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    Some of the best things to do in Valletta highlight the city’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortified city on the Mediterranean coast was founded in the 1500s by the Knights of St John, a Roman Catholic order. With a fascinating history, many of Valletta’s Baroque buildings that dot the heart of the old city, are still intact today.

    The small capital of Malta is known to be full of history and culture, yet the streets stay buzzing with action even after dark. From fine dining at the waterfront to bar hopping along Strait Street, the locals know how to appreciate good food and drinks. Still, it remains a truly calming destination with its golden-hued buildings, sweeping views over the harbour and the sweet smell of the ocean hanging in the air.

    What are the best things to do in Valletta?

    1

    Stroll down Republic Street

    The main tourist street of the old city

    Republic Street is Valletta’s main tourist strip and also its busiest thoroughfare, stretching from the City Gate to Fort St Elmo in the city centre. Within the old, sandy coloured buildings that line the wide lane are a concentration of shops, restaurants and some of the main attractions of the city.

    A stroll down the street is best done in the morning when crowds are smaller. You can stop to enjoy the beautiful, old architecture at your leisure. A number of the city’s attractions are strung along Republic Street, including museums, churches and former palaces.

    Konum: Republic Street, Valletta, Malta

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    fotoğraf: Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0) değiştirildi

    2

    St Johns Co-Cathedral

    The gem of the city

    St Johns Co-Cathedral is an incredibly ornate church in Valletta. It was completed in 1577 and is dedicated to the patron saint of the Order of St John. It’s located in the centre of the city, just behind Republic Street, and it’s best to visit early in the day to avoid the afternoon crowds.

    The building is one of the grandest Baroque churches in all of Europe. Although the exterior is far from outstanding, it’s the extravagant and intricately decorated interior that steals the show. From the ornate marble floors to the impressive frescoes, St Johns Co-Cathedral is a true work of art.

    Konum: Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Monday–Friday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Saturday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Telefon: +356 2122 0536

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    3

    Grand Masters Palace

    Wander through Valletta’s administrative history

    The Grand Masters Palace is one of the most visited attractions in the city of Valletta. Completed in 1571, it was one of the first buildings to be constructed in the old city. From the knights to the governor and later, the president, it has always hosted the government in Malta.

    Walking the halls is like walking through 400 years of the island’s history. The interior is far grander than the simple exterior and the rooms are adorned with centuries-old tapestries, frescoes and armoury. There is an entrance fee of around €10.

    Konum: President’s Palace, 58 Republic St, Valletta, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 4.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 4.30 pm

    Telefon: +356 21 249 349

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    4

    National Museum of Archaeology

    A look at Malta’s prehistoric times

    The National Museum of Archaeology is housed inside the Auberge de Provence on Republic Street. It is one of the most impressively decorated Baroque buildings in the city. It was formerly the home of the Knights of the Order of St John and now exhibits artefacts and pieces from prehistoric times for a valuable introduction to Malta’s past.

    Highlights of the exhibitions include the Sleeping Lady, a 5,000-year-old figure found at the Hypogeum archaeological site just 7 km from Valletta, and the realistic figure of Venus of Malta, which was brought in from Hagar Qim, a megalithic temple near Qrendi. There are audio guides available for rent.

    Konum: Republic St, Valletta, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (October–December: until 6 pm)

    Telefon: +356 2122 1623

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    fotoğraf: Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0) değiştirildi

    5

    Upper Barrakka Gardens

    A panoramic view of the Grand Harbour

    The Upper Barrakka Gardens offer one of the island’s best viewpoints, with an unmatched panorama of the harbour and the Three Cities in the background. The gardens date back as far as the 17th century but were only made public in 1824. The main gate is near the Malta Stock Exchange (formerly the Garrison Chapel).

    Try to plan your visit around midday when a cannon is fired from the Saluting Battery just below the main terrace. The Gardens offer the best view of this recently revived old ceremony. It’s also a popular place to relax, especially after a busy morning sightseeing along Republic Street.

    Konum: 292 Triq Sant' Orsla, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Daily from 7 am to 10 pm

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    6

    Fort St Elmo - National War Museum

    A symbol of Malta’s wartime history

    Fort St Elmo is an imposing structure on the peninsula’s shoreline, dividing Valletta’s Grand Harbour from its other harbour, called Marsamxett. Constructed in 1552, this impressive fortress played an especially important role in holding off the Ottomans in the Great Siege of 1565.

    Having been restored to its former glory, you can now find the National War Museum inside its walls, which covers the country’s war history from the 16th century through to WWII. Artefacts include military armour of the Knights, a former warplane that defended the city against the Italians and Malta’s award for gallantry, the George Cross medal.

    Konum: Fort St Elmo, Mediterranean St, Valletta VLT 1741, Malta

    Telefon: +356 21 481 305

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    7

    Take the ferry to the Three Cities

    A perfect day trip to medieval fort cities

    The medieval fort settlements known as the Three Cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (Isla) and Bormla (Cospicua) sit across from the Grand Harbour. A worthwhile day trip from Valletta, they were the first fortified cities built by the Knights of St John when they arrived in 1530 because of their strategic location in protecting the port.

    A regular ferry service connects Bormla with the Waterfront, down from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. For just under €3 per person for a return trip, it’s an affordable way to explore the harbour. Once in Bormla, you can explore the small area on foot or relax in one of the many cafes that look across the yacht marina.

    Konum: Valletta Ferry Service, near Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

    Telefon: +356 2346 3862

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    fotoğraf: Oren Rozen (CC BY-SA 4.0) değiştirildi

    8

    Dine at the Valletta Waterfront

    A pedestrian promenade with views over the wharf

    The historical Valletta Waterfront and promenade are where ships have docked for centuries and great food and wine can now be found in several high-class restaurants. Cruise ships and ferries still use the dock as it's the main gateway into the city for those arriving on the island by boat. However, it retains a tranquil vibe with a fully restored pedestrian promenade that’s excellent for spending a laidback evening in Valletta.

    The old stores built for merchants in the past have been converted into a dozen fine restaurants and traditional souvenir shops. Along the open-air promenade, popular haunts include Brown’s Restaurant for their excellent seafood and Bistro 516 for European favourites and a selection of wines.

    Konum: Triq il-Vittmi Furjaniżi tal-Gwerra, Il-Furjana, Malta

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    fotoğraf: Annamariamaria (CC BY-SA 4.0) değiştirildi

    9

    Manoel Theatre

    Watch a performance at one of Europe’s oldest arts venue

    The Manoel Theatre is an incredible example of Baroque architecture in Valletta. Built in 1731, its oval-shaped auditorium has seen opera and dramatic performances up until the present, making it one of Europe’s oldest functioning theatres.

    You can explore the interior of the theatre on a guided tour, which is run every 45 minutes during opening times. A staff member will take you through the auditorium, backstage and a small, attached museum, which showcases some of the histories of performing arts in Malta. The Manoel Theatre is within a 3-minute walk from the Grand Masters Palace. You can check its website for upcoming events and performances.

    Konum: Old Theatre Street, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1426, Malta

    Çalışma saatleri: Monday–Friday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on weekends)

    Telefon: +356 2122 2618

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    fotoğraf: Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0) değiştirildi

    10

    End the day at Strait Street

    Still the core of the city’s nightlife

    Strait Street is arguably the liveliest and most entertaining part of Valletta, especially after dark. Running parallel to Republic Street in the city centre, it was once referred to as ‘The Gut’ because of its seedy demeanour as the red-light district for soldiers and sailors visiting Malta in the 20th century.

    It’s since seen a creative revitalisation as previously abandoned bars have transformed into fresh hangouts and quirky exhibition spaces. Jazz performers, cabaret and theatre have slowly come back to the street with less sleaze and more class. Bar-hopping your way along Strait Street is one of the best things to do in Valletta at night.

    Konum: Strait Street, Valletta, Malta

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    Elisha Donkin |Katkı Sunan Yazar

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