Even though we have the pleasure of staying 52 days on Malta, time still flies by and getting to see lots is always a challenge when running a business as location independent nomads. The life / business balance is challenging and sometimes frustrating.
Anyway… Today we chose to pop into Valletta. Why today of all days?
Day 1078 – February 12th, 2017
Today marks a special occurrence for us in that our first visit to the island of Malta and Valletta in particular, was when we arrived by cruise on MSC Magnifica in 2015. It just so happens that today this wonderful ship is visiting Valletta again.
The bus journey is easy and frequent from Bugibba station.
Valletta was busy, which was no surprise with an extra 2500 people in town. It didn’t bother us, we just wanted to see the ship.
Sounds crazy to you maybe but that is what excites us.
We had a coffee at the cafe in Barrakka gardens before walking around town for a while. Having lunch and then more coffee with cake, oh life’s hard.
Check out the sights we captured on the phones…
This is a church just in front of the Valletta bus station. Below you see the cruise ship docked in port.
The views from the upper Barrakka gardens are simply stunning and this is a must goto spot when in Valletta. Not only is it an ideal place to view the Grand Harbour but at 12 midday the guns of the saluting battery that you can see in the photo below are fired.
Just a short walk from the Barrakka gardens you’ll see one of the first buildings that probably stands out to you and that is the Auberge de Castille seen below.
Valletta is a perfect place to explore on foot. The streets are clean and many are just for pedestrians. February is carnival month on Malta and Gozo island. Some of the streets in the city were decorated ready for the main event towards the end of the month.
As you explore Valletta you can’t help but admire the wonderful architecture of the buildings.
Saint Dominic’s Church in Valletta
St. Nicholas’ Church in Valletta
The Maltese balcony
That’s those protruding structures at the front of many homes. The Maltese balcony is very popular in Valletta and all over Malta and Gozo as well.
Even though it’s called a balcony, they actually are more like a bay window, considering that they are enclosed and attached to the main room of the house. They almost look like an after thought.
St George’s Square in Valletta
Teatru Manoel in Valletta
The theatre in Valletta is one of the oldest in Europe and you can take a tour during the daytime Monday through Friday and on Saturday till 12.30 for €5.
We enjoyed a coffee and cake just opposite the theatre.
St. Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta
Just down from the Teatru Manoel is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Carmelite Church – Madonna tal-Karmnu with a large dome roof. And right down towards the water at the bottom or this road is St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral.
The photo below shows St Paul’s in the foreground with the dome of Our Lady behind.
Along the road adjacent to the water I captured this photo of more Maltese balcony’s.
You can walk from here towards the St Elmo fort just by following the road. At the fort you can see National War Museum, entry costs €10, but I suggest checking the Heritage Malta website for up-to-date information as sometimes it can be closed.
From here you can look across the water to Sliema and Manoel Island. From this angle it looks a lot closer than from when we looked over to here from Sliema in reverse.
Next door to the war museum you can find The Malta Experience and a cafe as well. Tickets for the Malta Experience cost €16 adults & €6 for kids.
Behind this cafe is a nice spot to watch the cruise ships leave Grand harbor.
MSC Magnifica leaving Valletta Grand Harbour
After watching the cruise ship sail out of Grand Harbour here in Valletta we made our way back to Qawra. The walk to Valletta bus station from the Fort St Elmo took around 3o minutes. You can look over at Fort Ricasoli at the harbour entrance, Bighi, Birgu, Fort St Angelo over on the three cities side of Valletta.
What you have seen in this post is just a glimpse of Valletta. There are many more sites to see and delve into deeper. Be sure to check out some of the links in this post to our other visits to Valletta.