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Get the most out of your vacation with these insider tips about Valletta, Malta’s historic capital.
A few clicks and you’re set to go. You’ve finally booked a trip to Malta. The anticipation kicks in and you can’t stop scrolling down our Instagram feed while daydreaming with all of those azure landscapes, and dreamy locations you’re about to visit.
Now, there’s a sweet spot between overscheduling and zero planning, and we’re going to help you find it so you can really make the most out of your trip. Valletta is a gem of a city that deserves to be explored with hungry eyes and an open heart.
Interested? Here are 5 things you should know before visiting Valletta
- You’ll find yourself at the other side –of the driver’s seat
Getting to Malta, is one thing and driving around Malta, is a whole different deal. The number of registered vehicles in Malta goes up to 350,000 from a population of more than 436,000 (2016) With such a relatively small road network you can expect to find traffic jams and few available parking spaces.
Also, in Malta, you drive on the left –an old habit from previous British times. This might be confusing for some of you, and it can get really frustrating every time you need to make a right –or left.
INSIDER TIP: Since you don’t want to waste your time in a traffic jam, the best options are to plan some visits in advance, and walk whenever you can. Valletta is a city with narrow streets and many little shops and bars here and there. Renting a car is ok; just use it when strictly necessary.
- Valletta holds the title of European Capital of Culture for 2018
Valletta has the highest density of historic and cultural sights a country might have. TL; DR: There’s something to see every 2 to 3 steps. You will not know where to look! Magic waits around the corner. We’re talking about cathedrals, monuments, museums, historical sites, wonderful venues, and the most beautiful harbor views. They say Malta is Europe best kept secret, but it’s trending right now.
INSIDER TIP: Don’t overschedule, there are too many things to do and see, and it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Take a day to get lost and explore. Sit at a cafe, eat some local Maltese food, and relax.
- It is the smallest and most populated capital in the EU
Truth is, Valletta might feel quite crowded at times and it’s very hot in the summer. Make sure to bring enough water so you can keep yourself hydrated while exploring the narrow streets of Valletta. With its many stores, steps, and turns, it’s quite a beautiful hike.
The livelihood of Valletta draws you in. Locals are friendly and always willing to help tourists with directions –just don’t be surprised when you ask where certain restaurant is and you’re told something like:
“…walk a block up to a tree, make a left, a right, and you’ll find it in front of [insert random shop]”
INSIDER TIP: There aren’t many trees around the streets of Valletta. So you better trust the locals. We have our “own” way of giving directions around here.
Also, make sure to download an offline map on your phone. You can go for the Offline version of Google Maps. Heavily recommended.
- The Underground City and Lascaris War Rooms
Lascaris War Rooms is an essential visit for any history buff that wants to experience a significant location during WWII. Also, there are other underground tunnels and excursions you can join.
We believe visiting the tunnels will give you an insight of Valletta that you won’t find anywhere else. The idea of going underground in a city that is so full of life, gives you a different perspective on how everything came to be.
INSIDER TIP: Also, while there personal audio sets are available, it’s always better to visit these places with a tour guide or insider. Audios can’t answer back your questions –at least not yet.
- A week won’t be enough
Valletta may be the smallest capital in Europe, but a week isn’t just enough to get lost in its complexity. There are places you’ll want to visit more than just once, and you need time to visit Gozo, and Comino.
Because Vitamin Sea is important, and you can’t say you went to Malta without a trip to The Blue Lagoon.
We hope you liked the post and we want your trip to Malta to be as smooth as possible. If you need some info on tours, tips, or English courses in Malta, you can contact us and we’ll help you get the most out of your trip.