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Valletta Landmarks Tour (Self Guided), Valletta

Valletta proudly boasts a number of breathtaking landmarks and monuments that will impress even the most well-traveled visitor. This huge city, rich in culture and history, offers marvelous sightseeing. Here is a rundown of spots you should definitely visit during your time in Valletta.
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Valletta Landmarks Tour Map

Guide Name: Valletta Landmarks Tour
Guide Location: Malta » Valletta (See other walking tours in Valletta)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: gene
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Triton Fountain
  • Hastings Gardens
  • Republic Street
  • Great Siege Square
  • Queen's Square
  • Carmelite Church
  • Palace Square (St. George's Square)
  • Merchant Street Market
  • Siege Bell War Memorial
  • Mediterranean Conference Centre (The Knights Hospitallers)
  • Fort Saint Elmo
Triton Fountain

1) Triton Fountain

Sculpted in 1959 by famous local sculptor Vincent Apap, the Triton Fountain is one of the key landmarks in Valletta. It is located within City Gate Square and serves as the main station for the central bus route. The southern side of the fountain has a World War II monument to the Maltese soldiers who had fallen in battle.
Hastings Gardens

2) Hastings Gardens (must see)

Hastings Gardens is a public garden located on top of St. John's and St. Michael's bastions on the west side of the City Gate. The garden is fairly plain but has a marvelous view of Floriana, Msida, Sliema, and Manoel Island. Inside the garden is a monument placed by the Hastings family in honor of Francis, Marquis of Hastings, who was a governor of Malta. Lord Hastings died in 1826 and is buried in the garden.

It is also a Maltese legend that the Gardens took only 4 hours to be built. This legend comes from the fact that the Maltese people are hard workers. Adriano DeVina is the only known architect of the gardens.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy beautiful views, take panoramic pictures, and get to really understand the scale of the city walls.
There are benches under some trees where you can just sit, relax, and enjoy the breeze on a hot sunny day.

Be sure to be here during the Marsovin Wine Festival – 2nd or 3rd weekend of July every year. They always have a great atmosphere with fantastic bands and food stalls.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-10pm
Free admission
Republic Street

3) Republic Street (must see)

Republic Street, Valletta's central road, runs from the Triton Fountain outside the City Gate to Fort St. Elmo. It is frequently closed to traffic due to the number of tourists visiting its shops and boutiques. There are also many cozy cafes and specialty restaurants on this street.
Great Siege Square

4) Great Siege Square

Great Siege Square is a small square off Republic Street dedicated to Malta's siege by the Ottoman Empire in 1565. It is a beautiful tranquil place to watch the world go by while having a cup of coffee at one of its open-air cafes or restaurants.
Queen's Square

5) Queen's Square

Queen's Square, also known as Republic Square, is located right next to the National Library. It contains a statue of Queen Victoria, for which the square was named. Open-air cafes, such as the popular Cafe Cordina, can be found here.
Carmelite Church

6) Carmelite Church (must see)

Built in 1570, this church was severely damaged during the Second World War and re-built to compete successfully with its nearby Anglican rival. Fortunately, much of the contents of the original survived, including Maria de Dominici’s late 1670s Beato Franco, high up in the middle on your left. This marvelous building is often wrongly assumed to be a cathedral because of its huge 42-meter dome that can be seen from all over the city. Like other Maltese churches, its interior design is also impressive and one can observe the exquisite marble floor as well as the beauty of the huge oval dome construction from the inside.

Why You Should Visit:
You can't really grasp the size of the place until you get inside. Even for the non-religious, it's a good quiet spot to come and rest in between travels and enjoy some cool air.

While at it you can also visit the Anglican cathedral across the road – a quite simple but also lovely church.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-7pm
Palace Square (St. George's Square)

7) Palace Square (St. George's Square)

Palace Square is a picturesque pedestrian area featuring modern lighting, lava paving and a fountain with synchronized music. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional Maltese horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a karozzin.
Merchant Street Market

8) Merchant Street Market

The Merchant Street Market is a popular open-air market in Valletta. This colorful street market resembles a European flea market, offering everyday and brand name clothing, antiques, old books and many other items at bargain prices.
Siege Bell War Memorial

9) Siege Bell War Memorial (must see)

Located on Mediterranean Street, the Siege Bell is rung every day at noon. It is a memorial to those who fell during World War II when Malta was continuously bombed by Axis forces. For visitors, it's a great viewpoint to look out over the harbour and towards Fort Ricasoli. Well worth the steep climb and beautifully designed.

The place can get quite busy particularly around midday before the saluting battery so try to arrive early.
Mediterranean Conference Centre (The Knights Hospitallers)

10) Mediterranean Conference Centre (The Knights Hospitallers)

The Mediterranean Conference Centre's building was built as a hospital in the 16th century by the Order of St. John, and it was known as the Sacra Infermeria or the Holy Infirmary. The Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as Order of Hospitallers or Knights Hospitaller, were among the most famous of the Roman Catholic military orders during the Middle Ages. The building is over 150 m long and drops down several floors. The top floor was dedicated to the wealthy, the poor were places in the floor below. It was one of the leading hospitals in Europe until the 18th century, and it remained in use until 1920. The building is now used for multiple banquets, exhibitions, international conventions and theatrical shows. The centre's auditorium has roughly 1,500 seats.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fort Saint Elmo

11) Fort Saint Elmo (must see)

Fort Saint Elmo is a star fort in Valletta, Malta. It stands on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour, and commands the entrances to both harbours along with Fort Tigné and Fort Ricasoli. It is best known for its role in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565 when it withstood massive bombardment from Turkish cannons.

Though the fort was reduced to rubble during the bombardments, when the Ottomans abandoned the siege the fort was rebuilt and reinforced, becoming partially incorporated into the seaward bastion of the fortress city of Valletta. New restoration work was completed in 2015. Lower Saint Elmo has been cleaned from the waste that accumulated over the years, and the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation is making plans to begin restoration.

From 1975, part of the fort houses the National War Museum which closed in September 2014 and reopened in May 2015 having a larger collection.

Why You Should Visit:
Not only can you see the fortifications built up over centuries, but also get a clear sense of history and the repeating yet differing cycles of invasion and civilizations.
The views from the ramparts are also hard to beat and if one imagines trying to invade then it becomes quite evident what a challenge there was to overcome.

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

Walking Tours in Valletta, Malta

Create Your Own Walk in Valletta

Create Your Own Walk in Valletta

Creating your own self-guided walk in Valletta is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Top Religious Sites

Top Religious Sites

Valletta has an amazing collection of religious buildings. Renowned for their architectural beauty and cultural value, they attract a huge number of tourists. Take this tour to see the best of these stunning masterpieces of craftsmanship, creativity and devotion.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Valletta Introduction Walk

Valletta Introduction Walk

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
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles