On the fourth day of visiting Malta, we planned to visit Sliema and the capital city called Valletta. We also wanted to see at least one of the three towns of the Maltese Three Cities.
Morning Sliema and views of Valletta
We leave the apartment quite late, because we were waiting for better weather. Unfortunately, it’s still raining, so we set off in the rain hoping that it will stop soon. It turns out that we have wrongly become optimists because it’s pouring more and more. There is no chance to get out of the car. We drive around the town along the sea and observe Valletta visible in the distance through the glass.
Valletta – where to park?
Before leaving, I read a lot of blogs that warned me not to enter Valletta by car. On one of the travel pages we read that it’s worth stopping at the Park & amp; Ride in Floriana, and from there a bus will take us to Valletta. Parking all day is said to cost 40 eurocents. For us it turned out to be a tragic advice, because firstly – for half an hour we couldn’t find the right place, and secondly – when we arrived at the parking lot, no bus came for the next half hour. It turned out that the busses wasn’t running that day, and there was no such information anywhere, not even on the parking lot!
Ultimately, we decide to set off towards Valletta. There is no other option. We can easily find a place right next to the city center: here. We don’t pay 40 eurocents, just a little more, but we have great convenience.
Valletta – what to visit
It finally stops raining! We leave the car. This is the view from the parking lot.
We go towards Upper Barrakka Gardens. These are small gardens, from which there are beautiful views of the cannons standing below and the Maltese Three Cities, which consists of three towns – Isla (or Senglea), Birgu (now also called Vittoriosa) and Bormla (Cospicua). A must see here. This place is Valletta’s biggest attraction!
Old town of Valletta
From the Barraka gardens, you can take the elevator down to sea level. We use this option. Interestingly, you can go to the top only for a fee, from what I remember 1 euro. We still have not tired legs today with us, so we decide to go on. In a moment we go through the Victoria Gate and enter the old town. After a while, we see the first things Malta is famous for – colorful balconies and cats.
Game of thrones in Malta
Valletta is a very small capital. It has only 0.8 km², so after a short walk through the streets we are again at the seaside. Very close to us is now the promontory of Marina Kalkara. That’s exactly what Fort Ricasoli is – a bastion fort that starred in the TV series “Game of Thrones”.
Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta
Later we visit the Lower Barrakka Gardens. It’s beautiful here too. There are benches, so you can sit, relax and watch the ships sailing on the sea. Slightly less people are here than in the upper gardens, so it’s calmer. You can see a lot of interesting vegetation here, which helps in catching unusual frames.
The sun comes out and it gets warm! We are in a good mood and we want to explore Valletta more thoroughly so we come back into the streets. There are more cats, in some streets we observe the everyday life of residents, and in others we collide with the mass of tourists. In the meantime, we get hungry, so we go to the Food Market. You can eat here everything and from almost every kitchen in the world. We’ve never been to such a place, so it’s a very interesting experience for us. After filling the bellies, we go for a walk again, but this time we have a specific goal – we want to see the left part of Valletta and views of the town of Sliema.
Valletta- views of Sliema and Manoel Island
We reach the place. On the one hand, we can watch the beautiful, colorful balconies, and on the other hand we see the sea, followed by the town of Sliema and the island of Manoel. On the island is Fort Manoel, who “starred” in the series “Game of Thrones” The Great Sept Baloera. To be honest I expected more interesting views, but they are not bad. There is definitely no comparison with the views from the right of Valletta. We stop here only for a moment and move on along the sea.
There are a lot of horse-drawn carriages in Valletta, hence several of them in the pictures. Somehow, more or less in the place where the following photos were taken, my dad is reminded that at one hour in the Upper Gardens of Barrakka there is a cannon shot show. We have 10 minutes so we run!
A cannon shot at Upper Barrakka Gardens
We run a minute ahead of time. There are a lot of people in the gardens, and there is no more space next to the barriers. Wojtek takes me piggyback, and I start recording and wait for the shot. I wait and wait … and nothing happens. Another disappointment for today in Valletta comes to our account. Unfortunately, the cannon shooting ceremony as a salute will not take place today. We rest for a while in the gardens, soak up the sun, and then return to the car.
Birgu (Vittoriosa) – a pearl of Malta
We end our stay in Valletta and head to Birgu. I remind you that this is one of the three cities of the Maltese Three Cities next to the towns of Isla and Bormla. Birgu, or Vittoriosa, lies the most to the right. Why did I choose Birgu for sightseeing? I don’t know, maybe because I thought that I could see Isla on the left and Marina Kalkara on the right of the city. It makes sense, right?
We park at the very beginning of the village. We don’t have any sightseeing plan, we go where our legs will lead us. At the beginning we walk along the left side of Birgu along the port.
After a while we reach the square with the church. There are several restaurants and cafes nearby. We stop at one for drinks and pastries. Later, we continue the walk and enter the interesting bridge. We look around all the time and looking for interesting frames. Every now and then we watch Isla (Senglea) because it looks nice on the other side of the water.
Birgu- views of Valletta
We are very interested in how it looks from Birgu Valletta, in which we were recently, so we go in it’s direction. Along the way, there are a few obstacles ahead, for example, we have to climb the unsecured stairs and wander over the precipice. In the photo below you can see that my dad could fall, but calm down – he managed to climb. It’s not so easy to get rid of it.
And below I present how Valletta looks. In my opinion, nothing interesting. We had definitely better views from Valletta. At least you can sit on a rock and smile a bit at photos. The place where we are is called Fort Saint Angelo- scenes for “Game of Thrones” were also recorded here.
Walk around Birgu
I’m curious what interesting nooks and crannies can be found in Birgu, so I take everyone for a walk. I have to say that in my opinion the streets are more climatic than in Valletta. Maybe because it’s completely empty, i.e. the way I like it. There are colorful balconies, beautifully decorated courtyards and lots of greenery. Look at the picture with the cat. Is it a coincidence that it’s black and the apartment it leaves is number 13?
After exploring the streets, we go out to the sea on the right side of Birgu. Unfortunately, the views of Kalkara are not good, so I won’t even show you.
The sun sets, but there are no spectacular views, because the sky is cloudy. After a while it gets dark. We go towards the car, and on the way we enter the defensive walls and explore their surroundings. Then we leave next to the main city gate and return to the car.
- I wrote about parking lots in the capital of Malta – Valletta at the beginning of the entry. We parked in Birgu for free, and we didn’t stop anywhere in Sliema because of the rain.
- The Upper Barrakka Gardens are open daily from 07:00 to 22:00, and the Lower Barrakka Gardens are open from 08:00 to 21:00.
- Map of today’s route (click here):
Thank you for reading the entry!
If you think it is interesting, we would be pleased if you leave a mark in the comment.
You will find more posts from Malta here:
There are direct links to the next and previous episodes below.
All our travels: Travels
See you later! 🙂