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malta lugares turisticos

Malta and its historical tourist sites

When you visit a country for study or work, you have to visit the points of interest, as in the case of Malta and its tourist sites. This can apply to any country you travel to, from Canada to Argentina, Spain or New Zealand. You have to know all the history of the surroundings to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

Besides, whether you are studying or working, you will have some free time and most likely it will be during the weekends. It's no secret to anyone that you can't be a prisoner of your routine, so an occasional trip to the tourist sites doesn't hurt. However, the problem can arise when you are a foreigner in a country like Malta. 

Surely you have no idea what are the tourist places in Malta, so you do not know where to go. At this point the first thing you need to know is that the city or island, rather, is a complete tourist attraction. It will be inevitable for you to walk through the streets on your way to class or work and not want to take some pictures.

Chances are that you will take some good memories of any place in this wonderful country, however, there are some curiosities about Malta that you should know. Although it is a small country without many inhabitants, there is no shortage of activities for tourists and locals alike. In fact, it should be mentioned that it is one of the countries that receives the most tourists in its region.

There are a lot of things to see in Malta that may interest you, but you may not know they exist. That is why in this opportunity we are going to mention the places in Malta that you should visit, we will explain how to get there and we will talk a little about their activities, schedules and other curious details so you can learn everything about these tourist places.

Valletta, the heart of Malta

la valet, corazón de malta

Few capitals in the world have had the joy of being proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. II- Belt Valletta is the original name of this capital in Maltese, but it is known as Valletta all over the world.

The design, architecture and conservation of its original buildings have made it a tourist stop for all those who visit the country. One of the curiosities about Malta, specifically in this city is that they preserve the baroque style, with architecture of the renaissance, neoclassicism and modern architecture.

St John's Co-Cathedral and museum

Designed and built around 1578 and 1600, this is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The first route you should visit if you are interested in enjoying the baroque or better yet, the paintings of Caravaggio. 

The Malta Experience

Few tourist stops in any city in the world offer you to learn about the capital of a country. If you are a fan and follower of history, this is undoubtedly one of the places you should visit to learn and soak up all the Maltese culture and history. The best thing is that its function is exhibited throughout the day from Monday to Friday in different languages, Spanish being one of them.

Fort ST. Elmo

Along with the previous one, it is another of the oldest buildings in Valletta, built in 1552. The purpose of this fortification was to protect the Maltese port, which was a strategic point at the time of its construction. It can only be visited on Sundays, because today it is used as a police school.

Auberge de Castille

It had to be rebuilt during the French attacks and the invasions of the Second World War, however, it maintains its original structure of 1574. At the time of construction it was used to house the most respected knights: those of Castile, Leon and Portugal. This was because Malta was frequently attacked and they needed to defend themselves. 

St Pau’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral

You can visit this cathedral to enter the great dome that attracts hundreds of tourists every year. In addition, you can enjoy the view of the city from the highest points of the building, which preserves the original British design. 

National Museum of Archaeology

If you are a student of archaeology, this is the best of Malta that you can enjoy in Valletta. It has exhibits of all kinds found throughout the island, objects and sculptures are the predominant ones. Most of its exhibits are archaeological discoveries from different regions throughout the Maltese country.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Built by the Knights of St. John during the seventeenth century, it was used as a training area for the knights who would become part of the defense forces. Today it is one of the obligatory stops for all tourists. Not to mention that you can stop by the way to have a coffee, enjoy the view and take lots of souvenir photographs.

Grand Master’s Palace y el museo Armoury

One of the things to see in Malta is the old lifestyle. This building keeps many jewels, weapons and scuderia of the time when it was built. Undoubtedly, it is one of the places in Malta to learn about its history.

Casa Rocca Piccola

Noble houses are not only found in England and this one is proof of that. It preserves a beautiful interior to learn how was the Maltese high society of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its originality and design will give you an idea of all the Maltese culture they inherited from their conquerors at the time.

In addition, one of the curiosities about Malta is that this tourist attraction is currently inhabited. Finally, to make the tour guide more attractive, they are made by the Marquis of Piro, owner of the house or his wife. This undoubtedly makes this stop one of the most exciting you can visit in Valletta.

Senglea

senglea

Being one of the smallest cities in the whole country, it is part of a series of islands that are usually visited at the same time in a single day. It is considered the best of Malta, as far as islands are concerned, making it an obligatory stop for all foreigners passing through the country, whether for study, work or tourism.

It is part of what is called "Cottonera" and it is the first of the cities that you find if you travel from Valletta to this region. As in the whole country, the buildings of this small island are preserved from its original construction around 1550. 

How to get around Senglea?

Malta and its curious facts never cease to surprise those who visit the country. One of the most interesting is its population. In the case of Senglea, the island has just over 3,000 inhabitants. In addition, it has a diameter of 0.2 square kilometers, so getting around it is faster than you might think.

To tour this area of the country you just need to walk a few hours, which will allow you to see and enjoy the panorama. Ideally, you should go through the main street Settembre and walk to the Forti San Mikel, which you can access to enjoy more clearly this wonder of the Senglea.

Forti San Mikel

The positions in which these islands are located are strategic. They allow a wide point of view of several maritime areas. As a result of this, many forts were built, Fort San Miguel (Forti San Mikel) being one of them. It resisted several sieges, attacks during World War II, but after many reconstructions it is still standing.

Today it is one of the tourist stops of interest for those who travel through Senglea, as it is considered the end of the island. It offers you a fascinating view of the entire city and the sea, as well as a most important historical landmark.

Vittoriosa

vittoriosa

Malta is full of tourist sites distributed almost strategically by nature. Once you are done visiting Senglea, it is almost a must to stop by Vittoriosa. It is not surprising since they compose a series of islands that are visited in order. It is not surprising that some tour companies offer trips to all three islands: Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua.

How to get there from Senglea?

From Triq It Tarzna street in Senglea you can reach Vittoriosa, across the bay and enjoy a beautiful view. Best of all, you can do it walking by yourself and in the same route. 

Once you are in Vittoriosa you can walk at your leisure around the city without too many complications. The truth is that it offers a beautiful view anywhere in the city and one of the curiosities about Malta is that this island is also known as "Birgu". So, if you hear about "Birgu" or "Vittoriosa" don't worry, you are not lost, you are in the same place.

Fort San Angel

Experts have not been able to determine the exact date of its construction, however, it is believed that it dates back to Roman times, so it is estimated that it was built around the eleventh century. In addition, one of the curiosities about Malta is that its Fort San Angel was not always called that way. It was originally called "Castle by the Sea", which is not surprising considering its position.

Inquisitor Palace

It was built around the 16th century and for almost 200 years was the seat of the Maltese Inquisition. Today it maintains its original structural design, so it is a stop for hundreds of foreigners and Maltese every year. It works almost every day of the year, except 24, 25 and 31 December, 1 January and Good Friday.

Cospicua

cospicua

Another of the islands that make up this group of three is Bormla, better known as Cospicua and the curious thing is that it is the largest of these three small islands with almost 6,000 inhabitants. It is worth noting that it is not only the most populated, but also the youngest, that is, the last of these 3 islands on which it was built. 

 Like the previous ones, although it is larger, you can also walk around it. This makes it among the best of Malta, because, in addition, it has some bastions that are almost an obligatory stop. Not to mention that you could be ending the day touring any of these wonders:

The Maltese Order of Knights

One of the most important bastions in Cospicua is that of the black knights. While it is true that this was throughout the country, one of the strongholds you can visit in Cospicua, making it a must-see stop.

Church of the Immaculate Conception

One of the curiosities about Malta is its respect for religion. Bormla has as its patron saint the Immaculate Conception, which has a church that, due to its architectural design, you must visit.

Hal Saflieni y Tarxien

Hal Saflieni y Tarxien

Archaeology is one of the most important tourist attractions in the entire Maltese region. Every year, hundreds of paleontologists visit the country to visit the Hal Salflieni and the Tarxien. Both are among the richest temples of paleontology in the country. That is why for all foreigners and even Maltese, it is an almost obligatory stop.

Hipogeo Hal Saflieni

Discovered in 1902 during some excavations, paleontologists found what was originally a sanctuary, but over the years became a necropolis. You can't say you've visited all of Malta's sights if you haven't stopped by the Hal Saflieni, which offers history buffs a time warp to an era before the Greeks and Romans.

After its discovery it was fully explored and restored to accommodate tourists. This gave way to a total of 3 different levels that you can visit during your tour. It should be noted that you have to make an appointment in advance to visit the different levels:

  • Main room: The first level, a cave that leads to other caves with false exits and where hundreds of statuettes were found, some of them exhibited in the museum of Valletta.
  • Main room: The first level, a cave that leads to other caves with false exits and where hundreds of statuettes were found, some of them exhibited in the museum of Valletta.
  • Sancta Sanctorum: The third and last level, where, it is believed, the grain was kept.

Tarxien

Paleontologists who explored the remains of the ancient inhabitants of this region claim that these buildings are older than the pyramids of ancient Egypt. Their discovery in the early twentieth century would mark a before and after in this discipline.

In these temples you will find some of the most important religious stone altars of humanity. One of the curiosities about Malta is that these megalithic temples are repeated throughout the country. In addition, they all refer to two iconic concepts for humanity: eternity and life.

The oldest buildings

los edificios más antiguos de malta

If anything has characterized and made Malta an attractive country for tourists, it is the age of its buildings. Many of them are more than half a century old, that is, they were built around the 1500s, but despite their age they are still intact. 

This is what has made tourism one of the most important forms of monetary income and work in the country. Both foreigners and Maltese citizens recognize the importance of its architectural works, which generates great respect and admiration for the national heritage.

All the tourist sites in Malta that you visit are likely to be at least 300 years old since their construction. There will be particular cases, such as Cospicua, whose city is the most recent of the 3 islands: Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua, for example. Even so, the Maltese State decided to maintain the baroque and contemporary style of many of the country's buildings.

Why are old buildings preserved?

The attachment, admiration and respect of the Maltese people for their national heritage has led to the preservation of many buildings intact. In fact, the great majority of these buildings that you find all over the country, have been attacked to the point of turning them into rubble during the Second World War.

This led to the need for rebuilding, which was done without modifications of any kind. Many of these restructurings have been carried out in order to keep the structures standing in a sustainable manner. 

What are the oldest buildings in Malta?

One of the interesting facts is that the tourist sites in Malta that currently attract so many people were built between the 14th and 16th century. For this reason, almost all the buildings are 500 years old or so.

There are exceptional cases where paleontologists and researchers have not been able to determine the years of construction. This is because no records are preserved, such as the Tarxien Temple or the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, which are estimated to date from before Christ.

Maltese forest

el bosque maltes

Malta and its tourist attractions are not exactly natural. On the contrary, many of its tourist attractions have been built by man, some even dating back to the time of Christ, while others are from the 15th and 16th centuries. However, there are some natural places in Malta that you can visit, which are free from the hand of man.

Ghadira

This place is a natural reserve, declared a bird sanctuary in 1978, so no construction can be done in the area. Not only is it one of the obligatory stops for all tourists, but it is closer than you think. It is located in the northwestern part of Malta and is easy to reach.

Its fauna and diversity is centered on the different birds and flora around almost 6 hectares that you can observe in the area, many of which are under protection. Finally, as one of Malta's curiosities, it can only be visited after November.

Buskett Gardens

The places in Malta that you can visit don't have a forest, so Buskett Gardens is almost a mandatory stop because it's the only one in the whole country. Despite being the only forest, it makes up for it with a total of thirty hectares to explore, so you may not get enough of one visit. 

A recommendation to visit this beautiful forest is to do it in the month of June, because the 29th of that month is the harvest festival. This event is annual and one of the most important in the country. You will see thousands of people eating the traditional Maltese dish of rabbit stew. In addition, you will see the Verdala Palace, residence of the incumbent president of Malta.

Fifla

The Maltese state has a restriction on this area, not for mysterious reasons or anything like that. In fact, you cannot visit unless you have a permit for educational or research purposes. Hundreds of documentaries have been filmed here to record the bird life and endemic species that occupy the region.

This is an islet that you can see from Zurrieq, a valley that offers one of the best views of the area. If you have some binoculars, you will be able to see some migratory birds if you are lucky. Also, as one of the curiosities of Malta, half of this island or islet, sank in 1856 after an earthquake. 

Archaeological mysteries

misterios arqueológicos

One of the curiosities of Malta is its archaeological mysteries. Although the archipelago is quite ancient, the excavations that have been made throughout the city are some of the most curious that can be found. This is why hundreds of researchers arrive in the country every year in search of new discoveries and research at various stops.

Hagar Qim

There are few excavations and complexes of which few remains are left in Malta. The Hagar Qim is one of those megalithic structures that have barely survived the passage of time, but are still visible. After a restructuring, it managed to recover much of its nature and opened to the public.

Although it has not been clearly established, it is believed that these temples were destined to the fertility goddess of ancient civilizations. In fact, this can be confirmed considering that their construction dates back to 3,200 BC.

Archaeology throughout the country

This type of temple such as the Hagar Qim, Tarxien el Hal Saflieni are scattered throughout the Maltese territory. The State has not only ensured their protection as historical monuments, but also investigates them. This is why archeology and paleontology is one of the most interesting areas of work in the Maltese country.

Despite the fact that it is an island, it is of interest to researchers that there are similar patterns throughout the territory in terms of divinities and style of temples. This promotes hundreds of investigations and documentaries each year from major companies such as National Geographic.

Blue Grotto

gruta azul

If you consider that Malta is just a very large island, it is logical to think that there are many islands that you can visit. To tell you the truth, you're not wrong in the slightest. There is plenty of sand and salt water just waiting for you to wade through the sea and enjoy the beautiful views. However, there is one area in particular that you should pay special attention to.

The Blue Grotto is considered one of the most beautiful areas of the country, which is not really a beach, but you can surely take a swim in the place. There are 6 interconnected sea caves where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. On the other hand, one of the curiosities of Malta is that one of the scenes of "Troy" was filmed here.

In addition, it is one of the things to see in Malta that you can not overlook thanks to its color effect that gives them their name thanks to their games in different shades of blue. Undoubtedly, a visual effect that you will want to photograph and that you will be able to show off when you return home, of course, if you decide to do so. 

How to tour the caves?

Earlier we mentioned that the caves were connected to each other, so it is possible to visit them all at the same time. The ideal is to do it by boat, whose average price ranges between 8 euros. During the trip you can sail, take a refreshing swim and of course, dive, if you know how to do it. We recommend that you do it with the help of professionals.

Maltese archipelago

archipiélago maltes

While the whole country is a complete island, the Maltese archipelago has a lot to offer, from reefs to beaches, you can do a variety of activities. Some of them attract hundreds of tourists, foreigners, researchers and major television companies every year.

Dive

The reefs are some of the most common attractions for researchers, where they can find great marine biodiversity. However, for tourists who want to explore the ocean, they can hire companies to dive and approach the reefs with more caution. This is because diving without experience can be risky.


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