Valletta the European Capital of Culture
Firstly, Valletta is the stunning capital city of Malta. Throughout the years, it has welcomed emperors, heads of states and officials from all continents. Through numerous wars, Valletta has stood strong and has been fought over for centuries. Interestingly, it is named after the well-respected Grand Master of The Order of St. John: Jean Parisot de la Valette. The city is infused with history and buildings from the 16th century and has also been A World Heritage Site since 1980. As a result of the wars, Valletta is still being repaired and improved for tourists and locals. This will fuel further the motivation and energy of the wonderful UNESCO city. In 2018 the city will hold the title of “European Capital of Culture”.
Valletta is a city full of culture and history. Throughout the year there are performances held at the theatre, like opera, music concerts, dance recitals and much more. It is truly a stunning capital! Therefore, you should spend at least three days in Valletta to get the most from it.
Besides that, if you are interested in some of the beautiful natural attractions on the Maltese islands click here.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
Initially, this St. John’s Co-Cathedral is a gem of baroque architecture. The marble floor filled with angel, skeletons and other spiritual icons are unimaginably precise and above all breathtaking. In addition, it was built between 1572 and 1577 and it was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
Grand Masters Palace
Now the office of the President of the Republic of Malta, it was built in 1571 for the Grand Master’s of the Order of St. John. Besides that, the Grand Masters Palace has been the administrative centre of Malta for three and a half centuries. As a result, the palace holds a collection of over 5000 suits from the 16th to the 18th century. For this reason, do have a look at the armoury on your visit!
Upper Barrakka Gardens
Overlooking the Grand Harbour, the Upper Barrakka Gardens offer the most beautiful panoramic views of Malta and the Mediterranean sea. The gardens were built in the 17th century and originally being used as an exercise ground for the Knights of Italy. Nowadays they have been transformed into a serene place to relax or a place where events can be held.
The Saluting Battery
Located directly beneath the Upper Barrakka Gardens, The Saluting Battery is the oldest but still in operation anywhere in the world! It was built in the 16th century accordingly by the Order of St. John and has protected the Grand Harbour for over 500 years. When visiting, absorb the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean and the fortified towns of Malta in the distance. In addition, it could also be a lovely place to for a cooperate event or even a wedding.
Did you know: ‘The Grand Masters Palace was used in the 2016 film, Assasins Creed’
The gird of narrow streets in Valletta holds some of Malta’s finest work, making it nothing short of an open-air museum. There are near twenty museums altogether in Malta and Valletta is in fact home to four of them; The National Museum of Archeology, The Palace State Rooms, The Palace Armoury and Fort St. Elmo – The National War Museum.
Particularly, The National War Museum is a must-see and withholds many interesting facts! Artifacts are mostly displayed in chronological order, commencing from the early phases of the Bronze Age in 2,500 B.C. As a result, WWII left scars on the city as it suffered a great deal. The Maltese population decreased and most of them who remained were left in despair. Visit this museum to unlock the war truths from St. John to WWII.
Valletta is full of quaint restaurants and cafes complete with the perfect atmosphere. Valletta’s restaurants have a variety of cuisines including, Maltese, Steakhouses, Indian, Italian, and Oriental. The restaurant ‘Palazzo Preca’ has a menu which includes Maltese dishes which are delicious!
Besides great food, the streets in Valletta are filled with live music and entertainment from bands, such as violinist and singers. If you love a romantic setting, have a drink at the Bridge Bar, they have a live jazz band in the evenings setting a great mood!
You cannot leave a new country without a souvenir, right? That’s likewise a travellers code so once people enter the gates of Valletta they will be greeted by many tourist shops. In fact, you will also be able to add your fashion collection with small boutique shops and high street brands. Actually, local stores and commercial outlets tend to open from 9:00 am till 7:00 pm, so you will have plenty of time to complete your shopping day.
As a matter of fact, throughout the year there are many festivals and events across the island. However, the best time of the year to attend festivals in between April and July but be sure to catch an event any time of the year. Furhermore, Valletta has firework displays, feasts, religious festivals, parades and above all a wine fest and beer fest! Click here for a complete list of events throughout the year!