Malta in December

Visiting Malta In December | Your Helpful Guide 2024

Visiting Malta in December is a great way to escape any cold and blustery weather you might be used to! Whether you stay for Christmas or you just want to spend a week in this stunning country at the end of the year, it’s a great destination choice!

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If you’ve only got a quick minute, here are our top recommendations to help you plan your trip to Malta in December!


Visiting Malta in December

If you’re a big fan of all things snow, skiing and low temperatures in the winter, then you’re in the wrong place I’m afraid! But if you’re looking for a getaway to a beautiful country, rich with history and culture, then you’re on the right track.

Spending December in Malta is great for travellers who like a little more peace and quiet on their trips and aren’t looking to spend a whole week just sunbathing. It’s also a great choice for both families during the school holidays, or couples/groups who want to avoid a holiday surrounded by kids earlier in the month!

Read More: How To Enjoy A Week In Malta


Things To Do In Malta In December

As you’ll be avoiding time-wasting activities like lazing in the pool or sunbathing at the beach, you’ll have plenty of time to discover what this amazing country has to offer! Here are what we think are the best things to do in Malta in December!

Take A Tour Of Valletta

The capital is bursting with Malta’s heritage, with churches, museums, galleries and gardens. You could easily spend a day or two wandering around the city, discovering local eateries, gorgeous viewpoints and busy markets. If you’d prefer to be led by a guide, there are plenty of walking tours too. Pick one focused on the sights like this or choose to explore Valletta through its Maltese cuisine!

Valletta city walls and boat in the early morning

Read More: Plan Your Short Break In Malta

Visit The Christmas Markets

December is full of festive cheer across Malta, so you’re in luck if you want to wander around finding fun souvenirs to take back home. There are lots of Christmas markets each year on both the mainland and Gozo. Here are a few from last December – this list will be updated to current events as they are shared!

Fairyland (Valletta)

Natalis Notabilis (Rabat)

NGO-run event running through the streets of Rabat

Woodland Christmas Market

Hilltop Gardens (Naxxar)

  • Lovely market at a retirement village with stalls selling local crafts, jewellery and food

Sliema Weekend Christmas Market

  • Street market on Bisazza Street

GIGANTIC – Kirkop’s Local Christmas Market

Villa Rundle’s Christmas Market


Explore Mdina

Mdina is an incredible and unique place. It’s a tiny, fortified town with a population of 250!

If you’d like to learn about the history of the city from a guide, I’d suggest choosing a tour where you can explore not only Mdina but the surrounding areas of Rabat and the Dingli Cliffs. Take a look at this popular tour to see what you can expect to do on a day trip.

If you are interested in medieval history, then Mdina is a must-see part of Malta. The gigantic walls that surround the city are just breathtaking, and the winding streets inside will transport you hundreds of years back in time.

Mdina city walls overlooking grass area in Malta

After passing through the main gate (you might recognise it from Game Of Thrones as the gate to King’s Landing!), there is plenty to see in an afternoon. There are multiple museums, and you can’t miss the impressive cathedral either.


Visit The Red Tower

Malta is full of watchtowers, but the Red Tower is probably the most impressive! These forts were dotted around the country to protect the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino and even though they’re not used for that today, you can still visit many of them.

St Agatha's Tower - The Red Tower of Malta

The Red Tower is also known as St Agatha’s Tower and was built in a fantastically strategic place as it overlooks the Mellieħa Bay area where all potential enemies would land their ships.

The tower is run by a local and ono-profit organisation, Din l-Art Ħelwa. You’ll need to pay a small cash-only fee of €2.50 to enter (under 12’s go free) and then you can explore the small museum inside, climb the steps and even walk out onto the roof to get the best views.

The Red Tower is located in Mellieha and is easy enough to get to from the town. There is parking if you have hired a car, and there is the Qammieħ bus stop just at the bottom of the hill. The walk up to the tower is pretty steep so I would recommend a car if you have small children or difficulties walking.

In the winter, the opening times are 10am – 4pm.


Spend The Day At Popeye Village

Have you ever seen the 1980’s Popeye film? Well, it was filmed on the set in Malta, and after production, it was decided that the set could be used as a tourist attraction!

Buy your tickets in advance here.

Old wooden building at Popeye Village in Malta overlooking green sea

You can wander around the whole set, play games like minigolf, get involved in the interactive shows and watch the mini-documentary on the movie with some free popcorn! It’s an excellent day out for the whole family.


Go Diving

Despite the colder weather and lower sea temperatures, December is actually a great time to dive in Malta!

Check out this awesome diving trip that will teach you the basics and show you the beautiful world under the ocean!

There are fewer visitors at this time of year, which means cheaper dive packages, more personal tours and clearer seas – the perfect combination for a great experience!

Looking up at 3 divers to the surface in blue clear water in Malta in December

There are dive sites on the mainland but the best place to go is Gozo. If you’ve never learnt how to scuba dive before, this is your perfect opportunity!


Visit Gozo

Gozo is a tiny island just north of mainland Malta. It’s easy to get to and you definitely shouldn’t miss a trip while you’re here!

Read More: The Top Tours To Do In Gozo!

There are plenty of things to do on Gozo and if you stay for a few nights (which I recommend!) there are some stunning accommodation options too. You can find pretty boutique hotels or there are stunning farmhouses you can rent too.

Canon facing out to fortified city walls

Visit the Cittadella, see the salt pans and don’t forget to explore the Ġgantija Temples – they’re older than Stonehenge! If you don’t have the time to stay overnight, consider taking a day tour to Gozo. You can pick the hop-on hop-off bus ticket where you have flexibility in your day, a group bus tour that takes you to designated spots or a private excursion where your driver can make personalised adjustments to your trip.

For the more adventurous travellers, experience a jeep, quad bike or tuk-tuk tour! See what happens on these type of trips here.


Wander Around The 3 Cities

The Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua have a fascinating history and are a great place to spend an afternoon. You can visit the churches, museums and forts, as well as take in the gorgeous views of Valletta.

I’d recommend taking a walking tour to learn all about the cities and their medieval stories. You could also take a boat cruise from Sliema which would show you more of the local area, plus go by the 3 Cities anyway!


Visit the Hagar-Qim Temples

Dating from the same time period as the Ġgantija Temples on Gozo, these megalithic buildings are out of this world. At over 5000 years old, there is so much to learn about the stones and the people who built them.

You can book a guided tour to help you navigate the complex here.

Large brown stones at Hagar-Qim in Malta

Where To Stay

Accommodation in Malta in December is cheaper than in the warmer seasons. You can really grab some great deals at this time of year! However, places will have higher prices over the Christmas week so be mindful of that when planning your dates.

Read More: Is Malta Expensive?

You can find extraordinary hotels for excellent prices, and the luxury places will blow your mind! Some of the hotels I’ve recommended below have indoor pools/spas so you can still get your swimming fix even in December.

Don’t forget it is really easy to get between Malta and Gozo, especially if you hire a car, so I’d recommend looking at both places as options to base yourself in.

Great Value

The Village

Boutique

Duke Boutique


Where To Stay In Malta - All Places Visited and Reviewed!

Weather

The weather in Malta in December can be surprisingly pleasant! During the day, prepare for temperatures up to a lovely 18 °C! At nighttime though, it can be chilly and get as low as 11 °C, so make sure you’re bringing layers!

There also might be some rain, so try to plan your activities mostly inside, or take each day as it comes to see what you can if the weather turns bad!

Looking out from coast to open awter

The temperatures of the sea are usually too cold to swim or snorkel in, but you might get away with a sunny day at the beach if you’re lucky.

If you’re visiting Malta at this time of year, I’d recommend focusing on sightseeing and shopping rather than beach-ing!


What To Pack

Malta in December is fairly mild, compared to anywhere in northern Europe. You’ll need to pack wisely as you don’t want to have to resort to buying extra things while you’re on holiday that you might not have luggage space for.

Consider the weather section above and take a look at our placing list below for the things you’ll need in Malta.

Columbia Lightweight Jacket

Sometimes you just need a lightweight 100% waterproof jacket to keep you completely dry in the heaviest of downpours. This is especially true in hot tropical areas as the temperature is still high during these rainstorms. This lightweight jacket ticks all of these boxes and packs away into its own pocket! How cool is that!

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100% Cotton Cable Sweater

Cotton is the way to go to keep you warm on cold nights staring up at the beautiful starry sky, surrounded by ice and snow. This is from Amazon Basics so you're not paying a premium for a famous brand but you're still getting that thick cotton quality.

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WOWSUN Polarized Sunglasses

A decent pair of polarised sunglasses is difficult to get at a decent price, especially if you want them to look good. These from WOWSUN have lots of different styles (male/female) and colours to choose from and they are very affordable. Click through to see all of your options.

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ThermoFlask Stainless Steel Bottle

If you are going for a long backpacking adventure, or you go through plastic water bottles way too quickly, then you need to check out this stainless steel water bottle by ThermoFlask. It will take the beating of months/years on the road and keep your drinks ice cold or toasty warm, wherever you may be.

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Sirona Reusable Menstrual Cup

We all know that tampons and pads are bad for the environment (not to mention uncomfortable and expensive!) so get yourself familiar with a reliable menstrual cup. These can be reused for up to 15 years – think of the money and plastic waste you’ll save! Made from medical-grade silicone, Sirona’s cup is designed for comfort, sustainability, and protection.

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Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen

We all know what sunscreen is and we all know how important it is but why go with Sun Bum? They are cruelty-free and are compliant with the Hawaii 104 Reef Act meaning that you will be helping decrease the amount of damage sunscreens have to the environment that you are swimming in. If that hasn't convinced you then click through to find out even more.

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Akk Womens Walking Shoes

Walking boots are good for some situations but sometimes you don't need heavy, warm, and waterproof shoes to get the job done. These walking shoes by Akk will keep your feet a nice temperature and comfortable for those long days sightseeing and partying in the sun!

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Columbia Hiking Boots

You can spend an insane amount of money on hiking boots if you want (trust me, I have) but, unless you're planning on travelling to the Arctic Circle, you simply don't have to break the bank. These amazingly diverse and adaptable boots by Columbia will handle everything you throw at them, whilst keeping your feet dry, warm, and pain-free!

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Travelling Around

Malta is super easy to get around, whether that’s by car, bus, boat or bike!

Hiring A Car

We hired a car with a local agency to visit Gozo and loved the freedom that it gave us. The roads in Malta are fine but the roads on Gozo need a little TLC, let’s put it that way! However, we had no issues with driving – we were just careful, especially up and down the hills!

Check prices for your dates here.

Small 5 door red car parked in city

Car hire prices vary but in December you can expect to pay around €50 for a week! This will be more expensive if you’re staying over the actual Christmas week but the hire care costs in Malta are generally very very good.

If you do hire a car, especially if you go to Gozo, I’d highly recommend downloading the local map areas offline before you go. Many of the more remote beaches we visited didn’t have any GPS signal so we just had to drive around a bit before finding our way back!

Using A Taxi

Car-hailing apps are used all over now, so the chances are that you’ve used one before. In Malta, there are a few different apps but the one we used was Bolt and we never had any issues. eCabs is also available, and Uber has recently started business in Malta.

There are also official white taxis in Malta as well. From the airport, you can buy a fixed-rate ticket but these tend to be more expensive.

Riding The Bus

I love travelling by bus when in another country because it tends to be so much more economical, and there is almost always an adventure to be had on the journey!

Malta has an excellent bus system and it is incredibly cheap. There are many different ticket options and the best value depends on how long you’re staying and how often you’ll use the bus. The Maltese bus website has a good journey planner and there’s an app too, but here’s a quick breakdown of the different ticket types.

Read More: Here’s A Top 4 Day Itinerary For Malta!

Single Tickets

You can buy a one-way ticket for €2.50 (€3 for night services). It’s a great deal as these tickets can be used to get to any location and include transfers so you don’t have to buy a new ticket each time you change bus fi you’re going somewhere far away. The only downside is that if you are not going very far, you are still spending the same amount as if you were travelling across the country! As it’s only €2.50 though, I’d say it was worth it for even small journeys.

12 Single Day Journey Card

We loved using this card as we spent a month in Malta, so didn’t want to be restricted to packing all of our bus travel into 7 days, but also didn’t want to commit to the higher price of the Flex card as we weren’t sure of all of our travel plans. We bought it twice (it’s €21 each) as it gave us great freedom and we loved how cheap the buses were!

12 Single Day Journey Bus Card Bus in Malta with Tallinja card written on it

Explore Card

For just €25, you can have unlimited bus travel for 7 days with this card. It’s perfect if you’re on a week-long holiday as you can even use it to get to your hotel and back from the airport. It even includes bus travel on Gozo, and if you have kids, their cards will only cost €7 for the same benefits.

Explore Flex Card

If you’re staying for longer than a week, then this pay-as-you-go card would be perfect. You need to pay €6 to buy it, but that is then used as credit on your card. You can also use it to pay for the Valletta/3 Cities ferry.

You can either top up the card with what you think you’ll spend or choose one of the package options. The most popular ones are the 24-hours for €6 (great for days when you’re visiting multiple sites) or 4-days for €21 (perfect to combine tourist travel days and lazy hotel days!)

Tallinja Card

As a tourist, this is not something that you’ll be able to get so don’t worry about it! I’ve included it in this list just so that you don’t waste time researching it.

Taking A Boat

This is not an everyday thing, but boats are the only way to get to places like Gozo and Comino. There are also boat trips to The Three Cities.

For Gozo trips, you can either get on the large tourist cruise boats or take a ferry. Buy tickets to the cruises here!

Large white ferry with Gozo Channel Line written on the side

The main Gozo ferry departs from Ċirkewwa, which is in the very north of mainland Malta. Tickets are less than €5 for adults, and you can take your car on it if you’ve already hired one. Find the boat schedule here. Each trip takes around 25 minutes.

The new fast ferry service from Valletta to Gozo takes around 45 minutes but is easier if you’re staying in that area of Malta. Here is the schedule. It’s €7.50 each way – if you take into consideration the time and money it would cost for you to get to Ċirkewwa then it’s great value (unless you’re staying somewhere like Mellieħa).

If you want to take a boat to the Three Cities, then you can jump on one of the yellow shared water taxis for €2 from the harbour in Valletta or use the Valletta ferry (€3.90 return).

POV from a small boat in the Valletta harbour

Read More: Spend 3 Days In Malta With This Itinerary

Cycling

Bike-sharing is becoming more and more popular, and Malta is coming up to speed with the trend! The Tallinja Bikes have 11 stations around the country – find the list of locations here.

It costs €3 for the first 30 minutes, and then €2 for the next 30 minutes. After that, you’ll be charged €2 for every further 60 minutes.

Green and white sharing bikes

There are other packages if you are a keen cyclist though – for example, if you want to hire it for the week then you’d pay €60.

You also get a discount if you also have an Explore bus card! For full prices of the bikes, click here.


Pros Of Visiting Malta in December

The main pro is that Malta is beautiful, and I’d recommend it at any time of year! Obviously, that’s not helpful so here are my real reasons why it’s a good idea to visit in December!

Read More: Why You Should Visit Malta In October

It’s an obvious one but in December, accommodation is cheaper. You can stay in some stunning hotels or even farmhouses for an excellent price over the winter. Play around with your dates in December and compare them with the summer prices – it will make you feel like you’re getting an even better deal!

Downhill street in Malta

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, spending some of the festive season in another country is a great way to show you their traditions and customs. Malta is a Catholic country, so Christmas is a big deal here!

Celebrations happen across the country all month, and the 25th is a public holiday be aware of that if you’re planning to be around on Christmas Day. Visit some of the fun Christmas markets, go to one of the many Midnight Mass services that will take place on the 24th and don’t forget to book in for a Christmas lunch at your hotel! There are also some fun dedicated Christmas shops around the island too for you to grab a cute souvenir from.

Tourist attractions are likely to be quieter which is great if you want to avoid the holidaymaker crowds, but that doesn’t mean the whole of Malta is a ghost town. As I mentioned, Christmas is a huge event in Malta so that means there is plenty going on for the locals during December. Join in with the street parties, visit the little cribs and Nativity scenes that are dotted around and buy a ticket to the pantomime at the Manoel Theatre!

Cons Of Visiting Malta in December

With lower temperatures, fewer tourists and the big holiday, Malta in December can be undesirable for some holidaymakers. Sunbathing opportunities will be limited, the chances are that it will rain at some point on your trip and many attractions will either be closed or have shorter opening hours.

Read More: How To Spend The Perfect 5 Days In Malta

To be honest, these are the only real cons. Because Malta is full of exciting historical sites, fascinating natural wonders and stunning landscapes, I still recommend visiting in the winter!

Cittadella in Malta with Maltese flag

It’s a completely different holiday than in the summer, true, but if you’re at all interested in learning about a new country, you will honestly be blown away by Malta. You could even just visit for a long weekend because accommodation prices are low, so plan to experience the cultural side of Malta in December and then return in the summer for partying, days by the pool and of course swimming in the Blue Lagoon!


Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Malta in December

How hot is Malta in December?

Temperatures can reach around 18 °C in December, but at nighttime, you should be prepared for lows of around 11°C. During the day, if the sun is out, you will be pleasantly surprised with the weather but remember to bring something to wrap up warm in if you’re out in the evenings!

Is Malta worth it in winter?

I think visiting Malta in winter is a good idea if you are into history, culture and good food. These things won’t change whatever the season, so you can guarantee to enjoy yourself.

Is Malta a good place to spend Christmas?

The Christmas season is in full swing in Malta throughout December. You’ll get a good mix of warmer temperatures and festivities, plus accommodation is cheaper than in the summer too!

Is Malta crowded in December?

It’s the low season in December in Malta, so there will be fewer tourists to share your holiday with. Don’t forget that this also means that attractions like water parks, beach clubs and boat trips will either be closed, cancelled or have shorter visiting times. However, the locals will still be there, celebrating Christmas and New Year!

Can I swim in Malta in December?

Unfortunately, the winter is not a great time to go swimming in Malta – unless you’re a diver! The sea can get a little choppy, and the water temperatures drop to about 18 °C. However, if you are really desperate to get in the water, you can and I’d recommend choosing a beach near a popular spot – if you do get into trouble in the water, it’s better to be near people so they can help out! You could also just book a hotel with an indoor pool!

Is Malta rainy in December?

Malta can be a little bit rainy in December, but you’ll also likely to experience plenty of sun too. You might experience a shower here and there but I wouldn’t worry about full-blown torrential rainstorms.

Does Malta have Christmas markets?

Yes! Christmas is celebrated in Malta and there are some great markets to visit such as Fairyland (in Valletta), Natalis Notabilis (in Rabat) and the Hilltop Gardens Christmas Market (in Naxxar).



Have we convinced you to visit Malta in December? It’s a beautiful country that luckily is still a great place to visit even in the winter months! Please let us know if you have any questions about visiting at this time of year!


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