The Essential Day Trip to Valletta (9 things you MUST do)

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9 things to do in Valletta to capture the spectacular beauty of the City

 
Built during the rule of the Order of St. John, Valletta is populated with history and artefacts.
 
Known as "Il-Belt", (the City) to locals, wandering around the walled city can be overwhelming, with countless sights to enjoy at every corner - it's no wonder this city is a designated Unesco World Heritage site.
 
If you’d like to spend a day drifting through the picturesque city, you’ve come to the right place - at ChoiceHolidays we’ve organised a day trip guide just for you.
 
If you are visiting Valletta in 2018, you're in for a treat. Valletta is Capital City of Culture for all of 2018, so there's plenty of things going on throughout the whole of the year!
 
Auberge the Castille - crown jewel of Valletta
 

1. Take a selfie with the "Funtana tat-Tritoni"

The majestic Triton Fountain, with it's beautiful open-air space graces the entrance to Valletta. Restored right in time for Valletta 2018, the square was up to some time ago the terminus for the local public transport. 
 
It has now been completely pedestrianized, with the newly restored fountain taking it's rightful prominence in the square.
 
Triton Fountain
 

2. Meander down Republic Street, Triq ir-Repubblika (King's Way)

As you walk away from the Triton fountain, you'll find yourself walking towards the new Maltese Houses of Parliament, designed by Renzo Piano.

Walking over the bridge over the Valletta ditch, you'll see the grandeur of the Valletta bastions, as soon you walk through the City Gate, on the right you'll find the new Parliament.

A few metres down, you'll find the ruins of the Old Theater, "It-Teatru l-Mwaqqa'", literally the fallen theater, which was destroyed during WW2, never to be rebuilt. Recently, it was refurbished to become an open-air theater.

As you walk down Republic Street, don't forget to look up to enjoy the great example of Valletta's architecture.

You might actually get to see a bunch of faces looking down at you. These stone faces adorn many of the street's buildings, both in Republic Street and even more so, in Merchant's Street.

3. Grab Breakfast at Caffe Cordina, Pjazza Regina

Located in an old palazzo, Caffe Cordina is celebrating over 175 years of success. Although the iconic café began as a simple tea shop in Bormla, Caffe Cordina now has a special place in the hearts of locals. Enjoy a vast array of excellent sweets and refreshments amongst the locals and foreign visitors alike.
 
 

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4. Marvel at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Republic Street)

Malta is known for its abundance of churches and Valletta boasts some of the most magnificent ones on the island.
 
Besides the world-famous, St. John's Co-Cathedral which houses one of the most famous Caravaggio paintings (The Beheading of St. John), a less famous, but still spectacular church is that of St. Francis of Assisi.
 
Dating back to the 16th century, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi houses some of the most marvellous artworks and statues on the Maltese Islands.
 
 

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5. Enjoy a Taste of Nobility At Casa Rocca Piccola (Republic Street)

 
Often described as a “living museum”, Casa Rocca Piccola is a marvellous palace, home to the noble de Piro family. Constructed in 1580, this palace still belongs to the family, and is one of the only privately owned palazzo’s in Malta open to the public.
 
The maze of rooms include a chapel, summer dining room, library and underground bomb shelters.
 
Price: Adults €9. Students €5. Children under 14 free.
 
 

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6. Visit the National War Museum (Fort Saint Elmo)

One day in Valletta is hardly going to give you enough time to explore its museums in great detail - that’s why we’ve picked our most favourite museum to visit for you.
 
Located in Fort St. Elmo, Malta’s National War Museum houses historical artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age, around 2,500 B.C. Immerse yourself in Malta’s rich history of victories, losses and everything in between.
 
Price: Adults (18-59) €10. Youths/ Students/ Seniors €7.50. Children (6-11 yrs) €5.50
 
 

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7. Rest at the Lower Barrakka Gardens

From Fort St. Elmo, walk along the edges, right next to the beautiful Mediterranean Conference Center, enjoying the view of Grand Harbour or wander through the narrow streets, full of old yet striking architecture and wooden signature balconies, until you make your way to the Lower Barrakka Gardens.
 
A peaceful location in the heart of Malta’s capital city, the gardens offer magnificent panoramic views of the Grand Harbour.
 
Rest in the shade and take in the scenic sights.
 

8. Walk your way up to the Auberge de Castille (through St. Ursula Street, St. Paul's street or Merchant's Street)

It's time to make your way up to another gem, but that doesn't meant you can't enjoy the walk. Choose one of the three parallel streets heading towards the Auberge de Castille.

Whichever street you choose, you'll enjoy the great atmosphere of Valletta.

St. Ursula is the more quaint and quiet road of the three, but probably the most authentic.

Merchant's street is the more livelier of the three, with plenty of shops lining the sides of the roads where you can stop for a bite or get some quick shopping done.

As always, don't forget to look up, while the older doors and entrances are beautfil, the balconies and architecture as you look up are something you can't miss.

In Merchant's street in particular, you'll find plenty more weird and wonderful stone faces looking down at you...

9. Marvel at the Auberge de Castille and chill at the Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Auberge de Castille is one of the crown jewels of Valletta.

Originally built in 1570 by the Knights of St. John to house the order, the present building dates back more than 250 years, built by the Grandmaster Manuel Pinto da Fonseca.

The Baroque architecture is easily known as one of the finest building's in Malta. Today the building is used as the Office of the current Prime Minister of Malta.

The facade of Kastilja, as it is known by the Maltese has been very recently completely renovated, with the square in front of it becoming completely pedestrianized, allowing the multitudes of visitors which visit it each day to walk around freely enjoying their time.

When you've had your share of Castille, head a few metres towards the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

History is brought to life at the Upper Barrakka Gardens - the saluting battery is one of Malta’s most vibrant attractions. For almost 500 years, the guns protected our precious Grand Harbour. Today, the guns are fired daily at 12pm and at 4pm in the same way that they were so many years ago.
 
Enjoy one of Malta's most spectacular views!
 
If you can time it such that you are there are sunset, you'll be greatly rewarded with the fading lights on Fort St. Angelo.
 
 

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Fort St. Angelo from the Upper Barrakka

Bonus stop: Catch the lift and take a walk along the Valletta Waterfront

If you enjoy walks by the sea, then a stroll around the Valletta Waterfront is what you’re looking for.

Since the waterfront circles all of Valletta, the walk may get tiring and you might want to catch a circular bus that drives around the city, or book a chauffeur-driven electric car through Smart Cabs, to make your journey more comfortable.

 

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Where in Valletta would you like to go and explore? 
 
 
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