"A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen." -Founder Jean Parisot de la Valette, Grand Master of the Order of St. John.
Valletta is easily the smallest capital city on our map, yet somehow it packs a lot into a small space (just over a fifth of a square mile). Built under the authority of Grand Master Jean de la Valette, the leader of the Order of St John, on a neat grid plan, the medieval fortress origins of the city surround you completely. Within this small area you’l find most of the churches, squares, shopping streets, and military museums, and a lot of restaurants. That military history is everywhere, and watching a cannon being fired from the saluting battery at midday and 4 PM is a must.
Malta's proximity to the coast of North Africa should give you a clue about the weather. Even in January you'll find the temperatures comfortably in the 60s. Valletta is a year-round destination, so unlike many places in nearby Sicily, you won’t find restaurants and attractions closed for part of the year, as there is off-season. However, locals advise against spending too much time in Valetta in the hottest months of the year, July and August, opting instead for the sea air of St Julian or spending time on Gozo, the sparsely populated smaller island to the north.
Where to stay in Valletta
Valletta has seen a boom in boutique hotel openings in recent years and we’ve picked what we think are the best of them, avoiding the more style-over-substance places in favor of properties with character.
Grand boutique hotel
Stylish boutique hotel with spacious rooms in the center of Valetta.
Cozy spacious rooms with a nice design and great views from rooftop terrace
Stylish, modern boutique hotel
Boutique guesthouse in a historic palazzo
Things to do in Valletta
With seven thousand years of history, and a wide variety of occupying civilisations and powers, there’s a surprising amount to see in and around Valletta. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, archeology, food and wine, or nature. As well as cultural pursuits there are plenty of opportunities to get active, particularly water sports, and there are a good few beaches as well.