The Best Museums in Malta Worth Visiting
and dive deeper
Discover Our War History or the Top Pieces of Art in Our Best Museums in Malta.
Even though Malta is a very small country, our islands are rich in history and very well-preserved. Having been colonised by various rulers, the traces they left behind are still visible in Malta’s enchanting story. Whether it’s walking along the quaint streets of Valletta or Mdina or visiting the best museums in Malta, you can grasp the island’s mesmerising history by the hand and hold it close to your heart.
If you’re visiting our islands, here are some of the best museums in Malta that are surely worth your time.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
One of the greatest museums in Malta is located in the heart of its capital city of Valletta. St. John’s Co-Cathedral is the richest building that has been commissioned by the Knights of St John. The cathedral doesn’t look much from the outside but you will be blown away as soon as you step foot inside.
The most remarkable aspect of the cathedral is its floor – the floor is made up of colourful tombstones made with inlaid marble. However, many tourists and locals visit the Co-Cathedral for a specific reason: Caravaggio’s painting of The Beheading of St. John. At present, it stands in the adjacent oratory of the cathedral.
MUZA - The Malta National Community Art Museum
Recently refurbished from what was known as the National Museum of Fine Arts, MUZA is a Valletta museum that is a first of its kind. The museum adopts a new strategy when it comes to displaying art, making sure to create interesting stories. Apart from famous artists, MUZA makes reference to new and upcoming artists as well.
The National Museum of Archaeology
This museum is one of the best museums in Malta for archaeology and it is located in Republic Street in Valletta. It holds a unique collection of artefacts that have been excavated on our islands and gives an insight into our prehistory. The famous human figure of the ‘Sleeping Lady’ can be found here among many other pottery artefacts and representations. The Grandmaster’s Palace and the State Hall are also must-visit museums to learn more about the Knights of Malta.
Situated in Paola, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is the only example of an underground sanctuary in Europe. The burial site was excavated around 3300BC and it was discovered by accident. This site is listed on the World Heritage List as ‘a site that bears a unique testimony to a cultural tradition which has disappeared’. Some of the paintings that are in red ochre are the oldest and only prehistoric paintings in Malta. The architectural features that are found in this hypogeum are similar to those temples that are situated above the ground, including Hagar Qim and Ggantija temples.
Malta Maritime Museum
Located in Birgu Vittoriosa, the Malta Maritime Museum is the country’s biggest museum. In this museum lies Malta’s maritime history, holding over 2,000 artefacts such as military canons, steam engines, traditional boats, Roman anchors, and more. You can also witness a large working 18th-century ship of the line instruction model.
The National War Museum
Situated in Fort St Elmo, the National War Museum is oozing with history. As soon as you enter the 16th century fortress, you will witness the pock-marked granaries that will transform you back in time. Every detail of Malta’s war history can be found behind these thick fortifications. The small chapel is a must-see since it is where the Knights of Malta fought during the Great Siege to safeguard the altar. Before, or after, visiting this museum, make sure to check out the magnificent views of the Grand Harbour. They are surely not to be missed.