As participants in Amazon Associates and other programs, we earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you. For more details, see our Affiliate Disclosure.
Valletta, the sun-drenched capital of Malta, is a city steeped in history and adorned with some of the finest Baroque architecture in the world. Perched on a scenic peninsula and surrounded by the azure waters of the Mediterranean, Valletta is a breathtaking fusion of cultural richness and natural beauty. Its streets are a labyrinth of ornate buildings, grand palaces, and majestic churches that narrate stories from a glorious past. Meanwhile, the city’s terraced gardens and ancient fortifications offer stunning views over the sparkling sea. Whether you’re exploring its narrow, winding streets, marveling at the architectural splendor, or basking in the Mediterranean sun, Valletta promises a journey through a tapestry of art, history, and scenic landscapes. Let’s discover the top 10 things to do in Valletta for an immersive experience in its Baroque magnificence and captivating Mediterranean vistas.
Visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a gem of Baroque art and architecture, stands as one of Valletta’s most magnificent buildings. Inside, the cathedral is adorned with intricate carvings, gilded decorations, and stunning frescoes. It also houses the famous painting ‘The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist’ by Caravaggio, a highlight for art enthusiasts.
Exploring St. John’s Co-Cathedral is a journey into the religious and artistic heritage of Malta. The cathedral’s awe-inspiring interior is a testament to the artistic mastery of the Baroque period, making it a must-visit in Valletta.
Stroll Along the Upper Barrakka Gardens
The Upper Barrakka Gardens offer breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour, one of the most beautiful harbors in the Mediterranean. These public gardens are a serene place to walk, relax, and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the sea and the Three Cities across the water.
Visiting the Upper Barrakka Gardens is not just about the views; it’s also about soaking in the peaceful ambiance amidst statues, fountains, and lush greenery. The Saluting Battery, located within the gardens, is an added historical attraction, particularly during its daily firing ceremony.
Explore the Grand Master’s Palace
The Grand Master’s Palace, once the residence of the leaders of the Knights of St. John, is now home to the Maltese Parliament and the President’s office. The palace boasts opulent state rooms and an impressive collection of armor and weapons in the Palace Armory.
A tour of the Grand Master’s Palace allows visitors to delve into Malta’s rich history. The palace’s grandeur and well-preserved interiors provide a glimpse into the life of the knights and their significant role in Maltese history.
Walk Down Republic Street
Republic Street is the main thoroughfare in Valletta, bustling with shops, cafes, and historic buildings. This lively street is perfect for a leisurely stroll, shopping, or simply observing the daily life of the city. The street also leads to several of Valletta’s key attractions.
Strolling down Republic Street is a way to experience the vibrant urban life of Valletta. The street’s mix of modern amenities and historic charm encapsulates the unique character of the city.
Visit the National Museum of Archaeology
The National Museum of Archaeology, housed in the Auberge de Provence, displays artifacts from Malta’s prehistoric periods, including the famous ‘Sleeping Lady’ figurine. The museum provides insights into the ancient history of the Maltese Islands, dating back to the Neolithic period.
Exploring the National Museum of Archaeology is a journey back in time. The museum’s collections offer a deeper understanding of Malta’s early inhabitants and their remarkable achievements in art and architecture.
Enjoy the View from the Saluting Battery
The Saluting Battery, located in the Upper Barrakka Gardens, is an important historic site where daily cannon firings take place. This tradition dates back to the time of the Knights of St. John. The battery offers a commanding view of the Grand Harbour and the surrounding fortifications.
Watching the cannon firing ceremony at the Saluting Battery is both an entertaining and educational experience. It’s a chance to witness a historic tradition and enjoy one of the best views in Valletta.
Take a Boat Tour of the Grand Harbour
A boat tour of the Grand Harbour provides a unique perspective of Valletta and the surrounding fortifications from the water. These tours offer a glimpse into the maritime history of Malta and the strategic importance of the harbor.
A boat tour is a relaxing and scenic way to appreciate the beauty of Valletta and its natural harbor. The views of the city’s bastions and fortifications from the sea are particularly impressive, showcasing the grandeur of Malta’s capital.
Visit the Manoel Theatre
The Manoel Theatre, one of the oldest working theatres in Europe, is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The theatre hosts a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, and operas. A visit or a guided tour of the theatre reveals its rich history and ornate interior.
Attending a performance at the Manoel Theatre is a cultural treat. The theatre’s intimate setting and historic ambiance provide a unique and memorable experience for theatre and music lovers.
Explore the War Museum at Fort St. Elmo
Fort St. Elmo, a star-shaped fort at the tip of the Valletta peninsula, hosts the National War Museum. The museum covers Malta’s military history, including the Great Siege of 1565 and World War II. The fort itself is a significant historical site, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean.
Visiting Fort St. Elmo and the War Museum provides an insight into the strategic role of Malta in military history. The fort’s location and its exhibits make it an important stop for understanding the island’s past and its resilience.
Relax at the Lower Barrakka Gardens
The Lower Barrakka Gardens, situated at the edge of Valletta, provide a tranquil space with beautiful views of the Grand Harbour and the Siege Bell War Memorial. The gardens are smaller and less crowded than the Upper Barrakka Gardens, offering a quiet place to relax and reflect.
A visit to the Lower Barrakka Gardens is a chance to enjoy the serene side of Valletta. The gardens’ combination of natural beauty, historical monuments, and scenic views make it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.