Valletta, Malta

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Welcome to Valletta

Valletta is the capital of the island nation of Malta. A harbour city, Valletta preserves much of its 16th century architectural heritage built under the Hospitallers.

Information & Facts

Activities

You can take a spectacular walk along the sea around the outside of the city walls. Valletta is a peninsula, with the sea surrounding most of the city. To the north of Valletta lies Marsamxetto harbor whilst to the south is the Grand Harbour, arguably one of the nicest natural harbours in the world. The scenery is just breathtaking and you can feel yourself immersed in history as you enjoy the magnificent views of the harbour with its many forts and marinas. A really good spot to take in the views is the Upper Barrakka Gardens but the vista spot does get quite busy at times and there is little shade. An even better spot is St. Barbara Bastion, a quiet, residential street lined with hundred year-old olive trees which offer some respite on those sunny Maltese days. The views will sooth your mind.

If you go to the mooring place where the ferry for Sliema leaves on the Marsamxetto side, there is the possibility to walk over the rocks towards the tip of the peninsula and then around it coming back up into the city just next to the Malta Experience. This walk takes about 30 minutes and is done by virtually no-one.

All day and night in St George's Square, there is a lovely water fountain, with coloured spouts of water which pop up and down - a fantastic play opportunity for children. They WILL get wet, so don't let them go near if they are wearing their best clothing. Great fun for kids and a great way to cool down on a hot summer's day!

Eating Out

Valletta has a collection of decent restaurants, due to most of the tourists residing either in Sliema or on the north coast of the island there are fewer of the trashy variety, although it does have the ubiquitous fast-food places (Burger King, McDonald's, Pizza Hut). The Valletta waterfront is absolutely amazing especially at night, it contains different types of restaurants, from Chinese to the Hard Rock cafe, there is also a book shop and jewellery shop in the same waterfront.

Getting Around

The Valletta peninsula is only a couple of kilometres in length and so the ideal way is to do everything on foot also allowing one to make use of the atmospheric stairs throughout this steep city. However, the city is built on a ridge, and is steep in parts (requiring walking up and down stairs in some places), which can be tiring. The alternative would be doing it by car which is not ideal for visitors due to lack of parking space, direction signs and the fact that the streets are very narrow, often one way and confusing if unfamiliar. Most of the main tourist attractions are along the main street (Republic Street) which does not involve steep hills.

To get further historical information about the numerous places of interest through Valletta it can be useful to hire an audio guide.

Sightseeing

  • St. John's Co Cathedral is unremarkable from the outside but incredibly ornate on the inside. Each of the different 'langues' (knights of a particular nationality had their own langue) has a their own chapel lined along the side of the nave in which they try and outdo each other in splendour. The barrel shaped ceiling is a single huge fresco, the lifework of famed artist Mattia Preti. And last but not least the floor is entirely taken by knight's graves all intricately inlaid marble in different colours, a recent book on the subject describes it as the 'most beautiful floor in the world.' This relatively unknown cathedral can count itself one of the most impressive in Europe. Open 9:30am and 4:30pm on weekdays and 9:30am and 12:30pm on Saturdays. Entrance is through the Carappechia Annex on Republic Street in between St John's Street and St Lucy Street, directly opposite the Law Courts. As soon as you enter you will be provided with an audio guide included in the entrance fee which leads you through the cathedral in 24 stops enabling you to get further historical information about the paintings and special parts of St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
  • The Cathedral Museum holds two works by Caravaggio who was briefly himself a Knight, one of them being his masterpiece the famous huge "Beheading of St. John the Baptist."
  • The Palace of the Grand Masters now is the President's office. The staterooms, when accessible are quite impressive. It also houses the Knights' armoury which is open to visitors daily from 9am–5pm. (However, all other parts of the palace are closed to visitors, so what they can see is limited.) At the entrance you can receive an audio guide which is included in the entrance fee. It provides you with further historical information about the various armoury of different eras beginning from the medieval chain mail up to the 17th century armour.
  • The Malta Experience, is useful for visitors who have any interest in culture or history and who haven't exhaustively read up on the country before coming here would do well by starting their visit to Malta by going here as it is an excellent introduction to the country. It gives an impression of major events that shaped the country, but as it's only half an hour long and meant for first-time visitors one shouldn't expect an in-depth dry scholarly treatment of the subject.
  • The Upper Barrakka Gardens at the upper south side of the peninsula offer a jaw dropping view of the Grand Harbour. Go on a sunny day and bring champagne!
  • Fort St. Elmo was built at the tip of the peninsula by the knights after the Dragut Raid of 1551. During the Great Siege of 1565 the Turks made the mistake of choosing to first try and take this fort, for which they had planned a week. Instead the knights and soldiers present fought desperately for a month, buying essential time. The knights in the fort knew they were fighting to the death, and so rather than being taken off the ramparts when wounded, knights would fight on while seated in chairs until they couldn't even lift their arms any more. Today the fort houses the Police Academy and is only partially open on the weekend.
  • Manoel Theatre is 'La Scala' in miniature, a very beautiful 17th century theatre in original state. One of the oldest active theatres in Europe, it is the place for many classical music performances but also for instance the hilarious Christmas Panto. 
  • The imposing defence walls and ramparts at the entrance to Valletta built by the Knights in the late 16th century are interesting to explore.
  • The National Library is an evocative old library on Republic Square, next to the Grandmaster's Palace. Only part of it is open to the public: you will need to take a Passport or other Photo ID to get in. The entire archives of the Knights of St. John from the Crusades in the 11th century until 1798 when Napoleon took Malta, are kept here, in true Maltese style in rickety wooden filing cabinets.
  • The Sacra Infermeria was the great hospital built by the knights in the 16th century, open to everyone, it had the highest level of healthcare available in Europe at the time. It was mostly destroyed during WWII, it was rebuilt and now functions as a conference centre.
  • The Casa Rocca Piccola - a Maltese Noble Family House on Republic Street, a few hundred yards past the Grand Master's Palace on the right hand side.
  • The National Museum of Fine Art. The biggest collection of paintings by Mattia Preti. Also found here are paintings by Ribera, Erardi and many well known Caravaggisti.
  • St. James Cavalier is a fortress opposite the Auberge of Castille (today the Prime Minister's office) which was built as part of the elaborate defence systems of Valletta. Today it houses a 'Centre for Creativity', with its own theatre, cinema, music room and exhibition halls. Its twin, St. John Cavalier is currently the embassy of the Knights of St. John who are, like the Vatican, recognised by several countries as a sovereign entity.
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Holiday Apartments Malta - Valletta, offer self-catering apartments in the best locations of Malta's Capital city, Valletta, for you to enjoy your stay. All apartments have free wifi, air-conditioning, full equipped kitchen & much more. All..
##Property Location When you stay at Palazzo Prince d'Orange in Valletta, you'll be near the beach and minutes from St. Johns Co - Cathedral and Lascaris War Rooms. This apartment is within close proximity of Upper Barrakka Gardens and Church of St...
Located in the historic city of Valletta, this award winning 17th Century baroque palazzo is a true unique gem. It has recently been lovingly restored to a very high standard – without compromising it's romantic, historic ambience. It is located..
This hotel caters to the discerning traveller providing bespoke accommodation with an innovative twist. It is conveniently located within walking distance of the city's main cultural sites, restaurants and shops. Built in a 400-year-old palazzo with three..
##Property Location With a stay at Trabuxu Boutique Living in Valletta, you'll be minutes from Casa Rocca Piccola and Mediterranean Conference Centre. This 4-star bed & breakfast is within close proximity of Malta Toy Museum and Malta Experience. ##Rooms..
##Property Location With a stay at Valletta Merisi Suites, you'll be centrally located in Valletta, steps from St. Johns Co - Cathedral and minutes from National Museum of Archaeology. This 4-star apartment is within close proximity of Auberge de Castille..
These boutique apartment suites are located on the most popular street of Valetta, only a 5-minute walk from the famous baroque St.John's Co-Cathedral, the city's main street and the numerous local landmarks like the President's Palace and the Royal Opera...
One of Malta's oldest family hotels located in the capital City of Valletta This family-owned-and-run-hotel, overlooks the magnificent Grand Harbour. The restaurant and lounge bar offer panoramic views of this historic and picturesque harbour. Situated..
Property Location Located in Valletta, Grand Harbour Hotel is minutes from Lascaris War Rooms and St. Johns Co - Cathedral. This hotel is within close proximity of Church of St. Paul the Shipwrecked and Upper Barrakka Gardens.Rooms Make yourself at home..
Property Location With a stay at Valletta Boutique Living Hostel - Adults Only, you'll be centrally located in Valletta, steps from St. Paul's Anglican Church and Carmelite Church.

Accommodation Offers

Grand Hotel Excelsior

Grand Hotel Excelsior

Room Only

 for 3 Nights

From £188
Osborne Hotel

Osborne Hotel

Bed & Breakfast

 for 3 Nights

From £222
Palazzo Prince D'Orange

Palazzo Prince D'Orange

Unrated

Self Catering

 for 3 Nights

From £350
Holiday Apartments Valletta

Holiday Apartments Valletta

Unrated

Self Catering

 for 7 Nights

From £1,510

Holiday Offers

Grand Harbour Hotel

Grand Harbour Hotel

Bed & Breakfast

 for 3 Nights

From London Gatwick

From £251
Valletta Merisi Suites

Valletta Merisi Suites

Unrated

Self Catering

 for 3 Nights

From London Gatwick

From £255
Valletta Boutique Living Apartments

Valletta Boutique Living Apartments

Room Only

 for 3 Nights

From London Gatwick

From £276
The House in Old Mint Street

The House in Old Mint Street

Unrated

Room Only

 for 3 Nights

From London Gatwick

From £286
Castille

Castille

Bed & Breakfast

 for 3 Nights

From London Gatwick

From £292
Consiglia Apartment - Valletta

Consiglia Apartment - Valletta

Room Only

 for 3 Nights

From London

From £300
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