Malta’s golden-hued capital city is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site, renowned for its stunning architecture set on the azure waters of the Mediterranean. Travel writer Katy Spratte Joyce explores the varied history and modern comforts of Valletta—check out her 1, 2, 3 `destination guide below. ⬇️
The city’s first 5-star hotel is the boutique Rosselli set in the heart of old town Valletta. Complete with traditional Maltese-style balconies, a serene private rooftop with incomparable views, and multiple rooms with private saunas, this upscale spot delivers on all fronts.
This Michelin starred gem is one of just a handful in Malta and offers a refined dining experience mixing classic dishes with contemporary techniques. Bespoke decor touches pay homage to the traditional tailors of nearby Merchants Street, who also inspired the name of this elegant eatery.
A more low-key dining experience can be found at Cafe Jubilee. Visitors should sample lampuki, better known as mahi-mahian-fried with capers, lemon, and tomatoes.
Visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral:
This 16th-century treasure is often called “the crown jewel of Valletta” and for good reason. St. John’s is considered one of the best examples of the high Baroque style in all of Europe and contains a priceless and famous Caravaggio painting, making it a must-visit.
Harbour Cruise + Walking Tour:
Valletta’s stunning Grand Harbour is one of the largest natural ports on the Mediterranean. Experience it from the water in a classic Maltese luzzu boat. Travelers can get this ultimate taste of land and sea with a walking tour/harbour cruise combo, best when offered by a local expert like Clive from Malta Private Guide.
Enjoy a local sip:
Cisk Lager is arguably the most famous of Maltese beer, but a burgeoning craft beverage scene means there’s plenty of local brews to choose from. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic offering, try Kinnie, fondly known as the “national soft drink” of the archipelago.