The Maltese capital Valletta – Entrancing legion of historical monuments.

We were as ecstatic as anyone on the flight. The party had begun. Giggles, jokes, selfies, spoofs and banters; a jovial attitude had spewed positive vibes in the aura.

Delighted to be part of gaiety we peered out of the window to be astonished by the vistas. We swept past a pocket of land peppered with forests and red-roofed buildings amidst the perpetual cobalt blue seas.

Maltese Capital Valletta

An archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea packed with history and gorgeous sandy beaches was beckoning us. Malta here we come!

We reached Malta at dusk and hopped into a taxi arranged by our host. The driver pulled the car right below the apartment in Valletta and our host scurried down to receive us. She helped us into the apartment and acquainted us with all the in-house amenities.

We planned to rent a car to drive around Malta and our host arranged for one with her acquaintances. We talked to the rental owner and arranged a pick up next morning.

We devoured on some delicious pizzas from a restaurant, which was open late night and snuggled up into our beds.

St Elmo Bay
We started our day with the St Elmo Bay around 5 minutes walk from our apartment.

Maltese Capital Valletta

We ambled through the calm streets past the parked cars; yawning cats in sun flooded windows (one can find plenty of these fur balls) and an only shop, a bakery with a half open shutter.

The main road along the waterfront had awe-inspiring vistas of the blue seas. The waves swashed against the shore rocks and tumbled back into the infinity pool.

Maltese Capital Valletta

An underpass led us to the rocky shore. We clicked pictures of the glinting seas and spent time watching the waves crashing against the rocks, bespatter in the air with chilling cool splash over us.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Fort St Elmo
A promenade ran along the shore punctuated by the street lamps and overlooked by the high walls of the castle.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Walk along the promenade rewards one with the stunning picture postcard view of the beige city of Valletta rising above the gleaming perpetual deep blue seas.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Maltese Capital Valletta

The Fort St Elmo dating back to 16th-century houses a National War Museum depicting the history of times of siege and the WWII period.

Before heading back to the downtown we stopped by the bakery for some delicious patisserie.

The Maltese capital Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site resplendent with a multitude of historic buildings and over 300 monuments. Valetta is on a hill with the streets rolling down to the harbor. We strolled through the sloping streets lined with building facades bathed in pastel hues, intricate architectural work around vibrantly colored windows and doors which wafted a magical aura, which would walk one back into the bygone era.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Maltese Capital Valletta

We reached St George’s Square which had a prismatic flower carpet arranged for the week long Valetta Green festival happening around.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Grandmaster’s Palace
St George’s Square is dominated by the Grandmaster’s Palace, which houses the Office of the President of Malta.

Maltese Capital Valletta

The ornate arched entrance will take one through the courtyard gardens into the corridors decorated with remarkable frescoes.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Visit the State Rooms with remarkable wall paintings and exotic tapestries, which are open for public admiration when not used for state functions. The armory will not fail to amaze you with its outstanding collection from Great Siege of Malta.

Few steps ahead of the palace around the corner of an outdoor restaurant stood the iconic red telephone box reminiscent of the British Rule.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The basilica with its oval dome and the imposing spire dominates the city skyline. The interior with exquisite architecture flanked by red marble pillars and a 17th-century painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is worth a visit. It is close to the Manoel Theatre a prominent venue for art and cultural performances.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
We sauntered through the bustling streets that had taken over the slow rhythm of the laid back atmosphere to St John’s Co-Cathedral. The austere facade of the 16th-century magnificent Baroque co-cathedral with two imposing bell towers may seem plain and uninteresting but wait till you enter the church.

Maltese Capital Valletta

The gilded paintings on the vaulted ceiling of the nave and the side altars will leave you in sheer bliss. Take time to walk around to admire the intricate carvings on the stone walls, the marble floor with a series of 400 tombs, ornate chapels and the Flemish tapestries in the Museum. We could not take pictures as we visited during a service.

Pjazza Teatru Rjal
Close to the cathedral is an open theater Pjazza Teatru Rjal on the ruins of the former Opera House, which you would not miss for the striking Corinth columns. The iconic building bombed during WWII has been restored and hosts a series of cultural activities.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Castille Square
Auberge de Castille in Castille Square is a baroque style building housing the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Not to miss in the vicinity are ‘Our Lady of Victory Chapel’ and the ‘St. Catherine of Italy’.

Upper Barrakka Gardens
On the other side of the street of Castille Square is the 16th-century garden. Several monuments and memorials stand amidst the colorful bed of the flower plants.

Maltese Capital Valletta

Perched high above Grand Harbour the garden terrace offers a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and the three cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea & Cospicua.

Maltese Capital Valletta

A Barrakka Lift connects the gardens to the Lascaris ditch, which is a short walk from Valletta Waterfront and ferries to the three cities. Lift is free if you have a ferry ticket else you need to pay for the way up.

We met the car rental owner and collected the keys after some formalities. We had walked enough; exhausted we jumped into the car and headed to explore the old capital of Malta – Mdina.

Have you explored the Maltese capital brimming with history? How had been your experience? Share with us in comments.

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32 Comment

  1. Thuymi says: Reply

    Never have been to Valletta nor any part of the Malta country. It seems like an amazing place to travel and will make sure to add it to my list 🙂

  2. Malta has a very Grecian quality about it, doesn’t it? This is another place which has become popular over the last few years…still quiet, and uncrowded, as I can see from your pictures. Lovely.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Punita, we had visited in early summer so probably it gets crowded in peak season.

  3. Malta is a must see place to visit for anyone coming to Europe. We were there a number of years ago and it looks as though it is exactly the same as when we visited. I love the food and the people in Malta

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We second you John Malta is definitely a must visit country for any traveller.

  4. Wonderful mix of old, new, man made, nature… a package with everything a tourist can ask for! Loved the settings and details and also the cute cat. 🙂
    The statistics of 300 monuments to this place is impressive. I am adding to my dream list.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree Indrani Valletta is amazing indeed 🙂

  5. Blair Villanueva says: Reply

    Another romantic place (if you’ll ask me), I like the buildings a combination of old days and the modern. Oh that waves are beautiful! Perfect shot 😀

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Blair!

  6. Tom says: Reply

    I was in Malta 4 years ago and was shocked at how neat Valletta is…it will make you wonder why it’s not more popular. The food was a cross between Italic and North African, just brilliant. I hope you got a chance to get outside and see some other places in Malta as well.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes, Tom, we did visit many other places as well, posts on the way 🙂

  7. Malta is very high on my bucket list. You took some lovely photos! I am impressed by how much you saw during your walking tour. I am excited to see the same sights for myself some day soon.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      There is lot more to see in Valletta. You should definitely plan a trip soon 🙂

  8. I have never been to Malta, but I have wondered about going for some time. It looks like a very scenic place similar to Italy. I find the architecture and landscapes to resemble Italy and clearly demonstrates a geographic location in the Mediterranean.

  9. So beautiful! I can’t wait to visit Malta! I don’t know when it will be but we will get there eventually!

  10. Malta seems to be a really nice place. I like your idea of renting a car. i do that too if its not possible to see a place by bus or on foot. It gives me ample time to explore the place at my own pace . furthermore the drivers mostly being locals take us to famous and off beat places which adds to the greatness of the trip. P.S that cat is cute.

  11. Jenn says: Reply

    There’s much more to Malta than the beaches! I didn’t know though that the Capital was a World Heritage, but it looks truly beautiful. I think that my favourite is the Basilic though.

  12. Sabine says: Reply

    Ohh I just love those views over the ocean, but then it seems like no history crack would be bored in Malta either 😀 Perfect mixture of a dreamy place to visit =)

    Great Tips on what to see =)

  13. Karen says: Reply

    I’ve always wanted to visit Malta and your photos have brought it alive! It looks like a glowing and interesting place, with an almost Moorish feel to it, Karen

  14. Laveena Sengar says: Reply

    Malta seems beautiful. I love being around sea. It seems really romantic and just love such places. Renting a car is something I always prefer in the respective places.

  15. Malta looks so beautiful ! The Fort is incredible along side the ocean. I love the British telephone booths. Stunning images thank you for sharing. Malta has such a romantic feel to it.

  16. I always thought Malta was one of those celebrated places that didnt really have much in terms of history and nature, but you article told me a different story altogether.

  17. Joanna says: Reply

    I am actually looking forward to Thursday, when I will be flying to Malta for the weekend. Valetta looks wonderful and I can’t wait to explore it too, probably on Friday morning. The buildings look to old and in a pure Mediterranean style.

  18. EG III says: Reply

    I had actually planned to visit Malta earlier this year but cut the trip short because I didn’t thinki it was worth to visit such a small place…now I can see I was definitely wrong!

  19. Wow I had no idea about Malta! 300 monuments all on one little island does seem like quite the accomplishment, though I suppose in that part of the world, there is enough history and inspiration. And don’t I feel inspired, too.. I have added Malta to the bucket list!

  20. There is so much history to this beautiful country Malta. I love those buildings dotted along the narrow street, they are so colorful. Seems like you have covered the all the attractions of this city so it will be a good reference for people looking to visit Malta.

  21. Ana says: Reply

    I didn’t know that Malta is such a beautiful tourist destination and has so many things to explore! Though have read the history about Malta’s architectural landmarks that each of its buildings from the prehistoric temples to the grand Baroque churches – is a “witness in stone” keeping history alive. Glad to know that you guys had a fun trip out there. Have also pinned your post!

  22. I wish I could lie down on the carpet of flowers and cover with a blanket of flowers, and have a cup of flowers too … Back to reality lol
    Rashmi, your photos are outstanding and I am looking forward to reading the other part of the story how you explored the city by car.

  23. June says: Reply

    I’ve been lucky enough to sail into Malta on three occasions. It’s a spectacular sight and I love the way the sun highlights the beautiful colour of the beautiful old buildings. It looks like you had an great experience.

  24. Liana says: Reply

    I’ve heard so much about Malta and I think it’s so beautiful! There’s something majestuous about all of those buildings standing on this little island. I didn’t know it was such an Historic and also part of the Unesco WH and I think that’s such a good call. 300 monuments on such a little territory! I mean that’s just amazing! And the fact you’re mentionning everything you did is so nice, so when I’ll go I’ll keep this post in mind!

  25. Terumi says: Reply

    Malta looks like such a beautiful place to visit. A friend of mine growing up has family in Malta so I’ve heard a lot about it but we haven’t visited yet.

  26. What a beautiful city and a great guide! I need to find my way to Malta. thanks for sharing these amazing facts and pictures!

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