Valletta Holidays

  • Overview
  • Travel guide
  • Travel advice
  • Currency

Steeped in culture, Valletta is not only Malta’s capital city but a UNESCO paradise waiting to be explored. Captivating you with its 16th-century baroque architecture and waterfront setting, it’s easy to get lost in its beauty. Chic cafes sit alongside its cobbles, buzzing bars spill out onto hidden alleys, while exotic gardens provide scenic Grand Harbour views. It may be one of Europe’s smallest cities, but this open-air museum is home to Malta’s most impressive dining scene and plays host to a wide range of big-name events including Malta Fashion Week.

Things to do

Hidden behind Valletta’s fortified walls is a time capsule of landmarks dating back thousands of years. From St John's Co-Cathedral to the Grand Master’s Palace and Manoel Theatre, each alleyway reveals a new relic. Weave in and out of impressive medieval structures, before stopping off at Republic Street whose fascinating architecture includes quirky cafes and WW2 remnants. Stop by on a Sunday and you’ll be welcomed by a large market selling homemade crafts, local bites and funky caricatures. 

When you’ve topped up your history knowledge on all things Knights of St. John, grab a coffee and take in the sights from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, one of Valletta’s best viewpoints. While you’re admiring one of the only natural harbours in the Mediterranean, listen out for the Saluting Battery cannons which are fired twice daily. 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre with a stroll along Valletta’s waterfront, where luxury yachts bob on the water and restaurants tempt you in with rich Maltese stews and crispy calamari. If you’re looking to sunbathe, you can reach Gozo and its five beaches in less than 45 minutes via ferry, which you can catch straight from the Grand Harbour. Or, take a sunset boat tour along the shoreline and watch the city come to light under the moonlit sky. 

Map of Valletta

world_map
12 - 32°C

Valletta enjoys 300 days of sunshine making it perfect for year-round for exploring. Scorching summers make days along its duo of natural harbours unforgettable. Meanwhile, winter months stay mild enough to enjoy the city’s outdoor marvels with only a small chance of rain.

Just over three hours.

Malta International Airport (MLA) is 20 minutes from Valletta and has previously been awarded ACI’s Best Airport in Europe on three occasions.

Valletta is best for...

History buffs: Valletta is undeniably rich in history, from its museums filled with artifacts dating back to 5200 BC to its fortresses that have stood the test of time. And you can’t forget its WW2 background when you walk the war tunnels where some of the Med’s most famous battles were fought. Better yet, why not watch a concert in Europe’s oldest theatre?

Art enthusiasts: With cultural influences from all over Europe, Valletta is an art lover's haven. Within the walls of its greatest landmarks you can find painted arched ceilings by Mattia Preti, or sip an iced latte in Caffe Cordina while admiring Giuseppe Cali’s decorative painting of Maltese rulers. Abstract prints adorn the walls of the Victor Pasmore Gallery, while exhibitions and workshops for budding painters are located at Galea’s Gallery. 

Food fanatics: For food of the Michelin standard, you’ve come to the right place. There’s 11 of its kind in Valletta serving up the highest quality seafood and traditional Maltese cuisine. Tuck into timpana, a fresh crust pastry stuffed with bolognese, a recipe passed down by locals for generations. And with the Mediterranean influencing many menus, it only seems right to sample stonebaked Italian-style pizzas and creamy lobster thermidor.

Fast facts for Valletta

Language: There are two official languages of Valletta: Maltese and English. Although Maltese is an Arabic dialect, the island’s diverse history means several European languages, including Italian and French, are widely spoken here. Despite Malta being bilingual, the vast majority of the population choose to speak English.

Currency: The currency used in Valletta is the Euro (€).

Local time: Valletta is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Malta International Airport, which is only six miles from Valletta.

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Valletta is around 3 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Malta’s official tourism website.

Visa and Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Holiday destinations related to Valletta:

 

Getting around Valletta

By foot: Thanks to the city’s small size it’s easy to walk around Valletta. In fact, you can reach one side to another in around 10 minutes. If you don’t want to miss any of the major highlights, walking tours provide an all-access pass to the biggest landmarks and hidden gems. But please be aware the area can be hilly with streets sloping down to the seafront. 

By bike: You won’t find many public transport or cars passing through the centre of Valletta. E-bikes are a great alternative at only €3 for the first 30 minutes and only a further €2 every 30 minutes after that. If you’re the holder of an Explore card, you’ll bag a discounted rate.


By taxi: These environmentally friendly vehicles provide a quick service around the city. You can easily book via your phone with a minimum of 15 minutes notice, or simply hail one down in the streets. Prices start at €1 for trips within the centre and a further €0.50 for additional passengers.

Events in Valletta

Malta International Firework Festival: This showstopping event is one for the camera thanks to its impressive display of fireworks decorating the sky over Valletta’s Grand Harbour. Held over four days towards the end of April, get ready for a spectacle of colour from 8.30pm onwards. Better still, you can attend completely free of charge. 


Malta Fashion Week: Celebrating local talent together with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, Malta Fashion Week is full of glitz and glamour. Turning old-world relics into catwalks, this Mercedes Benz sponsored event is held every year in May. 

Valletta safety and security

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Valletta, please visit the FCDO website.

Valletta weather

Temperature: 15 - 30 (°C)

Although Valletta is a year-round destination, May to August are the driest months. It’s also the best time to take advantage of the city’s sun-soaked peninsula with highs of 30°C and 12 hours of sunshine, perfect for sunbathing stints. Occasionally, the city can feel humid due to a combination of dry hot winds blowing from Sirocco and the surrounding architecture. 

In March, the Mediterranean is a comfortable 29°C, which is ideal for divers exploring the famous shipwreck in St Elmo’s Bay. You may need a raincoat if you plan to travel in December with rainfall averaging at 90mm (19 days of rain). However, temperatures rarely dip below 15°C even in the coldest seasons.

 

Best hotels in Valletta