One Day to Explore Valetta’s Vibrant History

Commonly referred to as ‘an open-air museum’, Valetta boasts a treasure trove of cultural artefacts and edifices that will fascinate any history buff. The city is compact, allowing tourists to visit its stunning cathedrals, its impressive bastions and its many museums in a single day trip, regardless of where they are staying on the island. And, if you make use of a pre-booked Malta Airport transfer, getting there couldn’t be simpler.

Valetta’s Historical Attractions

•St John’s Co-Cathedral

This is a must-see as no other church in Europe is quite like it. Though its external appearance appears simple, the breath-taking interior is filled with lavishly decorated walls, flamboyant gold-plated details, intricate ceiling paintings and stunning marble floors engraved with Latin epitaphs. It was erected in the sixteenth century to celebrate the Christian knights’ successful protection of the Catholics from attacks by the Ottoman Turks.

Insider Tip: If you’re limited by time, visit the Chapel of the Langue of Aragon and the Chapel of the Langue of France. Both are richly decorated with paintings, sculptures and monuments. You should also see the most renowned painting in the cathedral, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.

•The Grand Harbour

Originally used as a military defence system, the harbour is surrounded by imposing fortifications, including defensive towers and bastions. Today, though, it is filled with commercial and cruise ships and ocean liners. There are also several yacht marinas where you can go for a stroll and admire the impressive boats.

•Museum of Archaeology

Set in the ancient residences of French knights, this museum is housed in a beautiful sixteenth-century Baroque building. It contains prehistoric artefacts found in the Megalithic Temples and medieval antiques from the Roman era, and the building itself is adorned with wood-beamed ceilings and opulently-painted walls. Come and see the vast collection of prehistoric altars, pottery, utensils and ornaments.

•Manoel Theatre

Built in the eighteenth century as a response to the demand for theatrical performances, pageants and operas, this is one of the earliest theatres constructed in Europe. It boasts excellent acoustics and a beautifully-decorated auditorium.

Insider Tip: If visiting Valetta between September and May, catch an evening performance and sit in the theatre’s comfy velvet chairs.

•Grandmaster’s Palace

Set in the heart of Palace Square, this edifice is considered the most beautiful building in Valetta. It was first built in the fifteen hundreds but has undergone several enhancements throughout the following centuries. Today, part of the building is used as an office space by the Maltese president. However, the rest of it can still be explored. Discover the awe-inspiring courtyard, the impressive state rooms and the armoury.

How to Get There

The best way to travel to Malta is to fly. British Airways and Air Malta both offer direct three-hour flights from the UK to Malta Airport. Before you travel, I’d also recommended organising a pre-booked Malta airport transfer. You can order a private transfer and have a driver take you to Valetta in just 15 minutes.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable pre-booked Malta airport transfer Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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Author: Desiree Michels