Looking for travel tips for Valletta in Malta? Plan the perfect Valletta walking tour with these 10 amazing must-do’s and discover everything this city has to offer.
Valletta is a small, cozy and picturesque city in a sublime location. It is located on a peninsula with mesmerizing views over the large harbor and the Mediterranean Sea.
With its beautiful historical buildings completely in Baroque style, Valletta has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1980. In addition, Valletta was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2018. So many reasons to put this interesting and stunning city on your bucket list.
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10 amazing must-do’s in on a Valletta walking tour
1 – Fort Saint Angelo
I’m fully aware that Fort Saint Angelo is located just outside Valletta, in Birgu. It’s about 15 minutes with public transport from Valletta.
That is precisely why I recommend starting your Valletta walking tour with a visit to Fort St. Angelo. From here you have the most phenomenal views of Valletta and the large harbor.
This building played a major role in Malta’s military past. Now it is accessible to the public for a fee. The turbulent past of the war and the role of Fort Saint Angelo are illustrated inside the museum of this castle. And that’s not all, you can still find impressive examples of artillery here.
2 – Sail with Dgajsa through the large harbor of Valletta
Take a dgajsa back from the Birgu waterfront to Valletta waterfront. This is a traditional water taxi. With the small authentic boat you’ll sail through the large harbor, a true experience in itself. You’ll enjoy first-class views of the city of Valletta and the large harbor.
Arriving at Valletta waterfront you’ll be overwhelmed by the beautiful architecture of the most stunning historical warehouses. Or either because of the impressive cruise ships that dock here. This neighborhood is also very pleasant in the evening. You can enjoy many cozy bars and delicious restaurants here.
3 – Wander through the Valletta streets
Getting lost on your Valletta walking tour won’t happen that quickly as the street plan is based on a checkerboard pattern. But nothing is more pleasant than strolling through those typical little streets and alleys and being completely immersed in the Maltese atmosphere. Enjoy the authentic scents and colors that the centre of Valletta has to offer.
4 – Upper Barrakka Gardens
The Upper Barrakka Gardens are public gardens where you can enjoy a phenomenal view over the large harbor and the 3 cities Cospicua, Senglea and Vittoriosa
The saluting Battery is great a activity to attend. A cannon shot is fired every day at 12 noon and 4 pm. In this way, the tradition of indicating the afternoon still remains alive today. The only disadvantage is that it can be very busy around those times.
If you just want to relax in the gardens, the lower Barrakka Gardens are an equivalent alternative. They are located slightly lower and are much quieter. I personally found it much more pleasant to walk and relax there. Here you also have a magnificent view of the large harbor.
Besides, around the gardens there are cozy terraces where you can enjoy an aperitif in a great scenery.
5 – De Saint John’s Cathedral
Unfortunately we were unable to visit St John’s Cathedral due to the holidays. Nevertheless, I would like to share this tip with you, because if I can believe the stories and photos, the interior is stunning and completely decorated in Baroque style.
There’s an entrance fee to St. John’s Cathedral and it can also get quite busy there. So be sure to check the opening hours and avoid peak hours.
6 – Grandmaster Palace
The Grandmaster’s Palace was built in the 16th century by Jean de la Valette. Better known as the founder of Valletta. This Palace was one of the first buildings in the city. Nowadays it is still a very impressive building. While the exterior looks sober, the interior consists of beautifully decorated rooms with a dazzling collection of tapestries and frescoes. You can even admire a very historical collection of weapons. The inner gardens around which the palace is built, are also enchanting.
Today the Grand Master’s Palace serves as the office of the President of Malta. You can see whether he’s present or not when the flag hangs. The facade of the palace is guarded by traditional guards.
The grandmaster’s palace is open to the public for a fee. Are you curious about the beautiful working environment of the president or would you like to bump into him? Then you have to plan a visit for sure!
7 – Theatre Manoel
Don’t forget to drop by theatre Manoel on your Valletta walking tour. Here you can enjoy a spectacular opera show. If you’re not really into opera you can just admire the breathtaking interior. You can visit the theater during the day for a fee. While you’re there you can take a look behind the scenes or imagine yourself being an opera star on stage.
8 – Renzo Piano City Gate Project
Entering Valletta, through an impressive city gate, you don’t immediately get that historical vibe that you get to experience in the city centre. The gate and surrounding buildings were only built recently as part of the Renzo Piano City Gate project.
Renzo Piano is one of the most famous architects who also designed Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Shard in London. The new parliament building and the renovated royal opera house that now is an open-air theatre, are also part of this project. Despite the modern character, I think the result fits in with the historical character of Valletta, even though many residents don’t think so. They call the new parliament building cheese grater. Be sure to include this ‘hot topic’ on your Valletta walking tour.
9 – MUZA
Are you a big art lover? Then you’ll definitely have to visit the MUZA. This newly opened museum houses a national art collection that is quiete impressive. From local paintings to the most beautiful and dynamic sculptures, you will be amazed by all that splendor.
10 – Shopping
You can also go shopping in Valletta. From the small authentic shops where you can purchase delicious traditional and local Maltese specialties.
To strolling through the main street where you can daydream along the large shopwindows of modern boutiques with the latest fashion collections.
These are my 10 Valletta must – do’s to make your city trip an unforgettable experience. Valletta is a compact city with an enormously rich history that is still kept alive in many ways. In addition to a beautiful location, this is exactly what makes Valletta so unique. That’s why this city is definitely worth a city trip!
Best places to stay in Valletta
How do you prefer to discover a city? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.
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