Photography · Travel

Malta’s Tiny Capital City – Valletta


Our first glimpse of Valletta in daylight

Covering only 0.5 square miles, Valletta is one of Europe’s smallest capital cities (only Vaduz in Liechtenstein is smaller). We flew to Valletta for a long weekend and decided to take the bus into the city center to save some money.

The buses in Valletta and all of Malta are wonderfully cheap and it is fairly easy to reach most points of interest by bus. Our ride into the city reminded me of the knight bus from Harry Potter, weaving and turning through narrow city streets at an incredibily fast pace (and hitting the breaks equally as fast).

We made it to our Airbnb in Floriana, a neighborhood of Valletta, in record time and were greeted by our wonderful host, Marco. He showed us around our quaint apartment, which included showing us how to use the space heater.

Most places in Malta do not have heat since it enjoys mild winter temperatures. It’s only during a couple months out of the year (like January, when we visited) that space heaters may be necessary.

Our space heater used propane, which spread a distinct bbq/ camping smell throughout the apartment. Definitely not the safest but it sure was memorable! Marco was also one of the sweetest hosts we’ve had and made sure to point out the nearest convenience store, bakery, and bar before leaving us with the keys.

The next day we set out to see some of the major sites of the city, which included seeing the Saluting Battery at noon from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. For over 400 years guns from this point have been used to calibrate chronographs on ships, signal the opening and closing of the city gates, and (of course) defend the city.

We witnessed the noonday battery, which was so great that we went back to see it again at 4pm. That also sums up my general feelings towards Valletta – a beautiful city that I would love to return to someday (hopefully when it’s warmer and a propane space heater isn’t needed).

View of the Saluting Battery from the Upper Barrakka Gardens
Siege Bell War Memorial immediately before a mini storm came through
Malta is filled with tons of very-well-cared-for cats
View of the city center from Sliema



16 thoughts on “Malta’s Tiny Capital City – Valletta

  1. My wife and I left Malta in mid-January after living in Senglea for six weeks, and all our house had was a dehumidifier! We borrowed an electric space heater for the last few weeks but we were still cold. Looking from Valletta toward the Three Cities in your first photo, our 400-year-old house (also Airbnb) was on the other side of the marina from that HUGE white super-yacht, on the peninsula to the right in the photo. In the photo of the battery from Upper Barrakka Garden, look across the Harbour to the left in the photo and you’ll see a honey-colored wall. We spent New Year’s Eve in the park at the top of that wall watching three different sets of fireworks across Valletta! You’re right about the buses, but we loved taking the ferry (same cost) from Cospicua across the Grand Harbour to Valletta. We now have new friends, Canadian expats, who live in Brigu — very close to that big yacht! Hope you enjoy your travels as much as we are enjoying ours.

    Liked by 1 person

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