What is it like to visit beautiful Malta with a toddler? Traveling with little kids always requires some extra planning. Depending on the destination, it may be a question of safety, activities or both. We recently spent a week on the small island nation with our 2-year-old daughter. Although there were a few challenges, we are more than happy that we chose it as our family destination.
Our main toddler-related concerns on Malta were how to get around and finding suitable activities.
Getting Around With a Toddler on Malta
Malta is a relatively small island. You’d think that getting around is easy, and actually it is! We tried all types of transportation during our visit: we used our own feet, and we also traveled by car, bus, and boat. And plane of course, in order to get there!
One of the most challenging moments of our trip was getting from the airport to our accommodation in Gzira. After finding a bus that was headed in the right direction, Little A had her first taste of swindling Maltese roads. Her stomach did not handle it very well and we got off the bus as soon as we could and walked the last couple of kilometers to our flat.
In fact, there are plenty of buses on Malta. However, they take ages as there is a lot of traffic, As our toddler tends to get carsick, we did indeed have some exciting moments. Fortunately, after the first evening, she handled it quite well. However, it is always a good idea to bring water (and a book or anything else that will keep the family occupied) when taking the bus anywhere. A ride that should take a short while, might end up being an hour-long nightmare because of traffic jams. We experienced that too!
One great way to spend a day (or a week) on Malta is at sea. You can take all types of cruises and we went on a couple of them. We visited Gozo by boat and we also took the boat to the capital Valletta. This is actually a very convenient way to explore Malta with a toddler. Of course, make sure to bring water, food, and sunscreen. Some of the boats can be quite small and active toddlers probably require some extra attention.
I’m not really sure what to think about walking on Malta. I mean, we did some walking in nature and it was absolutely fantastic for the whole family. The pavements in the towns were of varying quality, depending on the place. The pavements are quite narrow and there was construction work being carried out in many places. In other words, getting around with a stroller was a bit of a challenge at times. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, the coastal walk from Sliema to St. Julian’s was fantastic!
We did not rent a car on Malta. Instead, my cousin took us to some places in her car. Those journeys were a lot smoother than going by bus.
Finding the Best Activities for Your Toddler
Malta offers some really good activities for the whole family. Especially in the area around St. Julian’s, there are many fancy-looking playgrounds. We didn’t actually have time to visit any of these, but they seemed very popular among the kids playing there.
The highlight of our trip was the visit to the Malta National Aquarium in Bugibba. Little A loved the sharks there. We also had a tasty lunch, ate some ice cream, and took a walk along the promenade. It was a great day trip, and the toddler enjoyed it the most of us.
Being an island, the beaches are surprisingly difficult to find. However, they do exist, and what better way to spend the day? As we visited in early March, we did not actually go for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. But you know, building sandcastles can be just as much fun! One beach to visit is Golden Bay. However, getting to some of the beaches does requires a car.
Good to Know When Visiting Malta with a Toddler
- Malta is a member of the European Union, and as such, citizens of other EU countries have access to healthcare on the same terms as locals.
- Even though Maltese is the official language on Malta, everyone speaks English.
- It is very easy to find baby food, diapers, and everything else you might need in both supermarkets and convenience stores.
- Getting around takes time, so make sure your schedule isn’t too rigid.