Exploring Naxxar: Things to See and Do


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Naxxar is one of the oldest villages in Malta. It has a lot of history dating back to its early settlers. You can wander around its old streets and feel the Maltese authentic life. The town square is a favourite spot for locals, with cosy bars, restaurants and band clubs.

I’ve lived in Malta since 2011. I enjoy exploring its towns and their lively culture. Naxxar is a sweet town with a great atmosphere. I enjoy spending time at Naxxar cafes with friends.

When you explore a new place, it’s common to follow the popular tourist routes. But if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, consider visiting Naxxar. This authentic village has old traditional architecture and narrow streets so you can learn more about Malta’s past.

In this blog post, I’ll share interesting bits on Naxxar’s history. I will also share things to do, my favourite dining spots, and other insider tips.

The Brief History of Naxxar

Some believe its name came from the Hebrew word “Nazar,” hinting at a chosen place or a secluded haven. This town, set high on a hill, has roots deep in history.

Evidence like Punic tombs and ancient cart ruts show the rich history of this town. Legends even say that when Saint Paul faced a shipwreck, the kind-hearted ‘Naxxarin’ (citizens from Naxxar) were the first to lend a helping hand.

Naxxar is one of Malta’s historic towns. It blends the old with the new. While recent developments have modernised parts of this town, it retains its charming narrow streets. These alleys showcase traditional architecture and offer a genuine taste of Malta’s rich heritage.

Things to See and Do

Experience Palazzo Parisio

Built in 1733 by Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena, the Palazzo Parisio served in various roles, from a university to barracks.

Marquis Scicluna bought it in 1898 and redesigned it into the palace we see today. He also purchased more land and expanded the gardens.

Today, Palazzo Parisio remains a symbol of elegance and heritage. You can admire its lavish interiors with intricate designs and artistry. The surrounding gardens are also beautiful, full of Mediterranean and exotic plants.

A grand entrance to Palazzo Parisio, a historic palace located in Naxxar, Malta, featuring ornate architecture and decorative elements.
Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar, Malta

The Palazzo offers a restaurant, serving lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

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Visit the Parish Church in Naxxar

Right across from Palazzo Parisio is the Parish Church of Our Lady. It’s one of the tallest baroque churches in Malta.

Its impressive facade features a large bronze door and two distinct clocks. One clock tells the current time, while the other always reads a quarter to twelve. This is a tradition believed to trick the devil about mass timing.

Inside, the church houses sacred art, including a painting of the Birth of Our Lady by Mattia Preti. A highlight is the Vitorja statue (Our Lady of Victories), decorated with jewels. It was gifted to the church by grateful Naxxar residents.

If you visit on September 8th, you’ll experience the festa, a lively local celebration.

A view of the Parish Church in Naxxar, Malta, showcasing its impressive facade adorned with statues and ornate architectural details.
Parish Church in Naxxar, Malta

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Planning a trip to Malta, Gozo, or Comino? Get this free interactive map filled with insider tips, Google Maps links, and more.

Take a Cooking Class at The Mediterranean Culinary Academy

Explore Malta’s culinary traditions by joining a fun cooking class. Skilled chefs will guide you in creating delicious Mediterranean dishes.

After cooking, you’ll enjoy your creations with a glass of local wine. All ingredients are fresh, organic, and local, giving you a true taste of Malta. It’s a mix of fun, learning, and tasty food. Book your class here.

A picturesque view of an old street in Naxxar, Malta, featuring charming stone buildings with blue doors and windows, surrounded by vibrant pink flowers.
A Street in Naxxar

Enjoy Brunch

Naxxar has become a brunch hotspot, with several delightful places to choose from. Two spots I tried and can recommend are Java and Charles & Ron Cafe.

Java: This cafe is my favourite for brunch. The food is so delicious. I recommend Eggs Benedict or Salmon Avocado Bagel. And while it can get busy on Sundays, the wait is usually short. You can also get an iced pistachio latte here. The staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is welcoming, so it’s a must-go in Naxxar.

A delicious brunch plate at Java in Naxxar featuring smoked salmon, poached egg, avocado slices, lemon wedges, and chia seeds, drizzled with green pesto sauce.
Brunch at Java, Naxxar

Charles & Ron Cafe: It’s more than a place to eat; it’s a fashion experience. The cafe has the latest Charles and Ron designer items, so you get a taste of fashion. Of course, you will also try lots of great food. The menu is fresh and healthy, so it’s a great place to relax in the morning.

Take a Walk along the Old Streets

Stroll down Naxxar’s narrow streets and admire its beautiful architecture. You’ll find charming houses lining the streets, with colourful traditional balconies and doors. Streets and buildings like these make for great vacation shots.

A narrow street in Naxxar adorned with traditional Maltese architecture, featuring a charming blue door and windows against a backdrop of limestone walls.
Old Streets with Authentic Maltese Architecture at Naxxar, Malta

Is Naxxar the Right Base for Your Malta Holiday?

Naxxar offers a genuine slice of Maltese life. While the town might not have an extensive range of lodging options, it offers several B&Bs and boutique hotels. These are often set within restored houses, blending history with modern comforts.

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Places to Stay in Naxxar

Chapel 5 Boutique Suites B&B: An 18th-century boutique hotel in Naxxar with outdoor pools, luxurious rooms, and personalised breakfasts. Book here.

Knights In Malta B&B: A historic Naxxar stay with limestone walls, antique charm, and balconies offering street views. Book here.

Villa Selmunett: A peaceful Naxxar edge homestay, offering garden views and heartfelt hospitality. Book here.

Naxxar is a convenient base for exploring Malta. Yet, getting around Malta by bus can be time-consuming. If you stay in Malta for a week or longer, I recommend renting a car. Check out Discover Cars for reliable rental options.

The town has everything you need. From local shops, gyms, and spas to restaurants, Naxxar ensures a comfortable stay. But, if you’re envisioning a beach holiday, remember that Naxxar isn’t coastal. The nearest beaches are about 25 minutes away by car, making it essential to plan beach outings.

A serene old street in Naxxar, Malta, lined with vibrant potted plants and traditional Maltese buildings, capturing the essence of Mediterranean charm.
Old Naxxar Street

Naxxar: Nearby Attractions

Top Of The World – Għargħur: Sunset lovers love this viewpoint (click here for location). You can see the sea, towns, and farm fields. On a clear day, you can even see Sicily. It’s a relaxing spot, and it offers an outstanding view of Malta’s landscape. Nearby, the Victoria Lines invite adventurers for a hike.

Victoria Lines Trail: The Victoria Lines is a defensive wall across the island. If love hiking and nature, this trail promises scenic views of north Malta and Gozo’s cliffs. From Naxxar you can access the segment from Madliena. Click here to find my comprehensive guide to the Victoria Lines hike.

Salina National Park: This park offers a playground and picnic tables (click here for location). The bird park and the sea can be seen from here. While the park is a peaceful retreat, it’s also home to wild chameleons. That could be an exciting experience if you love nature.

Elaborate traditional feast decorations adorning a building facade in Naxxar, Malta, showcasing intricate designs and vibrant colours typical of Maltese celebrations.
Traditional Feast Decorations

Naxxar is a town worth stopping by because of its history and culture. Naxxar’s grand Palazzo Parisio and charming cafes will make your trip authentic.

Find out more about Malta’s wonders with my other guides on Valletta, Three Cities, Rabat, Mdina, and more. You can find guides on the best beaches, water sports adventures or Malta’s historic sites.

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