Valletta: Europe’s Oldest City, A Pocket-Sized Pearl

Valletta, Europe’s oldest city, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Like a pocket-sized pearl, this ancient city gleams with historical significance and architectural grandeur. Nestled on the island of Malta, Valletta boasts a rich heritage that dates back centuries, making it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and cultural aficionados alike.

As you wander through the narrow streets of Valletta, you will be transported back in time, surrounded by the remnants of a bygone era. The city’s stunning architecture, adorned with intricate details, showcases the influence of various civilizations that have left their mark on this Mediterranean paradise.

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Valletta’s compact size adds to its charm, allowing visitors to explore its key locations easily. From the majestic St Johns Co-Cathedral to the bustling Republic Street, every corner of Valletta holds a story waiting to be unraveled.

Beyond its historical sites, Valletta also offers a vibrant culinary scene. Local recommendations include Caf Cordina, Palazzo Preca, and Café Royale, where you can indulge in mouthwatering delicacies that fuse traditional flavors with innovative twists.

Whether you seek historical immersion or simply want to bask in Valletta’s beauty, this city promises an unforgettable experience. Come and discover the allure of Valletta, where history, culture, and gastronomy intertwine to create a truly remarkable destination.

Key Takeaways

  • Valletta is the European Capital of Culture for 2018.
  • Valletta is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
  • Valletta is described as a pocket-sized pearl by the UK Sunday Times.
  • The article provides a three-day guide to Valletta from a visitor’s point of view.

Main Highlights

The main highlights of Valletta, the capital of Malta and one of the oldest cities in Europe, include several top attractions and hidden gems.

As recommended in a weekend itinerary created by Jeremy Lazell for the UK Sunday Times, visitors should not miss Republic Street, the bustling heart of the city lined with shops and cafes.

Another must-visit is St Johns Co-Cathedral, a stunning Baroque masterpiece known for its ornate interior and artwork.

For a taste of the city’s vibrant nightlife, Strait Street is the place to be, with its lively bars and clubs.

The Grandmasters Palace, once the seat of power for the Knights of Malta, is also worth exploring for its rich history and opulent architecture.

Finally, the Upper Barakka Gardens offer a tranquil escape with panoramic views of the city and the harbor.

Key Locations

Republic Street, St Johns Co-Cathedral, Strait Street, the Grandmasters Palace, and the Upper Barakka Gardens are some of the main locations worth visiting in Valletta.

  • Hidden gems: Apart from the well-known attractions, Valletta also offers some hidden gems that are worth exploring.

One such gem is the Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century palace that showcases the grandeur of Maltese nobility. It provides a unique insight into the daily life of the Maltese aristocracy and houses an impressive collection of artifacts.

Another hidden gem is the Manoel Theatre, one of the oldest working theaters in Europe. It boasts stunning Baroque architecture and hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year.

  • Must-visit attractions: Valletta is renowned for its architectural beauty, and St Johns Co-Cathedral is a must-visit attraction. Its ornate interior, adorned with intricate marble work and breathtaking paintings by Caravaggio, is a sight to behold.

The Grandmasters Palace is another must-visit, housing the Office of the President of Malta and offering guided tours of its opulent State Rooms.

Finally, the Upper Barakka Gardens provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets, offering panoramic views of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities.

Valletta offers a multitude of hidden gems and must-visit attractions, ensuring a memorable visit for those seeking to explore the city’s rich history and architectural wonders.

Local Recommendations

Nestled within the historic streets of Malta’s capital lies a treasure trove of local recommendations waiting to be discovered. Valletta offers a plethora of options for food enthusiasts, with its best restaurants serving up a delectable array of culinary delights.

Caf Cordina, a beloved establishment, is renowned for its traditional Maltese pastries and refreshing coffee. Palazzo Preca, on the other hand, boasts a menu filled with Mediterranean flavors and fresh seafood. For those seeking a taste of elegance, Café Royale offers a sophisticated dining experience with its gourmet dishes and elegant ambiance.

As the sun sets, Valletta comes alive with its vibrant nightlife options. The Beer Cave, Cru, Tico-Tico, and Wild Honey are just a few of the many venues where visitors can enjoy a local nightcap and immerse themselves in the city’s lively atmosphere.

Whether it’s indulging in mouthwatering cuisine or experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife, Valletta has something to offer for every discerning traveler.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history behind Valletta’s selection as the European Capital of Culture for 2018?

Valletta was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2018 due to its significance as a cultural hub. This designation has had a positive impact on the Maltese economy by attracting tourists and boosting the local arts and cultural sector.

Are there any specific events or festivals happening in Valletta during the European Capital of Culture year?

Valletta, the European Capital of Culture for 2018, hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. From the Festa season in June to the extended ‘A Gift of Glory’ tapestries exhibition, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Valletta.

How does Valletta’s architecture reflect its status as one of the oldest cities in Europe?

How does Valletta’s architecture reflect its status as one of the oldest cities in Europe? Valletta’s architectural charm is a result of the influences from various cultures, such as the Baroque style brought by the Knights of St. John and the Arabic and Italian architectural elements.

Are there any unique cultural traditions in Valletta that visitors should be aware of?

Visitors to Valletta should be aware of unique cultural traditions and local customs. These may include attending the Festa season in June, exploring the lesser-known beaches of Gozo, and witnessing the ‘A Gift of Glory’ tapestries exhibition at St John Co-Cathedral.

Can you provide some information about the climate and weather in Valletta during the summer months?

During the summer months, Valletta experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry weather. Temperatures can reach a real feel of 41C. Visitors should be prepared for high temperatures and may want to take precautions to stay cool and hydrated.

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