Valletta Travel Guide: Discovering the Best of Malta’s Capital City

Valletta Travel Guide

Welcome to our Valletta travel guide! Valletta is the capital city of Malta, a small Mediterranean island nation that is a popular tourist destination due to its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and rich history. Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to some of the most impressive architecture in the world, with a mix of Baroque, Mannerist, and Neo-Classical styles. In this Valletta travel guide, we will explore the best things to see and do in Valletta, as well as some practical tips for planning your trip.

Valletta Travel Guide

Getting to Valletta

The first subject in this Valletta travel guide, is how to get to the city. Valletta is easily accessible by air, with Malta International Airport located just 8km from the city center. The airport is served by several major airlines, including Air Malta, Ryanair, and EasyJet, and offers flights to destinations across Europe and beyond. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Valletta, which takes around 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Sliema, a popular tourist resort located across the harbor from Valletta. The ferry ride takes around 10 minutes and offers stunning views of the city’s skyline.

Top Things to See and Do in Valletta

The next thing we are going to cover in this Valletta travel guide are all the must-visit places in the city!

1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral

St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings in Valletta, and it is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and history. The cathedral was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century and features a stunning Baroque interior decorated with intricate carvings, paintings, and sculptures. One of the highlights of the cathedral is the Caravaggio painting “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist,” which is considered one of the artist’s masterpieces.

2. Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens is a public park located on the highest point of Valletta’s fortifications. The gardens offer stunning views of the Grand Harbor and the Three Cities, and they are a popular spot for picnics, sunsets, and photography. The gardens also house several monuments, including the Neolithic Temple of Minerva, which is one of the oldest structures in Malta.

3. Valletta Waterfront

The Valletta Waterfront is a scenic promenade located along the Grand Harbor. The promenade is lined with historic buildings that have been converted into restaurants, cafes, and shops, and it is a great place to take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere of the city. The waterfront is also a popular spot for boat tours and cruises, which offer views of Valletta’s skyline from the water.

4. National Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology is located in Valletta’s historic Auberge de Provence, which was built in the 16th century to house knights from Provence. The museum houses a collection of prehistoric artifacts, including pottery, tools, and jewelry, as well as artifacts from Malta’s ancient civilizations, including the Phoenicians, the Romans, and the Arabs.

5. Fort St. Elmo

Fort St. Elmo is a 16th-century fortification that played a key role in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The fort now houses the National War Museum, which features exhibits on Malta’s military history, including its role in World War II. Visitors can also explore the fort’s ramparts and enjoy stunning views of Valletta and the harbor.

6. The Malta Experience

The Malta Experience is a multimedia show that tells the story of Malta’s history and culture through a combination of film, audio, and special effects. The show is located inValletta and is a great way to get an overview of the island’s rich heritage. The show covers everything from the ancient temples to the Knights of St. John and the British colonial period, and it is a fun and informative way to learn about Malta’s past.

7. Grandmaster’s Palace

The Grandmaster’s Palace is located in Valletta’s Palace Square and is a prime example of the city’s Baroque architecture. The palace was built in the 16th century to house the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John and now serves as the seat of the President of Malta. Visitors can tour the palace’s state rooms, which are decorated with frescoes, tapestries, and antique furniture.

8. Lascaris War Rooms

The Lascaris War Rooms are a complex of underground tunnels and chambers that were used as the headquarters for the British military during World War II. The war rooms have been preserved as they were during the war and offer a fascinating insight into the island’s wartime history. Visitors can explore the tunnels and see the maps, telephones, and other equipment that were used to coordinate the defense of Malta.

9. Casa Rocca Piccola

Casa Rocca Piccola is a 16th-century palazzo that has been owned by the same noble family for over 400 years. The palazzo has been preserved as a museum and offers a glimpse into the life of the Maltese aristocracy. Visitors can tour the palazzo’s rooms, which are decorated with antiques, paintings, and other artifacts, and learn about the family’s history and traditions.

10. St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church

St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church is located in Valletta’s Old Town and is dedicated to the shipwreck of St. Paul, who was shipwrecked on the island in AD 60. The church was built in the 16th century and features a Baroque interior decorated with marble, frescoes, and sculptures. Visitors can see the statue of St. Paul and the anchor of the ship that was said to have been used to transport him to Malta.

Practical Tips for Visiting Valletta

  • Valletta is a compact city that is easy to explore on foot. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb some stairs, as the city is built on a hill.
  • English is widely spoken in Malta, so communication should not be a problem.
  • Malta is a sunny island, so be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat, especially during the summer months.
  • The Maltese cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean and Arabic influences, and there are plenty of restaurants in Valletta serving local dishes such as rabbit stew and pastizzi, a savory pastry filled with ricotta cheese or peas.
  • Valletta is a popular tourist destination, so it can get crowded during the peak season (July-August). Consider visiting in the shoulder season (April-June, September-October) for smaller crowds and lower prices.
  • Valletta is a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to take basic safety precautions such as keeping your valuables close and being aware of your surroundings.

Valletta travel guide Conclusion

Valletta is a city rich in history and culture, with plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained. From the stunning Baroque architecture to the beautiful gardens and promenades, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. Whether you’re interested in art and history, food and wine, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean atmosphere, Valletta is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Interested in travelling to malta? Click HERE to read our article on the 5 best cities to visit in malta.

Valletta Travel Guide

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We are Ellis & Eva

We are writers, bloggers, and travelers. Being creative and making things keep us happy is our life's motto. We love to travel and love to blog!
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