The walled city of Valletta is the type of dreamy destination that takes you so far back in time it’s almost surreal. Dating as far back as the 1500s, Maltas’s capital city is well known for the almost ancient architecture. From palaces to churches, the city has so much culture to share. If you find yourself in Valletta and you are pressed for time, this list will give you the top activities that give you the best experience of the city.


Must See

Saint John's Co-Cathedral

During the 16th century, the Catholic faith was under threat, Malta being particularly devout in Catholicism, sent the Knights of Malta through Europe to protect those who shared their faith. The Cathedral and its particularly decadent interior are a symbol of gratitude to the knights and their conquest over the ottoman empire. Each of the 8 chapels has been decorated with no expense spared, take a look at the baroque furniture and paintings by some of history’s well-known artists.


Grandmaster's Palace and Armory

At the heart of Palace Square, stands another monument to the Knights of Malta. The Palace was built in the 16th century as the residential palace of the knights. Although the palace is now used as the official Office of the President of Malta, it remains open to the public for viewings. A grand courtyard greets you as you enter, and the spectacle only increases with every passing step, eventually ending in the armoury where you can see the wealth and pride that went into ensuring that the knights went into battle with only the finest equipment.


MUZA

Housed in the original palace of the knights of Malta, is the Museum of Fine Arts. Once again showcasing the opulence of Malta, the collection of classical arts boasts some of the most well-known and revered artists. The entrance to the museum is an experience all on its own, with an opulent foyer and staircase that set the stage for the grande experience.


Must Do

Manoel Theater

Known as one of the oldest theatres in Europe, the Manoel Theatre is one of Valletta’s best loved tourist attractions. To meet the demand for cultural performances, the Grand Master of The Knights of Malta commissioned this lovely theatre in the 1700s. Not to be overshadowed by the other architectural marvels in Valletta, the theatre boasts lavish décor, gold gilding, master acoustics, and a spectacular view from any single seat chosen. The theatre is still active today with live performances; it is worth booking a show while you are exploring the city.


Valletta Waterfront

The water front is the ultimate place to enjoy a true Valletta dinnertime experience. This spot is particularly loved by locals, and as it is not well known to tourists, makes for an authentic experience while exploring the sites of the city. Take a calm evening stroll after your meal and enjoy the sights of the harbour and the sounds of the water.


Casa Rocca Piccola

As a historical window into how the rich aristocrats of Malta lived, visit the 16th century Palace built for the esteemed Knight of Malta, Don Pietro La Rocca. Although open to the public, a well-known aristocratic family currently calls the palace home. A walk through the beautiful Mediterranean garden will lead you to the restaurant La Giara, which serves traditional food to complete the experience. If you are looking for accommodation, a small number of the rooms have been opened for rent.


Must Eat

Brungiel Mimli

This eggplants dish, while simple, proves that minimal quality ingredients can elevate a simple vegetable to irresistible cuisine. An eggplant is stuffed with ground meat, cheese, onions, garlic and mint, before being drizzled in olive oil and oven crisped to finish off the dish.


Hobz Biz-zejt

For the travellers who love both local cuisine and street food, look no further than this well loved Valletta dish. Valletta's traditional bread is well known and an experience on its own. To elevate this unique bread, street venders add olive oil, tuna and capers to create a delicious lunch to savour as you enjoy a respite from your sightseeing.


Imqaret

This deceivingly simple yet light pastry is so popular in Valletta that you can walk into any bakery and find them on display. Pastry is filled with a sweet date past and then fried until crispy, simple, elegant and sweet. Can your sweet tooth ask for more?


Getting There

While Valletta itself does not have an airport, the only airport in Malta is situated a 20 minute drive from Valletta. Once you arrive at Malta Int. Airport its is easy to either rent a car or take a bus (Malta’s only form of public transport) and make your way to the Capital City. For the travellers looking to take the scenic route, ferries or water taxis can be taken to Valletta leaving from Sliema.

 

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