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The 6 Best Things to Do in Valletta

Valletta, Malta: The capital city of the island nation in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. Not as popular for tourism as the Greek islands to the northeast, nor the Balearics to the northwest or even Sicily to the north. But this incredible island – and especially its capital – is certainly worth a look. The city of Valletta is a never-to-be-forgotten one and certainly worthy of inclusion on any European bucket list. We could have picked many more, but here are just six reasons to visit:

See the Harbour from the Water

Whether you’re approaching on a cruise ship or taking one of the many tour boats, The Grand Harbour is one view not to be missed. It’s arguably the most impressive approach to any island anywhere in Europe. If the imposing series of medieval defensive walls are not enough, then the presence of a formidable fort will certainly impress.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Places of worship are not always open to the public, even the most ornate, but the city’s two cathedrals are. If you only visit one of Valletta’s two cathedrals, the Catholic cathedral should be it. From the outside, although ornate and attractive, it doesn’t really stand out. But the inside is another matter. Note the ceiling mural’s fine attempt at 3D art.

The Grandmaster’s Palace

No Valletta city tour would be complete without a visit to the Old Quarter. Among the impressive monuments is the Palace of the Grandmasters. Built between the 16th and 18th centuries under the direction of the Order of St John, it is the city’s finest historical monument boasting an impressive armoury of historic weapons and armour.

Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market

A recently restored (2018) Victorian building, Valletta shows its trendy side with a Covent Garden-esque food market. It was originally a 19th century market hall but time overtook it and it fell out of use. Most notable is that it’s Valletta’s first iron building. Not that would distract many people from the delicious food wares on offer – trendy eateries, street food, and snack bars. Relax before heading back out into the city.

City Tour Bus

That’s a lot of walking. Now would be a great time to take the hop-on, hop-off, open-top city tour bus. Pay a flat fee and you can get on and off at your own leisure throughout the day, taking the trip as a single tour of the city, or getting off to explore certain areas of Valletta. It‘s a great way to explore the city and see sights you would not ordinarily see such as the small private harbours where the super-rich often leave their yachts.

Dinner on the Waterfront

If it’s a good view and good food you want, then try one of the many restaurants along the Valletta waterfront. There is a fantastic view across the harbour towards the city walls and the imposing Fort St Angelo. Sip wine or a soft drink while enjoying the best of Maltese cuisine while the sun sets on another day. Maltese traditional food is influenced from right across the Mediterranean including North Africa and the Middle East, so you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Malta offers a host of fantastic places to visit and things to see, so why not consider paying a visit to this tiny island in the Med for your next vacation?