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10 hidden gems in valletta

10 hidden gems in valletta

Valletta, also known as the ‘open air museum’, won European Capital of culture in 2018. One of the joys of Valletta is that you’re in easy reach of many of its attractions. The city is known for its fortifications, consisting of bastions, along with the beauty of its Baroque places, gardens and churches.

Here are 10 of Valletta’s hidden spots.

Lascaris war rooms

The Lascaris War Rooms consist of an underground complex of tunnels and chambers that housed the War Headquarters from where the defence of Malta was conducted during the Second World War. This secret complex contained operations rooms for each of the fighting services from where not only the air defence of Malta was coordinated, but also some of the greatest battles fought in the Mediterranean during the war.

Lascaris War Rooms, Lascaris Ditch,
VLT 2000, Valletta, Malta


Casa Rocca Piccola

If you fancy seeing something a little bit different when visiting Valletta go to Casa Rocca Piccola. Often described as a ‘living museum’ it is the only privately-owned palace open to the public in the city. Built over 400 years ago for a Knight of Malta, Don Pietro La Rocca it is now the ancestral home of a Maltese Noble family. There are literally hundreds of magnificent objects to see including modern paintings interspersed with the ancestral portraits of the Marquises de Piro and the Barons of Budach. You will also see a network of tunnels cut out from the rock under Casa Rocca Piccola which were used as Bomb Shelters in World War 2.


74, Republic Street, Valletta

Parroċċa San Pawl Nawfragu

Considered to be one of the hidden churches in the city, Parroċċa San Pawl Nawfragu is one of the most beautiful parishes in Valletta, displaying various paintings namely the relic of St Pauls hand, mosaics and important relics. The church is described to have ornate alters and walls which are decorated with stone carvings, curtains and statues…Truly not one to miss!

Nr. 263, Triq San Pawl, Il-Belt Valletta

Chocolate District

Inside this ali-baba cave, you will find a wide range of fine chocolate bars, pralines, gifts, hampers and novelties, available exclusively at Chocolate District. Its artisan chocolate makers aim to embrace maltese culture by using various traditional Maltese flavours and including them in their chocolate bars. These bars explore the true identity of Malta, its fruit, and the labour of its forefathers. The Chocolate District also serves as a cafeteria serving loose tea leaves and specialty coffee beans.

13, Melita Street, Valletta

Malta postal museum and arts hub

This state of the art building is spread over four floors and is not your typical Postal Museum. It offers a run through of Maltese history from the 15th century. The Museum also boasts of two temporary gallery spaces, a large audio-visual room and merchandising store. The temporary gallery spaces currently offer a collection of photographic prints by Richard Ellis, and what is arguably the finest collection of works by Emvin Cremona, regarded by many as one of the best Maltese artists of the 20th century.

Malta Postal Museum 135, Archbishop Street, Valletta

hastings gardens

The garden offers views of Floriana, Msida, Sliema, and Manoel Island. Inside the garden is a monument placed by the Hastings family in honour of Francis, Marquis of Hastings, who was a governor of Malta. Lord Hastings died in 1826 and is buried in the garden. There is a Maltese legend that the gardens took only 4 hours to be built. This legend comes from the fact that the Maltese people are hard workers. Adriano De Vina is the only known architect of the gardens.

Located on top of the bastions on the West side of the entrance to Valletta

the pub

The only Drinkers Pub in Valletta, this traditional English watering hole is where Mr Oliver Reed had his last drink. Voted the 5th most legendary Pub in the world, The Pub shows sports and serves a vast array of beers and spirits. The pub is described to have a great and inviting atmosphere. It is filled with character, and history. The most famous person to visit is British actor Oliver Reed.

136, Archbishop street, Valletta

manoel theatre

Teatru Manoel is known as Malta’s national theatre. Built in the baroque style and located in Valletta, it is one of the oldest working theatres in the world. Teatru Manoel was named after Grand Master Fra António Manoel de Vilhena, who ordered its construction in 1731. Today it is committed to entertain, inform and educate; to enrich the cultural life of the audience; to present quality artistic productions. Booking a ticket to one of the various plays and productions will allow you to fully explore the beauty of the inside of the theatre. Book tickets on their website.

Old Theatre Street, Il-Belt Valletta

War HQ Tunnel

Opened in 1940 to accommodate the Combined War Headquarters of all three services underground to protect it from aerial attack, this complex housed the Fighter Sector Operations Room used during the Battle for Malta 1940-43 along with other operation rooms and ancillary facilities. After the end of the war it was used by NATO up to 1977 to track the movement of Soviet subs in the Mediterranean.

Lascaris ditch, Valletta

Barrakka Lift

The new Upper Barrakka lift opened in December 2012, linking the Grand Harbour to the Upper Barrakka Gardens and Valletta city centre. It is located on the original site where its predecessor, which was dismantled in 1983, operated between 1905 and 1973. The lift is 58 metres high and can carry twenty-one people at a time, for a total of 800 per hour. The journey takes around twenty-five seconds, making it the quickest way into the city from the Valletta Waterfront.

Upper Barrakka gardens, Valletta