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Local time Valletta

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Shopping in Valletta

Interesting arty-crafty and boutique shops are opening in renovated premises around the city.

Key areas

Valletta's shopping forte is its many independent family-owned shops. Some of these specialise in gold and silver filigree jewellery, making pieces on the premises. The Silversmith's Shop (218 Republic Street) is a good example where you can watch the proprietor at work. Leather items, particularly Italian-styled shoes are also good value, and are on sale throughout Valletta. At the Waterfront are island craft shops (pottery and glass) and the Forni Shopping Complex.

Markets

There is a small market on Ordnance Street which may have a few stalls from time to time. To enjoy a lively market, you need to travel 11km (7 miles) south to Marsaxlokk.

Shopping centres

There are many independent shops but there aren't any big shopping centres within Valletta city centre. The nearest malls are just a ferry ride away in Sliema.

Opening hours

In the city centre, many shops open at 0900 and stay till 2100 or 2200 from Monday to Saturday, while Sunday is a day of rest. In other parts of Malta, shops may close from 1300 to 1600.

Souvenirs

Handmade lace is arguably the most famous souvenir from Malta. Other popular souvenirs include blown glass and ceramics. Food items such as pickled capers, honey-rings and nougat make good gifts too.

Malta also has numerous liqueurs made from fruits such as prickly pear and pomegranate, as well as from perennial herbs like fennel.

Tax information

VAT is at 18% for generic goods and services.

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Featured Hotels

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Castille Hotel

Originally built as a home for the influential De Robertis family at the turn of the 16th century, Captain Giacomo De Robertis, a Bolognese, then passed the building on to the Testaferrata family and later to the Marquis Cassar Desain. The building is now a hotel with a sitting room, reading lounges on all floors and a coffee shop which formerly housed the stables. There are also two restaurants, serving local and global cuisine.

Maison La Vallette

This eccentrically-designed self catering luxury town house is situated in the old part of Valletta and dates back to the Knights of Malta. The house offers a large, air-conditioned bedroom with ensuite facilities, living room and separate kitchen. The decor is a mix of Maltese-style baroque and bespoke designer furniture. This is not your standard accommodation but it's memorable and suitably romantic.

Marco Polo Hostel

Bright, colourful and hipster-cool, this hostel in the heart of St Julian also offers bike hire, free Wi-Fi, and the views from its roof top terraces are glorious.

Hilton Malta

A huge palm-filled atrium, a grand piano in the lounge, a platoon of flunkies, a choice of five excellent restaurants, three bars and 410 bedrooms with every comfort known to man - Brad Pitt liked it so much he offered to buy it, just so that he could extend the bar hours. Located in the prestigious Portomaso waterfront in buzzing st Julian's, this is the place to stay if you want to be close to the heart of the action.

La Falconeria

This 4-star hotel is delightful. The rooms are modern and clean and the service is excellent. The onsite restaurant L’Artiglio serves up superb seasonal dishes. Triq Ir-Repubblika (Republic Street) is just a short walk away and so are attractions like the National Museum of Archaeology.

Hotel Juliani

Hotel Juliani is Malta's first boutique hotel, featuring lots of designer style and an excellent restaurant on the premises. The former seafront townhouse offers 44 rooms offering contemporary Med decor. It's also conveniently located for the nightlife and restaurants of St Julian's, on pretty (albeit very busy) Spinola Bay.