Layover at Malta Airport

How to Spend your Free Time at Malta International Airport

Malta Airport (MLA)GuideLayover at the Airport

What to Do During a Short or Long Layover at Malta Airport

Do you have an upcoming layover at Malta International Airport? Are you worried about how you’ll spend your free time between flights? Although Malta Airport is a small aviation hub, it has received various awards, being regarded as the “Best Airport in Europe” in its category. Thus, although they are initially considered a passenger’s nightmare, short layovers in MLA Airport can be a blessing. On the other hand, travelers who have more than a couple of hours on their hands can easily and stress-free explore some of the island’s sites and attractions.

Things to Do at Malta Airport

If you don’t have much time between your flights, it is highly recommended to stay in the airport. Even though MLA Airport is a small aviation hub with just one terminal building, it is a multi-awarded airport well-known for the efficiency and quality of its services and amenities. Hence, you are going to relish each moment of your spare time here. Explicitly, here are some of the top things to do at Malta Airport during your layover:

Please bear in mind that the modern and passenger-friendly MLA Airport offers special services for passengers with disabilities or autism. You’ll find online guides while the airport’s staff attends carefully and with pleasure to all their needs.

Spend your Free Time Shopping at Malta Airport

Truth be told, MLA Airport is a single-terminal air hub, and even the size of its terminal isn’t vast. Still, it houses a surprisingly wide number of retail stores, given its dimensions. From big brands and local stores to the duty-free area, if shopping is your thing, you’ll get to enjoy it at Malta International Airport.

Eat and/or Drink at MLA

Do you feel hungry or really want a refreshing drink? You’ll find several eateries, cafes, and bars lying at the food court, which is to be found at Level -1 of the MLA terminal. Burger King, Costa Coffee, KFC, McDonald’s, Dr Juice, Hard Rock Cafe, and Relish are only a few of the available options.

Our Tip: Please bear in mind that many of the MLA dining options are located landside, meaning that you’ll have to pass through security to reach them.

Wi-Fi is Free and at Your Disposal

Malta Airport offers free Wi-Fi to its passengers. Thus, you can enter the airport’s network and spend your layover at MLA communicating with your loved ones, checking your socials, watching your favorite movies, or even finishing the latest work project. Is the battery of your devices dying? You shouldn’t worry. You’ll find plenty of charging stations scattered around the airport.

Are you Traveling with Children?

Malta Airport isn’t the most kids-friendly airport in the sense that it doesn’t provide many family services. However, you’ll still have access to the necessary amenities, while their quality is indisputable. Thus, MLA Airport houses 2 parenting rooms. Moreover, complimentary coloring sets are available from the Info Desks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a play area. Still, you’ll find a playground at the landside-located McDonald’s and Skyparks Business Center.

Find your Inner Peace or Pray During your Layover at MLA Airport

The MLA chapel is situated close to the food court, on the terminal’s Level -1. It is open around the clock. A mass is held every Friday at 12:05 pm, every Saturday at 06:15 pm, and every Sunday (and on public holidays) at 08:30 am. What’s more, two multi-faith rooms are to be found at Level -1 as well, in the non-Schengen Gates area.

Visit the Observation Deck

It lies on the terminal’s 3rd floor and is free. You’ll find a cozy terrace with benches and awnings that overlooks the air traffic. Here, you’ll enjoy amazing views of the planes’ landings and taking-offs, as well as bask in the sun. What’s more, the corridor leading to the Observation Deck is full of interesting and beautifully displayed info concerning the airport’s history and operation.

The Skyparks Business Center

Right next to the Malta airport’s terminal building lies the Skyparks Business Center, housing companies, services, and even a parking lot. Expectantly, it is located before the security area (thus, you’ll have to leave the terminal and re-check in once you return). Still, it is situated just a 3-minute walk from the terminal’s doors. The Skyparks Business Center hosts retail stores, dining facilities, a hair salon, a fitness lounge, and even a child-care center.

Relax During your Spare Time at MLA

Unfortunately, the airport doesn’t house an inside-the-terminal hotel. Thus, passengers who want to sleep during their layover can either leave the airport and check in to one of the nearby hotels or sleep in one of the few chairs without armrests or on the floor. However, if you want to relax and refill your batteries during your layover at Malta Airport, you should head to one of the two MLA lounges, which are accessible to all passengers for a fee (without charge for the membership customers). One lounge is located on Departures, housing a library and a terrace area as well, whereas the other is accessible via the baggage claim zone.

Various special events are organized from time to time at Malta International Airport. Hence, if you are lucky, an event may take place during your layover at MLA!

Things to Do in Malta

If your layover is really long -more than 6-7 hours- you can spend it exploring the scenic and full-of-history island of Malta. After all, it is a small island, and the airport is located fairly centrally (on its south side, though)! Thus, no matter if you want to travel from Malta Airport to Valletta, St. Julian’s, St. Paul’s Bay, etc., you won’t face difficulty in making your way to your final destination. Airport taxis, public buses and shuttles, and even car rentals are available for your transit, whereas private airport transfers are the most luxurious way to travel during your layover at Malta Airport. So, how are you going to spend your free time in Malta? In other words, what are the top things to do in Malta?

Our Tip: If you are traveling with heavy luggage, you should benefit from the Luggage Deposit Service of Malta International Airport. Verily, the storage area is to be found at the Check-in hall, close to the Customer Services Information Center and offers 24/7 services for a fee.

Are you a Food Lover?

Then you’ll certainly love to explore the local delicacies but also want to be on the safe side and avoid the crowded and usually not-representative-of-the-local-cuisine tourist places. Hence, why don’t you take part in a food tour? In that way, you’ll get to know Valletta’s history while tasting the regional dishes.

Go Visit the Historic Mdina and Rabar

Lying 30 minutes from Malta International Airport, the old capital, Mdina, and Rabat are two historic areas totally worthy of your time. During your visit there, you’ll wander around the picturesque streets and alleys, and you’ll spot palaces as well as the St. Paul Basilica, the residence of St Paul during his stay in Malta.

Delve into History

A visit to the prehistoric temples of Malta is a not-to-be-missed experience for travelers who are eager to dive into the region’s historical background. Still, even if you aren’t that type of traveler, you’ll be simply amazed by the sight. As a matter of fact, the Megalithic Temples of Malta (Ġgantija, Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, Skorba, Ta’ Ħaġrat, and Tarxien) are a Unesco World Heritage Site as they are considered the oldest free-standing stone buildings. The prehistoric temples are, without a doubt, a highly recommended thing to do during your layover in Malta. Thus, you should pay them a visit and simply dive into the mysterious vibes that they are radiating.

How About the National Aquarium?

Located in Qawra, on the North side of the island of Malta, the National Aquarium is a family-friendly destination, equally appreciated by its adult visitors too. It has 41 tanks that house a wide variety of species. What’s more, a lovely bistro is to be found at its premises, serving delicious meals and offering amazing sea views.

Cruise During your Layover

A cruise is definitely a top thing to do in Malta. Still, most of them are time-consuming and not ideal for a stopover in Malta. That being said, there are available options. For instance, you can opt for the 90-minute Sliema Cruise, which will allow you to enjoy the amazing vista of Valletta and its creeks, as well as a good glimpse of Grand Harbor and Marsamxett Harbour (the famous Malta fishing village). In that way, you’ll explore a big part of Malta hassle-free and away from the tourist crowds that are usually gathered close to the main sites and attractions.

The Classic Car Collection Museum

If you are an auto enthusiast, and even more so if vintage cars are your passion, you shouldn’t leave Malta without having visited the Classic Car Collection Museum. The museum houses a wide number of vehicles. As a matter of fact, it hosts more than 100 vintage cars and motorcycles, while you’ll find real gems and legendary models among them, such as the 1955 Jaguar C Type.

Enter the Popeye World

You can visit the village of Popeye and discover all the characters of the show and their whereabouts in an actual former film set. The theme park lies within close distance from Mellieħa, houses several attractions, a comic museum, and even a water park, and offers various additional activities such as rides or mini golf.

Sightseeing and Wine: an Unbeaten Combo

If you have half a day before your upcoming flight from Malta Airport, you should think about participating in a shuttle trip during which you’ll explore 3 different cities and get to taste numerous wines. In other words, you can spend your free time in Malta visiting the cities of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa, gaining an insight into their history and enjoying wine-tasting experiences at the same time.

One of the Most Relaxed Options: the Hop On Hop Off Bus

The Hop On Hop Off bus is one of the most relaxed ways to discover Malta’s attractions. The double-decker buses have specially designated routes, making stops in all the major sites. Thus, you’ll enjoy a hassle-free ride, soaking in the bright sun and disembarking wherever and whenever you feel like it.