[Travel Diaries #2] Three Days in Malta: Valletta

We continued our journey to one of the smallest countries in the world.

View from the Upper Barrakka Garden – Image courtesy of the author

People said that if you want to enjoy yourself and have the best experience in Malta, you should spend a week here. But we only had three days so that we would travel in the three-day way.

When our flight nearly landed this island nation, the first thing I realized was its color tone. Covering the country was the light orange color of sand, ancient architectures, fortress, and land. That was the difference compared to the other country we visited.

Transportation

I would talk firstly about transportation in Malta. The bus is the main public transport in Malta. People can choose several types of tickets or passengers cards on the official website of Malta’s public transport depending on your purpose and duration of your stay in Malta. We used below two types of tickets during our stay:

  • Cash ticket – Purchase directly on buses. The price is different between winter and summer though the difference is not much, and between the day and night services. The price in the summer is €2 per person. Just remember to prepare enough cash for a ticket because they would not give you back the change.
  • 12 Single Journey – We used this for the second day when we visit Gozo. This ticket can be used in both Malta island and Gozo island. It will be valid on the day you validate it, and many people can share it. The price for this ticket is €15.
12 Single Day Journeys Card – Image courtesy of the author

Valletta – The Capital of Malta

Valletta is the capital of Malta, and it is located to the southeast of the main island.

We started our trip at the gate of Valletta. It took us around 25-30 minutes from our Airbnb in Birkirkara to get Valletta. The country is small so that you can travel from one city to another in less than an hour.

Welcoming us at the gate was a large fountain named Triton Fountain: three Triton statues were holding a large basin. This fountain was constructed in the middle of the 20th century. It is a unique monument located in the center of the large square in front of the City Gate of Valletta.

Triton Fountain – Image courtesy of the author

The existing City Gate of Valletta is the fifth gate Valletta that has had in nearly 500 years. The gate was constructed between 2011 and 2014. The large blocks of stone form the gate, and the entrance made us think of the V letter – for Valletta, maybe.

The City Gate of Valletta – Image courtesy of the author

Going through the gate, on the right side are Parliament Building and the Opera House. The Opera House was a complete opera house with roof in the past, then it was damaged, and then an open opera house was set up on the remaining base.

The Parliament Building – Image courtesy of the author
The Opera House – Image courtesy of the author

Not far from there is the Upper Barrakka Garden, from where offers the view of the Three Cities, the Grand Harbor. The view from the Upper Barrakka Gardens is worth photo-shooting. People can also choose to sit and take some rest and enjoy the clean atmosphere of the gardens. We can also find the entrance to the Saluting Battery at the Upper Barrakka Garden. At 12.00 and 16.00 daily, a cannon is fired. Tourists can choose to visit the Saluting Battery and purchase tickets here. The price is €3 for adult.

The entrance to the Upper Barrakka Gardens – Image courtesy of the author
The garden brought us a fresh and peaceful atmosphere – Image courtesy of the author
A small pond in the Upper Barrakka Gardens. We sat here for a while to enjoy the peacefulness of the place – Image courtesy of the author
Cannons at the Saluting Battery, with the view to the Three Cities – Image courtesy of the author

About 600 meters from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, taking a walk alongside the sea, you can reach to the Lower Barrakka Gardens. The Lower Barrakka Gardens has a unique feature: a small temple located in the center of the garden, which has the monument of Sir Alexander Ball, a rear admiral and civil commissioner of Malta.

The temple of Sir Alexander Ball in the Lower Barrakka Gardens – Image courtesy of the author

From the Lower Barrakka Gardens, we can easily find the Siege Bell War Memorial. The monument associated with the bravery and heroism of Maltese civilians and defenders during World War II.

The Siege Bell War Memorial looked from the Lower Barrakka Gardens – Image courtesy of the author
Another corner of the Lower Barrakka Gardens – Image courtesy of the author

One thing I like in Valletta was the small, narrow and beautiful street. Its beauty was different from other places we visited, like Paris or Rome. Walking along the streets of Valletta, we moved to St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral. According to my research, people called it pro-cathedral because it is a large church with a temporary cathedral status in a city. Still, it does not have enough conditions to be entitled a cathedral.

A unique street of Valletta – Image courtesy of the author
Another lovely street of the capital of Malta – Image courtesy of the author
St. Paul’s Pro-cathedral – Image courtesy of the author

We went back to the main street of Valletta named Republic Street. That was a long street starting from the City Gate till the end of Valletta. We chose a restaurant named Eddie’s Cafe Regina to have lunch there. We ordered Ravioli (filled with Cottage cheese) and Pasta with clams. Generally, they were good but not excellent. And the price is a bit higher if you consider the quality.

Republic Street – Image courtesy of the author
Ravioli (filled with cottage cheese) – Image courtesy of the author
Pasta with clams and cherry tomatoes – Image courtesy of the author

We continued our trip to the last place: the St. John Co-cathedral, which includes nine chapels inside. It was built in the 16th century by order of St. John. Tourists need to pay €15 to visit inside the Co-cathedral. Opposite to the Co-cathedral is a statue of Enrico Mizzi, a politician and a former Prime Minister of Malta in 1950. He was the only Prime Minister of Malta who died in his term of office.

St. John’s Co-cathedral is huge when you see it in reality – Image courtesy of the author
Statue of Enrico Mizzi – Image courtesy of the author

That’s all for Valletta, the capital of Malta. Thanks for reading and see you in Gozo island, Mdina and the Blue Lagoon on Comino island.

Peace.

5 thoughts on “[Travel Diaries #2] Three Days in Malta: Valletta

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