Valletta, Malta – A Limestone Beauty

Valletta, Malta – A Limestone Beauty

Welcome to Malta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta, encapsulating a unique small island country in the Mediterranean Sea on the eastern coast of the main island of Malta. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and strategic location.

Founded by the Knights of St John in the early 16th century and named after Grand Master Jean de Valette, who led the defence of Malta against an Ottoman invasion in 1565, the city was designed as a fortified city with narrow streets and bastions and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The weather in Valletta is pleasant throughout the year, with hot summers and mild winters where the city enjoys approximately 300 days of sunshine, making it a perfect destination for those who love the sun, sea, and sand.

Valletta is renowned for its lively culture, featuring various festivals and events year-round. The official language is Maltese, but English is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro, and the city is relatively safe and tourist-friendly. However, be sure to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites and be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and Mediterranean charm, Valletta is a must-visit destination for any traveller.

From 1566, impressive bastions, forts and cathedral emerged to create Valetta. The city retains a timeless atmosphere by day and night, to give the feeling of walking back in time. The narrow streets depict some of Europe’s finest artworks, churches and palaces. Book tickets here.

Mdina a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is surrounded by fortified walls which sit adorns the highest hills of Malta. Built-in Medieval times, much of its original architecture has remained which inspired some episodes of the Game of Thrones to be filmed here, making the walled city of Mdina – “King’s Landing” in the series. Book tour here.

How To Get There

By airMalta International Airport is the main airport on the island and is located about 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Valletta, with direct flights to Malta from many European cities and some North African cities, and the Middle East. Taxis, buses, or hire cars are available from the airport to get to Valletta.

By sea: Valletta’s deep-water harbour is a frequent port of call for cruise ships. Visitors who arrive by sea can dock at the Valletta Waterfront and conveniently explore the city on foot.

By land: If you’re already on the island, take a bus or taxi to Valletta. Buses run regularly from most towns and villages on the island, and taxis are widely available.

Places Of Interest

St. John's Co-Cathedral

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

This stunning Baroque-style cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in Valletta. It’s known for its ornate interior and houses some of the finest works of art in Europe, including Caravaggio’s famous painting “The Beheading of Saint John.” Book tour here.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

A picturesque public garden with panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. It is a popular tourist destination in Malta. Book tour here.

Valletta Waterfront

This picturesque promenade is lined with great restaurants and cafes, and you can enjoy a stroll along the promenade to admire the views of the harbour. Book tour here.

Fort St. Elmo

Fort St. Elmo

This 16th-century fortress played a crucial role in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. Today, it houses the National War Museum, which tells the story of Malta’s military history. Book tour here.

Grandmaster's Palace

Grandmaster’s Palace

The Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta, is a remarkable architectural wonder that was constructed during the 16th century. It was initially used as the official residence of Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, adding to its historical significance. Book tour here.

National Museum of Archaeology

National Museum of Archaeology

This museum houses a collection of artefacts that date back to Malta’s prehistoric period, including the famous “Sleeping Lady” figurine. Book tour here.

Saluting Battery

The Saluting Battery is a historic cannon battery in Valletta which is still fired daily at noon and is a popular attraction for visitors. The ceremony includes a guided tour and a firing demonstration. 

Republic Street

Republic Street is Valletta’s main shopping and dining hub. It’s a bustling street with many shops, restaurants, and cafes and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. 

Lascaris War Rooms

These underground war rooms were used during World War II and preserved as a museum, offering a fascinating glimpse into Malta’s wartime history. Book tour here.

Spinola Bay is famous for being one of the busiest places in Malta and is a bay located in the city of St Julian’s. Buzzing with many cafes and restaurants, places to relax, admire colourful fishing boats and talk long walks along the promenade.

The highest point in Malta lies The Dingli Cliffs with spectacular views of the cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea. Saint Mary Magdalene Chapel built-in 1646, sits at the top next to a lookout point. Book tickets here.

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

The Phoenicia Malta: 

A luxury hotel near the famous Valletta City Gate, offers stunning views of the Grand Harbour and the city skyline. It is a short walk from St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens, two popular tourist destinations in Valletta.

Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel Castille: 

This hotel is in the heart of Valletta, offering magnificent views of the city skyline and the historic St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. It is near the National Museum of Archaeology and the Casa Rocca Piccola, two popular tourist destinations in Valletta.

Budget Hotels

Valletta Old Well Apartments:  

Offers modern accommodation where guests can enjoy stunning views of the historic city from their apartment windows. The apartments are near the Upper Barrakka Gardens and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, two popular tourist destinations in Valletta.

Where To Eat

Nenu the Artisan Baker: This charming bakery and restaurant serve traditional Maltese dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. It’s known for its delicious ftira, a Maltese bread topped with tomatoes, olives, and capers.

Cafe Society: The cosy cafe is a favourite spot among locals and visitors, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s an ideal place to unwind and savour the charming ambience.

Rampila Restaurant: This elegant restaurant is housed in a 16th-century building and serves Mediterranean and Maltese dishes. It’s known for its fresh seafood and stunning views of the Grand Harbour.

Palazzo Preca: This family-run restaurant serves a range of Mediterranean and Maltese dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Enjoy its friendly service and relaxed atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Valletta is a beautiful and historic city with stunning architecture, rich history, and a vibrant cultural scene; Valletta is a must-visit destination for any traveller. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s many museums and historical sites, enjoying the stunning views of the Grand Harbour, or simply relaxing in one of the many cafes and restaurants, Valletta has something to offer. With its mild Mediterranean climate and friendly locals, Valletta is a welcoming and enjoyable place to visit at any time of the year.

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