The capital of the island of Malta is a bustling port city in which the mood and atmosphere of the Middle Ages has been preserved, and it displays vast cultural and architectural riches. It is understandable why UNESCO has declared it to be a World Heritage Site. Valletta – which is considered to be the smallest capital city in the EU – is named in honor of its founder, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean de la Valette. He led the fight to successfully repulse the Turks at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, thus establishing the fame and pride of Malta.
The Golden Age of the Knights of Malta
The city of Valletta abounds with buildings in the Baroque and Renaissance styles which characterize the Golden Age of the Knights of Malta, as well as medieval walls and fortifications that have safeguarded the authentic character of the city and remind one of its history. When you arrive in Valletta we recommend that you take a tour around the old town and visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which offer a panoramic view of the Grand Harbor as well as the spectacular bay opposite the three ancient cities – truly a breathtaking sight!
As part of the walking tour of Valletta, do not miss the impressive Grand Master's Palace built in 1571 during the period of the Knights Hospitaller; during your tour of the palace you will be able to look around the inner rooms, each of which is designed in a different style. Afterwards, cross the main street of Valletta and be stunned by the beauty of the ancient buildings dating back to the medieval period. You won’t want to miss “Saint John's Co-Cathedral " which was built by the Hospitallers, and which has eight chapels containing famous works of art. Also, The National War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo where scenes from the film "Midnight Express" were shot. Another popular tourist site is the Manoel Theatre, which is the third-oldest working theater in Europe and also home to the National Theatre and the National Orchestra of Malta.
The Malta Experience
Try to combine your visit to Valletta with the “Malta Experience” an educational, informative and entertaining audio-visual production that demonstrates for you the unique history of Valletta. The old city of "Mdina" is also a source of attraction for tourists when they come to Valletta; known as “the silent city of Malta”, this is where the rulers of the island made their homes. The city is steeped in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, and full of magnificent examples of architecture in the medieval style. It is an excellent idea to also visit the Palazzo Falzon, and the Museum of Roman Antiquities. There is no doubt that Valletta is a city with a fascinating history and a captivating ambiance.Close