Offering everything from Michelin-star restaurants to gorgeous gardens, spectacular scenery, museums, cultural events and as much shopping as your cards can take, it’s no wonder that Valletta is consistently voted the top destination by travellers. This month, we’re bringing you our five-favourite must-do activities when touring the city.
1. A day at the museums
You don’t actually need to spend the whole day, of course, but if you wish there’s plenty to keep you occupied. MUZA (the national museum of art) is where you will find a selection of permanent and rotating visual art exhibitions by some of Malta’s most famous artists.
The permanent collection includes works by Mattia Preti, Victore Pasmore and Antonio Sciortino. History enthusiasts will enjoy learning all about Malta’s role as a spy at the Lascaris War Rooms, where you will also find original war-time tanks on display.
Also worth a visit is the Museum of Archaeology, where you’ll not only be given a virtual walk-through Malta’s different historical periods, but you can also bask in the splendour of the Grand Salo, where you’ll probably want to take many selfies!
But there’s plenty more happening even at the smaller museums, so be sure you check out what’s happening during your stay.
2. Chill out at the Barrakka Gardens
A green oasis in the middle of the city of the Knights? Yes, that’s right, and there are actually three of them. Start out with the Upper Barrakka Gardens and try to time your visit in time for the noon Battery Salut, which is quite a thrilling sight. The garden contains a replica of one of Antonio Sciortino’s most famous works, Les Gavroche’s, besides having one of the best views across the Three Cities.
Hastings Gardens, right next to Renzo Piano’s steps, are even bigger and quieter. Again, there are various historical monuments to enjoy, not to mention the view towards the other side of Malta, taking in the Msida Marina, Manoel Island and Sliema.
Finally, the Lower Barrakka gardens are located at the bottom of the city, and it’s here that you can get the best photos with Grand Harbour in the background.
3. Experience local food
Valletta is full of restaurants and eateries, whether you’re after something fancy and elegant or a cheap and cheerful experience. Make it a point to try a traditional pastizzi (savoury cheesecake), which cost next to nothing and can be bought from many tiny snack bars. Or why not enjoy some people watching with your pastizz, maybe at one of the iconic cafes in the picturesque squares?
4. Enjoy the nightlife
Once the sun sets over Valletta, the city takes on a completely different vibe, with most of the bars and cafes offering live music and outdoor seating. Dropping into the notorious Strait Street is a must. Once the red-light district of Malta, nowadays it’s very much a bohemian spot, with many cocktail bars and tiny restaurants to explore.
5. Explore the narrow, quirky streets and don’t be afraid to get lost
A big part of the fun in Valletta is that you never know what you’ll encounter. If you stray away from the beaten path, you’re likely to be rewarded with colourful characters, small bars where the locals hang out and some truly gorgeous architecture. The best part is that you’re never too far off from the main path, so you don’t need to worry about actually getting lost!
✨ BREAKING NEWS: The Neu Collective will soon count a new restaurant. ✨
Located at The Cumberland Boutique Hotel, in Valletta, Grana Valletta will open its door in May, offering delicious Mediterranean food in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
While we are waiting to welcome you at Grana Valletta, we will be pleased to see you at Grana Gzira, located at 115 The Strand Hotel & Suites. Discover our menu on www.granamalta.com as from now.