After driving 1800 kilometers in our campervan we made it from Porto to Valencia. Yep a rookie mistake as driving so many kilometers in just 7 days was definitely not the best decision in 6 years traveling. The reason Valencia was the final destination of our campervan tour through Portugal was because I found a Ryanair flight for only €15 to Malta. I had never been there and had an open invitation from Intercontinental Malta.
Best photo spots in Valetta
Malta is well known for its crystal clear waters and amazing coastline. But as we just explored the amazing tourist spots on the Algarve coast we sticked to the ‘ugly side of the island’ as many locals would refer to St. Julians, Sliema and Valetta.
At first I did not get the feeling with this busy and crowded island. It reminded me a little bit of the capital of Maldives. Small streets, too much traffic, hectic and not that appealing. The first few days I said Malta is an island that is under construction with some wannabee Roman ruins. Everywhere I could see cranes and construction sites!
But then a couple days later I explored Valetta and loved it to bits and pieces. Even when we first visited Valetta I was like where are those cool instagrammable spots in Malta?
As I always say getting lost isn’t necessarily a bad thing and this time again it brought me to the best photo spots in Valetta. This old city is an amazing place to take your instagram photos, make sure you get lost and explore all the bars and little boutique shops. I loved Valetta!
Transportation around Malta
Getting around in Malta is easy as there is an extensive bus schedule and busses run quite on time as well. A single ride is €1,50 and tickets can be bought in the bus. To get to the airport there is a hotel shuttle service if taking a bus is not an option. Book it online through maltatransfer.com for €8. Taxi’s to the airport are overpriced with a minimum of €20. Uber did not make it to this country yet.
One of the reasons I did not explore Malta that much is that I like to experience places like a local. After traveling the world for many years I am done with playing tourist. I didn’t necessarily need to see the best tourist spots of Malta, like Gozo, Medina, the Cathedrals, the coastline, the outer islands, etc.
Renting a scooter in Malta
I missed the island life feeling in Malta and the freedom to go wherever I want whenever I want. Renting a scooter in Malta is first of all not common, second of all not recommended because of the crazy traffic and third not that cheap. Renting a car in a place like this is too much hassle when you ask me. In these narrow streets I would be more worried that someone would scratch my car than I would have fun exploring the Instagrammable places in Malta. I realized I was missing my laid-back island life in Asia. Renting a scooter in Bali is one of the things why this island is so appealing to me.
Who does not want to explore a new destination and stay in style in one of the best hotels in Malta? The Intercontinental Malta has recently been refurbished and sits right in the heart of the best place for nightlife in Malta. St. Julians is where you want to be if you are looking for a fun night out on the island.
Yes it is touristy, but that is everywhere in Malta. It was Saturday night and we decided to go for a drink somewhere in the area. We had actually no clue where to go, but once we walked out of the main entrance of the Intercontinental we knew straight away there was no need to search for a place. Literally 50 meters from the hotel you will find the most popular bar street of the island with all different kind of clubs. It was a funny night out, I felt like I was somewhere in the Costa Brava in Spain. The streets were full of people a mix of locals and tourists. It was good fun!
There is no need to tell you that this 5 star hotel made sure that once you stepped inside the Intercontinental you closed the door to the bustling life on the streets. The super spacious suite on the 16th floor made me totally come at ease and with a separate living room this suite felt like home during my stay in Malta.
All suites come with Club Lounge access where guests can enjoy an exclusive breakfast, afternoon snacks, canopies, pre-dinner drinks and small warm dishes. Basically if you want you can easily survive on the food served in the Intercontinental Club Lounge Malta. In Asia I made the Intercontinental Singapore Club Lounge my home for a couple days, read here why. The best thing about this excellent service is that all of this is complimentary for guests staying in the Intercontinental Malta suites.
I almost forgot to mention that the Intercontinental has one of the most amazing rooftop pools on the island with amazing views where in the summer season the most amazing parties are hosted. Check out the party schedule of Skybeach Malta. If you rather go to the beach the Intercontinental has a private beach club only accessible for hotel guests!
Last but not least one of the best gyms on the island is located in the hotel and together with the wellness and indoor swimming pool complimentary for hotel guests. So if you want to join a spinning or body pump class or want to play squash you know where to go. You want to stay fit while traveling right? Click on the link to read my secret!
Restaurant recommendations for Malta
For amazing dining experiences I can recommend you 4 complete different restaurants around the island. For the best seafood in Malta you should try to book a table at Paranga. We not only shared an amazing seafood platter with delicious king prawns, grilled squid and scallops but we also indulged on a big pot of fresh mussels. And this was not even our main course. Seriously worth it!
If seafood is not your thing then try Waterbiscuit for one of the best steak restaurants in Malta.
Two more restaurant recommendations in Malta are Kuya Asian Streetfood Restaurant and Maharaja for Indian food. At Kuya streetfood you can order a bunch of small typical Thai and Japanese dishes for €5 and create your own Asian tapas. This little hidden gem in St. Julians was one of my favorite places on the island. Unfortunately it is pretty small and you gotta either be lucky or patient to get a table. For the best Indian food in Malta you should head to Maharaja on the main boulevard in Sliema.
My week in Malta was lovely and it took me a couple days to really like the island. It is a small island full of expats working in the online gambling industry so meeting interesting people from all around Europe is great fun. I am sure I will be back and explore more parts of the island in 2018.
Thank you for keeping up with Traveltomtom. In next weeks adventure I will go visit Georgia for the first time!