Valletta, Malta’s capital and a World Heritage site, is nothing short of an open-air museum. It is a living experience of Baroque architecture. Throughout the years, Valletta has welcomed emperors, heads of state, artists and poets and is now the permanent seat of the Maltese government.
Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, in 1565, the Order of St. John and the Maltese populace successfully defended the island against an Ottoman invasion. This victory became one of the most celebrated events of sixteenth-century Europe, and the island’s victorious Grand Master, Jean de Valette, immediately set out to build a new fortified city, Valletta. Many European powers assisted in the building of the city, showering Malta with gifts, financial aid, and talents.
And it shows. Today, Valletta is home to a cornucopia of fortifications, consisting of bastions, curtains and cavaliers, as well as beautiful and opulent Baroque palaces, gardens and churches. Whether it’s for a walk, a drink, or a dinner, you can’t visit Malta without going to Valletta.
A hive of business activity during the day, the city switches to a slower gear for the night. Use it to your advantage to get away from the noise and take a stroll to admire the magic of the fortified capital amplified by the gentle lighting. Admire the bastion walls, the dense clusters of worn limestone buildings, the timber balconies, and imposing Churches.
Are you a fan of WWII history? Book a visit to the Lascaris War Rooms, an underground complex of tunnels and chambers in Valletta that housed the War Headquarters from where the defence of the island was conducted during the Second World War.
Valletta is around 24km away from Mellieħa, that’s approximately 38 minutes by car and just over an hour by bus.