Cuisine and restaurants
According to liuxers.com, simple and hearty Maltese cuisine combines the traditions of Italian, Greek, Mauritanian and Spanish gastronomy. The main components of the dishes are seasonal vegetables and fruits, fresh fish and seafood, cereals and olive oil. The menu is dominated by stews and baked dishes: once the peasants cooked on stone hearths, saving firewood and setting a slow fire.
For starters, we recommend choosing a rich soup “allotta” with different varieties of fish and fragrant spices or a thick “widow’s soup” made from local vegetables seasoned with egg and sheep cheese. The most interesting vegetarian snacks are pickled vegetables “bigilla”, goat cheese salad and vegetable stew “caponata”, reminiscent of French ratatouille. Dorada “lampuka” and tender Maltese rabbit, fried and stewed in red wine, are suitable for hot dishes. The most exotic is stuffed octopus “arnit mimli” and snail stew “babbush”.
From street food, you should try Maltese sandwiches: slices of soft Hobza bread with tomato paste and a salad of vegetables, tuna and other ingredients. Desserts include pastizzi pies stuffed with fruits, nuts, honey and ricotta, as well as crispy cannoli rolls with fluffy cheese inside.
Of the drinks worthy of attention are soda “kinney” from bitter oranges and wild herbs, excellent local wine, champagne and Farsons dark beer.
Traditional Maltese dishes are best ordered in small family taverns serving treats in pottery. Countless fish restaurants are open along the coast, serving the freshest seafood. Valletta is home to high-end establishments with impeccable service and exquisite menus. A snack in fast food or a pizzeria will cost about 10 EUR, a normal lunch – from 20 EUR, dinner with alcohol – from 30 EUR per person.
Entertainment and attractions in Malta
Malta literally breathes history: any major European state will envy the number of its sights. While the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Spaniards and other overseas aliens took turns establishing their order here, the Maltese land was full of temples, palaces, fortresses, which formed over time into a unique multicultural mosaic.
The most famous architectural creations are located in Valletta. The palace of the Grand Master of the 16th century is most impressive: a huge, stone one, with a light facade, decorated with columns and sculptures, and magnificent interior decoration. Its contemporary is the Cathedral of St. John with 13 chapels and baroque interiors. Of the religious buildings, the churches of the Most Holy Mother of God of Victories and St. Catherine of Alexandria are also noteworthy.
The most creepy, but must-see exposition in Malta is the Museum of Torture in Mdina: the naturalism of local exhibits is breathtaking.
The oldest buildings on the island are the famous megalithic temples: religious buildings made of huge boulders. On Gozo, complexes dating back to 3600 BC have been preserved. e., the rest of the catacombs and dolmens are a little younger. In Sliema, elegant villas from different eras are remarkable, in St. Julian’s – the palaces of the Maltese nobles, now turned into places of entertainment. Fort Sant’Angelo flaunts in Birgu: an impregnable fortress, the construction of which was begun by the ancient Romans. Mdina is a solid open-air museum: medieval fortifications, palaces and cathedrals still inspire respectful awe.
The most famous natural landmark of Malta is the Ghar Dalam cave with spectacular stone vaults and a unique archaeological museum. Animal bones from the time of the last glaciation and human footprints left more than seven thousand years ago have been found here. The best place to return to modernity is the Paceville district adjacent to St. Julian’s, with dozens of noisy bars, clubs and casinos.
4 things to do in Malta
- Attend The Malta Experience, a vibrant show based on the history and culture of the island, at the Mediterranean Conference Center in Valletta.
- Look into the largest temple in Malta and the fourth largest in Europe in the city of Mosta.
- Capture breathtaking views from the giant cliffs of the south coast of Dingli Cliffs.
- Take a boat trip to the Blue Grotto, a network of rock caves where the water has a fantastic deep blue color.
You can buy a ticket in advance or check the cost on the official website of the Malta Tourism Office.
The cost of single entrance tickets: on the island of Gozo (the citadel and museums, the temples of Ggantiy, the old prison, the Ta’Cola mill) – 13 EUR, Rabat – 10 EUR. The most profitable and convenient for sightseeing raids around the country is the Heritage Multipass, which includes visits to almost all the sights of the islands of Malta and Gozo, and costs 30 EUR.
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Holidays and events
The most spectacular holidays in Malta are festivals in honor of the patron saints, arranged in almost every village. Houses are decorated with flowers and garlands, crowds of mummers walk the streets, orchestras play everywhere, fireworks soar into the sky. The brightest fun is at the February carnival, dating back to the 16th century, as well as at the March “fest” in honor of St. Joseph and the Il Bandu holiday with traditional processions from Mdina to Rabat.
In July-August, an annual beer festival is held in the town of Ta-Ali, reminiscent of the legendary Oktoberfest in scope and atmosphere.
February 10 is the Day of the Shipwreck of St. Paul: according to legend, the ship of the apostle sank off the coast of Malta, but miraculously escaped Paul spent several months on the island, converting the locals to Christianity. March 31 – Freedom Day with military parades in honor of the final withdrawal of British troops in 1979. September 8 – Victorious Madonna Day with street festivities and a colorful daisa boat regatta. December 13 is Republic Day with official celebrations in Valletta. And December 25 is Catholic Christmas: church services, theatrical performances on biblical themes and, of course, warm family feasts with gifts.
New Year in Malta
Malta, December 31, 2022