Valletta, the capital city of Malta, was founded by the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in 1560. After the Ottoman Empire’s Great Siege of Malta, the Order decided to hold the island. The city of Valletta is named after the 40th Grand Master of the Order Of Malta, Jean Parisot de Valette. The Maltese archipelago is one of the smallest and densest in the world. Valletta is located on the main island of Malta. The town has different reputations in Europe as the most minor or southernmost capital of the EU.
The whole city was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Since the city has nearly 600 years of history, there are many things to see. When you visit Valletta, you don’t have to ask yourself, “Where should I go in Valletta” because the whole city is worth seeing. You can visit one of the most historical places in Europe and also enjoy a swim in the endless blue hues of the Mediterranean sea.
Arriving at City
Since Malta is a tiny country, there is only one airport. Just 8 km outside Valletta, Malta International Airport has more than 100 direct flights. You can take taxi or bus tickets from the arrival hall to navigate the city. After a 20 minutes ride, you’ll find yourself at the center of the town. Since the city is located on one of the beautiful islands of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a popular destination for cruise lines.
The country’s official language is Maltese, but English is the second official language of a former UK colony. The government is a member of the European Union; hence, the Euro is Malta’s official currency. Valletta was built as a large fortress in the 16th century, so the city is tiny. After a couple of minutes, you find plenty of hotels in the city. The grid address system of the town makes it impossible to get lost in it.
Where to Stay in Valletta
The town might be small, but it offers a large selection for everyone. Everyone can find a place in this hundreds-year-old city, from cozy one-room rentals to five-star villas. If you cannot decide where to stay in Valletta.
Budget-Friendly Places to Stay
You can find a good place in Valletta to stay on a short budget. There are plenty of one-room rental and Airbnb options in the city. Since the city is a tiny town, the city center is the best area to stay in Valletta.
Valletta Kampnar City Living: Just 5 minutes walk to the famous Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta Kampnar City Living is among the best place to stay in Valletta. Solo visitors or cool couples can prefer this option. It is budget, but you can have a terrace and free Wi-Fi.
Luciano Valletta Boutique: Just by the St. Johns Cathedral, you can feast your eyes from a window of Luciano Valletta Boutique. After a long Vallettan day, you can just sit and relax at the hotel’s bar.
Paulos Valletta: Room service, free Wi-Fi, and 3 minutes walk away from Casa Rocca Piccola, Paulos Valletta is a dream place for couples who want to jump into a Valletta dream. Especially on sunny summer days, you can enjoy your air-conditioned rooms whenever you want.
Mid Range Hotels in Valletta
If you decide to spend a couple of bucks to stay in Valletta, you can also find plenty of choices.
Palazzo Jean Parisot Boutique Suites: Valletta is not only a historical place but also a Mediterranean paradise. You can sit and relax in a hydromassage tub and watch the sunset over the island. The hotel also has a terrace with a picturesque view of Valletta.
Ax The Saint John: The Merchant Street where Ax The Saint John is located in the best area to stay in Valletta. The National War Museum, the Upper Barraka Gardens, or the St. Johns Cathedral are just a couple of away from Ax The Saint John. The hotel might not be like grand villas or resorts, but it offers enough to enjoy your vacation in Valletta.
The Gomerino Hotel: Malta and Valletta might have significant historical places but also have immersive Mediterranean beaches. The Gomerino Hotel is located in central Malta, just outside Valletta but surrounded by beaches. If you want more than antiquity in your vacation, The Gomerino is one of the places to stay in Valletta.
Most Luxurious Places to Stay in Valletta
As we said before, Valletta has a place for everyone. If you want to look for top-notch places to stay, there are great options in the town. You can find tons of hotelsin minutes of walking. But the possibility is not only limited to the city center. If you want to stay in a quiet place and enjoy the azure sky, there are also some options.
Grand Hotel Excelsior: Like every Grand Hotel Excelsior, you can have a grand life in Grand Hotel Excelsior Valletta. The hotel offers a classic and modern design altogether. Even though the hotel is located in a historic place of the city, you can still enjoy in hot summer with ample indoor and outdoor pools. There are also three restaurants and five bars inside the hotel. You can enjoy your drink in the poolside bar with a panoramic sea view.
Iniala Harbour House: Iniala Harbour House is inarguably one of the best places to stay in Valletta. You can feel like one of the knights of Order of the St. John in Iniala Harbour House. After walking on a hot summer day in Malta, you can rest and rejuvenate in the spa of Iniala Harbour House. In the nighttime, you can enjoy the unobstructed Grand Harbour view in the rooftop Ion Harbour restaurant and experience one-of-a-kind dishes of two Michelin star chef Alex Dilling. Located in St. Barbara, you can feast your eyes with stunning city and horbour views.
Rosselli: Excellent location, excellent accommodation, and excellent restaurant. Roselli offers an all-in-one experience at the heart of the town. Since the city was founded by the Knights of Malta, why you shouldn’t be one of them or stay in the home of one of them. Approximately 300 years old, the building is formerly owned by one of the actual Knights of Malta. You can experience the history of the city in the Baroque wonder. Roselli also has a Michelin-starred restaurant, the Under Grain. The hotel is considered one of the best hotels in Valletta.
From a backpacker to a private-centric luxury enthusiast, everyone has a place in Valletta where to stay.
Places to Visit in Valletta
It is hard to decide on a hotel in Valletta where to stay, and it is hard to decide to choose tourist places to visit. The city may be small but filled with historical places. The whole town is UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Valletta was the European Capital of Culture in 2018. This means there are a lot of areas to visit in Valletta.
St. Johns Co Cathedral
A Maltese vacation is not completed if someone has not visited St. Johns Co Cathedral. The cathedral was designed by architect Gerolamo Cassar and commissioned by Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere. It was started built-in 1572 and finished in 1577. The cathedral is considered the gem of the city. There are nine chapels on either side of the cathedral. Eight of them are dedicated to each language of the Knight of Saint John, and the ninth one is dedicated to one of the patrons of the Order, Our Lady of Philermos. The cathedral is also home to the significant art pieces of Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, including the very famous The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.
Grand Master’s Palace
After the St. Johns Co Cathedral is the second essential tourist spot in Valletta. As its very name signifies, Grand Master’s Palace was the residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Saint John. Before the new Parliament Building was completed in 2015, the palace was used as Malta’s parliament. Today, the Maltese president hosts foreign presidents in this palace. The palace was the second building in Valletta after Our Lady of Victory Church. There are more than 5000 pieces of armor and more than 25,000 remains of Napoleon’s soldiers in the Palace Armory. The original breastplate was worn by Jean Parisot de Valette himself, gold suit of Alof de Wignacourt is among the most exciting pieces in the palace.
Our Lady of Victory Church
After the Great Siege of Malta, Grand Master of the Order Jean Parisot de Valette and the rest of his Order decided to build a church in the name of the Virgin Mary. The church is the first building completed in Valletta. The church has a lot of essential artistic treasures. Also, the Grand Admiral of Venetia, Admiral Angelo Emo, who died in Malta, wished his heart to be buried in this church.
Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
Valletta is full of palaces, grand buildings, museums, and cathedrals, but not limited to them. If you wonder what an oasis is, then Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens are the best place to go in Valletta. The upper garden is close to Castill Place. Sitting atop the Grand Harbour, Upper Barrakka Garden offers the most breathtaking view of the island. There is also an exercise ground of the Order in the garden. You can view the natural harbor’s panoramic view from the garden terrace. After a short walk, you can visit the Lower Barrakka Gardens also. This site sits atop the St. Christopher’s Bastion. Lower Barrakka Gardens also offers an immersive view through St. Elmo Bridge. Lower gardens are the best place to observe the Grand Harbour.
The Casa Rocca Piccola
The de Piro family settled on the island with the Order of Saint John in 1530. The Piro family is one of the noble families of Malta. Today the ninth generation of Marquis de Piro still lives in The Casa Rocca Piccola. The house is open to the public, so if you wonder what it is to be a member of an aristocratic family from middle age, the casa is the right place. If you are ready to pay more, you can even have a private tour with the Marquis himself.
Teatru Manoel was built in 1731 and named after Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitalier, Fra Antonio Manoel de Vilhena. Today, the theatre is Europe’s oldest active theatre. Teatru Manoel’s famous Viennese chandeliers and Carrara marble staircase are worth seeing in Valletta. You can visit the theatre or attend a theatrical performance.
National Museum of Archaeology
Valletta might have been founded in the 1500s, but the town’s history is much more than that. National Museum of Archaeology offers a unique selection from the broad history of the island. Even there are some artifacts dating back to 2500BC. The museum’s first floor is dedicated to the Neolithic period of the island. There are some earliest tools humankind ever made. Bronze and the early Phoenician section are on the next floor. You can find some papyrus with Phoenician inscriptions or Phoenician sarcophagus.
Fort St. Angelo
Fort St. Angelo is considered the center of the Grand Harbor. The fort has also shaped the city back in ancient days. The fort was previously known as Castrum Maris. After 1530, Fort St. Angelo is become the headquarter of the Order. In World War II, the fort was hit 69 times but survived. Today you can watch the Grand Harbour’s panoramic view. Fort St. Angelo’s holds a vital part of the island’s history. Grand Harbour was home to the early Phoenician sailors, Order of St. Johns, HMS Egmont’s, and HMS St. Angelo’s. In March 1979, the last foreign forces detached and marched out of the walls. Today, the fort is still an essential part of the city, primarily for tourist attractions.