It’s that time of year again when the conversation starter on everyone’s lips becomes “what are you doing for New Year’s Eve?” What better answer to that predictable question than “I’m celebrating the New Year in Malta”?
From street parties in Floriana, to firework displays in Valletta, there are dozens of exciting ways to spend New Year’s eve in Malta. What makes Malta a special place to celebrate New Year’s Eve? The simple answer is that Malta does it best. Come to the islands in December and bring an appetite for festive fun.
Feasting on New Year’s Eve
A big indulgent dinner is a typical part of most New Year’s celebrations, but the Maltese particularly love their food. Maltese cuisine – a delicious combination of Sicilian, North African, and British influences – makes for a hearty treat on New Year’s dinner. Typical Maltese dishes, like “tigiega bil-patata il-form” (roast chicken and potatoes) are deliciously filling, so they’re well suited to lining the stomach before you begin quaffing too much champagne.
As in most countries, most of the best restaurants in Malta are situated in the capital, but there are also plenty of fantastic restaurants outside of Valletta. The standard of food in Malta is generally very good, so you’re unlikely to be disappointed wherever you go.
Just make sure you book well in advance, as things can get pretty busy around New Year’s Eve.
Making it until midnight
The Maltese really like to usher in the New Year with a bang, and you’ll find plenty of firework displays around the islands. Unlike in a lot of other countries, many of these New Year firework displays are free and open to the public.
In Malta, the history of making colourful explosions stretches back to the Order of the Knight of St. John in the 19th Century, but Valletta’s big New Year’s Eve display was only launched in 2010. It’s pretty spectacular and draws quite the crowd, with the Waterfront being a popular gathering point. There’s also a free concert, with a usually eclectic mix of genres to suit everyone’s tastes.
This New Year’s Eve 2017, the firework display at the Grand Harbour is set to be epic, so if you’re in Valletta for New Year’s, you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time.
There are plenty of things going on in Valetta this New Year’s Eve, but wherever you are on the islands, bars will be spilling out onto the streets and they’ll be a festive atmosphere pervading the night. It’s often advisable to plan well ahead when it comes to New Year’s Eve, but another option is to take the laid back approach of going where the night takes you.
Of course, if public festivities aren’t really your thing, you can always decide to take it easy this New Year. Instead of dancing until dawn, why not rent a nice cottage or villa in Gozo and stay in with family and friends? Malta is home to many beautiful villas across the islands, but make sure you get booking now to avoid disappointment.
Where to go on New Year’s Eve in the early hours
If you do decide to go out for New Year’s Eve, don’t head home after the fireworks. The party in Malta lasts well into the New Year, and there will be plenty of street parties and house parties for you to go to around the islands. In Florina, the town closes off one of Malta’s busiest streets, St Anne’s, for a massive all night street party.
Alternatively, you could head to Paceville, St. Julian’s dedicated clubbing district. Here you can dance your way into 2018 at glamorous, ticketed club events.
Malta in December
But even if Malta wasn’t such a special place to spend New Year’s Eve, you’d still have plenty enough reason to spend winter on the islands.
December and January in Malta aren’t quite as sunny as the summer months, but the weather is still pretty temperate. Malta’s winter landscape is also still stunning, and all of the islands’ wonderful historic sites stick around for the winter months!
The main difference between summer and winter in Malta is that the crowds are thinner and the prices are cheaper, meaning that you’ll be able to visit the islands more conveniently and for a more affordable price.