Ħal Far, this is an opportunity for children to let their creativity go wild.
Here, life-sized Playmobil characters and playsets invite kids into their favorite toy worlds. The entire family will enjoy this park designed to engage kids in interactive and educational play.
From themed playgrounds and rides to hands-on activities, the Playmobil FunPark inspires young minds to imagine a world of endless possibilities.
7. Conquer the Fortresses
The Fortresses of Malta are evidence of the island nation’s rich maritime history. These awe-inspiring structures were built by the Knights of St. John starting in the 16th century and feature a variety of architectural styles. Today the island is often referred to as “Fortress Island” as they seem to appear everywhere you look.
Popular fortresses like Fort St. Elmo played a crucial role in Malta’s history, particularly during the Great Siege of 1565. Today, it is home to the National War Museum, which covers Malta’s military history through a vast collection of artifacts, armor, and interactive displays.
The museum has a lot of family-friendly exhibits including replica cannons, uniforms for dress-up, and even a reconstructed air raid shelter. It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours.
Fort St. Angelo, Fort Manoel, and The Citadel are other fortresses we recommend if you’re looking for things to do in Malta with kids.
8. Check out Malta’s Kid-Friendly Museums
Learning becomes an adventure at Malta’s interactive museums. The Malta National Aquarium in Qawra introduces kids to marine life through immersive exhibits and touch tanks. It features a variety of local aquatic species including sharks, seahorses, and colorful reef fish.
The Esplora Interactive Science Centre in Bighi offers hands-on learning experiences that will spark your children’s curiosity. These are a couple of the best places to spend quality time indoors.
9. Hike the Dingli Cliffs
For an outdoor adventure, take your kids on a hike along the Dingli Cliffs. These rugged limestone cliffs on the western coast of Malta provide breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. The relatively easy walking trails make it suitable for all ages. Kids will love the rugged terrain and watching the birds fly above.
Be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and sturdy wear sturdy footwear. Hiking the Dingli Cliffs is perfect for soaking up Malta’s natural beauty.
10. Celebrate with Locals
Malta comes alive with vibrant events and festivals that offer unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages.
The Malta International Fireworks Festival lights up the night sky with dazzling displays. Malta International Arts Festival showcases local talent with captivating performances, interactive workshops, and street art.
The Malta International Wine Festival offers a family-friendly atmosphere where parents can indulge in local wines while children enjoy live music and games.
At the Malta International Airshow, families can enjoy thrilling aerial displays. From cultural festivals to artistic celebrations, Malta offers a variety of experiences for families to enjoy together.
11. Learn about Malta’s Ancient Past at the Hypogeum
For a truly unique and educational experience, head to the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum in Paola. This underground burial site dates back over 5,000 years. It is one of Malta’s most important archaeological sites. You will need to book your tickets in advance because a limited number of visitors are allowed each day,
As you descend underground, ancient history surrounds you. The Hypogeum offers a glimpse into the lives of the Neolithic people who once inhabited the island, making this one of our favorite things to do in Malta with kids.
12. Have fun at Popeye Village
Located in beautiful Anchor Bay, Popeye Village is a charming attraction that will delight both young and young-at-heart visitors. Built as a film set for the 1980 musical production “Popeye,” this cartoon village has been transformed into a theme park.
Kids can meet their favorite characters like Olive Oyl and Popeye, enjoy fun performances, explore colorful houses, and try different activities, such as trampoline jumping, boat rides, and mini-golf. If your family wants a day filled with laughter and imagination this is the place to go.
Final thoughts on The Best Things to do in Malta with Kids
As you can see, a family holiday to Malta is filled with history, culture, adventure, and natural beauty. From the ancient wonders of the Hypogeum and Ġgantija Temples to the local experiences in Valletta, Mdina, and the Blue Grotto, this Mediterranean gem offers something for the whole family.
Whether you’re snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, hiking along the Dingli Cliffs, or learning about Malta’s rich history at museums and ancient sites, you’ll create memories that are sure to last a lifetime. As a local expert living on this beautiful island, I invite you to immerse yourselves in the magic of Malta and explore the best it offers for families.
About the author: Edward is a tourist-turned-expat who’s been living in Malta for over a decade. He’s a born and raised Dutchman with Maltese roots, who always had a close connection with Malta. Edward is the owner and writer at Maltauncovered.com, one of the largest non-government web resources for info around Malta.