Touring a new place can be the highlight of your year. But sometimes we are spoiled for choice and doing even a fraction of what the place has to offer seems like a tiring and expensive feat: it simply breaks your budget. However, getting to know and enjoying a new place does not necessarily mean spending a fortune. If you are visiting Malta, there are many free things to do in Valletta that will give you a great flavor of the history laden city and enjoyable time in the capital of this small and beautiful island-state.
Malta’s capital is small and you can walk everywhere. There is a myriad of interesting facades, corners and street scenes to see beyond the central pedestrian zone. The city is hilly, so bring good walking shoes and take your time to explore the side streets, its staircases, wall statues, colorful doors and balconies. You will be rewarded by unique angles for photography and views in which you can see the sea at the bottom of narrow, undulating streets whose facades are brimming with history.
Take the Valletta lift
In the right corner of the upper Barrakka gardens, facing the bay, you can find a lift that takes you from the city walls all the way down to the waterfront level. There are two glass sided lifts, and if you take the one whose glass is facing the bay you can see the stunning view of the Tri-city while ascending and descending. The lift is fast and it offers an almost roller-coaster type of thrill too. We took the rides down and up, and both were equally fun. It is also a great way to reach the ferry dock for the Tri-City.
Watch the Battery Salute
Before you descend down the lift to Valletta waterfront, make sure you witness one of the battery salutes that happen every day. This is a great experience for the children – mine wanted to come and watch it again. There are several daily salutes, you can find the information here.
Visit the Fortification Interpretation Center
If you are getting to Valletta by ferry from Sliema, the Fortification Information Center is almost the first building you come across while climbing up to the city center. Otherwise it is located in St. Mark street. The entrance is free and apart from the permanent one, they often have temporary art exhibitions. The Interpretation Center offers a great insight into the way fortifications have been built through the many centuries of Malta’s long history. If you want to learn more about this interesting place, visit their website.
Take the Ferry to Tri-City
Across the bay from Valletta lies the Tri-City which is definitely a must-see part of Malta. Even though taking the ferry is not exactly free, the ticket only costs 1,5 euros and is so cheap that it qualifies to be on this list. The short ride starts close to the Valletta lift and waterfront. There is also the option to take the traditional taxi-boat, but it is a bit more expensive. Whichever you chose, the itinerary is the same and it is beautiful. As the ferry leaves the dock you can look back at Valletta’s sand colored walls, and as it approaches the Birgu/Vittoriosa dock you will be able to enjoy the view of both Senglea and Vittoriosa, as well as the stunning marina that is located between them.
Those are the 5 fun free things that I recommend after my visit to the beautiful capital of the small lovely European State. Have you visited Malta? Do you have more advice on fun free things to do in Valletta and around? If you do please add your experience in the comment section below.