Valletta's uniquely old-world look was derived by blending medieval Maltese architecture with a more contemporary feel. If you can tear your eyes away from its beauty, you'll find that there's a lot to experience in this well-fortified capital of the island nation of Malta.
Once in the city, you'll be drawn to the city's expansive docks: its Grand Harbour. This is where Valletta meets the Mediterranean Sea. What it lacks in beaches, Valletta makes up for with a variety of recreational activities down by the harbor.
To get yourself in the seafaringspirit of Valletta, you must set sail from the Grand Harbour out onto open water. Charter a yacht or hop on a Mediterraneancruise!
Just off the tip of the Valletta peninsula, you can go underwater to check out the WWII era shipwreck of HMS Maori near Fort St. Elmo. The richly diverse sealife of the coral reef nearby is also worth a dive or two.
If you're willing to go a little further for a thrill ride, you can have fun flyboarding at St. Julian's Bay near the city.
Along the harbor, you'll be drawn to the towering steeple of the iconic St Paul's Pro-Cathedral. Bow your head at this 175 years-old cathedral.
Delve deeper into the city's spirituality at St. John’s Co-Cathedral. This church's ornate interior is often referred to as the finest example of lavish Baroque architecture in all of Europe.
Under its painted ceiling, at the stunning altar, stands this sculpture depicting the Baptism of Christ. Just about every nook and cranny of Saint John's Co-Cathedral is a work of art unto itself!
An integral part of the city's storied history is its Saluting Battery, which overlooks the Grand Harbor. This row of 8 cannons is installed underneath the Upper Barrakka Gardens and you can watch it firing everyday, at noon and then at 4 pm, as part of a gun salute.
Just across the bay from the Saluting Battery, Fort St. Angelo stands guard over the city. Tour its heavy fortifications, which serve as a reminder of the city's strategic importance.
Be sure to swing by the idyllic Lower Barrakka Gardens, if you need to get away from the commotion of the city. Amidst its peaceful greenery, this neoclassical temple (Monument to Sir Alexander Ball) has been built.
Valletta's narrow windingalleys are best explored at a leisurely pace, on foot. They may remind you of King's Landing from Game of Thrones. That's because Valletta was a prominent shooting location for the show!
Wandering the city, you'll notice these quaint, colorfulbalconies on many buildings. They're known as Valletta's iconic 'Galerias'.
Check out this fine achievement of Spanish Baroque architecture: the regal Auberge de Castille building. It has been around since the 1500s, when it was the home of the Knights of the Order of Saint John.
When in Valletta, shoppers are drawn to the hubbub of the historic Republic Street. It runs right through the heart of the capital city, and is known for its collection of fashion retail shops.
And as for food, Valletta boasts a choice selection of the tastiest Maltesecuisine on offer. Start every day with a cup of coffee and a crisply delicious 'pastizz'.
If you're visiting in February, prepare to join the locals in the biggest and oldest traditional festivity: the Carnival! Extravagant parties, colorful floats and a joyous vibe take over the city for a whole week.