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City Guide: Valletta, Malta

Amazing Walled City

The Best things to see and do in Valletta, Malta

Interestingly enough, most people are under the impression that Malta is an Italian or Greek Island. In fact, Malta is an individual country, and Valletta is the capital city. Furthermore, the Knights of St. John established this tiny walled town in the 1500’s. Actually, this baroque island city is located right smack in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. Moreover, it’s hard to pick only ten things to see in Valletta, the boats, the gardens and the alleys are breathtaking. Making this, one city you absolutely must see; so without further ado, here are the ten best things to do in Valletta.

 

Architecture

1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta

St Johns Co-Cathedral Valletta
St John’s Co-Cathedral

Notably, nowhere in the world has this writer ever seen so much gold. I mean, St. John’s Co- Cathedral in Valletta is awash in ornate baroque gold. Not to mention, this is one of the world’s greatest cathedrals, and also the finest example of Baroque architecture is all of Europe. Also, St. John’s Cathedral is a busy tourist attraction, so be sure to plan ahead!

2. St. Francis of Assisi Church

Valletta malta
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The fact that, builders built this church in 1598 makes it one magnificent structure. Also, it took nine years to complete. Furthermore, in 1681 the church began to fall apart. At which point Grand Master Gregorio Carafa rebuilt the church in its entirety. Finally, in 1920, the famous dome was added at the request of Emanuelle Borg. Lastly, this beautiful building has become a staple of the Valletta skyline. Thus, you can not miss it!

3. Fort St. Angelo

Valletta Malta
Fort St Angelo Valletta

Incidentally, you can not miss Fort St. Angelo while on a trip to Malta. In fact, this imposing medieval structure stands proudly in the middle of the Grand Harbor. In fact, Castrum Maris, the initial name, was built as a castle in the sea. However, the 1500’s  it became a fortress and is most well known for its role as headquarters to the Order of St. John during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.

Culture

4. National Museum of Archeology

Archaeology Museum Valletta malta
Female image on sofa

Surprisingly enough, this small rocky group of islands is rich in Neolithic history. Therefore, the Maltese founded the National Museum of Archology to display some of the most exciting finds. The lovely clay sculpture pictured above displays quite a different perspective than today’s version of female beauty, don’t you think?

5. The Saluting Battery

Noon Canons In Valletta
Cannons fired at noon

The 16th-century battery, built by the Order of St John, is still standing today. Moreover, this impressive structure is also home to 8 working replicas of SBBL 32 pounders. (Those are cannons for those of us who didn’t know). Impressively, soldiers fire the guns every day at noon and four in salute. Nevermind a 21 gun salute, Valletta has an eight, 32-pound cannon salute! The barrels make a sound you’ll never forget!

6. Grand Harbour Cruise

Maltese boat Valletta harbor cruise
Traditional Maltese Boat

If there is one Grand Harbour cruise line, there must indeed be 20. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter which tour company you hire. I mean, as long as you hire someone to take you on a cruise of this fantastic harbour.  In particular, the breathtaking views of the medieval walled city will burn into your mind. You will also get to see the cruise port and the freight ships. Grand Harbour offers so much to see; you won’t know where to look!

 

Experience Maltese Life

7. Take the Bus

Bus Stop Valletta, Malta
Take the bus, if you dare

In all honesty, public transportation in and on Malta is no joke. For example, speaking from experience, should you dare to take the city bus in Valletta, plan an extra hour travel time! It is possible that you will wait with dozens of other people in the heat of the day for the bus. Finally, when the bus shows up, it will be over full! So much so that as people are pushing and shoving to get in and the bus driver will refuse. It even happens that the bus is so full the driver doesn’t even bother to stop!

8. Shop Main Street

 

Triq il-Merkanti Valletta malta
Triq il-Merkanti

Contrary to the dark winter jackets in the photo above, Valletta is a warm city. Therefore as you walk down the main square sales clerks will venture out of their shops and greet you. All in an attempt to lure you into their stores. The beautiful old buildings combined with modern style fashions are a sight to be seen. In all honesty, a day shopping among the Maltese is nearly as exciting as a day at the museum.

9. Take A Walk on the City Walls

Walk the city walls
Alley in Valletta

If you are looking for that kind of old world feel, this walled city has it. In particular, when you are tired of the crowds and believe me, there are crowds, take a break and go for a walk. Imagine the Knights of St John as they looked out over the water guarding this amazing island city-fortress. Make certain you take your camera! The views are stunning!

Festa’s

10. St. Paul’s Festa

Festa Valletta Malta
Festa Valletta

Valletta is a bustling city, full of warm and inviting people. Furthermore, they are also a deeply religious society. Primarily Catholic, the Maltese celebrate every Saint and holiday they can imagine. Parties full of food and fireworks and laughing people line the streets of Valletta several times a year. From Christmas to Easter and even just for St. Paul, the Maltese have a Festa for everything!

 Planes, trains, bikes or cars

In conclusion, however, you get there, get there now! In the end, Valletta is a city full of life waiting to entertain and enthrall you!

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