time to explore with esplora

Take note! Here’s the full list of museums and sites opening in November

The Inquisitor's Palace, Birgu

Photo: Heritage Malta

We have news! Heritage Malta have opted to open several of its sites and museums, while strictly adhering to Public Health regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noel Zammit, Heritage Malta’s CEO added that “Heritage Malta will keep honouring its commitment to giving a future to our past.” In the same vein, he referred to the recently reopened Għar Dalam museum and site, which only adds to our glee!

Here’s a full list of the museums and sites that will be open throughout November:

Open monday to sunday

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Photo: Heritage Malta

The following will be open between 9am and 5pm

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum: a unique gem that dates as far back as 4000 BC. The site is an underground complex, comprised of several interconnecting chambers spread on three levels. It is located in Paola and has been described as being of Outstanding Universal Value by the UNESCO World Heritage centre.

Note: Last minute tickets can be purchased online only. 

Open thursday to sunday

The following will be open between 10am and 4:30pm

The National museum of archeology

Ħagar Qim temples

Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum: Located in Valletta, a visit offers you an exhilarating trip through the history of the islands. The magnificent Fort was built strategically around the peninsula, standing guard over the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour for centuries. Inside the Fort, you’ll find the National War Museum, which gives you insight into thousands of years of warring history around the islands. 

The National Museum of Archeology: The museum, also located in Valletta, displays an exceptional array of artefacts from Malta’s unique prehistoric periods, starting with the first arrival of man in the Għar Dalam phase (5200 BC), running all the way up to the Tarxien phase (2500 BC). 

MUŻA: Located at the Auberge d’Italie in Valletta, the museum houses a collection of works by Maltese and foreign artists, mainly representing the major European styles. The museum was inaugurated in 1974 and was located at Admiralty House. By 2018, the national collection was moved and put on display in the new National Community Art Museum, MUŻA.

The Palace Armoury: A showcase of the opulence of the Knights of St John, who ruled the Islands between 1530 and 1798. A visit to the armoury features an array of weapons and military equipment, as well as displays of suits of armour that were owned by Grand Masters Alof de Wignacourt and Jean de La Valette.

St Paul’s Catacombs: The largest and arguably the most impressive of all the underground Roman cemeteries in Malta. The first burial dates back to the third century BC and the tombs were used all the way up until the fourth century AD. The catacombs represent the earliest and most significant archeological evidence for Christianity in Malta.

Ħagar Qim and the Mnajdra Temples: The best preserved and most evocative of Malta’s prehistoric sites, the megalithic temples were built between 3600 and 3200BC. Though they were excavated in 1839, old documents and paintings confirm the sites’ existence even before that. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is built on a hilltop near Qrendi.

Skorba and Ta’ Ħaġrat Temples: The Skorba temples are one of the most important sites ever discovered. Excavated in the 1960s, two megalithic temple structures were unearthed, one of which dates back to 3600BC, making it one of the oldest freestanding structures in the world. Skorba was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Ġgantija Temples: Officially recognised by UNESCO as the oldest freestanding buildings in the world, the imposing Ġgantija Neolithic temples, in Gozo, are over 5,500 years old (that’s 1,000 years older than Stonehenge or the pyramids in Egypt!) Excavated in 1826, archeologists believe that the complex was dedicated to a fertility deity.

Ta’ Kola Windmill: The windmill, located in Gozo, is one of the few surviving windmills on the Maltese Islands, dating back to the period of the Knights of St John. Its origins go back to 1725, but it was reconstructed in the 1780s. Visit the workshop on the ground floor, and the living quarters of the miller and his family on the first.

Open on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday

Domvs Romana

Għar Dalam

The following will be open between 10am and 4:30pm

Għar Dalam and Borg in-Nadur: An impressive 144-metre long phreatic tube and cave, which is located in the outskirts of Birżebbuġa. The cave contains bone remains of animals that were stranded and subsequently, became extinct at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. Situated very close by is Borg in-Nadur temple complex.

Domvs Romana: The 1881, by chance, the remains of a Roman town house were discovered just beyond Mdina. The spectacular polychrome mosaic floors and artefacts indicate that the domus belonged to a rich aristocrat. The museum is the oldest purpose-built archeological museum Malta, which was opened to the public in 1882. 

Inquisitor’s Palace: Located in the historic town of Birgu (Vittoriosa), the Palace was erected in the 1530s and is one of the few remaining examples as many similar palaces were destroyed during the French revolution. The Palace is also home to the museum of Ethnography with an interesting and rare collection, focusing on the urban religious culture in Malta.

Tarxien Temples: A complex of four megalithic temples make up the site, which is located in the southern village of Tarxien. Built between 3600 and 2500BC, the temples are the largest prehistoric site on the islands and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Citadel Museums and Visitor Centre: Housed in two old water reservoirs, built in the 1870s, the Citadel Visitors’ Centre is a must-see.The ancient fortified city stands out as a major landmark, a beacon that is visible from all over the island.

Unfortunately, a few sites and museums, for the moment, are currently closed due to ongoing projects. These include the following:

Ta’ Bisra Catacombs

Fortress Builders

The Maritime Museum

The Palace State Rooms

The National Museum of Natural History

For more information and updates, check out Heritage Malta’s site, here.