Retail outlets and shopping centres can be found in all the major towns and villages, but the foremost amongst these are at Valletta in Republic Street and Merchants Street; in Tas-Sliema mostly along Tower Road, Bisazza Street and the Strand; in St. Julian's and Paceville; in Paola town centre; in Ħamrun along High Street; in Mosta around the town centre; in Buġibba and St. Paul's Bay; and in Victoria (Rabat) in Gozo. Shops are normally open from Monday to Saturday, mornings and evenings. Opening times of shops are usually between 09.00 - 13.00 and 16.00 - 19.00hrs. However, in tourist areas, shops are open throughout the day Mondays to Saturdays, from 09.00 till 19.00 hrs and even later.
Shopping for Crafts
Crafts have undergone a revival in recent years. Not solely because they make interesting souvenirs but also because of their high cultural value to the Islands. Some crafts, such as knitwear, basket-ware and lace, have a long history.
Open Air Markets
Markets are at the heart of Maltese village life and an experience not to be missed by visitors. Almost every town and village has its version. For the locals, they are a place for socialising, catching up with neighbours and local news, as much as for buying daily necessities.
Sea Excursions & Boat Charters
Somebody once said that an island can only be called such when viewed from the sea.
This may be obvious, but very true. What is certain is that there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of the Maltese coastline than from the vantage point of a boat.
Valletta and the Three Cities, with their formidable fortifications, the rugged cliffs and secluded bays around Malta, Gozo and Comino… they all look very different from the deck. So hop on a Harbour Cruise or take a longer Island Cruise and experience Malta from a different angle.
You can also charter a yacht or a boat and spend some time out at sea on the blue Mediterranean. The companies listed below can help.
Enjoy The Nightlife
Typical of the Mediterranean lifestyle, the locals' approach to life is to enjoy and celebrate it as much as possible.
Nightlife on the Islands is always bustling - even if the vibrant calendar of events gets leaner during some periods, there are always scores of clubs to visit, excellent wine bars and first-rate restaurants to try.
The Islands have an effervescent calendar of cultural events to see, such as the Malta Arts Festival, the Valletta Baroque Festival, the Opera Festival, the Choir Festival and the International Jazz Festival held in July.
Major music concerts starring top international artists are held every summer, attracting massive crowds of both tourists and locals alike.
The Maltese Islands have also become a hub for the clubbing scene. Internationally renowned DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, Magda, Tiesto, Van Heill appear for guest weekends throughout the year. This scene thrives all year round and is an all-week affair in a variety of venues, from large clubs to quieter bars where some excellent house DJs entertain and the admission is free. The main nightlife clubbing action is in Paceville, on the coast near St. Julians, where the clubs and bars are in abundance.
Classical music is very popular on the Islands and organ recitals take place regularly in the many baroque churches. Regular orchestral, soloist concerts and operas take place in some stunning historic venues.
Band music is one of the most popular traditions on the Islands. Every town and village has at least one band club. Band music is taken seriously on the Islands and the highlight of the year for band clubs is the parish festa. These events are characteristic of the Maltese Islands. Saints, fireworks, food and fun are all part of this cultural phenomenon - try and catch one as they're not to be missed.
Theatre is a lively and well-represented part of the local cultural scene. The 18th century Manoel Theatre makes a wonderful venue for the performing arts. The open-air Shakespeare performed in the Gardens of San Anton Palace in July is one of the many theatrical highlights. If you happen to be here around Christmastime, check out one of sevela Pantomimes for some fun and great kids' entertainment.
There is more nocturnal entertainment on offer - try your luck at the casinos, go see a film (blockbuster movies, art house films, re-releases and non-English language films) or dine al fresco at one of the romantic palazzos or bustling harbour restaurants.