Spires and city walls
Valletta, the capital of Malta, offers a true glimpse into this island nation’s chequered past. The city successfully combines the ancient with the modern – its cobbled streets are dotted with cool cafés and wine bars. There’s a roster of museums and galleries to check out, too, including the extravagant Casa Rocca Piccola.
A visit to St. John's Co-Cathedral is a must. Follow it up with a stroll around the Grand Harbour – it’s often described as one of the most beautiful in Europe. The 16th-century Saluting Battery offers some of the best sea and city views.
With spades of character and history at every turn, it’s easy to see why Valletta has captivated the hearts of so many over the years, from royalty and heads of state to poets and artists.
Even more eyes will be on Valletta in 2018 – it’s been crowned the European Capital of Culture. This year-long festa will fill the city with pop-up arts, music, fashion and film events. Highlights include the Venice-style carnival (9-13 February), an al fresco film festival (8-17 June), the Grand Harbour boat pageant (7 June), a hands-on science fair for families (28 September), plus a couple of book festivals (23-25 August and throughout November).
Flight time from the UK to Malta is 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Transfer time from Luqa airport to Valletta is approximately 25 minutes.
Malta benefits from almost perfect weather all year round. July through to September are the hottest months perfect for sun lovers (think highs of around 30°C), while April through to June offers ideal temperatures to sightsee, with averages hovering in the early to mid-20s. The island’s less crowded then, too.
British citizens do not require a visa to visit Malta.
It is customary to tip between five and 15% in hotels and restaurants where service is not included. Taxi drivers will appreciate it if you round up the fare. Tip hotel porters one euro per bag.
The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English.