Valletta Landmarks Tour, Valletta (Self Guided)

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: 12
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Author: gene
St. James Ditch Street Market

1) St. James Ditch Street Market

The St. James Ditch street market is held right by the City Gate roundabout. Many tourists and locals visit this shopping event to check out everyday and brand name clothing, antiques, old books, live birds and many other items. It's a fun place to browse, even if you aren’t planning to purchase anything.

Operation hours: Sunday morning - 1 pm.
Triton Fountain

2) 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

3) 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

4) 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

5) 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

6) 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

7) 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)

8) 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

9) 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.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday 8 am - 12 pm.
Siege Bell War Memorial

10) 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)

11) 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

12) 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.
Valletta Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

Valletta Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

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
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: 1.1 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation 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

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Valletta for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Valletta has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Valletta, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.