From the Neolithic to the early modern period, Malta is a nation steeped in 7000 years of history. There are megalithic temples dating to around 3600 BC, medieval towns with narrow streets and extensive catacombs to explore. Museums, galleries and reconstructed properties sit alongside rich military and prehistoric architecture, all of it making for a fascinating historical journey. It’s here that the Heritage Malta Pass comes in.
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About The Heritage Malta Pass
The Heritage Malta Pass provides admission to 22 historical sites and museums, plus Malta National Aquarium. Each one offers exceptional value–potentially saving you over €200 on individual admission prices should you choose to visit all the sites.
They even provide 10% discounts on purchases from any Heritage Malta museum shop.
Prices* for the 3-Day Malta Pass
- Adults – €49.95
*Prices are correct at the time of publishing and they do run specials from time to time of up to 50% off this price.
Guide to Using the Malta Pass
The Malta Pass serves as a comprehensive tourist pass that grants access to top-notch attractions, exclusive tours, and unique experiences in Malta. It’s a cost-effective and handy tool for visitors intending to delve deep into Malta’s treasures. Here is a step-by-step guide to making the most of your Malta Pass:
1. Buying Your Malta Pass
The Malta Pass can be procured online here. The website offers a selection of passes, varying based on the length of your stay and your choice of attractions. Options usually range from a single day to a week.
2. Selecting Your Attractions
The pass grants you access to a vast array of attractions. This list often includes gems like the Grand Master’s Palace, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Mdina Experience, the Malta National Aquarium, and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, among others. Each pass covers a specific number of attractions. Make your selections carefully based on your interests and the duration of your visit.
3. Schedule Your Visit
The Malta Pass equips you to strategize your visit well in advance. Upon purchasing the pass, you will receive a digital guide from the website. Use this guide to chart out your itinerary and decide which attractions to explore on each day. Be mindful of the operational hours of each attraction.
4. Utilizing Your Pass
When you reach an attraction, simply show your Malta Pass, which will serve as your entry ticket. Remember, certain locations may require you to make reservations ahead of time, particularly the ones that draw a large number of visitors during peak seasons.
5. Availing Additional Perks
Apart from serving as an entry pass to various attractions, the Malta Pass also provides additional advantages, such as discounts at selected restaurants, and retail stores, and extra experiences that may not be fully covered by the pass. Refer to the complete list of benefits on the website.
Handy Tips for Malta Pass Users
- Begin the Day Early: Make the most of your Malta Pass by commencing your day early. Operating hours may be limited at many attractions, and queues can be lengthy during peak tourist seasons.
- Set Your Priorities: Schedule your preferred attractions first. If you have extra time, you can then include additional points of interest.
- Monitor the Weather: Weather conditions may impact some attractions, particularly outdoor ones. Check the weather forecast for the day before planning your itinerary.
- Pre-booking May Be Necessary: Pre-booking may be necessary for some high-demand attractions, even with the Malta Pass. Verify these details in advance to avoid disappointment.
The Malta Pass is a valuable tool designed to enrich your experience in Malta by offering convenience and savings. With appropriate planning, you can fully appreciate the historical and natural splendours this Mediterranean island nation presents.
Top 10 Sites To Visit With A Heritage Pass
Our top 10 sites to visit with a Heritage Malta Pass include a mixture of prehistoric, Roman and early modern landmarks and various museums.
1. Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
These temples are so close together that we’ve merged them into number one on the list. Hagar Qim has a prime position on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Fifla. A steep walk down towards the sea takes you to the Mnajdra Temples.
This complex consists of three structures; the southernmost unit aligns with sunrise on the first day of each season. Take care while walking, as the path may be paved, but the hill’s slope is very steep. Single-entry tickets can be bought from the site’s dedicated visitor centre if you don’t plan on investing in the full pass.
2. The Inquisitor’s Palace, Birgu
This Inquisitor’s Palace is the only one of its kind open to public viewing, and for that reason alone, it is worthy of a visit. Its themed exhibitions explore Maltese culture between the 16th and 18th centuries, all within a delectably authentic renaissance ambience.
3. Malta Maritime Museum
With Malta being an island, there is a rich maritime heritage just waiting to be uncovered. Old and modern exhibits are represented in the Malta Maritime Museum, with full-sized vessels, scale models and remarkable artefacts.
4. National Museum of Archaeology
The archaeology museum is home to intricate stone block carvings, pots, and other artifacts removed from Malta’s megalithic temple sites for preservation. Seeing the real ones during a visit to this museum is a must. The original ‘Sleeping Lady’ statuette found in the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is one such treasure currently on public display.
5. Malta National Aquarium
Malta National Aquarium features spectacular Mediterranean-themed exhibits as well as an underwater tunnel. See fearsome sharks and other exotic sea creatures as they swim overhead.
6. National War Museum
Fort St Elmo – National War Museum is located within the walls of Fort St. Elmo in Valetta. The exhibitions can be accessed by walking through much of the fort. Peep through the tiny barred windows for a glimpse of the picturesque harbour below. Alongside traditional displays, you can expect to see interactive visual experiences projected onto the floors and walls.
7. Domvs Romana
Within the remains of this sophisticated 1st-century Roman residence, you’ll find one of the oldest and best-preserved mosaic floors in the western Mediterranean region.
The building now forms part of a museum, so in addition to the intricate mosaic tiles, you can also view various statues, pots and other artefacts of Roman domestic life. Did you know that it also houses the only complete marble depiction of Emperor Claudius and his family?
8. St. Paul’s Catacombs
St Paul’s Catacombs are not the only Maltese catacombs (burial chambers) open to visitors, but they are most popular and extensive. Metal walkways, low ceilings and lots of stairs – not for anyone who has claustrophobia!
9. Tarxien Temples (near Hypogeum)
The Tarxien Temples site is the most complex and decorated in Malta (some of the stones have been removed and are housed in the National Museum of Archaeology). It is estimated to have been built between 3600 and 2500 BC and consists of four megalithic structures.
10. Ghar Dalam
The Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum associated with this cave houses an extensive collection of animal bones discovered in 500,000-year-old deposits. Many of them are displayed in glass cabinets throughout the museum. In addition, some skeletons have been reconstructed to show the animals that lived in Malta during the last Ice Age.
Each one is clearly explained through text and artistic impressions, while models and posters detail how the cave itself formed and what the area would have looked like.
For a beautiful medieval experience, head to Mdina during the annual medieval festival. It’s a vibrant recreation of life during the Maltese Middle Ages featuring live music, marching, archery and falconry displays, and of course, fantastic food!
Attraction Opening Times
Not all of the sites are open every day, so be sure to check before planning.
Getting Around The Sites
All of Malta’s heritage sites are accessible by public bus. However, some areas may require a short walk from the closest bus stop. There is a handy app for smartphones (search for tallinja) to track buses and a website (Public Transport Malta) for planning routes. Although more expensive, taxis can be booked either from your accommodation or the nearest taxi rank.
Horse-drawn carriages operate close to Valetta bus station. These offer a variety of routes, including ones that visit Fort St. Elmo and the waterfront. In addition, a ferry service runs between the Valetta waterfront and the marina across the bay at Vittoriosa.
Visit Valletta Ferry Services for a schedule, map and fees. From here, you can walk to the Maritime Museum and the Inquisitor’s Palace. The ferry is a nice way to catch the cooling sea breeze and view the mega yachts in the marina up close!