Malta and its sister islands are remarkably rich in history and culture. The archipelago boasts iconic places, great traditional meals, and scenic views around every corner. We have curated a set of iconic pieces, locations and activities to look out for whilst on your summer trip in Malta to get the best out of experiencing traditional Maltese culture.
Have a look at Traditional Maltese Balconies
Originating many years ago, the traditional wooden Maltese balconies, which the locals call; gallariji are found all over the Maltese islands. They boast key architectural features inspired from North Africa. Even though the beautiful and colourful wooden aesthetics these balconies possess attract the eyes, it is also good to take note of the masonry support for the base of such balconies. The balcony supports were lavishly decorated and are considered to be an integral part of the balconies’ aesthetics and design. The ideal way to appreciate these balconies is to take a stroll along one of Valletta’s narrow side streets, where each balcony sits atop one another.
Mingle with locals at Maltese Feasts
Dating back to the time of the knights of St John, Maltese Festas, as the locals call them, are a key feature of the Maltese lifestyle and culture. With over 60 feasts taking place during the summer season at different towns and villages over the Maltese islands, it’s hard to miss one whilst on your trip. The locals recognize Festas as big celebrations and street parties honouring a respective town’s patron saint. Attending a Maltese Festa is a great way to experience the Maltese way of life and lifestyle, whilst also getting the opportunity to interact and socialise with the locals.
Stop by Marsaxlokk’s Sunday Market and view the popular Luzzu Fishing Boats
Being the second largest natural harbour on the island, Marsaxlokk is home to the iconic Maltese fishing boats called; Luzzu and the town’s popular Sunday market. Developed in the early 20th century, the Luzzu fishing boats are easily identified through their colours, which are a combination of bright yellows, reds, greens and blues. The most prominent feature however is the engraved pair of eyes found on the boats’ bow. The Luzzu is often considered to be a symbol of Malta and its sister islands. On the other hand, the Marsaxlokk Sunday Market has become a popular attraction for tourists to socialize with the locals and get a peek into the Maltese lifestyle and identity. The market takes place every Sunday morning and was originally a fish market, however, it has now developed, and locals also sell vegetables, honey, souvenirs and even clothes.
Get a Taste of the Maltese Cuisine
Being heavily influenced by its geographical location and history, Maltese food has some of the best flavours in the Mediterranean. Traditional Maltese dishes boast a variety of different flavours and foods; from street food to sweets, you can find a variety of choices to indulge yourself in.
A popular Maltese street food well known by the locals is the pastizz. Pastizzi are crispy, diamond-shaped savoury pastries which are usually filled with either mashed peas or ricotta. You can find them at pastizzerias scattered all across towns in Malta and Gozo.
Another predominant dish in Maltese cuisine is the Stuffat tal-Fenek. Considered to be Malta’s national dish, the Maltese style rabbit stew has been around since the times of the Knights of St. John. The dish is very popular among locals and foreigners, and one you should definitely try whilst on holiday in Malta.