We sent The Nomadic Boys to Malta for a weekend of exploration into what the LGBT scene has to offer there, and boy did it impress – we’ve shared their thoughts on this Mediterranean gem below…
“Every bar in Malta is gay friendly”…our friends in Valletta proclaimed… “that’s why we don’t have many gay hangouts here”.
After spending a weekend exploring Malta as a gay couple, we quickly realised why this tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean has quickly evolved to become one of the most gay friendly places in the world. We loved it here. Put it this way, there are few places in the world we feel comfortable with public displays of affection, but walking the streets of Valletta, we felt totally safe to walk hand-in-hand.
Here’s why we loved Malta and why we think it is such a hot destination for LGBTQ travellers:
1. FANTASTIC GAY SCENE
As our friends said to us, there are few LGBTQ hangouts in Malta, but for a nation of just 400,000 people, you can’t expect there to be tons of places like you’d see in somewhere like Barcelona or Fort Lauderdale. There are many gay friendly bars in Valletta, like Alchemy, Yard 32 Gin and The Thirsty Lawyer. Further afield there’s the lesbian owned Maori, the super cruisy Michelangelo and the Birdcage Lounge.
Also be sure to check out the monthly gay parties by Lollipop that take place at different venues, including the Sunday Brunch Bunch event at the Two Buoys restaurant in St Julian’s.
In terms of LGBTQ events, Malta Pride in September is the main one. Every year it gets bigger and better. It’s a week-long festival with parties, concerts and a fabulous parade through the streets of Valletta in which the entire community gets involved with.
2. ROMANTIC EXPERIENCES FOR GAY COUPLES
If you’re not much into partying and prefer more chilled activities on your holiday, then Malta’s got you covered. Valletta, Malta’s tiny capital, itself is so rich with culture and history everywhere you turn. This was where we based ourselves for our trip and got to see aa good chunk of the city including the nearby Three Islands City, the famous St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Upper Barrakka Gardens and more.
We also rented scooters to explore more of the island, including the stunning sunset at the Dingli Cliffs, strolling the streets of Mdina and chilling by the Riviera Beach.
3. EXTREMELY ACCESSIBLE
Malta is super accessible from almost every European capital, with the main airlines serving Malta International airport throughout the year. In addition, English is widely spoken by almost everyone in Malta (remember this used to be a British colony from 1813 to 1964). Malta is also a very affordable place to visit. Whilst Uber has yet to become popular here, apps like Bolt work well here, or you can just rent a car or scooter like we did.
4. SUN SUN SUN
Perhaps our favourite thing about Malta is the sunshine! Located south from Sicily close to the shores of North Africa, Malta is a destination that sees around 300 days of sunshine each year! When looking for a break from London’s grey drizzly weather, we loved the idea of hanging out in the Maltese sunshine.
5. SUPER FRIENDLY & WELCOMING LOCALS
The Maltese are warm-hearted and very welcoming people. We particularly found this as a gay couple travelling around Malta. At no stage during our trip did we feel threatened or feel the need to rush back in the closet as we have done in other places we’ve visited. We quickly made a lot of friends who we are excited to meet again when we return for our next dose of Maltese sunshine.
To find out more, check out the Nomadic Boys’ detailed gay guide to Malta.