Malta in December: it’s the perfect warm festive destination!
A gorgeous island sitting just to the south of Italy, Malta basks in a mild Mediterranean climate.
With bright blue sea, golden sandy beaches, extensive history and a unique fusion of cultures, this island’s perfect for a festive break!
I love the island of Malta – it has such a friendly vibe and it’s the ideal place for a winter warmer.
So, whether you’re visiting Malta at Christmas or want to relish some winter sunshine at the start of the month, here’s a full guide, with reasons to visit Malta in December, things to do, places to stay, weather and a packing list!
Reasons to visit Malta in December
With plenty of sunshine and lots of restaurants and things to do, there are tonnes of reasons to visit Malta in December.
Read on for my favourite things about the island in winter!
1. Glorious winter sun
December weather in Malta can be unpredictable.
However, it’s always going to be warmer than the climate in Northern Europe!
Sunshine is common, although it gets cooler after the sun sets.
On a lucky day, you could experience highs up to 25°C (77°F), although this is a rarity.
Do also prepare for the possibility of colder days, with temperatures sometimes falling to 10°C (50°F).
It very rarely snows in Malta, and if it does, it usually happens in January – not December!
But winter weather has been a little unpredictable in recent years, so bear this in mind when you’re packing.
Diving’s even possible – I went diving when I was in Malta one April, and my instructor told me it’s just about manageable in December.
2. Tourist attractions are open
Worried about closed doors and empty streets?
Rest assured, Malta’s most iconic spots stay open in December!
From Valletta’s historical landmarks to most cafes and bars, you won’t feel like you’re visiting a ghost town!
Some beach bars close up shop, but visit the island’s cities, and you’ll find most businesses are open.
And in Valletta, the Christmas spirit is high!
Live shows, choir performances, and a variety of events take center stage during the holiday season.
If you’re a fan of architecture and history, this is a wonderful time to explore without jostling through summer crowds.
Don’t miss St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Upper Barakka Gardens and the Malta at War Museum in the capital.
3. It’s one of the cheapest times to visit the island
Looking for budget-friendly travel?
December is actually one of Malta’s most cost-effective months (apart from the Christmas holidays).
The weeks surrounding the winter holiday season offer some of the best deals of the year!
For instance, a few years ago, I know someone who found half-board accommodation in Malta for less than €200 for a week!
Prices can be more affordable too.
Generally, flying to Malta from other European destinations is budget-friendly, with low-cost carriers like EasyJet flying from capitals and major cities.
In the winter, prices are slashed – which means all the more euros for pastizzi!
4. Plenty of excellent dining
December offers a rich palette of culinary and cultural experiences in Malta.
From Valletta’s busy streets to quieter towns like Marsaxlokk, you’ll find an array of dining options.
My favourite restaurant on the island is Madiena Lodge, a romantic restaurant surrounded by trees.
When it comes to local Maltese food, you have to try pastizzi, flaky pastries filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas. These are street food snacks and only cost about €0.50!
Outdoor seating’s still popular in December, and most spaces have propane heaters.
5. Malta at Christmas is incredible
Christmas in Malta is a serious business.
It’s a Catholic country, so expect the festive cheer to begin in early December and continue throughout the whole month.
You’ll see decorations and hear Christmas songs echoing through the shops and streets of Valletta.
Unlike other destinations that quiet down, Malta is buzzing with holiday cheer.
Expect choir performances at renowned churches and live shows scattered throughout public spaces.
Of course, if you’re staying at a resort-style hotel, there will probably be a programme of activities there.
6. New Year’s celebrations
In Malta for New Year?
Hotels often host parties, but make sure to check in advance for availability and reservations.
Live shows and choir performances are common, particularly in Valletta!
There are also free fireworks at midnight!
7. Relaxed atmosphere
The atmosphere in Malta during December is ideal for a getaway.
You won’t find deserted streets or closed businesses; instead, the island stays lively.
Seaside towns like Qawra and Bugibba stay open and active, popular with locals and winter sun seekers.
Even quieter areas, such as Mellieha, maintain a sense of community and activity, although the beach may not be in prime condition.
While the waters might be too rough for a swim in the sea, the dramatic waves are fun to watch!
Things to do in Malta in December
Here are the best things to do in Malta in December!
- For an adrenaline-pumping experience, dive into The Blue Hole in Gozo. The waters are colder, but the visibility is often better.
- Looking for festive activities? Wander through Valletta’s Christmas Markets. With fewer tourists, you can more leisurely explore the stalls offering traditional Maltese holiday treats and crafts.
- Satisfy your historical curiosity at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. This Baroque masterpiece is less crowded during December, making it a prime time for a detailed visit.
- Take a hike in the Dingli Cliffs area. The crisp winter air and stunning views offer a refreshing change from the summer crowds. You could also walk to the Blue Grotto!
- Experience the awe-inspiring Megalithic Temples of Malta, such as Hagar Qim.
- Attend a performance at Manoel Theatre in Valletta. The December lineup often features holiday-themed shows that are unique to Maltese traditions.
- Take a ferry to Comino Island and enjoy the Blue Lagoon without the swarm of summer tourists.
- Engage in some wine tasting at the Marsovin Cellars.
- Head to Mdina, the silent city, for an even quieter atmopshere during the winter months. The narrow, winding streets are even more magical with holiday decorations!
- If you’re a fan of seafood, December is the perfect time to visit Marsaxlokk Fish Market and try the seasonal catches.
- Take advantage of the off-season to explore Fort Rinella at your own pace. The 100-ton gun and historical reenactments offer a fascinating glimpse into Malta’s military history.
Where to Stay in Malta in December
These are the best places to stay in Malta at Christmas!
If you’re looking for high-end accommodations complete with spa services, an indoor pool, and gourmet dining options, I recommend staying at Radisson Blu St Julian’s.
Situated close to the popular district of St. Julian’s, the hotel offers epic sea views and immediate access to coastal walking paths.
I’ve stayed here before and loved running up and down the beach!
Perfect for the off-season, there’s an indoor spa with a heated pool, jacuzzi and sauna.
Pebbles Boutique Aparthotel in Sliema is my favourite place I’ve stayed in Malta.
This aparthotel provides the comforts of home— apartments have modern kitchenettes and living spaces —combined with hotel services.
Plus, the bed was incredibly comfy!
Its convenient location is ideal for exploring the surrounding shopping and dining areas too!
Weather in Malta in December
Malta in December offers a milder climate compared to the scorching summer months.
With an average of 8 days of rain, it’s advisable to pack a mix of light layers and waterproof gear.
|Average High Temperature||17°C (63°F)|
|Average Low Temperature||11°C (52°F)|
|Rainy Days||8 days|
|Sea Temperature||18°C (64°F)|
Packing List for Malta in December
- Light Waterproof Jacket: Intermittent rain showers are common, so a water-resistant layer is crucial.
- Warm Sweater or Fleece: While daytime temperatures are mild, evenings can be chilly.
- Long-Sleeve Tops and T-Shirts: Layering is key for adapting to fluctuating temperatures.
- Jeans or Long Pants: Ideal for daytime wandering and formal enough for dining out.
- Comfortable Shoes: For all the walking you’ll do, consider closed-toe shoes that offer support.
- Sunscreen: Even in December, Malta’s sun can be strong.
- Umbrella: Small and portable, for those 8 average rainy days.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring.
Tech and gadgets
- Portable Charger: Keep your phone and camera ready for capturing memories.
- Travel Adapter: Malta uses the Type G plug, so make sure your devices are compatible.
- Toiletries: Although hotels often provide these, it’s best to bring your own, especially specialized items.
- First Aid Kit: Basic supplies like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
- Backpack or Day Bag: For daily excursions and carrying essentials.
- Snacks: Portable and non-perishable, like granola bars or mixed nuts, to keep you fueled during your activities.
Tips for visiting Malta in December
- Plan for variable weather: Malta’s climate in December can range from sunny to rainy, so packing layers is key.
- Keep an eye out for deals: December, aside from the Christmas period, is considered an off-season month, making it a prime time for snagging discounted flights and accommodation.
- Be mindful of holiday closures: While many tourist attractions remain open, some may have limited hours or closures around the Christmas and New Year holidays.
- Take advantage of public transport: Traffic is generally less congested than in the peak seasons, making it a convenient time to explore the island by bus. See below for my YouTube video about the buses in Malta!
- Join in on local events: Keep an eye out for Christmas concerts, outdoor shows, and other festive activities that typically occur throughout December.
- The sea is choppier: The sea can be quite choppy in Malta in December! This means that boat trips won’t go ahead, and you’ll take the short ferry from Ċirkewwa if you’re also going to Gozo. It also means swimming might be a no-go – well, that and the water’s pretty chilly!
FAQs about spending December in Malta
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about December in Malta.
Is December a good time to visit Malta?
December can be an excellent time to visit Malta if you prefer milder weather and fewer crowds.
While you won’t experience the scorching summer temperatures, you’ll find it easier to explore tourist spots and cultural landmarks.
Many activities remain available, though it’s advised to check opening hours in advance due to the holiday season.
Is Malta warm in December?
In December, Malta has milder temperatures compared to the hot summer months.
Average high temperatures hover around 17°C (63°F), and lows can dip to 11°C (52°F).
While it’s not exactly warm, it’s far from freezing and is generally comfortable for outdoor activities!
Is it possible to swim in Malta in December?
Quite often, the waters are very choppy in Malta in December, which can make it unsafe to swim.
Plus, the sea temperature is chillier – it averages 18°C (64°F).
That being said, some people are fine swimming at this temperature!
Is Malta nice to visit at Christmas?
Malta has a very festive atmosphere during Christmas, with holiday-themed events, markets, and decorations lighting up the cities.
The cultural blend of religious and secular celebrations are a unique way to experience the holiday season!
Can I sunbathe in Malta in December?
While sunbathing is possible, the cooler temperatures make it less comfortable than in the summer months!
Also, the days are shorter and cloud cover is more likely, so it’s less likely that you’ll be able to sunbathe.
Is Malta cheap in December?
December falls within Malta’s off-peak season, which means that accommodations and some activities are indeed more budget-friendly!
You may find lower rates on hotels and fewer crowds at popular tourist attractions, which could potentially make your trip more cost-effective.
Is Everything Open in Malta in December?
Most tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants stay open in December.
But some places may have reduced hours or be closed on specific dates, such as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Always check the opening hours in advance to avoid disappointment!
Is Malta Rainy in December?
December averages about 8 rainy days in Malta.
While it’s not excessively rainy, intermittent showers can occur.
So, do pack a light waterproof jacket and a portable umbrella to stay prepared.
Check out some more tips for travelling Malta in this YouTube video
Are you ready to visit Malta in December?
Shimmering beaches that stretch for miles, epic history and wonderful food – Malta’s a glorious destination for December!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you plan your visit to Malta!