Europe’s tiniest capital, surrounded by sea and 16th-century bastion walls, has an enduring charm all of its own. A Unesco World Heritage site steeped in history, Valletta is in the midst of a 21st-century revitalisation. It has emerged from its year as 2018 European Capital of Culture with more hotels, restaurants and historic treasures than ever before – and there are still more to come.
Valletta has an extraordinary density of sights and activities too: from 5,000-year-old ‘Fat Lady’ statues, to the ornate Baroque legacy of the Knights of St John; from Bastion-top gardens to boat trips on the Grand Harbour. And it isn’t all ancient. There’s also the City Gate redevelopment, designed by star architect Renzo Piano of London’s Shard fame.
Buzzing bars spill out onto the city’s limestone alleys, concerts frequently grace its copious churches, and the restaurant scene serves the best bites in Malta. And of course, it’s only a short ride to the beach…