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Things to see and do in Malta

April 23, 2013

If you are going to have a few days in Malta then there are lots of things to do and see here, whether you’re into walking, history, art, ancient history, churches, or sunbathing.

St Pauls Bay itself

We live here and the event itself will be here and for those wanting a nice laid back holiday ambling around, eating from nice local restaurants, drinking coffee, swimming and sunbathing, then you won’t need to go very far. There are boat trips from the ain St Paul’s jetty round the island and to the stunning sandy bay of Comino and Gozo and on to Valetta and Sliema and there are walks around the back of the bay and on into neighbouring bays. The actual islands of St Paul are visible across the bay and the chapel and statue of him where he reputedly was shipwrecked in 70Ad is to signify that fact.

Sliema

About 40 minutes from St Pauls

The supposedly fashionable area, this is where the main shopping area is after Valetta. Sliema is notable for it’s stunning view across to Valetta and the white dome of the Carmelite Church. it is also where all the boat tours go to Valetta and around the area as well as a regular water taxi service across to Valetta for a few euro. Sliema is where all the crusty and encrusted old ladies of Malta hangout, a few questionably ‘beautiful people’ types and joggers and also where many brits live, enjoying the sunshine and access to M&S and the usual Britpack of stores. Home to Tigne Point, a new shopping Mall, Sliema is for those who like a genteel urban approach.

Paceville

About 20 minutes from St Pauls, Paceville is partyland for the half naked young, usually ending in the “Stairs of Shame’ where all the vodka bars, cheap burger joints, macdonalds etc are situated. Mostly the hangout of the foreign students and the younger Maltese crowd, if you can stomach it, go for it. How old am I again?!

St Julians

About 25 minutes from St Pauls, traffic dependent.

St Julians lies between Paceville and Sliema on the coastline going and is the refined cousin of Sliema. Here lots of waterside restaurants with matching prices, beautiful people, inevitable foreign student crowds and some of the better hotels, as well as the usual including the Meridien etc. There is a coastal corniche that runs practically from St Julians all the way through to Sliema and it is the home of joggers and amblers of all ages punctuated by waterfront cafes and bars, from japanese to irish bars.

Valetta

Valetta is definitely worth a day’s visit. The main Republic Street has all the usual shops but Valetta itself still has lots of character and shops and shopfronts from the 50’s upwards or even older so old and new sit side by side. The oldest city grid system centuries before New York, you can walk around and find churches, Caravaggio paintings (St John’s CAthedral on main Republic Street), jewellery shops, crafts, religious artefacts, something for everyone.

Cruise ships stop off regularly in Valetta’s Grand Harbour and you can see them coming in from the Prime Minister’s Public Gardens, a great viewpoint of Valetta. The Grand Harbour itself is steeped in history and invasions and it is really worth going to see the “Malta Experience” in Valetta which has a really good film explaining all about Malta’s history and background to the area.

Everything is well signposted from the city bus station just outside the city walls, and on entrance over the original (and being renovated) city ramparts you will catch glimpses of the new Opera House which is currently being rebuilt and renovated. It had been left derelict since the WWII when Malta – particularly Valletta – was bombed literally to bits by the Germans – and had been considered an honour to those who died in the war. The new Opera House though controversial with million of Euro ‘funded ‘dollars’ will bring new life and cultural centre to the city – currently rather lacking given it’s history – and some serious arty types and their cash – and as the European City of Culture for 2018 – it will surely be finished by then.

Mdina

The original capital, it is a very quaint medieval town just next to Rabat in the centre of the island. well worth an amble round, spectacular views of the island and lots of nice restaurants and coffee shops as well as some good places to find some nice prints and the famous maltese glassware.

General background

Here is a link which gives some idea of general history –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Malta

Ancient megalithic Monuments

There are the ancient monuments in the south of the island, 2-4000 BC which are stunning and well worth a visit, including Hajar Qim – I would recommend a visit to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalithic_Temples_of_Malta

 

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