Valletta Port is Malta’s major port with two natural harbors, the Grand Harbor and the Marsamxett Harbor. Situated on a peninsula, it has unloading docks at Marsa. Valletta was one of the first planned cities in Europe complete with garbage and sewage systems, building codes, and a grid street pattern. This beautiful city can be toured all in one day.
Valletta is a 16th century city. It has several buildings from the era of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Named after its founder Grandmaster Jean de la Vallette, it is colloquially known in Maltese as il-Belt which means “the city”.
Valletta has a lot of independently owned family shops. Many shops specialize in silver and gold jewelry. At The Silversmith’s Shop you can watch while the owner works on the jewelries. Many goods are on sale in Valletta such as Italian-styled shoes and leather items. You can find island pottery and glass shops at the waterfront also the Forni Shopping Complex that boasts of designer shops.
Every Sunday morning, Valletta holds the biggest shopping happening at St James Ditch. Many tourists go there to find pirated designer clothes, old books, antiques, and many more. It’s not that enjoyable for more serious shoppers.
Most shops in Valletta are open from 9am to 1pm and reopen from 4pm to7pm. Most shops don’t reopen on Saturday afternoon and they’re most closed the whole of Sunday.
Things to See
There are many fascinating sights to see in Valletta.
The Grand Master’s Palace was where the head of the Order of Knights of St John together with 21 others lived from 1575 to 1798. The 16th century St John’s Co-Cathedra is one of Europe’s biggest and most impressive churches. Fort St Elmo is a small fort where the Battle of the Great Siege of Malta happened. They have a weekly costumed re-enactment called “InGuardia”. The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is one of Malta’s well-known early temples. It is the most remarkable because it is very well-preserved. The greatest audio-visual show, The Malta Experience, shows visitors the history and special attractions in Malta and Gozo.
Restaurants and Bars
Valletta has a wide selection of dining venues. There are some luxurious places and others are located in converted homes or ancient vaults.
For those on a budget, you can go to any outdoor cafes. Maltese pastizzi which is flaky pastries full of meat and peas can be purchased at little kiosks. If you want to experience haute cuisine, Malata is the place to be. It is pricier than the rest but it’s all worth it. They specialize in steak and seafood. Members of the Maltese Parliament dine here. Caffe Cordina is the oldest and most renowned café in Malta. It is situated on the old treasury building’s ground floor. Lantern serves great Maltese dishes at inexpensive prices. You can enjoy your food on the west side of Valletta in a townhouse from the 18th century. Perfection Café is the place to go if you want to eat sweets and pastries. They also serve chips, burgers and others.