Bring your very own sunshine to a rainy day
Don’t let a rainy day spoil your outing or your mood! Sunny Malta may have 300 days of sunshine but there’s plenty to enjoy and bring on smiles during the remaining 65 days of rainfall, a blessing in a dry Mediterranean climate. Here’s what to do in Malta on a rainy day or when the weather is simply cold and dreary.
1. Play A Little
Apart from splashing in puddles in your wellies, there is much more to delight the child within you on a rainy day with a little time to play! Playing a game is a wonderful way to entertain yourself and deepen bonds with family and friends.
Throw in a game of bowling at the Eden Bowling Alley or play laser tag at Battlemaxx or Lasermaxx. Play arcades, darts or pool with plenty of beer at almost any Bugibba pub. Stay sober and get your thinking hat on to free your team from one of Malta’s escape rooms: Can You Escape?, Scavenger Escape Malta Malta Escape Room 125, or Escape Game Malta. If you’re feeling energetic, you could even play a sweaty game of squash. Alternatively, get all dressed up and head to the Dragonara Palace; it was built in 1870 as a summer residence for a prominent Maltese family and became Malta’s first casino in 1964.
2. Go Museum Hopping
There is no shortage of Museums in the Maltese Islands. Ranging from the National Museum of Archaeology (housed in an Auberge of the Knights of St John in Valletta) to the privately owned Pomzkizillious Museum of Toys at the Citadel in Gozo, you’ll also find the Maritime Museum, the Aviation Museum, the Malta at War Museum, the Fortifications Interpretation Centre, the MUZA Museum of Fine Art, the Old Prison, the Folklore Museum, the quirky Postal Museum, and many more.
3. Get Crafty
If you prefer a little action, see glassblowers and ceramic artists at work at the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village. Handmade lace, woollens, leather goods, woodwork, canework, pottery, ceramics, blown glass, stonework, semi-precious stones, silver filigree and various jewellery are among the handmade items available with artisans at work on site. You’ll need your brolly in between shops but you may spend hours in a single one at a time.
A €14 million refurbishment project of the Crafts Village is currently underway and should be completed by early 2019.
4. Explore Malta’s Historic Monuments
You can explore Malta AND keep a roof over your head. Visit Malta’s indoor or underground historic sites to snoop around its extraordinary past. From the prehistoric Ghar Dalam cave and its half-a-million-year-old fossils to mysterious underground tombs; from an ample choice of extraordinary palaces to Mdina’s medieval dungeons; and from the Sacra Infermeria hospital of the Knights Hospitallers to the British underground headquarters in World War II; Malta’s incredible wealth of historic and cultural attractions will fascinate anyone.
5. Get Educated
Make history fun at one of Malta’s audio-visual shows. Such as The Malta Experience 45-minute documentary, Valletta Living History, the Mdina Experience and The Knights of Malta. Or even Malta 5D, complete with air blasts, scents, water spray leg ticklers and moving seats. At the Esplora interactive science centre, which includes a planetarium, you can explore the human makeup, the world we live in and outer space. Alternatively, go live and discover Mediterranean marine life at the Malta National Aquarium. At all of these, the whole family will find education through entertainment for a few hours.
6. Pray (or simply be in awe!)
When it comes to things to see, religious or not, you can’t fail to be intrigued by Malta’s 359 churches. Many are rather impressive and worth a visit, even if only to appreciate the art and architecture. Marvel at the incredible interiors of St John’s Co Cathedral in Valletta and St Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, with their gilded walls, marble mosaic floors and fine paintings. See the 3rd largest unsupported dome in the world at the Mosta Rotunda; the one in Xewkija, Gozo, claims this title too! Also in Gozo, Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary is a place of pilgrimage and renowned for granting miracles; the church houses several tokens of gratitude and also the original chapel. And these are just for starters.
7. Try Retail Therapy
Malta’s malls offer a great opportunity to venture through different outlets under one roof (and staying dry). Head to The Point, Malta’s largest shopping mall in Tigne, Sliema; the Plaza or Bay Street are also in the Sliema/St Julian’s area. Explore Daniel’s shopping complex in Hamrun. Try the Embassy Shopping Complex in Valletta – you can even watch Valletta Living History audio-visual show or a movie on the big screen while you’re there.
8. Get Cosy With A Movie
The cinema superbly combines going out and staying in and is perfect for a rainy day. Pick a good movie, get comfy in your seat and watch it on a big screen with a healthy supply of popcorn. The point is being able to cuddle, snuggle and immerse yourself in a colourful world of fantasy when the alternative grey prospects feel far less exciting.
To make your movie experience really special, head to the City Lights Cinema Bar in Valletta. This historic cinema, previously known for its adult movies, much loved by British navy sailors, now shows retro films and is sometimes accompanied by a live soundtrack played on a piano. It comes with a great range of craft beers and free popcorn as well as a warm welcome by the owner and a one-eared black cat! Alternatively, visit Malta’s only art-house cinema at the St James Cavalier, a 16th century castle converted into a cultural centre.
9. Go to the Theatre
The Manoel Theatre was built by the Knights of Malta in 1731 and is one of the oldest working theatres in the world. The interior of the small, 623-seat venue is charming. It has an oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of wood boxes decorated with gold leaf and a pale blue trompe-l’oeil ceiling to resemble a cupola. Home to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the venue is particularly popular for music performances.
BONUS: Indulge Yourself
Great food, good wine or hot coffee and cake can go a long way in uplifting your mood on a rainy day, whether in the company of a friend or a good book; try the Mokka Bar at Golden Sands and also indulge in a dramatic view of rainswept Golden Bay.
Take indulgence a step further and immerse yourself in the lusciousness of a spa like Myoka Spa at Golden Sands. There’s nothing like a swim in a heated pool, warm Jacuzzi bubbles and a break in the sauna when it’s cold and damp outside. Go all the way with a specialised massage or an Ayurvedic treatment and you’ll begin to relish rainy days.
Of course, you can do all of these things even when, rather than escaping damp, grey weather, you want to escape the summer heat and scorching sun. In fact, take a look at our list of 25 best things to do in Malta and tick them off, come rain or shine.