O zi in Valletta, Malta – cea mai insorita capitala din Europa

If you come to Malta, you have to visit the capital of this country, Valletta. Valletta is a boundless source of history, a city with a medieval air, but at the same time with a vibrant and animated atmosphere. It is an important tourist destination in Malta, which we also had the opportunity to visit, and which we detailed below.

If you want to find out more information about Malta, I recommend you to read this article: Malta, the Treasure of the Mediterranean Sea - Everything You Need to Know About This Country. And if you want to see how we organized our holiday in this wonderful country, you can also check this article: 3 Days In Malta - How Much Does It Cost And How To Organize Your Holiday In Malta.

About Valletta


Valletta is the capital of Malta, an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. Valletta is the smallest capital in the European Union, occupying an area of less than one square kilometer and with a population of up to 10,000 inhabitants.

Valletta became the capital of Malta in 1571, and was named after Jean Parisot de Valette, the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John, who managed to defend the island from an Ottoman invasion during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The history of the city of Valletta is closely related to the history of the Order of the St. John Knights. Following the constant invasions of the Middle Ages, they decided to move the capital from Mdina, located in the center of the island, directly to the seashore, in order to be able to better defend themselves from the dangers of the open waters.

The city was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

Today, Valletta is a cultural and tourist center of Malta, a very popular tourist destination among travelers.


How to get to Valletta

To get to Valleta, you must first get to Malta, preferably by plane.

Malta has only one airport, located 10 kilometers from Valletta.

How to get from the airport to Valletta

To get from the airport to Valletta, you have several possibilities:

  • By bus - there are several lines running on the airport - Valletta route. I recommend you to check on Google Maps to find the best option by bus. A travel ticket costs 2 euros, if you buy it directly from the driver (cash only), or 1.85 euros if you use a transport card.
  • With Bolt/Uber - a ride costs around 10 euros
  • With private transpor - you can search on the internet for different options of private transport, with prices starting from 7 euros / person

How to get around in Valletta

Valletta is a very small city, you can walk absolutely the entire city, from north to south and from east to west, in a maximum one hour. Therefore you don't need any means of transport in the city.

But it's good to know that Valletta can be a starting point to visit any other places in Malta: Valleta has a bus terminal from where buses leave for the rest of the island, and ports from where you can go to the island of Gozo, the 3 Cities, in Sliema etc. I recommend this article to find out how to travel in Malta: How to Travel in Malta – By Bus, Car, Ridesharing, Ferry.

Valletta - Bus Terminal
Valletta - Before the city gates you will find the Bus Terminal

What to do for a day in Valletta

City Gate and Triton Fountain

Triton Fountain
Triton Fountain

The city walk starts from the Triton Fountain and the entrance gate to the city. In front of the fountain there is also the bus terminal, taxi stations or ride-sharing cars.

As soon as you pass the City Gate, you already feel that you have stepped into another world, with a medieval feel: thick walls surround Valletta and give you the impression of a still fortified city.

Triton Fountain
The Triton Fountain beyond the walls of the fortress

Immediately after the gate is the building of the Parliament of Malta, a fairly new construction, but whose architecture was inspired by the native landscape of Maltese cities. 

Parliament of Malta
Parliament of Malta

St. John's Co-Cathedral

St. John's Co-Cathedral is the most important tourist attraction in Valletta. Although the church does not have an imposing exterior, a real treasure is hidden behind the walls, with a stunning interior.

The marble floor decorated with coats of arms houses the tombs of the Knights of the St. John Order. The vault is completely covered with frescoes depicting the life of Saint John the Baptist.

The pillars and walls of the church are all covered with impressive gold decorations. Also here, you have the opportunity to admire Caravaggio's largest painting, representing the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

To enter the church, you must respect the dress code and have your arms and legs covered. At the same time, ladies are not allowed to wear heels, so as not to damage the floor.

St. John's Co-Cathedral
St. John's Co-Cathedral

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Upper Barrakka Gardens is a garden located in the center of Valletta, with beautiful flowers, arches and benches. From here you have a beautiful view of the port (Grand Harbor) and the three peninsulas on the other side, representing the Three Cities: Birgu, Cospicua and Senglea.

Cele 3 Orase si The Saluting Battery, vazute din Upper Barrakka Garden
Cele 3 Orase si The Saluting Battery, vazute din Upper Barrakka Garden

Famous in this garden is the sound of artillery battery, which take place every day at 12:00 and 16:00 (except on holidays). The event is called The Saluting Battery. Once used to salute foreign ships, today the artilleries have been restored to bring back a bit of old Valletta.

From this garden you can go down directly to the port, using the Barrakka Lift. Going down is free, but the ascending costs 1 euro. However, the ticket is free, if you have previously traveled by ferry to The Three Cities.

Upper Barrakka Garden
Barrakka Lift
Barrakka Lift

Lower Barrakka Gardens

Lower Barrakka Gardens is another garden, similar in landscape to Upper Barrakka Gardens, but located at a lower altitude and a little further, close to Fort Saint Elmo.

When you get here, don't miss to admire the war memorial "The Bell", an interesting monument, with the sea and The Three Cities in the background.

The Bell
The Bell

Republic Street & Merchant Street

The most touristic streets in Valletta are represented by Republic Street & Merchant Street. Here you can find many shops (clothes or souvenirs), restaurants and bars. On these streets you will find an atmosphere specific to any large European city: many tourists, singers, many terraces and places to spend time.

Republic Street
Republic Street

The Grand Harbour

The Grand Harbour, or the Port of Valletta, is one of the most important port areas in Europe. It served as a stopping point for commercial and military ships since ancient times, and was considered a strategic point throughout history, due to its geographical position in the Mediterranean Sea.

Today, the port area is very touristic, offering a panoramic view of Valletta and The Three Cities. It is also a starting point for cruises in the Mediterranean Sea.

Grand Harbour

Fort St. Elmo and the National War Museum

Fort St. Elmo was built in 1552 by the Knights of St John to protect the ports of Valletta. Historically, it is particularly known for one of the most tragic events that took place in Malta: the "Great Siege" of 1565. For 28 days, the Ottomans besieged and bombarded the fort. When the fort was captured, almost all the defenders were killed (1500 men).

Today, in addition to the historical importance that the fort has for the Maltese people, it also hosts the National War Museum. An entrance ticket to the museum costs 10 euros / adult, 7.5 euros / student, child 12-17 years old or senior over 60 years old, 5.5 euros / child 1-6 years old.


The Three Cities – Birgu (Vittoriosa), Cospicua, Senglea

After you have admired The Three Cities from the Upper Barrakka Garden, I recommend that you go and visit them by foot.

The Three Cities are Cospicua (Bormla), Birgu (Vittoriosa) and Senglea (L’Isla).

Birgu (Vittoriosa)
Birgu (Vittoriosa)

From Grand Harbor you can easily reach the other side by ferry or boat ride.

  • A ferry ride starts from 1.5 euros and takes around 10 minutes
Standard ticket priceTicket price with transport card
Adult / day€1.50€1.3
Adult / day / return ticket€2.8
Adult / night€1.75€1.65
Adult / night / return ticket€3.3
Child / return ticket€0.9
  • You can also choose to travel with Luzzu, the traditional Maltese boat, very colorful and nice. I recommend you to try this option as well, it is a unique and very interesting experience. A ride costs 2 euros / person.

The ferry from Valletta stops in the port of Cospicua, while the colorful Luzzu boats stop directly in Birgu.

Birgu also known as Città Vittoriosa - "Victorious City") is the most touristic city among the three. If you don't have time to visit all 3 cities on the 3 peninsulas, then make sure that at least for Birgu you will have time, it is considered the most interesting one.


We liked the Birgu very much, we discovered a more authentic, quieter Malta. It offers a true perspective on the culture and history of Malta, with beautiful architecture, fortifications, medieval streets and the port with many boats.

Valletta is also considered the sunniest capital in Europe, and after we visited this city, we were pleasantly impressed by the solar city, yellow as honey. If you are looking for a location rich in culture and history, and with a pleasant atmosphere, put Malta, together with Valletta, on your list of future holiday destinations.