Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.
A Beginners Guide to Malta! – Part 2
Welcome to our ‘A Beginners Guide to Malta! – Part 2 – ESE Malta.
From where to go and what to do, to Malta’s delicious food and drink and stunning beaches, follow our helpful guide to get the most from your stay here in Malta.
What is Malta famous for?
One thing Malta is not famous for are Maltesers!
The Chocolate covered balls, originally called Energy balls were produced by Mars confectionery and have no connection to Malta. The name is derived from the words ‘malt’ and ‘teasers’ as they contained malt and were said to ‘tease the taste buds’ as they melted in the mouth.
Food & Drink
Malta is well known for its delicious food and drink. Rabbit Stew and Lampuki Pie (Fish-pie) are among the most popular national dishes of Malta and are highly recommended!
You can’t come to Malta and not try a traditional Pastizzi. Containing either cheese or peas, they are affectionately known as pea or cheese cakes. They can be purchased from one of the many stalls and pastizzies all over the island – costing less than a euro each they won’t break the bank either!
Another personal favourite is the traditional Maltese sausage. Cooked together with aromatic coriander these sausages have a spicier taste than the average sausage and are delicious in a stew, served on top of a pizza or just by themselves.
There are many restaurants serving traditional Maltese food, such as Gululu Restuarant located right on the water front in Spinola Bay, just a few minutes’ walk from ESE school building.
If you fancy something sweet then you are also in luck. The Maltese love their desserts and there are many to choose from including the traditional Qaghaq tal-ghasel, often called Honey Rings although they contain no honey. These circular shaped treats are filled with black treacle and can be brought just about anywhere on the island for a cheap sweet snack.
Malta also has its own national drinks:
Cisk (pronounced Tisk) is Malta’s very own local Larger beer and is very popular with locals and visitors alike. Cheap and available all over the island in shops, bars and restaurants. Cisk, served chilled, is the perfect drink to accompany the hot summer days and nights!
For those who prefer soft drinks there is also Malta’s famous Kinnie.
Kinnie is an unique tasting bitter-sweet soft drink with orange flavouring and can be drunk either by itself or mixed with alcohol as a long drink. Again Kinnie is very cheap and makes a refreshing alternative to other soft drinks. Well worth a try!
Maltese History and Landmarks:
Malta has a long and rich history along with some amazing natural landmarks, the most famous of which has to be the Azure Window on the Island of Gozo. This beautiful natural limestone arch ‘window’ framing the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes was sadly lost to the sea in March of this year, when it collapsed during a strong storm .
That being said, Gozo is still very much worth a visit with its beautiful landscapes, beaches and charming architecture.
Most visitors to Malta are surprised to learn just how old Malta truly is. Malta’s Megalithic Temples are the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Even older than the Egyptain pyramids!
There are seven Megalithic Temples to be found on the islands of Malta and Gozo. Two are located in Ggantija on Gozo and are amazing examples of Bronze Age structures. The remaining temples can be found on Malta, located at Hagar Gin, Mnajdra and Taxin, along with Ta’Hagrat and Skorba.
Valletta is Malta’s capital city and a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its many buildings for the knights of St John and its impressive grand harbour which can be viewed in all its glory from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
There is also a gun salute twice a day, first at midday and again at 4pm where the cannons are fired. There are many boat tours which take in the famous ‘three cities’ as well as Valletta’s Grand Harbour and are a perfect way to view the sights.
Mdina, Malta’s oldest city, is a magnificent walled city in the heart of the island.
Its grand gateway may look familiar to the HBO telly addicts amongst us, as this was one of the places featured on The Game of Thrones.
Offering breathtaking views across Malta, Mdina is definitely not to be missed!
You cannot come to stay in Malta and not visit at least one of Malta’s beautiful beaches, especially in the summer months!
Malta has a vast variety of beaches to choose from, from the rocky beaches of Sliema and St Julian’s (amongst others) that make ideal sunbathing and swimming spots, complete with walkways and handrails to help you access the sea, to Malta’s sandy beaches particularly towards the northern and southern parts of the island and it’s sister island of Gozo.
Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks, blue lagoons and even inland seas or beaches only accessible by boat.
A boat trip to Comino’s stunning blue lagoon with its crystal clear waters is an absolute must for any visitor to Malta.
On the larger sandy beaches you will find many bars, restaurants and cafes along with shops offering water sports and activities such as water skiing, para-kiting and wind surfing.
Malta’s most popular beaches are located in the North of the island and include the large Sandy resorts of Mellieha Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay.
For smaller, less crowded beaches, especially in summer, Paradise Bay and Armier just a bit further north are highly recommended.
Gozo also has its fair share of beautiful beaches such as Ramla I-Hamra. This stunning beach boasts red sands and is overlooked by Gozo’s stunning countryside.
Gozo and Comino also offer a host of secluded rocky inlets with clear blue waters which are perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Malta is part of the European Union and the Euro zone, and as such the local currency is the Euro.
There are many banks and ATMs located all over the island where you can use your visa or master cards to access your money easily.
There are also many Exchange Bureau’s around the island where visitors can exchange their foreign currency.
The cost of living in Malta is not high and compares well with the rest of it’s European neighbours. What you spend on a daily basis will depend on your habits and lifestyle but you will find that most things in Malta are reasonably priced.
The average price of a coffee for example is between 1.50 – 2 euros.
A meal in a restaurant will set you back between 10 and 20 euros.
A bottle of mineral water typically costs around 0.50 cents, a beer costs around 2.50 euros and a pint of milk on average is 0.80 cents.
There are plenty of places to shop in Malta. If you are looking to buy clothes, shoes or even electrical goods, Sliema has a lot to offer. With many of the high street brands from the UK and Europe, along with Maltese boutiques, there is everything to satisfy your shopping needs.
Most of the shops are located in the heart of Sliema on Tower Road, Bisazza Street and The Strand and at its large shopping mall, The Point. You will also find many restaurants, bars and cafes dotted along the water front to take a bite to eat and drink after a hard days shopping.
Valletta also has a number of shops particularly on Republic Street and Merchant Street, along with street markets.
Paceville in St Julian’s, just a 2 minute walk from ESE main school building, boasts a number of shops at its Bay Street shopping complex which also includes a cinema.
For all your groceries and basic needs there are also a number of large supermarkets within easy walking distance of all ESE Residences.
Scott’s Supermarket, Park Towers and Arkadia are all located in St Julian’s around 5 minutes walk from ESE main school building and stock everything from mineral water and vegetables to toiletries and household goods.
You will also find a number of Lidl Supermarkets on the island, just a short walk or bus ride away, offering a range of budget goods and weekly offers.
So that’s it for Part 2 of our Beginners Guide to Malta.
Don’t forget to join our facebook page and share your adventures with us. Upload photos to our facebook page or Instagram #ESEmalta.
We wish you a wonderful stay with us at ESE, and we hope you enjoy all that Malta has to offer!
Focus on Fluency
derived- (noun) to come from or have as a root or origin
won’t ‘break the bank ‘– (phrase) will not exhaust one’s resources/ will not cost a lot of money
refreshing– (adj.) will refresh – revitalize, invigorate
gun salute – the firing of cannons or artillery as a military honour
telly addict – (noun) an enthusiastic or compulsive watcher of television
boasts – (verb) a person, place or thing that possesses a feature which is a source of pride/they or it are proud of
inlets– (noun) a small arm of the sea – a cove, a bay etc
set you back – (adjective) friendly and welcoming to visitors or guests
dotted (along) – (phrasal verb) scattered over or along a surface or place
Author: Samantha Dixon
About the Author: Samantha is British and has taught English as a foreign language in several different countries including Thailand and Finland. She has been with ESE since March 2016 and has recently joined the Marketing team as a Marketing Executive. Samantha enjoys being creative, painting and writing when time allows. She also enjoys spending time with her 3 year old son, soaking up the Maltese sun.
Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest. Please feel free to write to us with any comments, suggestions or any articles you may have written and would like to share with us and our students.