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Malta's Crown Jewel

Photo by Fadi al Shami/Unsplash

Malta, the sun-drenched jewel of the Mediterranean, boasts a capital city brimming with history, charm, and enough photo ops to make your Instagram followers swoon.

Valletta, is a fortified gem where ancient alleyways whisper secrets and panoramic views leave you breathless. Founded by the Knights of St. John in 1566, Valletta's story is as captivating as its architecture.

Strolling through the fortified walls, remnants of a time when fending off marauding pirates was just another Tuesday. Picture clashing swords, booming cannons, and the salty tang of seawater as you explore bastions like St. Elmo, with its dramatic harbour views, and Fort St. Angelo, rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of the imprisoned Ottoman admiral. (Just remember, pirates are best admired from afar!)

Here are the must-sess and do when there!

Grand Harbour

Photo by iStock

Capture the iconic panorama of bobbing luzzus (traditional fishing boats) against the imposing backdrop of Fort St. Angelo. Sunset paints the scene in magical hues, making it a photographer's paradise.

St. John's Co-Cathedral

Photo by Pixabay

Prepare to be jaw-dropped by the opulent baroque interior adorned with Caravaggio's masterpiece, "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist." Don't miss the intricate inlaid marble floor, considered one of the finest in the world.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Photo by Pavel Neznanov/Unsplash

Breathe in the fresh air and soak up panoramic views of the Grand Harbour and Three Cities from these beautifully landscaped gardens. Time your visit for the daily noontime gun salute - a dramatic boom that'll make your heart skip a beat (in a good way).

Photo by National Museum of Archaeology

Delve into 7,000 years of Maltese history through artefacts spanning prehistoric temples to Roman mosaics. Discover the mysterious Venus of Malta figurine, a symbol of fertility, and learn about the island's ancient civilizations.

Photo by Manoel Theatre

Step back at this 18th-century gem, one of Europe's oldest working theatres. Imagine the grandeur of past performances as you admire the ornate ceiling and plush seating. Check the schedule for upcoming shows - you might just catch an opera or a play in this historic setting.

Photo by iStock

Immerse yourself in a 45-minute audiovisual journey through Maltese history. Witness dramatic reenactments, feel the rumble of simulated earthquakes, and gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating island nation.

Photo by Casa Rocco Piccolo

Peek into the opulent lifestyle of a wealthy 16th-century Maltese family through this historic townhouse museum. Marvel at the period furniture, art collection, and hidden bomb shelter (a reminder of the island's turbulent past).

Triton Fountain

Photo by Jas Rolyn/Unsplash

Toss a coin into this iconic fountain in Republic Square for good luck, and snap a pic with the majestic Triton statue, Malta's mythical protector. Legend believes that touching his beard will bring you back to Malta someday.

Barrakka Lift

Photo by Wikimedia

Take a scenic ride on this public elevator for stunning views of the harbour and the Three Cities. The dramatic descent through a spiral tunnel adds an extra touch of excitement.

Valletta Waterfront

Photo by iStock

Stroll along the charming promenade, lined with cafes and restaurants, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy fresh seafood, sip on a local Cisk beer, and watch the colourful boats bob in the harbour.

Further afield

Malta is a relatively small island. If you have the time and want to explore further afield, many fabulous and exciting sites are reachable either by bicycle or a short drive from Valletta.


Photo by Wikimedia

Wander through the "Silent City," a fortified medieval town known for its narrow streets, imposing bastions, and stunning Mdina Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity and imagine life centuries ago within these ancient walls.

Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Photo by Wikimedia

These UNESCO-listed megalithic temples, dating back to around 3600-3200 BC, are a must for history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts. Marvel at these ancient structures' towering stones, intricate carvings, and mysterious purpose.

Blue Grotto

Photo by Lindsey Lamont/Unsplash

Take a boat trip to this natural wonder, a sea cave known for its mesmerizing reflections of sunlight on the water. Witness the vibrant colours dance on the surface and capture the magical atmosphere of this hidden gem.

Popeye Village

Photo by Pixabay

Calling all film buffs and families with young kids! Explore the quirky film set used for the 1980 movie "Popeye," now transformed into a fun theme park. Wander through the colourful houses of Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, and Wimpy, climb Popeye's iconic anchor, and even meet the characters themselves for photo ops! Enjoy boat rides, water trampolines, mini golf, and live shows, making it a perfect day out for the whole family.

Where to Stay and When to Visit:

Valletta offers a variety of accommodation options, from charming boutique hotels like The Xara Palace and The Embassy Valletta Hotel to luxury resorts like The Phoenicia Malta and The Cavalieri Art Hotel. The best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons (March-May and September-November) when the weather is pleasant, crowds are smaller, and hotel rates are more affordable.

Travel Tips:

Purchase a Malta Multipass for discounted entry to various attractions, including public transport. This is a great way to save money, especially if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing.



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