Certainly, some of the mightiest and best-preserved fortifications in the world surround this picturesque Baroque city, characterized by magnificent sea views, narrow streets, one of Europe's grandest harbors, and also some modern touches. The city of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th-century and is stretching a tiny 1 km (0.62 miles) long by 600 m (0.37 miles) wide. Valletta is probably the best town to get lost in because sooner or later you will end up where you started. There are just a few main streets, a lot of steep stairs and amazing architecture. Valletta calls itself as a city “built by gentlemen for the gentlemen”, and while walking on the narrow streets, you can understand why. Everywhere you can see fine artworks, sculptures, fountains, churches and palaces. History is present on every corner and it lives hand in hand with modern life, cafes, tourist shops, gelatto bars, restaurants and international fashion brands. We, at Malta TV have compiled a list of things for you to see and do in Valletta, for those persons planning to visit the island and who wish a tried and tested guide or list compiled by locals and tourists!
1. GRAB A COFFEE AT CAFE CORDINA THE OLDEST CAFE Start your day early and begin to set the tone of your day in Valletta by grabbing a coffee and a bite to eat at the renowned Caffe Cordina in Valletta’s Republic street. Difficult to miss, this large place offers sheltered outside seating, ideal to watch daily life in Valletta’s heart. Despite its location, prices are reasonable and variety is wide ranging from light snacks to full meals and delectable desserts. Producing its own Maltese delicacies, Caffe Cordina is a great meeting spot also attracting locals who wish to grab something quick. Starting as a small outlet in 1837, the Cordina family has passed their skills through the generations and now have outlets across the island. Valletta is the flagship venue and is known island wide. Founded in 1837, the Cordina family started off from a small outlet in Bormla, which shop started to specialize in the baking and preparation of traditional Maltese sweet delicacies, defining the Cordina family’s true vocation. A vocation nourished by courageous decisions, such as the relocation of the coffee shop to Valletta in 1944 by the the late Mr Cesare Cordina, forefather of the present family. Over the years he enlarged the establishment resulting in the Caffe you see before you today comprising of tea rooms, pasticceria, coffee bar and gelateria. 2. ST JOHN'S CO CATHEDRAL One visit to be included in your time in Valletta is the magnificent St John's Co Cathedral. Not only a place of worship but also an exuberant work of art, St John’s Co-Cathedral has an interior that can only be described as a definition of wealth. Gilded rooms with arched ceilings boast paintings donated by Grand Masters and knights themselves. Home to original paintings by Caravaggio, the Co-Cathedral attracts numerous visitors daily and a visit to Valletta wouldn’t be complete without popping inside this awe-inspiring church. The temple of the Knights is so luxurious, exactly like you would expect it to be. The ticket is not cheap but is definitely worth it! ●The ticket for St. John’s Co-cathedral is €10.00 for adults and €7.50 for students and the elderly. Children below 12 enter for free. ●The cathedral is open from 09:30 until 16:30 the weekdays. On Saturdays from 09:30 to 12:30. On Sundays and public holidays, it is closed. ●Once you buy your ticket you will get for free the audio guide too. It takes around 2hours to fully listen to the tour and explore the monument. 3.TOY MUSEUM IN VALLETTA Get playful and go for something different, connecting to the energy of the children who lived in Malta's capital city. This museum is a place that brings back the child in all who visit. It provides the opportunity to educate children and adults too on how much toys have evolved over the decades. The museum was opened in 1998 by founder Vincent Brown. Vincent’s passion for preserving old toys started when he decided to keep a box of toys a friend was throwing away. The toys were not up to present health and safety standards, so instead of giving them to his own children as he had originally intended, Vincent restored them and started a collection of his own. His love for vintage toys grew rapidly, and after visiting a similar museum in England, he decided to open The Toy Museum in Valletta. Collections include vintage Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox cars, dolls, train sets and farmyard animals. A nostalgic experience, a unique experience you will not find anywhere else in the world, for parents and grandparents and a real eye-opener for the kids of today.
4. MANOEL THEATRE, VALLETTA To get a feeling of the entertainment and the classy theatres in Malta, the Manoel Theatre is a classic must visit. An important performing arts venue in Valletta, the Manoel Theatre is reported to be one of Europe’s oldest working theatres. It has an oval-shaped auditorium with three tiers of wooden boxes decorated with gold leaf, and a pale blue trompe-l’oeil ceiling resembling a round cupola. It has retained many of its architectural features despite multiple alterations over the years and is a very beautiful building. The theatre still presents shows in both English and Maltese, including opera, pantomime and musicals., so perhaps you can pre book a show during your visit on the website and time it with your daily tour followed by a drink in one of the bars close by buzzing with life every day! 5. WATCH THE SALUTING BATTERY at NOON EVERY DAY Looking out over the Grand Harbour and facing fortified cities is Valletta’s saluting battery. For 500 years, this battery protected the capital from naval attacks and is quite possibly the oldest saluting battery in the world that is still in operation. Excluding public holidays, see the saluting battery in operation daily, with a brief commentary starting at 11’45am followed by the firing at 12 noon. Sharp. 6.Is-Suq tal-Belt Valletta’s newest food hall transformed into a gourmet paradise. The 19th century building which was restored and opened it’s doors by late 2017, is home to vast variety of food vendors. 7. Siege Bell War Memorial The Bell weighing nearly ten tons is rung at noon each day. The memorial is dedicated to the souls who died during the second world war. It overlooks the blue waters and cream buildings of the Grand Harbour offering spectacular photo opportunities. 8. THE MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY If you love history you can drop by the National Museum of Archeology of Malta. The ticket is very cheap and the museum is small. You can visit the National Museum of Archeology to know more about Malta’s history and more specifically about its pre-history. If you didn’t know it yet, Malta has many findings from the Neolithic Period (5000 BC) and from the Phoenician Period (400 BC). The most famous attractions of the museum are the figurines “Sleeping Lady” and the ‘Venus of Malta’ (from Ħaġar Qim Temples). If you don’t have enough days to visit the Maltese Stonehedge, pay a visit to this museum to briefly understand the history of Malta.
9.GRAB AN ICE CREAM IF THE WEATHER IS WARM AT THE BEST ICE CREAM PLACE Who is obsessed with ice cream? Well, there’s not a day which goes by that you don’t see long lines outside this Republic Street stop over. Tourists and locals flock to taste the flowered ice-cream gems offered by Amorino – and it’s not hard to understand why. The flavours on offer range from cantalope melon, amarena cream and blackcherries as well as blueberry cheesecake – all served in a petal-like form. Grab one and snap a pic for your Instagram feed to share with all your friends! 10. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS Situated in South Street Valletta, Malta's National Museum of Fine Arts is housed in a majestic palace that was originally a residence for the Knights of Malta. The monumental staircase at the entrance makes a grand impression, worthy of Valletta's finest art collection. The museum's collection represents important works of Maltese art from the 12th century to the 20th century, as well as noteworthy pieces by other European artists. There is an excellent assortment of works by the famous artist of Malta, Mattia Preti, who was from Calabria in Southern Italy. His most renowned work on display here is the Baptism of Christ painting. The museum also displays a few masterpieces by Italian artist Guido Reni and the exceptional Judith and Holofernes painting by Valentin de Boulogne. Another exquisite painting that stands out in the collection is the early Impressionist View of the Grand Harbor by J.M.W. Turner. Hope you found this list helpful. Don't forget to follow our Instagram account @malta_tvchannel