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Things to see in Valletta

Attractions

St John's Co-Cathedral

One of the largest and most spectacular churches in Europe, this 16th-century masterpiece boasts a spectacular floor laid almost entirely with some 400 marble tombstones and priceless works of art dedicated to the Knights of St John, and flamboyant frescoes which cover the walls and tunnel-vaulted ceiling.

Address: , St John's Square, Valletta,
Telephone: 2122 0536.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0930-1630, Sat 0930-1230.

Website: http://www.stjohnscocathedral.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Grand Master's Palace

The Grand Master was the head of the Order of the Knights of St John, and a total of 21 incumbents lived in this sumptuous building from 1575 until 1798, when the island was surrendered to Napoleon and the Order disbanded. The Palace is now the Presidential Office and Malta's Parliament House, and welcomes visitors year round. Within its interiors, wander through the Council Chamber, adorned with valuable French tapestries and other rooms and passages furnished with art, old coat of arms and armour. The former Hall of the Supreme Council of the Knights features fine frescoes and the Hall of the Ambassadors is hung with portraits of Grand Masters and European rulers. In the basement is the Armoury, one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.

Address: , Republic Street, Valletta,
Telephone: 2124 9349.
Opening times:

State Rooms: Mon-Wed and Fri 1000-1600, Sat-Sun 0900-1700. Armoury: daily 0900-1700.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Three Cities

Just across the Grand Harbour from Valletta, the three cities have six names among them (Vittoriosa/Il-Birgu, Senglea/L-Isla and Cospicua/Bormla), so to make it easier for everyone they are collectively known as the Three Cities. Take a short ferry ride from Valletta and spend a few hours walking around its labyrinthine alleyways, exploring old churches and simply absorbing the local atmosphere. The views of Valletta are superb too.

Address: Three Cities, , Three Cities,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees: Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

The Malta Experience

The best audio-visual show on the island, set in a historic building, offering an excellent introduction to the history and special sights of Malta and Gozo. It covers Malta’s many magnificent landmarks, such as the ancient prehistoric temples of Malta’s stone-age settlers, the cities of Mdina and Valletta. Claiming to be one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, the show has attracted over four million visitors to its purpose built auditorium near Fort St Elmo and is told in 17 languages.

Address: Mediterranean Street, St Elmo Bastions, Valletta,
Telephone: 2124 3776.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1100-1600, Sat-Sun 1100-1400 - each show lasts 45 minutes and starts on the hour.

Website: http://www.themaltaexperience.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

The Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum

Located 6km (4 miles) from Valletta city centre, the Hypogeum (the word means 'underground chamber') is easily the most interesting and atmospheric of Malta's many famous prehistoric temples, and because of its excellent state of preservation, it is the key to understanding Malta's ancient temple culture. It consists of halls, chambers and passages hewn out of the living rock featuring diverse shapes and sizes. The complex is split into three levels – the upper level (3600-3300 BC), the middle level (3300-3000 BC), and the lower level (3150 -2500 BC).

Address: Paola, Cemetery Street, 5km (3 miles) south of Valletta,
Telephone: 2182 5579.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri noon-1600.

Website: http://www.heritagemalta.org
Admission Fees:

Admission is by guided tour only, and must be reserved in advance.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Fort St Elmo

This small star-shaped fort is where the bloodiest, most epic battle of the Great Siege of Malta was fought and its history is brought to life by daily guided tours and the spectacular In Guardia costumed re-enactment which is staged weekly. Commanding the peninsula that divides Malta's two harbours, the fort dates back to the 16th century when a watchtower existed on the site. By 1565, it had been reinforced and extended into a fort by the Knights of St John but although it managed to withstand the Turkish seige for a month, eventually it fell. Today, the fort is used by the police, an office for the Refugees Commission, and Heritage Malta’s National War Museum. Tours take place on scheduled Sundays.

Address: , Mediterranean Street, Valletta, ,
Telephone: 2295 4300.
Opening times: Website: http://www.heritagemalta.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Lascaris War Rooms

Deep under the Upper Barrakka Gardens lie the secret WWII war rooms, composed of a network of underground tunnels and chambers that housed the British HQ in Malta. In July 1943, the War Rooms were used by General Eisenhower to plan Operation Husky - the invasion of Sicily. After the war, it played an important role in the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt during the Suez crisis in 1956 and during the Cuban Missile Crises of 1962. Five years later, it was taken over by NATO as a strategic Communication Centre for the interception of Soviet submarines in the Mediterranean. After 10 years in this role, the rooms were finally closed down and eventually opened up to the public.

Address: , Upper Barrakka Garden, Valletta,
Telephone: 2123 4717.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.lascariswarrooms.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Vittoriosa

The headquarters of the knights before neighbouring Valletta was built, Vittoriosa today is a quiet atmospheric residential district retaining many historical landmarks open to the public, most notably the Old Naval Bakery (now the Maritime Museum, which is currently undergoing restoration) and the Inquisitor's Palace.

Address: , Vittoriosa, Valletta, ,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website: http://www.heritagemalta.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Great Siege Events Museum

Tableaux, touch screens, talking heads, videos and other special effects whisk you through the history of the Knights of St John, culminating in their finest hour during the Great Siege.

Address: , Republic Square, Valletta,
Telephone: 356 2124 7300
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Upper Barrakka Gardens

These beautiful arcaded gardens sit astride the bastions at Valletta’s highest point and were built by the Knights. They offer panoramic views of The Grand Harbour and the Three Cities. The noonday salute is still fired from the cannons of the Saluting Battery below the gardens each day to a background of British military music. A new lift connects the gardens to the wharf below.

Address: , Upper Barrakka Garden, Valletta,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Open daily.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Casa Rocca Piccola

Visit this 16th century palazzo and see the country's largest private collection of antique costumes and lace. Malta has a storied history of lace-making and Casa Rossa Piccola commemorates this through their collection and by hosting the annual Malta Lace Competition.

Address: , Republic Street, Valletta,
Telephone: 356 2122 1499
Opening times: Website: http://www.casaroccapiccola.com/
Admission Fees:

 Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tourist Offices

Valletta Tourist Office

Address: , 229 Merchants Street, Valletta,
Telephone: 356 2291 5000
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-1730, Sun 0900-1300.

Website: http://www.visitmalta.com

Book Accommodation

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.