Sun and sea, boat trips and snorkelling, countryside and caves, forts and castles: there's lots for the young 'uns to see and do in Malta and Gozo. Add pedestrianised town centres, friendly locals, lots of laid-back, open-air restaurants, and short distances between places, and you have an ideal destination for a family holiday.



At a glance


Maltese (Malti)
Plug type g



Capital: Valletta
Largest city: Birkirkara
Official languages: Maltese, English
EU accession: May 1, 2004
Currency: euro (EUR) | 1EUR = 0.93GBP (last updated on 12. March 2009)
Time zone: UTC+1
Calling code: +356
Area: 316 km² | 121 sq mi
Coastline: Malta - 196.8 km, Gozo - 56.01 km
Population: 419,285
Climate: Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs





International access code 00
Country code 356
Directory enquiries 1182
Directory enquiries (Go Mobile) 1187
Directory enquiries (Vodafone) 1189
Emergency 112



Malta for Kids


As in most Mediterranean countries, families will receive a warm welcome, and the sunny weather and easygoing lifestyle makes it easy to entertain children without too much effort. There's a good healthcare system here and most people speak English; a smaller proportion also speak Italian and sometimes French. The Malta Baby & Kids Directory lists lots of useful information, including days out, activities and general advice. You can buy the directory online or register to obtain its listings.




If you're in need of a breather, large hotels will usually offer a babysitting service, or you can enquire at your guesthouse or apartment complex whether they provide babysitting. Otherwise, try Stepping Stones Early Learning Centre on Malta.


Dining Out


Children are welcome at most restaurants, though many of the smarter places don't permit very young children. In child-friendly restaurants, high chairs are usually available, there's normally a children's menu, and sometimes changing facilities. Children's menus tend to offer a similar roll call of chicken nuggets, pizza and so on; if you want to provide more variety, ask for a half-portion of an adult dish instead. As in Italy, people won't blink an eye at children staying up late, particularly in summer when many children will have had a siesta in the heat of the afternoon.


Open Spaces


Malta's sandy beaches tend to be the best for younger children, as they have gentle approaches and shallow areas for swimming. The more popular ones have watersports and boating facilities, which makes them especially good for older children too. The rocky bays that dot the coast are better for older children and adults only, because these natural sea pools do not always have shallow areas for less-confident swimmers.

Although Malta's main roads are busy, the main square of each town is almost always closed to traffic, and village and town promenades are often pedestrianised, which means there's space to run about even in a town centre. Valletta's pedestrianised centre has choreographed fountains, on Pjazza San Gorg.

By the coast, long, wide promenades often have playgrounds (there's one at Sliema and a great one at Qawra as part of the Malta National Aquarium complex) and kiosks for snacks. Marsaskala, in the southeast, has the large, free St Antnin Park, which includes a climbing wall. Mdina has a large playground just outside the city walls, and the city's Ditch Garden is a good place to run around in. There's a small playground next to the ferry stop in Copiscua (Three Cities) and a recommended playground in Paola (close to the Hypogeum and Tarxien Temples).

As for parks, some of the best include San Anton Gardens in Attard and the Argotti Botanical Gardens in Floriana, and Valletta has the Upper Barrakka Gardens, Lower Barrakka Gardens, and the Hastings Garden. The wooded Buskett Gardens near Dingli on Malta are somewhat wilder and a great place to explore.

On less-busy Gozo there are lots of walking trails, beaches and open areas to run around in, but Dwejra, with its rocky moonscape coast, inland sea and boat trips, is one of the most spectacular areas for kids.


Best Regions for Kids



  • Gozo & Comino
  • Southeast Malta
  • Northwest Malta
  • Sliema, St Julian's & Paceville
  • Valletta
  • Pedestrianised lanes, piazzas, forts, fountains, boat trips and museums.
  • Rocky beaches, one small sandy bay, and child-friendly cafes and restaurants.
  • Malta’s best beaches, with lots of watersports facilities, boat-trip opportunities and Malta National Aquarium.
  • Marsaxlokk's fun Sunday market, natural swimming pools, caves and hilltop temples.
  • Malta’s neighbours are fun to get to (by boat) and once there you can slow your pace, swim, explore, snorkel, boat and dive.


Children's Highlights



  • Mellieħa Air-Raid Shelters Tunnels where Maltese residents sheltered during WWII air raids, with waxworks to bring the experience alive.


Theme Parks


  • Buġibba Water Park A free water play park, with colour-coded areas for different ages (up to age 12).
  • Sweethaven Film set from the 1980 film Popeye turned into a fun theme park; take boat trips and make a movie.


Child-friendly Museums


  • National War Museum In Fort St Elmo, a fascinating museum with lots of imaginative audio-visual exhibits.
  • Armoury Older children will get a kick out of the audio guides and weaponry.
  • Maritime Museum Lots of model boats and the chance to role-play in the mock sailors' bar.


Sights & Museums


  • Fort St Elmo A parade ground, missiles and the Malta National War Museum.
  • In Guardia Costumed reenactments in Fort St Elmo.
  • Fort Rinella Costumed fort, enthusiastic volunteers and cannon- and rifle-firing.
  • Old Prison Prison cells in Gozo's castlelike capital.




  • Audiovisual exhibitions Cinematic presentations such as the Malta Experience (Valletta) and the Mdina Experience will entertain kids aged around 7 to 12 years.
  • Rampila More waxworks can be seen at this restaurant with its own waxwork Maltese folkloric museum.


Boat Trips & Watersports


  • Boat trips Round the islands in a glass-bottomed boat; speed boats to see coves or to Comino and Gozo (see individual locations).
  • Diving Great beginners' diving and centres dotted all over the islands (over 10s only).
  • Horse riding Golden Bay, Mosta and Gozo have some good riding centres.
  • Jeep safaris A fun way to explore the islands.
  • Watersports All the major resorts offer sailing, dinghies for hire, pedalos etc.
  • Rock climbing Beginners' climbing or abseiling offered by local organisations.


Beaches & Coves


  • Golden Bay Gentle sandy beach with lots of facilities.
  • Mellieħa Bay Sandy, with safe paddling and swimming, and lots of facilities.
  • Ramla Bay A lovely red-sand beach with cafe.
  • San Blas Bay Another great beach, less crowded than Ramla; steep approach but you can hop on a jeep.
  • Wied il-Għasri Great cove with azure sea and adventurous steep approach.





As Malta and Gozo are such family-centred destinations, there are lots of suitable, reasonably priced options, including self-catering accommodation. The farmhouses for rent on Gozo are ideal; they offer plenty of space and often a pool. Most of the boutique hotels in Valletta only accept older children.


When to Go


If you're travelling in July and August, when the weather is at its hottest, easy access to the sea or a pool is recommended. Plan for an afternoon siesta to avoid the heat of the early afternoon; there's usually a lull in general activity from around 1pm to 4pm, which is the hottest period of the day.

In spring, early summer and autumn (June and September) the sea is warm, the weather milder, prices lower and places less crowded. Children will enjoy the colourful parades at Carnival (February) and Easter (March/April), and the living nativity on Gozo at Christmas, but swimming will be chilly in these months; in March/April pack wetsuits and your children may still enjoy a dip.


What to Pack


You'll find everything you need available for sale in Malta, so don't panic about forgetting something: formula, nappies (diapers), wipes, clothes, toys and English-language children's books are all easy to find. Mosquitoes are an issue – pack some child-friendly repellent or there's a chance kids will get badly bitten on their first night.



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