What to do in Malta - 20+ festivals and events you shouldn't miss in 2019

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What to do in Malta - 20+ festivals and events you shouldn't miss in 2019

 

The calendar for 2019 in Malta is jam-packed with events, from celebrations of local produce to smoking-hot music festivals. Planning a visit throughout the year? Want to know what to do in Malta on your arrival? You've come to the right place - we've got the ultimate 'What to do in Malta' list laid out for you.

 

What To Do in Malta

 

What to do in Malta year-long:

Paceville, St. Julian’s - Malta's most popular nightlife location

Located in the midst of St Julian’s, Paceville is at the heart of Malta's clubbing scene - perfect for individuals looking to enjoy a night out. The party hub doesn’t solely feature clubs but also hosts an exquisite range of restaurants. Amongst the most popular clubs in Paceville is Havana which mainly attracts people who fancy a night of dancing. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a fancier time out, the Shadow Club might be more apt for your taste. Chill on the leather couches or party away to the beats the DJ of the night decides to drop.  

You won’t want to travel far from the action, so book exclusively through Choice Holidays to get a great deal on the St George’s Park Hotel, a three-star hotel only six minutes away from the beach front.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Aria Village - San Ġwann

Aria is a party complex in San Ġwann that forms part of Malta's clubbing scene. The venue organises pool parties in summer and cosy indoor nights in winter to cater for all sorts of people and tastes. Aria is no ordinary nightclub, though - the venue will throw the most unique concepts your way, such as foam parties and themed events. Aria does away with recorded tracks and opts for live music and DJs on most of the nights. Aria is also host to many private events so careful not to crash a wedding during your visit to the complex!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Café Del Mar - Bugibba

 

Café Del Mar is an entertainment site best suited for people looking for a chill evening. Café Del Mar is based in Bugibba and forms part of the renowned Ibizan chain. Sip on some cocktails by the infinity pool or attend one of the exclusive events hosted at the location. Unfortunately, Café Del Mar is only open between May and October for events so you’ll miss out on the incredible fun at the venue if you visit during the colder months.

Worried about where you’re going to stay while you’re partying? We recommend booking a room or two at the Relax Inn in the heart of Bugibba, so you can go from your room to the party to the room, and cut down on travelling when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself.

 

What to do in Malta in Winter:

1. Carnival

Date: 28th February - 5th March 2019
Price: Free

As Carnival rolls in, Malta is transformed. Families gather in the streets of Valletta to appreciate upbeat music, rehearsed dance routines and yummy candy carts.

Take the time to appreciate Maltese craftsmanship as floats make their way down the city streets carrying hobbyists dressed in extravagant costumes.

If you're looking for a wilder experience - make your way to Nadur, Gozo to enjoy the traditional nightlife. Gozo (Malta's sister island) can be reached through the Channel located in Cirkewwa. The village calls for hooded and masked creatures to fill its every corner. Mystery and spontaneity is guaranteed.

But be warned: the Gozitan event is not for the faint of heart - only for the strong in sense of adventure.

 

You definitely won’t want to hike into Valletta on the morning of Carnival, so Choice Holidays recommends booking at the Plaza Hotel in Sliema, where a ferry ride is only a few minutes’ walk away, saving you time, traffic woes, and money! Plus, have you seen the gorgeous view from the Plaza Hotel?

What to do in Malta in Spring:

2. Good Friday

Date: 19th April 2019
Price: Free

Roman Catholic beliefs are deeply rooted in Maltese culture to this very day. 

The day before Easter, the Maltese commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ through numerous events.

In the morning (before the 3pm service), families honour the tradition of The Seven Churches Visitations. Catholic families visit 7 different churches, reciting a prayer in front of the Altar of Repose at each stop.

The choice of churches in Malta is endless so finding 7 churches to visit isn't an issue. Later on during the day - usually at around 5pm - Good Friday Processions fill the streets. Hobbyists dress up in period costumes and march behind carved statues to memorial melodies.

Locals sometimes join in wearing masks and chains in order to signify penitence - although this is a dying tradition.

The most renown procession spots are located in; Żebbuġ, Rabat, Birgu and Senglea. We recommend you visit one of these villages on Good Friday for a genuine Maltese experience.

Good Friday Procession - Zebbug

 

3. Festa Frawli - Strawberry Festival

Date: Beginning to mid April 2019
Price: Free (food items and participation in activities come at a fee)

If you're looking for what to do in Malta, a food event is definitely a must!

Agriculture and the love for nature are prevalent in Maltese culture and that's why a festival celebrating Strawberries is a thing in Malta. 

Festa Frawli is a yearly Strawberry festival held in Mgarr, Malta. The Mgarr parish square is filled with vendors' tents for the occasion. A constant supply of freshly picked strawberries is put on sale throughout the day by local farmers.

Alongside the fresh fruit, numerous desserts and beverages featuring Strawberries are sold all day. Folk music and entertainment offered all through the day - making for the perfect family event!

The friendly village of Mgarr is not to be passed up!

Festa Frawli

 

4. Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival

Date: Mid to late April 2019
Price: Free

Year after year, the Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival has gained undoubtable fame.

The festival gathers different firework factories which each exhibit two Catherine wheels. The wheels start being set up at 10am which allows enthusiasts to be present for the set-up process. The organisation continues all through the day.

Firing sets off at 10:30pm and is accompanied by upbeat music. While Maltese firework factories maintain an unspoken rivalry between them, the Ground Firework Festival is the only occasion they can directly compete against each other.

The festival issues 3 rewards throughout the night which are given out for best mechanism, best use of products and originality for design. Winning any of these merits is considered to be a huge honour for the factory. If you want to know more about Malta's history with fireworks, read our past blog post.

Malta Ground Fireworks Festival

 

5. Malta International Music Festival

Date: 15th April - 01st May 2019
Price: Ranges from €10-€35

The Malta International Music Festival will take place in Valletta.

Each day of the festival will feature a unique music concert carried out by international artists. Some concerts will take place in one of the oldest European buildings “Sacra Infermeria” while others will be held in the Robert Samut Hall, one of the most unique Maltese architectural structures from the 19th century.

Many exceptional musicians will take part in the festival, amongst which are: Maxim Vengerov, Ray Chen, Salvatore Accardo, Andreas Ottensamer, Nikolai Lugansky. In honour of the 115th anniversary of Aram Khachaturian, the festival will also feature a symphony concert held in his commemoration.

International Music Festival

Get the best of the Malta International Music Festival by booking at the Plaza Hotel - although it’s in Sliema, you can catch the ferry into Valletta, and the stunning view and amenities offer by the Plaza Hotel are unbeatable. Book now through Choice Holidays.

 

6. AMP Lost and Found

Date: 02nd -  05th May 2019
Price: Ranging from £130.90 - £174.90

The fifth edition of Annie Mac Presents is set to be the biggest one ever, with day and night parties happening almost every hour, a line-up set to snap the soundwaves, and irresistible beach-adjacent locations which will let you go straight from the partying to the waves without an outfit change needed. This year, AMP Lost and Found has partnered with Choice Holidays to offer you all-inclusive deals for flights and accomodations, so the only question you need to ask yourself is this: why haven’t you booked yet?

 

7. The Malta Robotics Olympiad

Date: Late April 2019
Price: Free

The Malta Robotics Olympiad is a free family event organised by the Ministry of Education and Employment.

The event is held at the Malta Fair and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali and will feature hands-on workshops and exhibitors alongside major events. 

There will also be a number of competitions and challenges being held amongst which are the Lego Sumo Qualifiers, the DIY Bots Challenge and the Code Sprint Hackathon which will be held over 4 hours. The event is usually held between 4pm and 10:30pm so there's little excuse for missing out on it!

MRO

 

8. Rock the South

Date: 12th-14th April 2019
Price: Ranges from €12 - €30

Rock the South is by far one of the longest-running alternative music festivals in Malta.

In the past 5 editions, Rock the South has found a home at Zion Reggae Bar in Marsascala. But this year, the event will also bring about a vast line-up of DJs and musicians to Valletta in honour of V18. 

Rock the South promises to treat us music lovers to a packed line-up of forty local and international music acts, as well as DJs, so the fun seems to be guaranteed!

Rock the South

 

9. Malta International Fireworks Festival

Date: Between 24th April to 4th May 2019. Accurate dates to be confirmed
Price: Free

Attending a firework festival is number 1 on the list of 'What to do in Malta'. 

The Malta International Fireworks Festival is held to celebrate Malta’s anniversary on joining the European Union. This festival attracts a variety of pyrotechnic companies from countries from all over the world.

The Festival will feature talents from Australia, Canada, Venezuela, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Both local and foreign firework factories will participate in the upcoming edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival and will compete for the title of best Firework company.

Winners will receive a special trophy depending on their ranking while other participants shall receive commemorative trophies.

International Fireworks Festival

 

10. Valletta Green Festival

Date: Early May 2019
Price: Free

Watch Pjazza San Ġorġ in Valletta turn into a carpet of potted plants over the first weekend in May.

The flower carpet (or infioriata) is created from seasonal flowers, packed tightly together. This results in a colourful mixture of whites, pinks, purples, yellows and reds. The event is organised in hopes to inspire locals to start developing green areas in their own towns and villages.

 

Valletta Green Festival

 

11. Malta Fashion Week & Awards

Date: Late May to early June 2019
Price: Early Bird tickets start at €10

Are you a fashionista looking for what to do in Malta? This event is for you! 

The Malta Fashion Week is a week of fashion events which seeks to celebrate fashion, culture and above all; talent. The Malta Fashion Week usually attracts over 8,000 people during the week - both local and international. The Malta Fashion Awards alone attracts over 5,000 in just one night. We recommend this event to all fashionistas out there who are looking to discover new talent and feed their obsession within fashion. 

Top fashion icons will be there, will you?

Malta Fashion Week

 

12. Earth Garden Festival

Date: 30th May - 03rd June 2019
Price: Starting at €15 for day passes and €40 for camping permits

Earth Garden is a yearly green festival held in Ta’ Qali in order to raise awareness regarding the safeguarding of the environment.

The message is passed across through art, music and cultural activities. The festival predominantly features local artists. The site typically features 5 different music stages in order to satisfy all tastes and likes. One can choose whether to attend Earth Garden for a day or camp at the site for its 4 day run.

Make sure to explore the enchanted forest and indulge in the food court to guarantee a time to be remembered.

Earth Garden

 

13. Valletta Film Festival

Date: 14th - 23rd June 2019
Price: Range from €7 for a ticket to €75 for a festival pass

Calling all movie buffs!

The Valletta Film Festival is not to be missed. For the entirety of a week, Valletta is transformed into a city-sized cinema which features numerous short films during its running. Free screenings are held at San Gorg alongside masterclasses, conferences and debates regarding the topic of the film industry. 

Valletta Film Festival

 

What to do in Malta in Summer:

14. Uno Village - Ta' Qali

Date: Summer-long
Price: Variable

 

Uno Village is set in the confines of Ta’ Qali and prides itself in being the biggest club amongst Gozo's and Malta's clubbing scene. Given that the venue is set on the outdoors, the venue can only function in summer but the Uno crew takes advantage of the winter to recharge and come back with bigger and better events every year. At Uno, you can dance to the latest tracks of RnB, commercial house and alternative rock while treating yourself at the four full-sized bars located on the scene.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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15. Gianpula Village - L/O Zebbug

Date: Summer-long
Price: Variable

If you’re planning to visit Malta in summer, Gianpula is not to be missed. Gianpula is housed in an old farmhouse in the limits of Żebbuġ. Surprisingly, the quaint village conceals within its borders a package of fun and entertainment. Whether it’s nightclubs, exclusive parties or cocktails accompanied by a taste of the setting sun - Gianpula has it all on offer! Apart from offering stunning clubbing opportunities, the site makes use of its extensive outdoor space to host Malta’s biggest concerts and festivals - easily holding groups as big as 20,000 people.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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16. GhanaFest

Date: Late June 2019
Price: €3

This event is a two-day music festival which takes place in the marvellous surroundings of Buskett Gardens. The festival seeks to deliver a celebration of local traditional music, multi-ethnicity and cross-border collaboration.

Ghanafest features a 6-hour programme every day which is divided into 3 different sections: Maltese folk song, local artists and foreign bands.

The idea might be traditional but its execution is top notch!

 

17. Malta Music Week

Date: 27th June- 01st July 2019
Price: Isle of MTV is free while the other events start at €5

When we're asked for advice about what to do in Malta, the Music Week comes to mind.

Every year, G7 Events, in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority and MTV, hosts a week-long music festival. The main hero of the event is Isle of MTV really and truly. Isle of MTV hosts numerous household names which visit the island to perform on the outdoor stage in Floriana. Whether it’s the VIP tickets you opt for or the standard free ones, the experience will be unforgettable nonetheless.

Check out what Music Week featured last year and keep checking in with our website to catch a rundown of the new schedule as soon as it's out.

 

18. The Malta International Arts Festival

Date: 29th June- 13st July 2019
Price: Averaging at €25

The Malta International Arts Festival embraces music, art, theatre, dance, opera, film and education through its celebration of the past and promotion of the present times.

The festival spreads in venues and spaces of historical significance which will allow you to visit venues which are not often open to the public. Every performance is designed to target different audiences and seeks to cater for all tastes.

A long list of internationally renowned artists has participated in MIAF, including several ensembles, artists and organisations.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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19. Malta International Jazz Festival

Date: 15th - 20th July 2019
Price: Start at €20

The Malta International Jazz Festival takes place in July of every year and features a line-up of prime international and Maltese artists.

The jazz festival presents an eclectic mix of jazz styles from the current musical scene so get ready to soothe your soul with some hearty jazz tunes while you bid July farewell.

The festival is held in the beautiful hub that is the Grand Harbour which creates a truly stunning experience.

International Jazz Festival

 

20. Farsons Beer Festival

Date: 26th July - 4th August 2019
Price: Free (food and beverages come at an extra cost)

How does this sound?

Free entrance to a music festival hosting over 70 performers, bars featuring over 50 award-winning beers, food stalls selling the best dishes of Maltese restaurants...  Good, right?

Well, it sums up perfectly The Farsons Beer Festival. Farsons puts on this massive festival at the end of July and has it running for over 10 days.

The festival is annually held at  Ta' Qali and delivers unforgettable experiences time and time again.

Farsons Great Beer Festival

 

21. Delicata Wine Festival

Date: Early August 2019
Price: Free (wine and food come at an extra cost)

A summer night calls for alcohol and fun.

What to do in Malta when the craving calls? Why not spend an evening of wine tasting in the picturesque location of Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta? 

The Delicata Festival starts opening its wines at 7pm and pops its last cork at 11:30pm. While you drink your wine, treat yourself to the entertainment organized by local artists and the food stalls lined up in the garden.

Make sure to book a cab ahead of time so you can enjoy the whole night without worry.

 

Delicata Wine Festival

 

22. Glitch Festival

Date: 14th - 16th August 2019
Price: Starting at around €50

Glitch is a relatively new festival but it delivers nonetheless!

Attending Glitch has become a priority on young adult's list of what to do in Malta. The festival hit the island in 2016 and has never disappointed a soul. Explore the beauty of Buskett this year and dance the night away to some state-of-the-art techno.

Tickets are limited so make sure you hurry up and secure your place by pre-registering on the event's official website.

Glitch

 

23. Victory Day

Date: 08th September 2019
Price: Free

Victory Day celebrates 3 crucial dates in Maltese history.

1565 marked the end of the Great Siege in Malta, 1800 saw the departure of the French occupants from the island and 1943 saw a truce of the fascist regime in Italy.

These 3 events happened on the same date - 8th September - over the course of 378 years.

The Maltese celebrate this public holiday to their best capabilities. Amongst the activities taking place on the day, the most predominant is the regatta which is held in the afternoon.

The regatta features traditional rowing boats as enthusiasts race across a 1,040-meter course; from Fort St Angelo to Valletta.

Victory Day - Regatta

 

What to do in Malta in Autumn:

24. Notte Bianca (Lejl Imdawwal) 

Date: October 2019
Price: Free

Notte Bianca is Malta’s biggest annual arts and culture festival.

For one night, every October, Notte Bianca lights up the Valletta cityscape with a spectacular celebration that is open to the public free of charge.

State palaces and museums open their doors to delight visitors with visual art exhibitions and theatre performances. Streets and piazzas are transformed into venues for theatrical performances and concerts, while many cafes and restaurants extend their hours.

Notte Bianca

 

25. Birgufest

Date: Mid October 2019
Price: Free

Birgufest takes place in one of Malta's oldest and most historical cities - Birgu.

Its primary aim was to highlight Birgu's historic and architectural beauty of the city. Birgufest creates a romantic atmosphere, lighting up the city streets with the gentle glow of thousands of candles. The event offers numerous activities throughout the festival such as historical re-enactments, cheap museum entrances, and visits to cultural locations.

Birgufest

 

26. Rolex Middle Sea Race

Date: 15th-26th October 2019
Price: Free

What to do in Malta when you're a big yacht fan?

While yachts are everywhere on the island, we recommend you keep your eyes open for The Rolex Sea Race. The Middle Sea Race is a yacht race organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The race was co-founded in 1968 by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 607-mile (977 km) race starts and finishes in Malta, and takes the fleet on a route around Sicily, Italy.

The race is not to missed if you're a yachting enthusiast. And even if you're not, watching the majestic yachts sailing out of the Grand Harbour is a spectacle all by itself!

Rolex Middle Sea Race

 

27. ŻiguŻajg Festival

Date: 15th - 24th November 2019
Price: Admission starts at €2

Been googling 'what to do in Malta with kids'? ŻiguŻajg is the answer to your prayers. The festival was specially established for children and young people. The festival has previously featured 28 productions, including 12 foreign shows from seven different countries. Artists from Spain, France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands among others, team up with some of the best Maltese artists to create the only festival in Malta which celebrates children and young people. Tickets are made available on the ŻiguŻajg website as the event approaches so keep your eyes open on their space. 

Ziguzajg

 

Found what to do in Malta? Excited for this year's line up? Don’t let travel troubles ruin your fun - Choice Holidays has a number of hotels available for rent throughout the year, but if you really want to be close to the action, you can’t go wrong with booking at the Plaza Hotel in Sliema, the Relax Inn in Bugibba, or the St. George’s Park Hotel in St Julians.

 

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