Malta - Do & See
There are various places of interest that you can visit in Malta, and the good thing is that all places are easily reached by public transport via Valletta.
There are also plenty of different events around the island, especially during the summer months. One of the most spectacular ones is the Malta Fireworks Festival in Valetta in the end of April every year. For three days different countries and firework suppliers compete in making the best firework-show.
Don't be sad if you miss the Firework Festival. Almost every weekend, the different villages hosts religious Festas. During a whole week, they celebrate their saint with church bells, processions, confetti and in the weekend they end the folk festival with an outstanding firework-show.
Valletta - The capital of Malta
Valletta, the capital of Malta, was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th-century. It has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site due to the various monumental buildings. It is a baroque city which has often been described as an open-air museum due to the amount of historic buildings concentrated in the area such as St John’s Co-Cathedral and the Grand Harbour, all built by the Knights as well as over 25 churches all concentrated in an area of 900m x 630m.
Mdina, the old capital of Malta, is a typical medieval town situated on one of the highest hills of the island. The “Silent City,” as it is known, commands a magnificent view of the island. It is one of the few remaining Renaissance fortified cities in Europe.
Wied Iz- Zurrieq
Here one can have a swim or visit the Blue Grotto and the surrounding coastline by a trip on the “daghjsa,” a traditional Maltese fishing boat. The Blue Grotto is famous for the clarity of the water and the brilliant colours around the rocks and in the caves.
The Three Cities of Cottonera
Across the Grand Harbour, to the south of Valletta, are the historic fortified towns of Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea, commonly referred to as the three cities of Cottonera. If you only have time for one of them, Vittoriosa is the one most worth a visit. Here you find Fort St Angelo, the Inquisitor's Palace and the Vittoriosa Waterfront was refurbished in the early 2,000's to once again reach up to its former glory.
This is the main fishing village in Malta but if you visit the town any other day than a Sunday morning it might be hard to see. That is when the large and famous fish market is held on the dock. It's a true spectacle and something you shouldn't miss. If you feel like shopping something else than fish you find various articles such as souvenirs and handicrafts too. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at one of the picturesque restaurants when you are satisfied with your purchases.
The remains of numerous temples erected in the Fourth and Third Millennium B.C. are unique in the world. Stone idols, animal representations carved in relief, stone tablets, altars and screens decorated with spirals and other patterns enhance the attraction of these magnificent sanctuaries. You find the remnants on various locations around the islands. Some of the places worth a visit are Hagar Qim in Qrendi. Tarxien Temples in Tarxien and Ggantija in Gozo.
Malta is famous for its clear blue water and the perfect conditions for diving. Plenty of reefs, caves and wreck make it an unforgettable experience. Take the chance to go on a boat cruise to one of the many fenced ponds with giant Tunas. To swim among these 2-meters and 500 kg big fish are fascinating. For the beginner or the person who never even have tried to dive there is big array of different schools to choose from.
The sister island, Gozo, is well worth a visit on its own. Hire a car or book one of the many day trips with jeep safari that is offered at the different tour operators. After disembarking the ferry you will directly notice the difference between the islands. Gozo has a more tranquil atmosphere and is lusher with its many agriculture farms. While you are here don't miss the Citadel in Victoria, the Saltpans, the Inland Sea and the Azure Window, one of the most famous landmarks of Malta.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
A unique pre-historic site, accidentally discovered in 1902. Over 500 square metres of chambers, halls and passages made out of stone shows the history from 3,600 - 2,500 BC. To conserve the walls and rocks the microclimate has to be under careful observation and therefore the number of visitors each day is limited. Book ahead on the website to be sure to get in to this magnificent monument.
Mediterraneo Marine Park
Just a short ride from St. Julian's you find this marine park, a fun attraction for both children and adults. The park offers shows with Sea Lions, Parrots and Dolphins and if you want to get even closer with these animals you can book a swim or interaction with them. Snakes, turtles, frogs and spiders are some other animals you can watch here.
St. John's Co-Cathedral and Museum
This grand cathedral in the centre of Valletta is known as the home of the knights and Grand Masters of Malta. It is filled with baroque art, interior and architecture. One of its most famous paintings is maybe The Beheading of St John the Baptist by Caravaggio.
Just outside the city gate of Valletta this public garden is located. From here you have views over Sliema, Floriana and Manoel Island. The name of the garden comes from Marquis of Hastings, who was a governor of Malta. He died in 1827 and is buried in the garden.
This beautiful theatre, a contribution to Malta's cultural scene, from 1732 is well worth a visit. António Manoel de Vilhena, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, personally paid for this to be built and it was incredible constructed in only ten months. The theatre holds a museum and you can go on guided tours if you don't feel like seeing the show performed during your visit.
This fort was built by the British to support Malta from Italian navy. To make it extra safe, a 100 ton gun, designed to be the world's biggest, was placed at its entry. Fortunately it never had to be used but it is still there for visitors to watch. Besides the gun, don't miss the museum to learn more about the military history of Malta.
It is said that the name Malta comes from the Italian word Melita that means honey. This because of when sailors first saw Malta, the islands' silhouette was coloured in dark yellow just like the colour of honey. This golden colour came from all the limestone that Malta consists of. To celebrate this natural treasure, Limestone Heritage Park & Gardens shows the stone's 22,000,000 years of history and all that it can be used for.