Valletta, Malta’s historic capital
Our travel guide for Malta & Gozo has only about 200 pages, small and compact, just like you could describe Valletta, the (mini-) capital of the country. In the east of Malta, Valletta sits high on a rocky peninsula on the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by historic fortress walls. Without a car, the best way to get into the city, it’s through the city gate. Almost all bus lines in Malta stop there. Crossing the moat over a pedestrian bridge and you’re right in the heart of the city. Valletta – with its charm of the past centuries.
Maltese architecture: The balcony
The balconies in Malta are almost like THE landmark, as they not only shape the facades of the houses in Valletta, but they can also be admired all over the country. Whether colorful in red, blue, green or just terracotta, whether freshly painted or crumbling – when you see the balconies in a photo, you know exactly “Oh, that is Malta!”. The balconies defintely belong to my absolute favorite motifs.
Lower & Upper Barraka Gardens
Both landscaped gardens invited to linger around. They give a beautiful view of the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea. For a lunch break in the sun, it’s simply perfect. Walk up the Victoria Gate to the Upper Barraka Garden. Here, high above the Grand Harbor, you have a fantastic view of the cities of Vittoriosa and Senglea. On the terrace under the garden, were once salutes fired as a welcome for incoming warships. A special highlight: Every day at 12 and 4 o’clock a cannon shot is fired from the restored guns.
The Party Mile Strait Street
Once the famous notorious red light district, which has been completely abandond in the post-war period, Strait Street has once again become a popular area in Valletta. Now trendy bars and artistic cafes line up again. I recommend to visit the “Tico Taco” bar, as it is one of the first bars in Strait Street. The colorful tables and chairs are also a real eye-catcher!
The fourth season: Carnival
Malta is a very Catholic country, so of course they will celebrate carnival! There are numerous dance competitions, parades and parties in Gozo and in Valletta from Fat Thursday to Pancake Day. In contrast to the Cologne carnival, the parade trucks are painted in extravagant, bright colors, modern pop is played and only children dress up. The carnival in Malta is a great experience, because you can get very close to the moving trucks and can be in the middle of everything.