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City-Breakers Guide to Malta

City-Breakers Guide to Malta

The Maltese Islands are home to a number of fascinating cities: Valletta, Mdina, The Three Cities, and Victoria. The towns are positively fairy tale-like, with winding honey-coloured streets leading to palaces, cathedrals and other breath-taking historic monuments. Just a 3h40m flight away from Dublin and boasting over 300 days of sunshine, the Mediterranean archipelago calls to city breakers of all ages.

Where to Stay

Valletta

With its rich heritage and bustling centre, Valletta is ideal for visitors wanting to spend their time in Malta’s thriving cultural capital. The UNESCO World Heritage Site offers an abundance of luxurious boutique hotels and private properties inside the city walls. Larger hotels are found just outside of the City Gate.

The Three Cities

The Three Cities – Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua – have a stunning view of Valletta and its magnificent Grand Harbour. The historically rich fortified cities are home to luxurious boutique hotels, restaurants and eclectic wine bars. With frequent buses and water taxis to Valletta, there is every reason to stay in one of The Three Cities and experience city culture off the beaten track.

Mdina

Malta’s medieval capital, Mdina, is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. The honey-coloured city is home to a spectacular boutique hotel and numerous private properties, perfect for a relaxing and romantic getaway for two.

Victoria, Gozo

Ir-Rabat, Victoria, is the capital of Malta’s sister island, Gozo. The small capital city is home to quaint boutique hotels that give you an insight into traditional Gozitan culture. Republic Street, the main street in Victoria, has a number of shopping outlets, the Astra and Aurora opera theatres, and the picturesque Villa Rundle Public Gardens.

Top Events

Winter Carnival, Valletta

The Malta Carnival is a five-day celebration featuring colourful floats, extravagant costumes, and parties into the early hours. The heart of the action takes place in Valletta where hundreds of people gather during the parade wearing flamboyant costumes, masks and heavy make-up.

Malta Fireworks Festival, Valletta

The annual Malta International Fireworks Festival, held in Valletta’s Grand Harbour and various other locations, takes place at the end of April to commemorate Malta’s accession into the European Union on 1st May 2004. Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy each evening free of charge.

Notte Bianca, Valletta

Notte Bianca is an annual event that takes place in October and lights up the cityscape of Valletta. State palaces and museums open their doors to delight patrons with visual art exhibitions and theatre performances, while the open-air streets and piazzas showcase some of the finest local and international musicians and dancers.

Birgufest, The Three Cities

Birgufest is a celebration of culture and art. Visitors can enjoy historical re-enactments and dinner by candlelight in the quaint town square. All the surrounding streets and houses are lit up with candles, chandeliers hang in the streets, and music ruminates throughout the winding pathways.

Malta Classic, Mdina

Malta Classic welcomes car enthusiasts, visitors and families to the historic island to discover some of the world’s most elegant and sought-after classic cars.

International Arts Festival, Victoria

The five-week festival on Malta’s sister island, Gozo, offers a spectacular sequence of musical and cultural events. Victoria International Arts Festival includes orchestral chamber ensembles of various formations, soloists, choirs, a baroque week, and big bands.

 

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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