Museums Walking Tour (Self Guided), Valletta

Valletta is a city that is proud to share its heritage with visitors. Due to the small size of the town, there are only a few museums in Valletta. However, the historic and art exhibitions offer a fascinating glimpse into the local culture.
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Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: Malta » Valletta (See other walking tours in Valletta)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: gene
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • National Museum of Archaeology
  • Armory Museum
  • Toy Museum
  • Casa Rocca Piccola
  • National War Museum
National Museum of Archaeology

1) National Museum of Archaeology (must see)

The National Museum of Archaeology is housed in the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta. The building, an example of fine Baroque architecture, was built in 1571 and followed a plan by local architect Ġilormu Cassar. The Auberge de Provence was house to the Knights of the Order of St John originating from Provence, France and displays beautiful architectural features. Of particular note is the Grand Salon, with its richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling.

The Museum exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts dating back to Malta’s Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). On display are the earliest tools used by the prehistoric people to facilitate their daily tasks and representations of animal and human figures; elements which not only show the great artistic skills of the first dwellers of the island but also gives us an insight of their daily lives.

Highlights include the ‘Sleeping Lady’ (from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum), the ‘Venus of Malta’ (from Ħaġar Qim), bronze daggers (recovered from the Bronze Age layers at Tarxien Temples), the Horus & Anubis pendant and the anthropomorphic sarcophagus, both belonging to the Phoenician Period.

Why You Should Visit:
Malta is just so rich in history that dates back to 5000 BC and it is important to have a base of information before you go sightseeing.
The temples prove to be a whole lot more captivating after a visit to this museum.

An audio guide that provides good insights and explanations is included in the ticket but you have to pay a refundable deposit.
The museum can be crowded with the tour parties from the oversized cruise ships: try to go early or late to avoid them.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 9am-5pm (Jan-Sep); Monday to Sunday: 9am-6pm (Oct-Dec)
Last admission 30 mins before closing
Closed on 24, 25 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan & Good Friday
Sight description based on wikipedia
Armory Museum

2) Armory Museum

The Palace Armory is found in the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta.

This museum lodges an interesting armors collection which is housed in their original buildings, what's more one can find crossbows, swords, arms, guns, shotguns and bronze cannons.

Although only a fraction of its original splendor the Armory still contains material of Italian, German, French and Spanish origin from principal arms production centers. Examples of splendid parade armor by master armorers command pride of place. The armor decorator’s art is displayed on various exquisite pieces.

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Toy Museum

3) Toy Museum

Located on Republic Street, Valletta’s main street, the Toy Museum features an impressive collection of model trains, airplanes, boats, matchbox cars and dolls dating back to the 1950s. Its collection, displayed on three floors, includes Maltese and internationally-made toys. Children's admission is free.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday 10 am - 3 pm.
Casa Rocca Piccola

4) Casa Rocca Piccola (must see)

Casa Rocca Piccola is a 16th-century palace in Malta, and home of the noble de Piro family. Its history goes back over 400 years to an era in which the Knights of St. John, having successfully fought off the invading Turks in 1565, decided to build a prestigious city to rival other European capitals, such as Paris and Venice. Palaces were designed for prestige and aesthetic beauty in most of Valletta's streets, and bastion walls fortified the new 16th-century city.

Casa Rocca Piccola has over fifty rooms, including two libraries, two dining rooms, many drawing rooms, and a chapel. It houses Malta's largest private collection of antique costumes (both formal and informal wear from the 18th to the 20th century) as well as the largest private collection of Maltese lace, which was used in different ways for different occasions, both religious and secular. There are daily tours of the palace.

Why You Should Visit:
This palace is well maintained and strikes a balance between traditional formality and more relaxed family spaces, and the bomb shelter that you can go in at the end is amazing for a little adventure.

Conducted tours are on the hour (last tour starts at 4pm) but get there early to beat the crowds.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
National War Museum

5) National War Museum (must see)

Located in Fort Saint Elmo, the National War Museum is one of the most popular museums in Malta. From 1975 to 2014, its collection mainly focused on WWI and WWII. Since its renovation in 2015, the museum contains artifacts relating to the military history of Malta ranging from the Bronze Age to Malta's entry into the European Union in 2004.

There are various photographic panels showing life in Malta during WWII, especially the hardships of civilian life and damage from aerial bombardment. One of the highlights includes the fuselage of a Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520, the only survivor from the Hal Far Fighter Flight. The museum also contains a Willys Jeep 'Husky' used by Dwight D. Eisenhower before the invasion of Sicily and also by Roosevelt while visiting Malta. The George Cross that was awarded to Malta by King George VI in April 1942 is also on display at the museum. The collection also contains wreckage from crashed aircraft, captured German machine guns, a torpedo, trench mortars and other weapons.

Why You Should Visit:
The history of Malta through the ages and tickets are valid for a month.
Very well displayed museum and worth a couple of hours.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm (Jun-Oct); 9am-5pm (Nov-May)
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Valletta, Malta

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Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a World Heritage destination and one of the key historic centers of Europe housing a number of quality museums, palaces and grand churches. Among them is a Baroque landmark St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The abundance of well-preserved ancient structures in Valletta attracts crowds of tourists every year. Follow this orientation walk to explore the most popular...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles