On our trip to Gozo, we knew that we will have very few time to discover the beauty of the main island, Malta. We thought on visiting the island on the first day and then on the last day. But, due to kind proposal of Mayjo Car Hire, we accepted their transfer directly to Gozo and didn´t have time to spend on the main island.
On my first trip to Malta, I have seen St. Julians, but I knew that I wanted to discover other part of the island. And when Brian, from Baron Holiday Homes Gozo, advised us to visit Valletta on our last day in the country, we followed his advice.
First reason, why we advise you to visit Valletta, Malta, is because the airport (Luqa) is very close to Valletta. There are plenty of public buses that go right to the city center. Second reason, is, because it is the capital and as you can understand there are pretty much things to do and see. Third reason, it is easy to get wherever you want to the island right from Valletta.
Valletta is one of the tiniest European capitals. It´s size isn´t large and you can walk around in the city quite easy. Valletta was built on a grid plan with parallel streets and blocks, so it is easy to get wherever you want. There are quite few hills, and with kids it is more difficult to pass these. In our case, both kids were tired enough and didn´t want to stroll through the streets without daddy´s help. Even though, I think that if it would be our first day, they would enjoy these a lot.
The history is fel in all Valletta´s streets, the houses have a unique lively vibe of baroque architecture with a lot of sunlight. These touches make this city to be warm on colors and hospitality. There are plenty of restaurants that offers traditional cuisine, for an affordable prices. Here to mention, that Valletta, was awarded as 2018 European city of Culture. This means, that a lot of cultural events will be hosted this year in Valletta. Don´t miss these.
Our trip began once transfer from Mayjo Car Hire, left us at the airport, where we left all our luggages and took the main things we need for a day. We took a public bus to the center of Valletta. Valletta is almost 6km from the airport, so it took us quite few time to get there. Then we were walking around and enjoying the city.
Our first stop was Valletta´s City Gate. This main gate to the city has been redesigned and rebuilt several times over the centuries. From here you can also have spectacular views over other cities of Malta, what makes your experience an unique one. Kids were playing and running there and for, so we just stopped and didn´t move for a while. We thought that we have plenty of time to discover the place.
After more than a 15 minutes staying in the same place we finally moved on, and passed down Merchant Street or Republic Street, then Co-Cathedral of St John. Really close to this place we found they typical streets telephone, similar as in London city. There were plenty of intentions to take a pretty image of both our kids calling, but no way, there was always someone of them who didn´t want to take the picture. Well, I think, even though it looks that we could take one.
After those, we had another long stop of more than half an hour, on the street that goes to Forti Sant Iermu. The fortress that we wanted to enter and discover inside, but after all the stops we made, we decided to go where kids prefer. So, our other lovely stop was, nothing else, than a playground. You know, that kind of feeling, when you want to discover a city full of culture, but you are enjoying a playground that is pretty similar you have in your city. Cool, right? :d
So, I don´t know how, but we finally could go out from the playground. And after a pretty walk through the tiny streets full of wooden balconies, we came to Sliema Ferry. We thought to take a ferry and to enjoy the three harbours by the sea. Here to mention, there are three harbours, Valletta, Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour, are a reminder of what an important city it was for the sea trade of the Mediterranean during the 16th and 17th centuries.
We took our ferry, and for our surprise once getting to Sliema, we saw the most photographed place of Malta island. Could you just imagine our happiness? We could not stop of taking pictures, and finally kids were happy enough of our adventure. In Sliema we stayed few hours as well. There you can find a lot of activities to do in Malta. Like taking the route bus, ferries to discover the closest harbors, private jets and so on. If we only were staying 1 day more, I suppose we would decide for an activity for sure.
Valletta has had many challenges and changes over the centuries, and they are all reflective in the distinct cityscape. With so many people coming to stay the mix of cultures is evident, too. This makes Valletta one of the most exciting and underrated city trip destinations in Europe.
Granted, it is not easy getting around the old town to see all of Valletta’s attractions as there are quite a few steep inclines and steps to master. But if you take your time you can still get around fairly easily and explore all the intimate details of this marvellous city.