Valletta
Viva Valletta! Here are 12 top attractions to visit while in Malta’s capital city
Valletta is a city full of wonder!

GuideMeMalta.com

A visit to Malta would simply not be complete without visiting the country's fortified capital city!Valletta might be the smallest capital city in the whole of the European Union but fear not as the things do in this small but mighty city are endless. All in short walking distance from each other here are the must visit landmarks in the city:

1. Auberge de Castille

Set atop the highest point of Valletta overlooking an expansive square, the imposing Auberge de Castille today serves as the official seat of the Prime Minister of Malta. While it’s not open to the public, its ornate Baroque exterior makes it a stunning must-see on your tour of the capital. Built by the Order of the Knights of St John in the 16th century, it is widely considered to be an architectural masterpiece.

Castille Place. Not open to visitors

2. Casa Rocca Piccola

Built in the late-16th century for Don Pietro La Rocca, the stately home of the ninth Marquis de Piro makes for a memorable visit, with countless spaces available for public viewing. A veritable living museum, it offers insight into the way Maltese nobility lived. Here, you can see impressive furniture and silver collections, World War II air raid shelters, a private chapel, and a sedan chair that once belonged to a French knight.

74, Republic Street (2122 1499, www.casaroccapiccola.com)

3. Hastings Garden

If you’re looking for a quiet respite from the bustling city streets, Hastings Garden, set right atop the bastions on the west side of Valletta, offers just that, with glorious views of Floriana, Msida, Sliema, Manoel Island, and Marsamxett Harbour to boot. The sprawling garden is named after Lord Hastings, a former British governor of Malta who died at sea in 1827 and lies buried there.

Windmill Street

4. Is-Suq tal-Belt

A culinary and cultural experience awaits at Is-Suq tal-Belt, which is housed within Valletta’s original indoor food market, dating back to 1861. The recently restored building is now home to an eclectic choice of eateries serving a range of cuisines, from Italian, Mexican and Hawaiian, to Maltese and Indian, as well as a food market selling fresh fruit and veg, bread, delicatessen, and more.

Merchants Street (2210 3500, www.issuqtalbelt.com)

5. The Malta Experience

The Maltese islands’ 7,000-year history is dramatic and compelling, as shown in this engaging, 45-minute, audio-visual documentary suitable for all the family. Viewed within a purpose-built panoramic auditorium, it is educational, informative and entertaining, and screened in several languages.

St Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street (2552 4000, www.themaltaexperience.com)

6. Mediterranean Conference Centre

An architectural gem dating back to the 16th century, the Mediterranean Conference Centre holds significant historical importance. Erected by the Order of the Knights of St John, it originally served as Malta’s first hospital, known as the Sacra Infermeria, boasting an extraordinary 155-metre-long ward – one of Europe’s longest at the time. While exploring this iconic site, make sure to also pay a visit to the theatre within its premises, and keep an eye out for upcoming events that may capture your interest.

Old Hospital Street (2124 3840, www.mcc.com.mt)

7. Parliament Building

Prepare to be captivated by the striking Parliament Building, a modern masterpiece boasting an exquisite limestone façade. Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano between 2011 and 2015 as part of the City Gate project, it serves as the gathering place for Malta’s Parliament. While access to its interior is limited, there is much to marvel at from the outside.

Republic Street

8. Saluting Battery

For nearly five centuries, Valletta’s Saluting Battery, dating back to the 16th century, stood as a formidable safeguard, shielding the harbour against naval attacks. After lying dormant for over 50 years, this historic battery has been reignited – in a remarkable display, its cannons resound daily to announce midday, making it, quite possibly, the world’s oldest operational battery.

Battery Street (2180 0992, www.salutingbattery.com)

 saluting battery

9. St George’s Square

Nestled approximately halfway along Republic Street, the splendid St George’s Square serves as a distinguished gathering place in front of the Grand Master’s Palace. It’s a great spot to stop for a breather during your tour of the capital, and if you’re lucky, you’ll encounter a dancing water spectacle by the small floor fountains, which takes place every hour.

Republic Street

10. Underground Valletta

Beyond the sights that grace the surface, a hidden realm is waiting to be discovered beneath the bustling streets of the capital. Valletta’s subterranean domain hosts a labyrinthine network of reservoirs and tunnels that has served multiple functions throughout history. From offering refuge to the city’s inhabitants during the tumultuous war years to fulfilling various practical needs, it provides a captivating glimpse into a past that can be discovered on regular organised tours that start at the National Museum of Archaeology.

National Museum of Archaeology, Auberge de Provence, Republic Street (2122 1623, www.heritagemalta.mt)

11. Upper Barrakka Gardens

The tranquil Upper Barrakka Gardens are a must-visit destination in the city, if only to witness one of the most breath-taking panoramas in Malta. With a mesmerising vista of the Mediterranean’s sole natural harbour as its backdrop, the garden also boasts a collection of monuments and memorials paying tribute to remarkable individuals linked to the islands, each adding a touch of historical significance to this idyllic haven.

St Ursula Street

12. Valletta Waterfront

Floriana’s lively promenade is dotted with an array of delightful cafés, bars, restaurants, and shops nestled within several meticulously restored, 18th-century warehouses that were originally built by Grand Master Pinto during Malta’s golden Baroque era. Regular entertainment activities cater to individuals of all ages.

Floriana (2567 3000, www.vallettawaterfront.com)

20th August 2023


gmm team
Written by
GuideMeMalta.com
This article was written by a GuideMeMalta team member.

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