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Malta Popular Places to Visit

Saluting Battery

With a great vantage point over Grand Harbour, the Saluting Battery was built by the Knights in the 16th century and used by the British as an artillery battery until the 20th century. Recently restored, you can get a tour around the location and one of the guns located there is fired twice a day, at noon and at 4pm.

You can access the Saluting Battery by descending a few steps in the middle of the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Valletta, Malta

Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens is one of the most popular spots in the capital city, from where you can get splendid views out over Grand Harbour. It’s also a great place for a quick drink and a snack at the local kiosk, overlooking the gardens.

This location is also an entry point from the harbourside (and its cruise port near the Valletta Waterfront) down below, through the Upper Barrakka Lift which ascends the height of the bastion wall of over 58 metres.

Valletta, Malta

St. John’s Co- Cathedral

The St. John’s Co-Cathedral is an absolute must visit. Not just for its amazingly beautiful interior and Baroque architecture, but also for the collection of Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) works on display at the museum.

The cathedral was built by the Knights of the Order of St. John, who played a hugely important part in Malta’s history, and you will hear stories of them popping up all around the island. St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Museum is dedicated to this section of Maltese history, and highlights the roles and lives of the Knights who once called it their home.

Valletta, Malta

Siggiewi Island Of Malta

This traditional Maltese village is in southwestern Malta between Rabat and Marsaxlokk in the fertile Girgenti Valley, which begins near the Dingli Cliffs. At the center of the village, the Church of Saint Nicholas impresses visitors with its Baroque facade created by Lorenzo Gafa in 1693. The church is usually closed except during the annual festival.

The Siggiewi Festa (Feast Days), honoring Saint Nicholas, is held at the end of June from Thursday through Sunday. During these several days of celebration, the church is illuminated with multicolored lights, and there are fireworks and parades. Every night, the church takes its relics on a procession through the village led by a brass band. Another highlight is the food; the festival includes kiosks selling authentic Maltese treats, such as pastry stuffed with dates, and nougat made with almonds or peanuts.

From May through October, Siggiewi hosts the Maltese Folklore Nights at the Limestone Heritage Park and Gardens. This lively event pays tribute to the culture and lifestyle of Malta with folklore dance performances, traditional music, and delicious Maltese cuisine.

Valletta, Malta

Fort St. Elmo

Fort St. Elmo is one of the most significant fortifications in the Grand Harbour area. The fort’s predecessor (also referred to as Fort St. Elmo) played a key role in the defeat of the Ottoman army during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, despite having been reduced to rubble.

While the construction of Valletta  started the following year, Fort St. Elmo was rebuilt and integrated with Valletta’s fortifications.

The upper part of the fort was restored between 2009 and 2015 and has become a popular point of interest in the capital, also hosting the National War Museum within some of the barracks.

Valletta, Malta

Manoel Theatre

Notable for its diverse range of plays, the Manoel Theatre is also a huge hit in Malta because of its exceptional design – it really is an architectural gem. With elaborately decorated domed ceilings and rows of boxed seating sporting intricate patterns, it’s truly a place to behold and admire. Don’t forget to look up towards the ceiling!

Inside the ornate architectural beauty of the Manoel Theatre and Museum, visitors can rest and relax in the Roman-inspired central courtyard that offers a peaceful, well-designed haven. The small square is also used to display art exhibitions, providing a creative space to think and chill out.

Valletta, Malta

Blue Lagoon

With an almost tropical quality, the Blue Lagoon is a mesmerizing scene of crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping over a white-sand seabed. This expansive lagoon gives the impression of being a giant swimming pool because the water is temperate, there are no waves, and the shallow end is safe enough for children.

Wonderful for swimming, splashing around, or floating on inflatable tubes, the core of the lagoon is roped off to boats. The lagoon is equivalent in length to several Olympic-size swimming pools. Good swimmers can cross to the cove and tiny beach on the other side.

The lagoon has a small beach with umbrellas and chairs for rent. The other option is sunbathing on the scorching hot rocky hillside. At least, tourists can count on refreshment stands set up around the lagoon.

Comino, Malta

Unesco

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites  
 
The Maltese Islands have three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum.
 
In all, seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. The two temples of Ġgantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. The Ġgantija Temples are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world and are a testament to the Island's inhabitation for at least 1,000 years before the famous Egyptian pyramids of Giza were constructed.
 
On the island of Malta, the temples of Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces, given the limited resources available to their builders. The Ta' Ħagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta. These temples were inscribed on the World Heritage List as a group and represent a unique architectural tradition that flourished on the Maltese Islands between 3600 and 2500 B.C.
 
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a rock-cut underground complex that was used both as a sanctuary as well as for burial purposes by the temple builders. It was discovered during construction works in 1902. The three underground levels date from around 3600 to 2400 B.C. The monument is considered one of the essential prehistoric monuments in the world.
 
The capital of Malta, Valletta, is inextricably linked to the history of the military and charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem. Built after the Great Siege of 1565 and named after Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette, this fortified city has hundreds of monuments, all within a relatively small space, making it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
Various, Malta

Quality Assured Attractions

 

Quality Assured Attractions  
 
The Malta Tourism Authority has recently launched a certification scheme to officially recognise those attractions that offer a quality experience to visitors. Participation in this scheme is completely voluntary and so far a variety of attractions have gained the prestigious ‘Quality Assured seal', including museums, historic houses, audio-visual history shows, and others. You will find a quality assured attraction in all the main towns including Valletta, Mdina and Rabat, as well as in smaller villages such as Siggiewi, and even on the island of Gozo.
 
So far 9 attractions have been awarded the certification. These are:
 
• Casa Rocca Piccola, Valletta 
 
• Gozo 360° Multivision Show, Victoria, Gozo 
 
• Malta 5D 
 
• Melita Trains, Rabat 
 
• Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Mdina 
 
• Playmobil FunPark, Ħal-Far 
 
• The Limestone Heritage Park and Gardens, Siġġiewi 
 
• Valletta Living History, Valletta
 
The following are some of the requirements that are met by attractions displaying the ‘Quality Assured' logo:
 
• The attraction is regularly audited against detailed quality criteria, such as quality of content, interpretation and layout. 
• The attraction is open on a regular basis and has set opening hours. 
• Staff is well-trained and offers a caring and professional service. 
• The attraction values visitor feedback. 
• The attraction's website includes all the information required to plan a visit, such as information on ticket prices, opening hours, directions to the attraction and accessibility.
 
For more detailed information on this scheme please click here.
Various, Malta

Local Crafts

 

Local Crafts 
 
Crafts have undergone a revival in recent years. Not solely because they make interesting souvenirs but also because of their high cultural value to the Islands. Some crafts, such as knitwear, basketware and lace, have a long history.
 
Other craft forms, such as weaving and pottery, date back to prehistoric times. The ‘Sleeping Lady' found in the Hypogeum is a clay figurine of exquisite workmanship. In the Tarxien Temples, archaeologist also found fragments of red-dyed, flax textiles. These fabrics showed that the prehistoric islanders had considerable skills in weaving.
 
The Arabs introduced cotton into Malta from around 870 A.D. and brought also their expertise in weaving and dyes. Cotton production became a major rural industry from medieval times up to the early 19th century. During the time of the Knights, Gozitan cotton linen was highly-prized in mainland Europe.
 
Weaving, embroidery and lace-making were encouraged, often by the Church. Life in Gozo and much of rural Malta was relatively harsh and craft industries became a main source of income for rural families. Such was the worksmanship of these textiles during the 17th century, that various Grand Masters prohibited the wearing of embroidered and fancy garments considering them frivolous and out of keeping with the Order's religious calling.
 
A craft that really flourished under the Knights was gold and silver ware. Malta's most precious production is filigree and jewellery. Today, Maltese goldsmiths are thriving, their work often exported to major cities abroad.
Various, Malta