Keywords: wikitravel,wiki,travel,tourism,travel guide,hotels,restaurants,nightlife,things to do,valletta
Description: Open source travel guide to Valletta, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.
Valletta was one of the earliest sites inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage list. Referred to colloquially as Il-Belt ("The City"), it takes its name from its founder, Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette.
With its large array of shops, catering establishments, entertainment venues and culture, Malta's capital has what it takes to capture people's imagination.
The iValletta.com project is a first for Valletta. Supported by the Valletta Local Council. the portal brings together all that Valletta can offer to the user and provides a vital link between businesses, cultural organisations, and the user. It is an easy-to-use, up-to-date interface providing quality content, which is updated regularly.
Most bus routes and many arterial roads converge on Valletta. However, once inside the city there are many one-way streets and some pedestrian zones. Parking near one's destination can be difficult. There is a large multi-storey car park in Floriana, about half a kilometre from the City Gate entrance to Valletta.
In front of the main gate of Valletta is the main bus station for the entire island, rather than buslines covering the island in a grid, they all spread out from here and return to here.
Public Scheduled Ferry Service. There is a ferry that departs from Sliema (the Strand - Ferries) which will take you across beautiful Marsamxett harbour and past Manoel Island for €1.50, one way or €2.80 day return. Departures are every 30 minutes.
Another little known way is to visit the Three Cities, Vittoriosa. Senglea and Cospicua is by ferry which departs from behind the old Customs House opposite the Barrakka Lift, a spectacle in itself. Departures are every 30 minutes and it is only a 6 minute crossing. The cost is €1.50 or €2.80 day return. The cost for using the Barrakka Lift which takes you up to Valletta is included in the ferry fare. The Grand Harbour is a must to visit. Once at the Three Cities, you may also then take the Maltese version of the gondola, the so called Dghajsa for a spectacular Grand Harbour short excursion.
The Valletta peninsula is only a couple of kilometres in length and so the ideal way is to do everything on foot also allowing one to make use of the atmospheric stairs throughout this steep city. However, the city is built on a ridge, and is steep in parts (requiring walking up and down stairs in some places), which can be tiring. The alternative would be doing it by car which is not ideal for visitors due to lack of parking space, direction signs and the fact that the streets are very narrow, often one way and confusing if unfamiliar. Most of the main tourist attractions are along the main street (Triq ir-Republika) which does not involve steep hills.
To get further historical information about the numerous places of interest through Valletta it can be useful to hire an audio guide. It is available in different languages (Maltese, English, Italian, French, Dutch, German and Spanish) from the Archaeology Museum in Republic Street. You can choose independently from the 24 stops and it is not necessary to follow the given order. Stops can easily be skipped or visited in another sequence when tired or full of the new information.
Another possibility is to rent one of the horse carts (Karozzin), but be sure to haggle over the price.
Bus routes 98 (clockwise) and 198 (counterclockwise) run around Valletta. They depart from Valletta Terminus at the following times:
Route 98: 6:30am-7am is every 15 minutes, then at 8am, 8:20am, 8:30am, 8:50am and 9:40am after which buses run every 30 minutes until 5:40pm
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