For the first two nights of our spontaneous adventure in Malta we actually had sought after a hotel in the capital city Valletta, instead we ended up in Floriana – which is not too bad because Floriana is a suburb of Valletta, which is fused seamlessly with the epicenter of the Maltese economy and politics. Valletta, which you could reach in just a few minutes walk from our accommodation, is the smallest capital of the European Union: on an area of only 0.8 square kilometers live just nearly 6000 people – for comparison, in the inner city of Vienna live more than 16,000 people on over 3 square kilometres.
Despite, or perhaps because of its modest size, it is a good decision to spend at least a day for exploring Valletta – the entire city is a UNESCO world cultural heritage since 1980. It’s fun o stroll through the streets for a couple of hours, also there are some tourist attraction to explore – we have summarised the most important for you in the following interactive map.
As part of our day in the city we have been relatively uncoordinated – which is no big drama given the short distances. When visiting Valletta, you should definitely check out the churches: we started our day in the Church of St. Publius at our accommodation in Floriana – from there we are walked past the Triton Well, stepped through the City Gate and went to St. John’s Co-Cathedral – there is a funny story about the strange name of this church , but I unfortunately forgot it again.
A further fixture should be St. John’s square, where the guards can be watched while they are standing still – visitors with affinity to military topics can consider also the Weapons Museum, but we have left out. Instead, we were in the Fort at the northeastern tip of the capital and have visited an interesting exhibition there about the history of the island. With multimedia storytelling elements, you can learn about the arrival of the Knights of Malta, the short reign of Malta by Napoleon, the British rule and the role of Malta in the second world war. Whoever is still not convinced after this visit that the Maltese are a very warlike people, may visit the upper Barrakka gardens, where the guns regularly fire their salute.
Time for a beer, you might think after so much militarism – and you’ll find the correct satisfaction here, too: on the North Shore, there is a ferry-boat, which leads the party willing visitors in the significantly more modern Sliema. More introvert people might head for the Valletta Waterfront, where there is also the local Hard Rock Cafe – however, the waterfront actually no longer belongs to Valletta. But to the suburb called Floriana.
This text has been automatically translated from German into English language.