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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Guns & Butter: Malta Travel Guide

Malta Travel Guide is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.

TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works: A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.

Have you been to Malta? If I had the means, I would much rather live there than my almost second home, Castiglione, Sicily (see Did TPOL Buy a 1 Euro Italian Villa?). But if you don’t have years to spend on the island, here’s what you can see in two days:

St Julian’s

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Malta (see Back to Beautiful) which is located in St. Julian’s, the party district of Malta.

a building with a stone wall and a stone wall

Across from the Hyatt is a mall with this treasure:

a statue of a boxer outside a building

The beach in St. Julian’s can be skipped.

people on a beach with a sailboat and buildings a body of water with buildings in the background

The main draw of St. Julian’s is the restaurants and nightlife.

a group of people walking down a narrow alley a stairs leading up to a building a sign on a pole a building with a sign on it a red sign on a sidewalk

a close up of a drink
Havana Club is the best rum in the world.
a building with a glass wall and signs
Hugo’s Lounge serves excellent sushi.

a plate of sushi on a table

TPOL’s Tip: Hugo Malta is located at St George’s Road, St Julian’s STJ 3340, Malta


Did you know Valletta is the smallest capital city in Europe? It’s worth walking from the entrance with the fountain through the cobbled streets to Fort. St. Elmo’s for the view.

a fountain with a couple of statues in the middle of a pool

a stone building with a stone wall
Fort St. Elmo

a stone building with a large metal object next to a body of water a water next to a city

It’s also worth sticking around for lunch. Outside the tourist trap restaurants of the city square (see Don’t Pay $30 for Tacos), we found St. Paul’s restaurant. Excellent espresso, vino, cold beer, and the biggest mussels I’ve ever had.

a cup of coffee on a saucer a glass of wine on a table a plate of food on a table a close up of foodTPOL’s Tip: St. Paul’s is located at VGX8+5X8, Lvant, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta.


Did you know that the original capital of Malta was Mdina? It is even smaller than Valletta. a statue of a person holding a basket

a woman in a torture device
Don’t be a bad tourist.

a large stone building with a cross on the front a large ornate building with chairs and a ceiling

Nothing beats getting lost in an old town (see Astray in Old Town: Great Places to Get Lost).
a stone wall with a statue on top of it a plant next to a stone wall a stone alleyway with plants and windows a building with a stone wall and a stone fence a narrow street between stone buildings a street light on a building a narrow street between buildings

The pride of Malta is the doorknockers. I couldn’t help but take photo after photo.
a man leaning against a door a door knocker on a pink wall a statue of a man holding a man's head

Outside the city walls was a dessert place. Samples are freely given.

a group of people standing outside a store a display of food on shelves

Cottonera (Three Cities) 

The Three Cities is a collective description of the three fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta. I went to take photos of the yachts and in search of Malta’s signature cuisine, the rabbit.

a building with a tower and cars parked on the side of the road a building with a tower and a tree a body of water with many boats in it a group of boats in a harbor a group of boats in a harbor a large white boat in water a large white boat in a harbor a body of water with a stone wall and buildings in the background a body of water with a city in the background

I found the super yachts but struck out on the rabbit. The first restaurant said they had it and then they said they ran out. The second restaurant also said they had it, I ordered it, but then 30 minutes later, they said they ran out. The concession prize was rabbit pasta.

a plate of spaghetti with meat and parsley


The highlight of the trip was going to the fisherman’s village of Marsaxlokk. We chartered a dinghy and set sail for St. Peter’s Pool famous for cliff diving.

boats on the water a boat on the water a group of boats in a body of water a colorful boat in a harbor boats in a body of water with boats in the water a boat with many boats in the water a boat with no smoking signa flag on a pole in front of a body of watera body of water with boats and buildings in the background a flag on a pole by a body of water people swimming in a poolblue water with ripples and ripples a boat on the water

a cliff side with water in the background with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the background a body of water with a cliff in the backgroundTPOL’s Tip: It should cost 16 euros to go on a tour per the hotel. The best I could do was 20 euros.

a sign on the ground
Notice the price is not listed.
a man taking a selfie on a boat
The captain’s jokes were complimentary.


The concierge called all over the island searching for rabbit. Somehow, every restaurant was out. Finally, they made a reservation for us at Rampila, bomb shelter where everyone but the bunnies are safe.

a stone wall with a red awning a restaurant with tables and chairs in a stone tunnel a plate of food on a table

From Puerto Rico, to Russia, (see Guns & Butter: Moscow Travel Guide ) to Malta, I have to say that I love rabbit.

TPOL’s Tip: Rampila is located at St. Johns Cavalier Il-Belt Valletta, VLT 1110, Malta

Odds & Ends

Rabbit is satisfying but, as they say in Malta, there’s always room for gelato and falafel. two bowls of ice cream on a counter

a man standing in a kitchen a burrito on a paper

TPOL’s Tip: Falafel Street is located at 4 Ordinance, Valletta VLT 1021, Malta

And as they say in England, there’s always room for gin.

a bar with bottles of alcohol a bottle of liquid next to a glass of liquid

TPOL’s Tip: The Pub is located on 136 Archbishop St, Valletta, Malta. 

Knock Knock

As I wrote above, I was enthralled with Malta’s door knockers. I searched far and wide to bring one home. The only place I could find one of sound quality was in Valletta. With limited luck haggling, I paid $110 for the beautiful lion (reference Bargaining Pricing Guide).

a group of brass knockers on a wood surface

Covid Scam Testing

Reading this now, you probably have wiped all memories from of Covid from your mind. This trip ended in October 2021. During that time, America had the asinine policy of requiring Americans to test negative if they wanted to come home (see COVID Test for Return Travel Is Stupid). The cost of that test in Malta was $40, better than the UK prices (see Scam Covid Test #1: Entering the UK & Scam Covid Test #2: Leaving the UK), but a scam nonetheless (see Scam Covid Test #3: Leaving Malta).

a man in a mask looking at another man
What a bullshit money grab.


Like Cyprus (see Guns & Butter: Ayia Napa, Cyprus Travel Guide), I was not in Malta long enough. Like Cyprus, I plan on returning and doing nothing when I get there.




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