The English-speaking Maltese islands have always been a popular destination; and at only a three-hour flight away, it’s the perfect choice for a city break in winter.
Soak up Malta's history
Valletta, Malta’s capital, is flourishing in culture. Dating back to the 16th century and built by the Knights of St John, Valletta is a masterpiece of the Baroque and is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Art City. Today, there are an impressive 320 historical monuments within Valletta alone, which will be sure to keep you busy if you’re a history buff. We recommend meandering through the elegant, winding streets and exploring the city’s impressive history at your own pace; it’s just 80 hectares in size so is easy to explore on foot.
Indulge in luxury and incredible food
If you seek luxury in your short break, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Valletta. The city has an array of stunning boutique hotels offering 6-30 rooms, all with their own quirky personality. Valletta’s a foodie destination too – sit back, relax and take in the waterfront views in some of the many outdoor restaurants. There’s an abundance of chic wine bars to try out too, especially within Valletta’s walls.
Valletta in a day
Whether you’d like to visit alone, with friends or with your loved one, Valletta’s got something to offer for all. Take a look at our suggested day itinerary of Valletta which will give you a real taster for Europe’s sunniest city.
Pass through City Gate, designed by architect Renzo Piano; the door to the city of Valletta which marks the beginning of Republic Street. Wander through the streets of Valletta and marvel at the New Parliament Building and the Royal Opera House, also designed by Renzo Piano.
Visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens; a beautiful public garden in Valletta dating back to 1661 – back then it was a private garden for the Italian Knights, so there’s plenty of history to uncover. The garden offers breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour. Don’t miss the Lower Barrakka Gardens either, marvel at the Bell Tower and view the entrance of the Grand Harbour here.
No visit to Malta would be complete without trying a traditional Maltese pastizzi; a delicious savoury filo pastry filled with either rich ricotta cheese or mushy peas. Stop by at St John’s Square for lunch where you’ll find these on the menu for lunch.
After lunch, pay a visit to the impeccable St John’s Co-Cathedral. The impressive interior is elaborately adorned in gold – it’s one of the best examples of Baroque style in Europe and is also home to the only signed work and largest painting by Caravaggio.
Before dinner, head to Casa Rocca Piccola, the home of the aristocratic de Piro family. The 16th century palace will give you a real insight into the customs and traditions of the Maltese nobility over the last 400 years. You’ll see a network of tunnels, which were used as bomb shelters back in World War II; a real eye-opener.
Surely it’s time for another traditional meal? Our recommendation is to try Malta’s national dish Fenek (or more commonly known as rabbit stew). Ravioli packages filled with cheese are also worth a try!
After dinner, visit Bridge Bar for an unforgettable night with live jazz and an incredible range of Maltese wines. There’s plenty of other pubs and bars to try too – visit East Street and Straight Street and you’ll be spoilt for choice!
To book your Valletta city break or to find out more, contact us today.