Whether you’re in Malta or elsewhere in the world, finding entertainment options that don’t bite a hole into your wallet can often be a challenge. From eating out to cinema and bowling – everything nowadays seems to cost a small fortune.
Luckily, there are still many things that don’t. Here are 12 ways to spend your next free afternoon or weekend in Malta, without going broke!
1. Go to the Beach
Starting from the very obvious, we live in a country that’s surrounded by water. This means that there’s almost no excuse not to go to the beach as often as you can. And even if you’re not the type that likes sunbathing, there’s still plenty of seaside activities that you can partake in.
Why not put together a nice beach picnic with your friends or your significant other, instead of cooking at home? Or go and play beach volleyball? Or even better – build a kite and go fly it! Here’s a tutorial for making an awesome one on your own.
2. Cook some African Food
Everybody’s got to eat, right? But why make it your usual dish that you’ve already had 15 times this year alone?
Try a completely new cuisine, instead! Check out the African section of AllRecipes.com for some easy-to-cook recipes, then head to the Halal K’Mart in Gzira (or the African food store in Victoria, Gozo) and get your ingredients!
Don’t like African? No worries. There’s also the Russian store in Sliema if you want to try some authentic Russian food, as well as the Swedish store, also in Sliema.
3. Visit a Charity Shop
There are a number of charity shops in Malta, and visiting one can be an awesome (and rewarding) experience. I’ve personally only been to the Paws 4 A Cause store that donates its revenue towards animal welfare, but there are plenty more all across the island.
And while you’re at it, why not offer to volunteer, if only for a few hours? Organisations like this always need helping hands, and it may be a great way to spend your spare time.
4. Shoot some Pool
Whilst not free, there are some very inexpensive pool halls in Malta. Pool is reasonably priced even in some larger establishments, but the real gem is social clubs (Kazin in Maltese), which often feature a pool table or three, and the price per game can be as low as €0.20.
Many of these pool halls even have a snooker table, and there’s nearly always someone to play with even if you’re alone.
5. Go take a Hike!
Not in the offensive way – an actual hike! People often complain that Malta is a horrible place for walking, or hiking for that matter, but there are some fantastic spots for this if you care to look around.
One of such spots is the Victoria Lines walking trail, that runs all the way from Madliena through Naxxar and Mosta to the limits of Rabat. Dubbed the Great Wall of Malta, much of the walking trail is actually a stone wall that you can walk on – definitely worth checking it out!
6. Look for a Festa
If there’s one thing that the Maltese take seriously, then it’s their Festas (or village feasts). And there’s one or more of them on at almost any time of the year.
Festas not only gather a lot of people from all walks of life, but there’s often also live music, other entertainment, and numerous food and other vendors present.
Check out Malta.com’s Festa Calendar to see where’s the closest one that’s currently on!
7. Take a Stroll at San Anton Gardens
Also known as the Presidental Gardens, the San Anton palace and its large greenery is the residence of the President of Malta. Luckily, this absolutely picturesque area is open for everyone at nearly all times, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
Not only are the gardens a great place for a picnic or just a walk, they also provide fantastic photo opportunities and often host events and shows – mostly free of charge or very affordable.
8. Visit the Sant’ Antnin Family Park
Got little ones to entertain? No problem. Head over to the Sant’ Antnin Family Park on the way to Marsascala and you’ll have your afternoon booked solid.
The park is significant in size (for Malta, anyway), and features several play areas for different ages. There are also a couple of labyrinths (one for the kids, one for older ones), and a separate area for dog training.
9. Go to Ta’Qali Petting Farm
Whilst not massive in size, the petting farm in Ta’Qali (next to the Ta’Qali National Park) has some 20 different farm animals – from rabbits to goats. Free of charge, it’s definitely a great experience for children, but also an enjoyable afternoon for adults.
I went to the petting farm last year and definitely enjoyed it. If nothing else then you can look at it as an excuse to spend a few hours outdoors.
10. Meet Your Neighbours
When was the last time you met your neighbours? For many of us, the answer is a resounding “never”. If you exclude the awkward “hi” in the staircase, that is.
Most of the people in Malta are extremely nice, open and hospitable, so why not go and say hi to your neighbours? If you’re good in kitchen then baking a couple of cookies (or cheating your way into it and getting them from a bakery) will definitely make the visit welcome 🙂
11. Go to Church
I’m not religious – far from it actually – but some churches in Malta are incredibly beautiful, and there’s plenty of them around!
If you’re like me and don’t care much (or at all) about the sermons then make sure to go when nothing is currently “on”, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fabulous architecture, as well as catch a calm moment, especially as silence is so hard to come by in our tiny rock.
12. Go Snorkeling
If you’re into snorkeling or diving then you probably know that Malta is one of the best places in the world for it. If you’re not into snorkeling then go get yourself some snorkeling gear (it’s actually very affordable) and get started!
The clean waters, the abundance of fish and the sheer number of nice snorkeling spots makes it a fantastic pastime in Malta. Head over to Zurrieq Cove or Wied il-Għajn in Marsascala, or to Hondoq ir-Rummien in Gozo if you fancy a hike, and enjoy!
The above list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to affordable ways to spend time, though. So if you have your own favourite, please let us know in the comments below and in time we’ll also update the list with the new recommendations!
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