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The Top Things to Do and See in Valletta, Malta

Sunrise in Valletta, Malta

Sunrise in Valletta, Malta

Malta is magnificent. It should come as no surprise that its impregnable walled capital city Valletta is the centrepiece of this splendour.

Walkway in Valletta, Malta

Walkway in Valletta, Malta

Listen to the ringing endorsements that famous people have lavished on Valletta for centuries, and you will begin to understand why this is the case.

Famed nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli called it the city built by gentlemen for gentlemen. Even the little Emperor Napoleon, the only person to ever capture Valletta (by trickery and not by force), proudly claimed that Valletta was the most formidable fortress city in all of Europe. Valletta is both of these things and so much more. Perhaps the most incredible and nearly perfectly preserved 16th century walled city on earth, you simply have to see this jewel on the Mediterranean to believe it.

Harbour in Valletta, Malta

Harbour in Valletta, Malta

The entire city of Valletta is most justifiably a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If it is attractions you are looking for, you have come to the right island nation and capital. The island of Malta is renowned for having the most historical, architectural, and art attractions per square mile/kilometre in the world.

Port in Valletta, Malta

Port in Valletta, Malta

Where would a person even begin in Valletta?

The Palace of the Grand Masters

The Palace of the Grand Masters was the nearly 300 year tenure office and headquarters of the Grand Master of the Crusader Knights of St. John.

The Palace of the Grand Masters

The Palace of the Grand Masters

The Palace of the Grand Masters, Valletta

The Palace of the Grand Masters, Valletta

Today, this present day castle office of the President of Malta houses the largest collection of Medieval weapons and armour on the planet, with about 5,000 pieces of swords, lances, axes, shields, helmets, suits of armour (one of them made out of gold), and cannonry.

National Library of Malta

Next to it sits the eighteenth century National Library of Malta, the impressive repository of the Knights’ thousand year old collection of priceless books and scrolls.

National Library of Malta

National Library of Malta

The Co-Cathedral of St. John’s

You have the Co-Cathedral of St. John’s, an austere looking Renaissance era church that houses priceless gold, renaissance era art treasures from the likes of Carravagio, and the tombs of all the Grand Masters of the Order of St. Johns during their 300 years ruling in Malta.

The Co-Cathedral of St. John’s

The Co-Cathedral of St. John’s

Inside The Co-Cathedral of St. John’s

Inside The Co-Cathedral of St. John’s

If that does not sate your desire for beautiful old churches, Valletta has another over twenty of them from which to choose!

Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta

Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta

Other Attractions

Add to this the 1700’s era Manoel Theatre – second oldest presently used theatre in Europe, the almost 500 year old Hospital of the Knights, The Inns of the various nationalities of the Knights (Inn of Castile is the present day Parliament building), and you have a recipe for one unbelievable sightseeing extravaganza.

Road in Valletta, Malta

Road in Valletta, Malta

Did I mention that Valletta is only one of two UNESCO World Heritage Site Cities in Malta?

Gun salute in Valletta, Malta

Gun salute in Valletta, Malta

Things To Do In Valletta

Valletta offers more than simply amazing sightseeing. While it is not much of a nightlife spot, it does offer a variety of fine restaurants in and within twenty minutes taxi ride of the city walls.

Malta's famous Azure Window rock formation, which has now collapsed

Malta’s famous Azure Window rock formation, which has now collapsed

Night life, shopping, and fine dining can all be found in Paceville, the resort town Malta built for its million plus tourists a year. This place is a mecca for entertainment as well, offering bowling, nightclubs, movie theatres, pubs, bars, and more.

Sunset in Malta

Sunset in Malta

Those who enjoy shopping can try their hand at the Mall at Tigne Point in Sliema. This six-storey round shopping emporium offers something for everyone at your usual high end mall prices.

Doorway in Valletta, Malta

Doorway in Valletta, Malta

The best time to visit Valletta and Malta is during the summer or at the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Summer time in Malta is Festa season, the famous Maltese celebrations of their patron saints complete with fireworks, bands, food, and huge crowds.

Valletta is beautifully lit up and decked out for Christmas and New Year’s, and there are concerts, fireworks, and other entertaining events all the time.

Mdina Christmas tree made with coloured glass balls in Valletta

Mdina Christmas tree made with coloured glass balls in Valletta

Getting to Valletta and Malta is easy, thanks to their national carrier Air Malta. The Malta Luja International Airport, or MLA, is the only passenger airport and it keeps busy year round bringing in around a million tourists per year.

Cruise ships are calling on the port of Valletta all the time, accounting for another several hundred thousand visitors.

Pier in Malta

Pier in Malta

You can also come by ferry boat directly from Catania, Sicily, or indirectly from Rome via Sicily.

Once you are actually in Malta, the easiest and cheapest way to get around is on their comprehensive bus network that services the entire island for around a Euro and a half for an entire day’s travel.

Lane in Valletta, Malta

Lane in Valletta, Malta

Taxis will take you any place you want to go, but they are much pricier at from 5 to 30 Euros per one way trip.

Phone booth in Valletta, Malta

Phone booth in Valletta, Malta

Valletta is a mostly pedestrianised city, so the best way to see this around one square mile gem of a city is on your own two legs.

Street in Valletta, Malta

Street in Valletta, Malta

Malta offers a stunning range of prices for hotels. Two, three, and four star hotels abound along the seafront promenade across the harbour from Valletta.

Balconies in Valletta, Malta

Balconies in Valletta, Malta

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