The Discoverer
 
The Discoverer
Valletta, Malta
Edition 115   |   3:41 read time
Valletta Malta | @nununuman
One of the most museum- and monument-dense cities in the world, Valletta is proof that big things come in small packages. Malta’s fun-sized capital abounds in history and culture, but make no mistake — it’s still in its prime. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 and was one of last year’s two European Capitals of Culture, designations that speak to how much this city by the sea has to offer. Don’t take their word for it, though — find out for yourself as soon as you can.
 
 
Fun Fact:
At just 0.3 square miles, Valletta is the European Union's smallest capital city.
 
 
#visitmalta | Ingus Kruklitis
May — June
Valletta remains wet and humid until May, when the city warms up. Late spring/early summer is the perfect middle ground between its climatic extremes, with the humidity and precipitation dropping as temperatures rise — but not too much for comfort.
 
#stjohnscocathedral | @lifepartii
Malta’s Masterpiece
This 16th-century house of worship would be spectacular even if it didn't house two of Caravaggio's masterworks. Affiliated with the Knights of St. John — about whom you'll be hearing a lot during your time in Valletta — and named after their patron saint, Saint John’s Co-Cathedral is a genuinely breathtaking space. Among its most striking features are vaulted ceilings covered in figures that resemble three-dimensional sculptures, a collection of marble tombstones in the nave, and nine different chapels. (The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist is the more famous of the two Caravaggios, but Saint Jerome Writing is beautiful as well.) It's among Europe's most notable examples of high Baroque architecture and an essential stop on any tour of the city.
#themaltaexperience | @cathouseaerial
History in a Hurry
The Malta Experience condenses 7,000 years of history into a 45-minute audio-visual show in a panoramic auditorium that's far livelier than most other presentations of its kind, touching on everything from the Knights of St. John and the Great Siege to Valletta itself and the Second Siege of Malta. It’s the perfect way to learn about the islands, not least because it also includes a tour of La Sacra Infermeria. It's there that the Knights of St. John, who were best known for their military prowess, tended to their original duty: caring for the sick.
#vallettawaterfront | @iulia_stanescu_
On the Waterfront
Valletta’s museums and churches are highly enriching, but the city itself is so beautiful that you’ll want to spend as much time outside as possible — especially on the waterfront. (Even better: hire a boat or take a water ferry to get a stunning view of the entire city.) On the promenade, the Church of the Flight Into Egypt is flanked by the Pinto Stores on the left and the Forni Stores on the right, which is to say that culture and commerce converge here. The waterfront is also right by Upper Barrakka Gardens and the Three Cities, which are also must-sees.
#lascariswarrooms | @sitabjaukil
War and Peace
Once a secret network of underground tunnels that housed the country's War Headquarters during WWII, the Lascaris War Rooms exist today as a museum devoted to that years-long effort. It was occupied by as many as one thousand workers at a time — including, during 1943's Allied invasion of Sicily, Dwight D. Eisenhower — and a decade-long restoration effort is nearly complete. In the meantime, it remains a unique window into an under-appreciated aspect of World War II.
@ournextflight
 
Danilo & Anna’s Discovery
@ournextflight
"Malta is the perfect place for a vacation. Crystal clear sea, cozy restaurants, unique architecture and mouthwatering food. We especially loved Valletta and its alleys, cozy cafés, wooden balconies and cute staircases... It totally was love at first glance!"
 
Palazzo Preca Restaurant | @palazzoprecarestaurant
The Mediterranean Diet
In case you were wondering whether Valletta's food is as good as everything else in the city, the answer is a resounding yes. Case in point: Dimitri Valletta, whose Mediterranean menu emphasizes pasta, seafood, and wine. It’s emerged as one of the area’s best restaurants in just two years, with ambiance to match the cuisine. Then there's Palazzo Preca, which specializes in seafood but offers everything from salads and steaks to rabbit and risotto.
 
Casa Ellul | @casaellul
Victorian Valletta
Postcard-pretty and luxurious to boot, Casa Ellul is the kind of hotel where you drop your bags on the floor, gaze in awe at the view beyond your window, and realize how hard motivating yourself to actually leave will be. Located in the center of the city, this boutique hotel harkens back to the Victorian era with gorgeous interiors.
 
Mdina Malta | @travelalut
The Silent City
"The old capital city, Mdina, is also a place one should not miss. It’s known as the Silent City and highlights medieval architecture and Maltese history." – @erikadestiny
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