The Fishing Village of St. Julian’s
St. Julian’s being so close to Pendergardens, it brings the whole of Malta’s entertainment district right to your doorstep. Back in the 1800s a small fishing hamlet quietly rose to become what is today the town of St. Julian’s. St. Julian’s is the mecca for entertainment and tourism in Malta. Yet the ‘luzzu’, a brightly painted, traditional Maltese fishing boat and the fishermen who own them, still grace the waters of Spinola Bay. You’ll find the facades that surround the Bay are both traditional and modern. That’s because the district of Paceville and St. Julian’s are Malta’s most popular nightlife destination. They are both packed full of world-class hotels, beaches, restaurants, clubs, bars and casinos. Do look out for the Spinola Palace and its gardens situated at the heart of St. Julian’s. In fact, Spinola Palace was built by a Grandmaster of the Order of St. John from where the town gets its name.
The Cultural Treasures of Malta
Putting Malta’s vast historical record into some perspective is a daunting task for any visitor, especially at a pre-historic level. There is so much of it. But once you see it, you begin to marvel at the nature of its historic content, especially when you compare it our way of life today. It is easy to see why Malta’s temples and the Hypogeum are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites (as is Valletta). Ask for Heritage Malta special pass that allows you to visit more than one site at a time.
Cultural Treasure Hunting in Malta
Visit the temples of Għar Dalam, Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum in Paola. There’s the Inquisitor’s Palace and the Malta Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, just the other side of the Grand Harbour. Ask for the convenient multiple ticket for Vittoriosa.
The Tarxien Temples at Tarxien, the Ta’ Ħaġrat and Skorba at Mġarr and the Ġgantija Temples and Ta’ Kola Windmill in Xagħra in Gozo are all a must for their sheer immensity and sculptural splendour.
Valletta, Malta’s Cultural Capital
In this rightly deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site, there’s the National Museum of Archaeology, the Fine Arts museum and the National War Museum in Valletta. Or try the Palace Armoury and the Palace State Rooms. For a unique insight into the customs and traditions of the Maltese nobility over the last 400 years, visit Casa Rocca Piccola.
The Manoel Theatre in Valletta is a delightful architectural gem and is reputed to be one of the oldest theatres in Europe. Performances are generally held until June and include a rich mix of concerts, opera and drama. Furthermore, Pjazza Teatru Rjal (Royal Theatre Square) is an open-air theatre in Valletta. Built on the ruins of the Royal Opera House, it offers various performances during the summer season.
Keep an eye on the dates for the Alarme and In Guardia historical re-enactments in Fort St. Elmo and at Mdina. Try the interactive ‘walkthroughs’ that take you on an audio and visual walk through Malta’s colourful history. They finish in under an hour.
The Fortified Medieval City of Mdina
The diversity of occasion always impresses you when you visit Malta. Mdina, for example, offers you a Napoleonic troops re-enactment, a flower festival, the Cathedral and its museum, dungeons and the Mdina Experience, a feast of Mdina history in digital format. If romance is in the air, a warm evening stroll through Medina’s narrow streets before dining at a cosy restaurant is very special. If you need to rest your feet, the Fontanella Tea Rooms features a unique180-degree view across all of eastern Malta.
The Catacoombs & Roman Villa
On your next trip to Rabat and Medina, visit the Roman villa and both St. Paul’s and St. Agatha’s Catacombs in Rabat and the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina. They are just next door to each other to save you a journey. The Knights of St. John have their special places to visit such as Fort St. Angelo and Fort Rinella, home to the world’s largest cannon. For World War 2 visitors, there’s the War Rooms in Floriana bastions (NL check), Mgarr war shelter and the ex-British military buildings at Mtarfa.
In Gozo discover the Ġgantija Temples (the oldest free-standing building in the world), Ta’ Kola Windmill, Citadel museums, Tarxien Temples
Rabat Citadel in Gozo
Check out the Museum of Archaeology, the Museum of Folklore, the Natural Science Museum, The Old Prison, the National Museum of Archaeology and Limestone Heritage. Do sample the Gozo 360 multi-vision show in Victoria. It’s well worth your time.
Then there are the other places of great interest: Discover Valletta and Discover Mdina, both with audio-visual guides that will fascinate.
Book Your Tickets for Your Heritage Malta Pass
Check your days and times. They are not open every day. Open only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9.00 – 12.00). Visit HeritageMalta.org for more information on visiting times, days and prices.