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A Guide to Exploring Valletta in a day

If you are visiting Malta, you’ve got to visit the countries capital Valletta at least once. This stunning, yet small city is memorable and exceptional, from the cafes dotted along it’s white stone streets, to the views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, everything about this city is stunning and it’s a must visit if you are in Malta.

 

Top places to visit in Valletta

• Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
• Marsamxett Harbour
• Grandmaster’s Palace
• Upper Barrakka Gardens
• Triton Fountain
• Grand Harbour
• Fort Saint Elmo
• National Museum of Archaeology, Malta
• The Malta Experience

 

The walled city was established in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order. Valletta is well known for museums, palaces and grand churches, including baroque landmarks such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral, whose opulent interior is home to the Caravaggio masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John.”

In Valletta you can find the terraced Barrakka Gardens offering views over the Grand Harbour and the refurbished Vittoriosa waterfront of Birgu. And when parliament’s not in session visitors can tour 16th-century Grandmaster’s Palace, currently the office of Malta’s president.

In Valletta you can also find The National Museum of Archaeology which is housed in the Mannerist-style Auberge de Provence, as well as The National Museum of Fine Arts, in a rococo palace, which displays works by Maltese, Italian and other European artists.

 

My Favourite Places

Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens are a public garden in Valletta, Malta. Along with the Lower Barrakka Gardens in the same city, they offer a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour, the only natural harbour in the Mediterranean with the Three Cities as its backdrop. It is the place which attracts so many Maltese and tourists all year round and it was so stunning, we actually visited twice. Sitting on a bench overlooking the view is something that cannot be missed and keeps you coming back for more.

The Malta Experience

The Malta Experience is an audio-visual show that tells the dramatic story of the islands’ 7000 year history. Educational, informative and entertaining, the show runs through the turbulent history of a small island nation that has overcome almost unimaginable odds to survive and prosper. Situated in a purpose-built panoramic auditorium, the show chronicles Malta’s unique history in just 45 minutes.

Triton Fountain

The Triton Fountain is a fountain located on the periphery of the City Gate of Valletta, Malta. It consists of three bronze Tritons holding up a huge basin, balanced on a concentric base built out of concrete and clad in travertine slabs. The fountain is one of Malta’s most important Modernist landmarks.

Marsamxett Harbour

Marsamxett Harbour is a natural harbour on the island of Malta. It is located to the north of the larger Grand Harbour. The harbour is generally more dedicated to leisure use than the Grand Harbour, with an array of bars, restaurants and cafes dotted around the edges of the Harbour. The harbour mouth faces north east and is bounded to the north by Dragut Point and Tigné Point. Its northwest shore is made up of the towns of Sliema, Gżira and Ta’ Xbiex.

Grandmaster’s Palace

The Grandmaster’s Palace is a palace in Valletta, Malta, built between the 16th and 18th centuries as the palace of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, who ruled Malta, and was also known as the Magisterial Palace. It eventually became the Governor’s Palace, and it currently houses the Office of the President of Malta. Parts of the building, namely the Palace State Rooms and the Palace Armoury, are open to the public as a museum run by Heritage Malta.

 

Remember, this city is small, and there isn’t a huge amount to do. You can do everything in a day, so I have attached a map below which outlines where best to start and where to go afterwards. Obviously with a stop off somewhere for lunch and a glass of Aperol around midday…

 

I flew to Malta with the wonderful team at Jet2 Holidays on a package holiday, including flights, accommodation and transfers. We stayed at the lovely Maritim Antonine Hotel in Mellieha Bay. For more information and to book your own trip to Malta visit Jet2 Holidays.