Valletta – a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen
Can you imagine, how many noteworthy historical attractions a city is maintaining, such that the whole city is designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO? Whole City – Yes!! Don’t get surprised, Valletta is that European city. The capital city of Malta, Valletta is known for incredible historical and cultural sites along with boats and beautiful balconies.
This city is holding many notable heritage attractions ad has a rich historical past. so, without discussing much, let’s explore more about Valletta.
Valletta – The World Heritage Town
This European city was founded in the 1500s by the Knights of St John. Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers plenty of incredible attractions. Golden stone buildings, ornate churches, colourful balconies and sparkling harbour this is Malta’s capital Valletta for you. Its many Baroque buildings are very well preserved.
Valletta stands proudly on one of Europe’s grandest harbours, surrounded by some of the strongest fortifications in the world. The grand Baroque architecture reflects the knight’s prominence. Today, Valletta is a fascinating tourist destination packed with cultural attractions pull the attention of history buffs as well as global travellers.
Explore this fascinating city with the best things to do and top attraction to visit.
Best Things to do in Valletta, Malta
Explore Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
Valletta is dotted with many domed churches but the real gem of this city is St Johns Co-Cathedral. It is an incredibly ornate church, popular for dazzling Baroque interior and marble floor covered with images of skeletons. Completed in 1577, Catherdal is dedicated to the patron saint of St John and also represents the success of Knight’s. The building is one of the grandest Baroque churches in all of Europe, located in the centre of the city.
From the ornate marble floors to the impressive murals, St Johns Co-Cathedral is the best place for art lovers. This cathedral reflects the wealth and importance of the Knights of Malta, who protected Europe and the Catholic faith from attacks by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. The most well-known artwork here is The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist which you must see.
Stroll at the Captivating Republic Street
Republic Street is Valletta’s is another major attraction among youngster due to t its historic narrow lanes and ancient beautiful balconies. This main tourist strip is the busiest street of Valletta, extending from the City Gate to Fort St Elmo in the city centre. A combination of stores, restaurants and some of the city’s key attractions are inside the old, sandy coloured buildings that line the broad street.
You can stroll here and take beautiful snaps for your social media feeds. You can stop to enjoy the beautiful, old architecture at your leisure. A number of the city’s attractions are strung along Republic Street, including museums, churches and former palaces.
Also Read: Malta- A Place Where Popeye Lived!
Visit the Grand Masters Palace
One of the most visited attractions in the city of Valletta is the Grand Masters Palace. Completed in 1571, it was one of the old city’s first buildings to be completed. It has always hosted the government in Malta, from the knights to the governor and later, the president. Walking through the halls is like going through 400 years of the history of the island.
The interior is much bigger than the plain exterior, and centuries-old tapestries, frescoes and armoury embellish the halls. You have to pay an entry fee of €10 to visit inside the palace.
Discover Fort St Elmo – National War Museum
Fort Saint Elmo is an impressive structure located on the peninsula’s shoreline, dividing Valletta’s Grand Harbour from its other harbour, called Marsamxett. This impressive fortress, constructed in 1552 and played an important role in overpowering the Ottomans in the 1565 Great Siege.
Now restored as the former glory and witness the ancient war history of 16th century in the walls the National War Museum. Artefacts include the Knights’ military armour, a former warplane that protected the city against the Italians, and the George Cross medal, Malta’s award for gallantry. Overall the view from the Nation War museum is splendid and a sight to behold for all travellers including the rich war history.
Enjoy Breathtaking Views From Barrakka Gardens
Barrakka Garden harbour is the places which offer its visitors, dazzling views of Valletta Mediterranea seacoast. This grand harbour is divided into the Upper and Lower Gardens. One of the best viewpoints seen from Upper Barrakka Gardens, which provides an unparalleled panorama of the harbour. Dating back to 17th century, gardens are packed with beautiful flowers, sculptures and pleasant spots as well as a cafe to relax in with a cocktail.
There are ancient walls and Cannons which are nowadays used as a prop by couples for pre-wedding shoots. These ports across the Grand Harbor of Valletta have sufficient docks for thousands of boats, making it one of the world’s largest marinas. Try to arrange your visit when a cannon is fired from the Saluting Battery just below the main terrace about the afternoon.
Visit the Oldest Manoel Theatre
An incredible example of Baroque architecture in Valletta is the Manoel Theatre. The oval-shaped auditorium, built-in 1731, has seen opera and dramatic productions until the present, making it one of the oldest operating theatres in Europe. The Manoel Theater ranks among the oldest theatres in Europe with this renowned heritage. Gilded box seats and plush velvet chairs feature in the lavishly decorated auditorium. Each seat in the house offers a good view, and the oval room’s acoustics are excellent.
Entertainment & Cruising Options
Several high-class restaurants with views of docked cruise ships and the Mediterranean Sea are hosted at the Valletta Waterfront. It is a popular cruise stop and it makes it a perfect place for a spring or autumn break with plenty of off-season sunshine.
It is like going back in time to walk its streets, but Valletta not only lives in the past. But the recent renovations changed Valletta as designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2018. Strait Street provides a wide variety of entertainment if you’re looking for a nice night out, including funky exhibition rooms, jazz bars, cabarets, and theatres.
Dine Out Places
In Valletta, there’s an impressive selection of authentic local restaurants serving both traditional and modern Maltese flavours. Valletta’s culinary scene offers countless options, from celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants to bustling eateries and harbourfront cafes.
Most of these venues are conveniently situated along the beautiful waterfront of the city and hidden within the historic centre of the city. Visit the famous Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta food market for authentic cuisine and flavours. Apart from this, you can visit, Caffe Cordina, The Harbour Club, Noni, Rubino etc for a savouring best meal at Valletta.