Malta City breaks - a three day guide

17 November 2015

If you’re looking for a weekend city break, Malta is easily one the most rewarding holiday options available. Although known for its tiny size, the island stands tall in terms of its natural beauty, rich culture, and exciting history. Malta is host to several acclaimed hotspots and charming locations – and the advantage of its size is that you can see all the best sights in just a few days! If you've already booked your flights to Malta, this three day guide will surely come in handy whilst exploring the islands. 


Day one – Valletta 
 
Few would choose anywhere other than Malta’s capital city as their first stop on the island! From the first step past Valletta’s modern city gate, the magic of the city is obvious, and it comes in the form of a metropolitan lifestyle wedged between gorgeous and antique baroque architecture. 



One primarily goes to Valletta, of course, to experience the history of the place. The streets and walls set the scene, but the myriad museums and churches found within Valletta set the atmosphere in stone. Perhaps the unmissable point of attraction is St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a magnificent building that houses within it Caravaggio’s famous ‘Beheading of St John the Baptist’ painting.

If a theatre production happens to be taking place during your stay, make sure to attend! For decades, Valletta has been a platform for creatives, and offers several venues for the arts to thrive. Two of these are the Royal Opera house, which has recently been transformed into an open-air theatre after being bombed during World War II, and the Manoel Theatre, which is considered to be Malta’s national theatre and proudly holds the title of the third oldest working theatre in Europe. Be sure to visit the Manoel Theatre and join a guided tour of the stunning place.
 

If you need a break from exploring, there are plenty of options for resting and relaxing. Valletta’s St George’s Square and Barrakka Gardens (Upper and Lower) are extremely tranquil and great means of absorbing the beauty of the city. 


Day two – Mdina
 
How does one plan a perfect second day after visiting the gorgeous Valletta? How about by visiting Malta’s previous capital city, Mdina?

Known as the Silent City, Mdina is the textbook definition of a medieval town. It’s easy to get lost (in a good way!) in Mdina’s cobbled streets and quaint architecture. St. Paul’s square is a great example of Mdina’s beauty – and St. Paul’s Cathedral is an even greater one! Make sure to witness the splendour of the cathedral’s interior during your visit!

Mdina is home to many intriguing museums for the history fans. The Natural History Museum is located within the De Vilhena Palace, which was an actual Magisterial Palace from the 1700s! One should also visit Palazzo Falson, another historical site hosting various works of art and notable items. For those with an inclination towards the creepy, the Mdina Dungeons are a definite must-see! 

To conclude your visit, head over to Bastion Square for a panoramic view of the city and beyond! More specifically, get a table at Mdina’s most well-known and cherished Café’, Fontanella, and see the breath-taking view while enjoying a slice of the island’s most famous chocolate cake. 


Day three – Birgu 

Spending your last day in Birgu is a great way to conclude your vacation on a pleasant note. One of Malta’s prettiest maritime towns, Birgu also had the honour of being Malta’s capital city for a brief period of time, replacing Mdina during the time of the Knights of St. John prior to the creation of Valletta. 



Indeed, Birgu is full of structures dating back to the Knights’ time, and is particularly known for the Church of St. Lawrence, built by Lorenzo Gafa. It was the Knight’s first collegiate church, and as such the splendid interiors match its prestigious connotation. 

Next on your stop should definitely be the Inquisitor’s Palace, which is the only one of its kind in the entire world which is open to the public! For a real glimpse into the naval culture of the island, the Maritime Museum is your definitely point of reference, hosting invaluable information about this aspect of Malta’s history and even more invaluable artefacts. Among these are the world’s largest known roman anchor and a 1950’s marine steam engine. 

There is only one way to end a visit to Birgu – a water taxi trip across the Grand Harbour to truly soak in the wonder of the city and its fortifications. 

Are you ready for that break yet? If so, book your flights to Malta to secure your guaranteed pleasant stay in Malta!


 


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