The ancient temples of Hagar Qim (which means standing stones) stands on top of a hill, overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the uninhabited islet of Fifla, not far from the village of Qrendi. Just 500 metres down the hill from Ħaġar Qim is another pre-historic temple site, the Mnajdra.
(Note: It’s not a challenging walk, but the hike back up the hill to Ħaġar Qim may be a little bit steep for some. Don’t worry, though, for just one euro, there is an electric buggy that will transfer you between the two temples.)
These temples were built around 5000 years ago, between 3600-3200 BC. Yes, even older than the Pyramids of Giza!
To give you a better understanding of these late Neolithic temples, do watch the seven-minute 4D audio-visual experience in the Visitor Centre first.
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For many hundreds of years, right up until 1839, only the top of the ancient stones could be seen. The land, where the temples stand was used for farming, and you’ll see several markings on the stones caused by farmers’ ploughs. During excavation here, archaeologists discovered several statuettes and a limestone altar. These items are now on display at the Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.
As with many ancient temples around the world, these temples are filled with significant solar alignments. Heritage Malta organises guided tours to the temples to experience the summer and winter solstices, and spring and autumn equinoxes. If we can get up early enough, it could be interesting to experience sunrise at the summer solstice at the Mnadjra Temple, as it’s such a lovely location.
Opening Hours For Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre.
Open daily From 1 October to 31 March 09:00 to 17:00
Last admission is at 16:30
From 1 April to 30 September 09:00 to 18:00
Last admission is at 17:30
Closed on 1 January, Good Friday, 24, 25 and 31 December
How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre?
Adults (18 – 59 years): €10.00
Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over) and Students: €7.50
Children (6 – 11 years): €5.50
Infants (0- 5 years): Free
How To Get To The Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre?
With your own transport, head towards Qrendi or Zurrieq and follow the signs to the temples. Free parking is available.
By bus: Buses 71,72,73,74 from Valletta run regularly (although less frequently during the winter months). Disembark at the Hagar Bus Stop, and it’s roughly a ten-minute walk from there.
Hop-on-Hop-Off Bus Routes: The South Route stops at Hagar Qim Temples.
Feeling a little hungry after visiting The Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre?
There’s a restaurant Hagar Qim Restaurant serving ‘authentic Maltese food’ right by the visitor centre. Usually, we avoid restaurants close to tourist sites as they are often overpriced with average food, but this was a pleasant surprise. Huge portions and reasonable prices. The restaurant does have some terrible reviews online, but four of us went, we all enjoyed our meals, and the service was great for us. (And no, we weren’t hosted 🙂 )
Top Tips For Visiting The Hagar Qim Temples, Mnajdra Temples, and the Visitor Centre
- Wear comfortable shoes. As well as visiting the temples, there are some excellent walking trails near to the cliffs.
- Take care when walking around the temples as the paths are somewhat uneven.
- If you are there in the summer, there is no shade between the two temples, so wear a hat and sunscreen. There is shade when you walk around the temples, as they are now located under a permanent canopy to protect the stones from the elements.
- Bring water with you. Water can be purchased in the Visitor Centre.
- Don’t forget your camera.