Throughout the years, Valletta has welcomed emperors, heads of state, artists and poets and is now the permanent seat of the Maltese government.
The town is dotted with quaint cafe's and wine bars. It is now one of Malta's main tourist attractions, hosting among others, the majestic St John's Co- Cathedral.
Valletta sits between two historic, natural harbours; Marsamxett Harbour to the north and the Grand Harbour to the south, with the beautiful blue Mediterranean in between. The city does not have any beaches, although there are some sunbathing rocks eastward of the Sliema Ferries. However, the golden sands of Golden Bay (20km) or Mellieha Bay (26km) are easily accessible and both offer water-sports.
Things to Do
Surrounded by water and well preserved 16th century fortifications, the narrow streets of this small city are lined with balconied buildings and packed with historic treasures and visitor attractions. Take a harbour cruise to view the fortifications surrounding the city and discover the history of the Grand Harbour; spend the evening on a romantic sunset cruise or the entire day sailing around the coast of Malta.
Discover the richly ornate and opulent interior of the magnificent St John's Cathedral, it's artworks and informative museum and; browse the well furnished rooms of the privately owned Casa Rocca Piccola Palace and it's WW2 bomb shelters.
Within the city streets you will also find many interesting museums including the Lascaris War Rooms, The National War Museum, the Armoury Museum and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Or, watch history come to life at The Valletta Experience, Malta 5D, Valletta Living History and The Saluting Battery.
Out and About
Republic Street and Merchant Street run parallel through the heart of the city and here you will find the daily street market as well as a good mix of independent stores and high street names. There are plenty of coffee shops and cafes, wine bars and nice restaurants; enjoy an evening meal near the Palace or lunch at the prestigious Valletta Waterfront, next to the cruise port. Nightlife is mostly relaxing but if you want to party 'til dawn, the Paceville clubs at St Julians Bay are just a taxi ride away (9.5km).
When you need a break from sightseeing, relax in one of the city gardens. The Upper and Lower Barracca Gardens overlook the Grand Harbour; Hastings Garden overlooks the Marsamxett Harbour and the Argotti Gardens lie in between, in the Floriana district.
The bus station is located by the City Gate and all inland towns and coastal resorts are accessible from Valletta. Boat trips to the neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino are also readily available.
Other cultural attractions on the island include the Palazzo Parisio & Gardens at Naxxar and the San Anton Gardens at Attard; the archaeological sites of the Mnajdra Temples and the Tarxien Temples and; the old cities of Mdina, Mosta and Rabat.
For family fun you could spend a day at the Splash & Fun Water Park or swim with the dolphins at the neighbouring Malta Marine Park; discover the tropical birds and the birds of prey and at BirdPark Malta and the Malta Falconry Centre or, stroll around the film set and meet the characters at Popeye Village.
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