Coastal view of the sea wall and buildings in Valletta, Malta
HISTORY MEETS MYSTERY

Cruise to Valletta, Malta

As you approach Valletta — the capital of Malta, a tiny island nation located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa — you'll see its golden cityscape appears on the horizon, crowned by the imposing dome of Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The 16th-century church is just one of the many discoveries that await you in Valletta — the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore St. John's Co-Cathedral, a lavishly adorned Baroque sanctuary that reflects the former wealth of the Knights of Malta. Walk through the Grand Master's Palace, where you can see weapons and armor from the age of chivalry at the Palace Armory. Take in ocean views from the Grand Harbor, a seaside fortress dating back to 1530.
National Language Maltese, English
Currency Accepted Euro (EUR)

Things To Do in Valletta

Three cannons on the coast of Valletta, Malta

Have the Malta Experience

Three cannons on the coast of Valletta, Malta

Three cannons on the coast of Valletta, Malta

Have the Malta Experience

Despite its small size, Malta's history is pretty epic. The audio-visual presentation at Valletta's Malta Experience Museum takes less than an hour of your time and explains everything from the country's early origins as a trade hub to its role in the World War II resistance movements. Or check out Neolithic pottery and prehistoric art at the National Museum of Archaeology.

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta

Get Lost in Valletta's Streets

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta

Get Lost in Valletta's Streets

Valletta's streets tell a living history, from churches like St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral and St. John's Co-Cathedral, to military buildings such as Fort St. Elmo and the Lascaris War Rooms. Don't miss the Grand Master's Palace, with everything from 16th-century armor to 18th-century tapestries depicting the first expeditions to the New World.

Upper Barrakka Gardens terrace in Valletta, Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens terrace in Valletta, Malta

Circle the City Walls

If you still doubt whether Malta is the sparkling treasure it appears to be from afar, take a walk around Valletta's imposing city walls. Hike up to their highest point at Upper Baracca Gardens, where you'll be met with gorgeous views of the historic city and the sparkling blue Mediterranean.

A bowl of Stuffat tal-Fenek, the national dish of Malta
A bowl of Stuffat tal-Fenek, the national dish of Malta

Local Cuisine

Malta's culinary heritage is as eclectic as the rest of its history, with a mix of North African and European influences. Head to Valletta's port area to dine at one of the many seafood-focused restaurants for dishes like pixxispad, swordfrish fried in olive oil with lemon. Or seek out heartier fare like stuffat tal-fenek, a rabbit stew, or bragioli — thin slices of beef stuffed with bacon, egg and breadcrumbs and slowly cooked in red wine sauce.

An assortment of souvenir necklaces
An assortment of souvenir necklaces

Shopping

If you're looking for postcards, keychains and other trinkets, check out the gift shop of the Malta Experience. For a more eclectic shopping experience, take a stroll down the city's Republic street, where vendors sell artisanal Maltese items like blown glass, filligree jewelry and pottery.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 In spite of Valletta's small size, it's rather hilly. Stairscases are built throughout the city so you don't have to walk up steep slopes.
2 For ease of getting around, you can take advantage of local bus lines 98 and 99, which run in a loop that starts and ends at the main station.

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