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Christmas in Malta (2023): Things to Do

Now would you look at that? Christmas 2023 is just around the corner! And If you’re thinking, “Where can I spend this magical season?” 🎄
Well, let me (re)introduce you to the Mediterranean gem known as Malta. This place transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. Malta is certainly the perfect place to celebrate Christmas this year.
So in this post, I’ll share everything Malta’s got in store as Christmas approaches. From cool activities to insider tips, I’ll also help you find the perfect place to stay while you soak in all the Christmassy vibes.✨

Weather in Malta During Christmas

Alright, let’s talk weather, shall we? If you’re all about winter sunshine, Malta’s your jam. Especially during Christmas. While most of Europe’s freezing and dealing with snow, Malta’s just minding its business and sipping its Mediterranean latte. In December, the temperatures here hang out between 12°C to 18°C (that’s 54°F to 64°F). Translation? No need for that bulky winter coat or packing like you’re moving out. See! Malta is already shaping up to be your perfect spot for a Christmas getaway!

What to Pack

Light packing is the name of the game. (Excluding your Christmas frocks).
Here’s your checklist:
– Grab some light jackets, jeans, and jumpers for cooler evenings.
– Don’t forget comfy walking shoes for exploring charming streets and historic spots.
– Toss in your swimwear, just in case your hotel’s got heated pools or spa vibes.
– Oh, and don’t forget a waterproof jacket and an umbrella – sometimes, Mother Nature likes to sprinkle a dash of ☔

Things to See & Do in Malta During the Run-Up to Christmas

Visit Valletta The Capital of Christmas Cheer

Valletta’s cool all year, but during Christmas, it’s like the city puts on a sequined holiday sweater. Twinkling lights? ✅
Cobblestone streets dressed to the nines? ✅✅
While you’re here, don’t miss St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where the decorations are next-level, and Midnight Mass is like a front-row ticket to Maltese Christmas traditions. Trust me, it’s anything but a snooze-fest.
But, for something extra Christmassy, head to Valletta Fairyland. I’ve been going for a few years now, and it’s like stepping into a cute fairytale. The Christmas markets are a hit, and you’ll find puppet shows, fairground rides, ice skating, face painting, mulled wine, live music, and more. Feeling a bit like Scrooge? Valletta will fix that, quick-time. And the best part? You can chow down on traditional Maltese Christmas treats, like the scrumptious honey-infused Qaghaq tal-ghasel. Or grab some Panettone for later. Whether you’re flying solo, with your significant other, or bringing the whole fam, Valletta’s the spot to kick off your Christmas in Malta.

Visit Gozo For a Christmas Journey to Bethlehem

Now, let’s hop over to Gozo. Here, “Bethlehem f’Għajnsielem” transports you straight into the nativity story of Christmas. It’s sort of like stepping into the Bible story with all real animals, life-sized cribs, and costumes that bring the whole tale to life. And for an extra sprinkle of holiday magic, head to In Praesepio, Nadur for live re-enactments of the nativity story go down. As you explore Nadur, you’ll be smitten with the charming village vibes. Gozo serves up a one-of-a-kind and heartwarming Christmas experience, whether you’re with the fam or just want to soak in the Christmas spirit.

Visit St. Julians and Sliema for Coastal Christmas Vibes

These coastal towns, St. Julians and Sliema, throw their arms wide open for Christmas. Their streets turn into lively markets, perfect for shopping for unique holiday goodies. If you’re a foodie up for a culinary adventure, you’re in for a treat. Think: waterfront dining with both Maltese and international cuisines. It’s like eating your way through a Christmas gastronomic adventure, with sea views, to boot. After all, t’is the season to indulge, right? Don’t worry, you can work off those tasty treats with a leisurely stroll along the promenade, surrounded by Malta’s coastal beauty and the festive buzz. Sliema and St Julians are a merry mix of shopping, dining, and all things Christmas.

Visit Rabat, Mosta, & Lija to Discover Maltese Christmas Traditions

Over in Rabat and Mosta, you get a front-row seat to even more Maltese Christmas traditions. In Mosta, check out the Mosta Christmas Village, set up right outside that iconic domed miracle church. It’s got a family-friendly vibe and another spot with a live crib that’s a must-visit for an authentic Maltese Christmas experience. Rabat and Mosta give you a sneak peek into Maltese culture during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the quiet village of Lija hosts the Presepju Haj, a cherished live crib tradition that’s been part of Maltese Christmas for over a century. A visit here gives you a chance to see this village’s take on a nativity story come to life. And do have a wander, Lija is a beautiful setting.

Visit Santa’s Toy Town at Popeye Village

Remember Popeye Village? That quirky tourist spot in Mellieha? I’ve gone on about it enough! Well, come Christmas, it’s like Santa’s Toy Town there, and you can’t miss it. Several huts and areas turn into Christmas workshops, with elves hustling to make toys for Santa’s big night. You’ll find a bunch of fun games and activities to dive into, plus puppet shows and live animations to keep the festive vibes going. It’s a spot for both the young and the young-at-heart. Only now, you get to soak in the Christmas magic with a view of the whimsical Anchor Bay.

See Malta International Christmas Carol Concert

Don’t even think about missing the Malta International Christmas Carol Concert. It’s this massive annual event that gathers dozens of local and international choirs. They put on unique Christmas concerts at different churches all around Malta, belting out classic carols and other holiday tunes. This event screams Christmas spirit, community, and bringing people together through song. It’s like a whole island-wide celebration of Christmas, and you’d be nuts to skip it.

More Christmas Magic Across Malta

As you explore Malta during Christmas, you’ve got to see and check out these extra festive goodies:

Birzebbugia’s Giant Christmas Trees: In Birzebbugia village, they roll out seven-story-high Christmas trees, plus a bunch of other big ones on the church steps. It’s like a Christmas tree extravaganza.

Christmas Pantos at Manoel Theatre: If you’re into classic Christmas entertainment, head over to Manoel Theatre, Europe’s oldest, for some Christmas pantomimes.

The Magical Illuminated Trail at Verdala Palace in Buskett: Take a stroll through twinkling paths with thousands of fairy lights in the mesmerising palace gardens. You’ll find incredible showstoppers and illuminated paths. It’s the perfect selfie spots.

Christmas Village with Festive Decor: While at Verdala Palace, make sure you visit the Christmas villages. You can shop, munch on delicious Christmas treats, play games, and even snag personalised festive decor.

Celebrating Christmas Day in Malta

Here’s what you can do in Malta on Christmas Day itself:

Attend a Christmas Day Church Service: Experience the solemn and beautiful side of Christmas by attending a church service in one of Malta’s gorgeous churches.

Take a Leisurely Stroll: Wander through streets and squares all decked out for the holidays. It’s like walking through a sunny Christmas postcard.

Explore Various Nativity Displays: Check out the artistry in nativity displays all over the island, each one telling the Christmas story in its own unique way.

Enjoy Traditional Maltese Cuisine: Join the tradition of eating out on Christmas Day. Lots of Maltese families hit up restaurants for a big turkey dinner, so make sure you book your spot early. Try pudina tal-Milied (Christmas pudding), and more Qaghaq ta’ l-Ghasel.

Watch Spectacular Fireworks Displays: Malta wouldn’t be Malta without its signature fireworks. End your Christmas Day with a bang and watch the sky light up with dazzling fireworks popping off all over the Maltese Islands.💥

Where to Stay in Malta at Christmas

Malta’s got a smorgasbord of places to stay, catering to every travellers vibe. You’ve got 5-star hotels with heated pools in Valletta, St. Julian’s, and Sliema – perfect if you’re all about convenience and shopping. If you want a splash of luxury, head to 5-star beachfront resorts in Mellieha and Gozo. But keep in mind, the sea is chilly in winter.

Now, for something more intimate and authentic, think about boutique hotels in lesser-known spots like Zabbar and Rabat. You’ll get a taste of local charm and culture. And if you’re on a budget but still want the Christmas cheer, Bugibba’s your spot. It’s loaded with restaurants, bars and hosts it’s own cosy Christmas market guaranteeing you’ll get your dose of holiday spirit.

Wrap Up

So there you have it, your Christmas adventure in Malta, packed with tradition, warmth, and unique experiences. Whether you’re visiting in the run-up to Christmas or on the big day itself, Malta’s got something special waiting for everyone during this festive season. Curating this list has got me in the mood for Christmas! Ha! I’ve come so close to putting on Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. Anyways I really hope this post helps with your Christmas planning!