Exploring Msida and Beyond: Your Ultimate Malta Travel Guide [2024]

Msida Malta

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Are you thinking of staying in Msida for your Malta trip? Wondering if it’s a must-visit? You’re in the right spot. I moved to Malta in 2011. My first home was in Msida. I know it well. This guide is packed with local tips. Let’s dive into what makes Msida a great choice.

About Msida: Discovering Its Location, Historical Roots and Traditions

Msida, located in Malta’s Central Region, offers more than scenic views. With a population of about 10,000, it lies near Valletta and enjoys warm, sunny summers.

Surrounded by Ta’ Xbiex, Gzira, Pieta and other towns, Msida is a vital hub. Its location makes it a key stop, as many bus routes crisscross through, connecting travellers to the rest of Malta. Furthermore, Msida houses the University of Malta, a Mater Dei Hospital and a Junior College in the nearby town called Pieta.

The town’s spirit shines in July with the St. Joseph’s feast, featuring il-Ġostra, where participants climb a greased pole to catch a flat attached at the end of it.

Once a small fishing village, Msida has evolved into a lively urban area, yet some fishermen still preserve the old ways. This transformation since becoming a parish in 1867 mirrors Malta’s dynamic history.

Msida Malta - Parish Church at Christmas Time
Parish Church at Christmas Time

Is Msida the Right Choice for Your Holiday Stay?

Msida might not be my first choice for a stay in Malta, mainly due to its limited attractions and busy traffic. However, if proximity to Valletta and efficient public transport are your priorities, it’s a viable option. Plus, its affordability is a significant advantage for budget watchers.


Affordable accommodation: Msida stands out for its affordability. You’ll find a range of budget-friendly accommodations, from apartments to modest hotels, making it an excellent choice for cost-conscious travellers.

Efficient transport network: Travelling around Malta from Msida is easy thanks to the efficient bus system. With many routes passing through, it’s a convenient base for exploring the island.

Various dining options: Msida offers a variety of dining experiences. Whether you’re craving local Maltese cuisine or international flavours, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Beautiful marina and promenade for walks: The town’s marina is a highlight, offering relaxing walks. You can stroll along the coast, enjoying a scenic route that extends 7 km to St. Julians.

Msida Malta - Seaside
Msida Seaside

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Potential Drawbacks

While Msida has many advantages, it may not be the right fit for everyone. Here are some aspects to consider before choosing the right place for your stay:

Risk of flooding: In rainy weather, from October to March, Msida’s lower valley area is prone to flooding, which can disrupt travel plans.

Lack of luxury accommodation: Those seeking upscale or luxury stays might find Msida’s options limited, as the town primarily offers budget-friendly holiday apartments.

Absence of beaches: While Msida has no beach, neighbouring Ta’Xbiex offers a rocky coastline (click here for location). If sandy beach-side accommodation is a priority, this might be a drawback.

Limited parking: Parking in Msida can be challenging, with limited availability. This can be particularly inconvenient for visitors planning to rent a car.

No nightlife: Msida is not known for its nightlife, offering calm, quiet evenings instead. If you’re looking for vibrant night activities or clubs, St. Julians, just a short journey away, is the go-to destination for nightlife in Malta.

Is Msida Worth a Visit During Your Malta Holiday?

If you enjoy long walks and marina strolls, Msida might be a pleasant stop. Walking along the marina and watching yachts is relaxing. You can easily reach Msida marina by foot from nearby towns like St. Julians, Sliema, Gzira, or Ta’Xbiex.

Msida Malta - Marina at Night
Marina at Night

Just a short walk from Msida there is Msida Bastion Cemetery and Historic Garden. This place is a hidden treasure. Run by volunteers, it’s a unique and affordable attraction at only €2 per entry.

Open until noon, it’s a peaceful spot steeped in history. Once a cemetery, it now offers a quiet glimpse into Malta’s past. It’s perfect for those who love serene, historical settings.

However, if your stay in Malta is brief, you might want to skip Msida. Other Malta’s must-see places might be more rewarding.

Msida: Tried & Tested Food and Drink Options

Here, I’ve compiled a list of eateries I tried and recommend.

Busy Bee: This café is a must-visit. Their ricotta qassata is a must. It’s perfect after a long walk. They offer many traditional Maltese pastries. If you like sweets, their cannoli with ricotta is a delight.

Kebab Factory: For a casual meal, try Kebab Factory’s kebabs and Turkish breakfast. Always fresh and tasty.

Msida Malta - Turkish Breakfast at Kebab Factory
Turkish Breakfast at Kebab Factory

Mamma Mia: Known for generous pizzas and pasta dishes, Mamma Mia is a local’s favourite restaurant. It’s often busy, so booking ahead is wise.

Tikka’s Thai: For authentic Thai cuisine, Tikka Thai is the place. Their curries and stir-fries are fresh and full of flavour. Try the Thai curry with prawns. It’s my favourite. This is a small and casual restaurant. I prefer take-out and eating next to the sea.

Msida Malta - Tikka's Thai restaurant
Tikka’s Thai restaurant

Avotaco: Craving Mexican? Avotaco serves tasty tacos and burritos, combining quick service with quality.

Shakinah: This restaurant offers modern Indian dishes. It’s a popular choice for adventurous culinary experiences.

Msida Malta - Indian Foot at Coastal Flavours
Indian Food at Coastal Flavours

Coffee Circus Porto: This café is a must-visit for coffee lovers, renowned for serving the best coffees in Malta. It’s not just the coffee that draws the crowds, but also the warm, friendly staff, homemade desserts and the café’s unique décor.

Msida Malta - Coffee Circus Porto
Coffee Circus Porto

Msida Malta - Cappuccino at Coffee Circus Porto
Cappuccino at Coffee Circus Porto

Exploring Nearby Attractions from Msida

I love walking from St. Julian’s to Msida. It’s a 7 km trip along the sea and you will pass Sliema, Gzira and Ta’Xbiex. The view is great, especially on sunny winter days. Here are some details about these towns.

Ta’ Xbiex – a scenic marina walk: Just a stroll away from Msida, Ta’ Xbiex is a pretty town known for its beautiful old villas and stunning marina promenade. For more insights, check out my detailed guide to Ta’ Xbiex.

Gzira – a lively town: Near Msida, Gzira bustles with restaurants and bars. Don’t miss exploring Manoel Island. For a comprehensive look at Gzira, visit my guide here.

Sliema – a tourists’ favourite: A short distance from Msida, Sliema is a must-visit for tourists. Known for its shopping and rocky beaches, there’s much to see and do. Discover more about Sliema in my guide here.

A separate journey worth taking is from Msida to Valletta.

Valletta – Malta’s capital: I enjoy walking from Msida to Valletta. The harbour views are breathtaking, and I love the soothing sound of masts clinking in the wind. Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a historic city rich in attractions and history. For a detailed exploration, see my Valletta guide.

If you want to understand Malta’s history well, take a walking tour in Valletta. Look at my guide for the best Valletta walking tours.

Comparing Msida with Other Malta Destinations

Marsaskala is a quiet fishing village, great for families. It has playgrounds and small beaches. Perfect for a peaceful stay, especially in winter.

Sliema bustles with shops and cafes. It’s known for its rocky beach and international community. Many offices are located here. It’s ideal for shopping and dining by the sea.

Naxxar shows traditional Malta. It’s quiet and in the island’s centre, without beach access. It has old houses to stay in, great for history lovers.

Buggiba attracts many tourists. It has beaches and nightlife but it can get crowded. It’s not as laid-back as Msida and has many resorts.

St. Julian’s is lively, especially at night. It has many 5-star hotels but it can be busy and noisy. A top nightlife spot.

Mellieha offers the most beautiful beaches in Malta such as Ghadira Beach, Golden Bay, Paradise Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Beach. It’s less connected than Msida and not ideal for sightseeing without a car. Traffic can be tough.

Rabat is near Mdina, rich in culture. You can stay in beautiful old palazzos. It’s quieter than Msida and great for history buffs.

Valletta is a UNESCO site, busy and historic. It has many restaurants and luxury boutique hotels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which part of Malta is the best to stay?

The best area to stay in Malta depends on your interests. Sliema and St. Julian’s are great for nightlife and shopping, while Valletta and Rabat offer rich history and culture. If you want a beach holiday, I recommend Mellieha.

Is there a beach in Msida?

No, Msida doesn’t have a beach. However, nearby Ta’ Xbiex offers a rocky coastline with beautiful views, ideal for a quick dip (click here for location).

Where to avoid staying in Malta?

Avoid staying in overly crowded or commercial areas if you prefer a quiet holiday. Paceville, known for its nightlife, can be noisy at night.

What is the prettiest place in Malta?

Mdina, known as the Silent City, and the Blue Lagoon are among the prettiest places in Malta. Mdina enchants with its ancient walls and charming streets, while the Blue Lagoon captivates with its crystal-clear waters and serene beauty.

Is Malta expensive or cheap?

Compared to other European destinations, Malta is moderately priced. Costs can vary depending on the area and lifestyle choices. If you’re on a budget, check out my guide to budget-friendly travel in Malta.

Do they speak English in Malta?

Yes, English is one of Malta’s official languages, widely spoken and understood across the island.

What food is famous in Malta?

Maltese cuisine is known for dishes like pastizzi, rabbit stew, and ħobż biż-żejt. These traditional foods reflect Malta’s rich culinary heritage.

Msida Malta - Parish Church
Msida Parish Church

Msida offers a nice blend of Maltese charm, affordability, and connectivity. While it might not have the glamour of Malta’s top tourist hotspots, its cosy cafes, scenic marina walks, and close to key attractions make it a worthwhile visit.

For more insights into the vibrant life of Malta, don’t forget to check out my comprehensive guides to other towns, the island of Gozo, and must-visit places like the Blue Grotto and Blue Lagoon. Happy exploring!

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