Travel back in time in Valletta’s Historical and Cultural Centre
and dive deeper
From exploring Valletta Museums to visiting the city’s open-air market – history and culture is abundant!
The Maltese sun shines over the ancient city of Valletta, as you stroll through the narrow side streets of the dazzling city, taking in the aged stone staircases and the multi-coloured traditional balconies.
The esteemed city with a fabled past lies on the southeastern region of the island, snugly situated between the Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east. What was originally a fortified city built by the Knights of St. John against attacks on Malta, is now one of Malta’s most central hubs, populated by tourists and locals alike both in the morning and by night.
With its museums, restaurants, theatres, parliament and open-air markets, Valletta is sure to bewitch any type of traveller.
Explore these Valletta museums
If you love getting acquainted with the history and the culture of the countries you visit, then Valletta is the place for you. There are a variety of compelling museums, each with their own specific purpose. Amongst others, one can find The Palace Armoury, which is a collection of arms and suits of armour worn by the knights, kept at the Grandmaster’s Palace. While you’re there, take a peek at the State Rooms of the palace itself, which are embellished with intricate tapestries and grandiose works of art. Another engaging museum is the National Museum of Archaeology, which takes us back to up to 7,000 years, and displays relics ranging from the Neolithic up to the Phoenician period. A highly unique adventure is the Malta 5D attraction guaranteed to be fun for all the family, and is a learning experience equipped with special effects and modern technology. The National War Museum, located on Fort St. Elmo, which in itself is worth a visit, is another must-see, as it explains the military history of the Maltese Islands.
Take a look at Malta’s theatrical side
Malta’s national theatre, The Manoel Theatre, is located in the island’s capital, and is one of the oldest in Europe. The building is richly decorated with gilded box seats and plush chairs of the utmost comfort. If you watching a show at the magnificent theatre is not intriguing enough, tours of the place are still available for you to take in this 18th century grandeur. Another very particular location in Valletta is Spazju Kreattiv, which is located inside a 16th century fort and includes an arthouse cinema and a small theatre. If you’re not a fan of classical theatre, there’s also the newly-restored Royal Opera House which is different by virtue of it being open-aired.
Visit the famous Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
St John’s Co-Cathedral is a classical show of opulence and grandeur, and was built to demonstrate The Knights’ success with its bombastic baroque interior. With its display of the renowned Caravaggio painting and its different chapels, the cathedral is a definite must-visit.
Wander around the Upper-Barrakka Gardens and witness the Grand Harbour
The Upper-Barrakka Gardens are magnificently picturesque at any time of day, but glow most splendidly at sunset. The gardens are tranquil and shady and are dotted with flowers, fountains and statues of various figures. They also offer a stunning view of the Grand Harbour, which glows beautifully in the Maltese sun. The gardens, however, are mostly known for the traditional ceremony that happens at noon every day, where the canons present there are fired as a salute.
Visit Valletta’s open-air market
An integral part of Maltese culture is Valletta’s open-air market, which takes place on Sunday and is popular with both locals and tourists. Its stands sell a wide range of things, from clothes and souvenirs to hand-made crafts and antique items.