National museum of Archaeology is located in the historical building of the former Auberge of the knights of Provence.
Museum exhibits rare artefacts dating back from the Neolithic period (6000-2500 BC) up to Phoenician period (800 - 600 BC). It includes such famous pieces as The Venus of Malta, The Sleeping Lady and The Phoenician papyrus scroll.
In the National museum of Archaeology you can unveil the secrets of the megalithic temples and explore the models, reconstructing the earliest architectural structures of the Maltese islands.
The museum of Archaeology of Gozo is located in Cittadella of Victoria. The exhibition includes the relics representing the cultural history of Gozo from the prehistoric era to the early modern period.
One of the most famous artifacts includes the stunning Majmuna Stone. This 12th century marble tombstone is a rare example of Islamic presence in Malta.
Fort St Angelo
Fort St. Angelo is one of the most famous fortifications, which is associated with the Hospitaller Knights. It surely is the boldest memorial of the strategic importance.
It is situated in Birgu, at the centre of the Grand Harbour. And it is well seen from the Upper Barraka Gardens in Valletta.
The other way to appreciate the key position of the Fort is to take a short cruise across the Grand Harbour on a ferry or a “dgħajsa” [daisa] (traditional Maltese boat). Watching the fort from the sea level will help to understand the protective power of its walls.
The old foundation of the Fort was built in the medieval period. At that time this spot was occupied with a castle called “Castrum Maris”, or “Castello al Mare” which means “The Castle by the sea”. The fist mention of “Castrum Maris” is dated back to 1240.
When Hospitaller knights arrived to the islands of Malta in 1530, they stayed in Birgu and Castrum Maris became their headquarters and the office of the Grand Master.
Fort St Elmo
Fort St Elmo is famous for the heroic resistance during the Great Siege. Nowadays it houses the National War Museum with rare artefacts from the time of the Knights, British period and the WWII.
Significant part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Great Siege and the history of the Order of St John. A very detailed timeline tells the story of arrival of the Knights to Malta and personalities who played the key role in the Order of the Knights. Modern visual presentation makes this historical journey exciting indeed.
Apart of the incorporated museum you have a chance to appreciate the fort itself. From its top you can enjoy a spectacular views of the Grand Harbour and Valletta.
Fort St Elmo is situated at the top of peninsula occupied with the capital city of Valletta.
Fortress Builders is dedicated to the history of fortifications in Malta. It includes models and descriptions, explaining the strategical architecture of the knights.
At the entrance hall you will find the original drawbridge of the city gate of Valletta from the time of the knights.
You can also enjoy a beautiful view of Valletta and the Marsamxett Harbour from the museum's terrace.
Museum is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10.00 to 16.00.
The Grandmaster's Palace is one of the most popular sites of Malta. This 16-th century building incorporates the State Rooms and the Armoury of the knights.
The Grand Council chamber of the Palace is decorated with stunning frescoes of Matteo Perez D'Aleccio, telling the story of Great Siege of 1565.
The Tapestry chamber exhibits the only complete and intact set of the 18th century French gobelins in the world.
The Grandmaster's Palace is currently undergoing a major restoration project and most probably will be open to public in April 2023.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
The Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni is a unique underground temple protected by UNESCO.
It was accidentally discovered in 1902 during the construction works in Paola. The site has revealed three layers of unique chambers, filled with pottery, ornaments, figurines and human bones.
In Hal Saflieni Hypogeum you have a chance to explore the secrets of a civilization that had disappeared.
The number of tickets is limited, as only 10 person can enter the site per hour. The best option is to book your tickets online before coming to Malta, as usually they are booked a month or two in advance: Hypogeum tickets online
Online tickets cost 35 euros for adults, 20 euros for students and seniors (60+), 15 euros for children (6-11). Children under 6 are not allowed.
If online tickets are sold out, you can purchase "last minute tickets", which cost 50 euros. They are sold in Valletta from fort St Elmo 9am - 10am or from Archaeology museum after 10am.
The Palace was erected in 1530s soon after the arrival of the knights of the Order of St John to Malta. Its original purpose was to host the civil law courts.
In the 18thcentury the façade was redesigned by Romano Fortunato Carapecchia. He also introduced new elements in the interior of the Palace - added splendid stairs in Roman Baroque style, connecting the ground floor and the upper level of Piano Nobile.
Inside the courtyard you may see the older Gothic elements of the first building, which were incorporated in the later construction.
In 1561 the Roman inquisition was established in Malta by Pope Pius IV.
In 1574 the Palace became the residence of the first inquisitor Pietro Dusina, who was sent by the Pope to settle down the arguments between the Bishop and GM of Malta.
It was the beginning of a tribunal of a Roman Inquisition in Malta. It lasted for more then 200 years and was abolished in 1798 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Inquisitor’s Palace is a unique historical artefact, because it’s one of the Inquisitor’s palaces, which survived in Europe and not only the building but also the archives from the time of the Roman Inquisition in Malta.
The collection of the museum consists of 20,000 artefacts displaying Malta's maritime history. It includes full size boats, models of the ships, anchors, amphorae, cannons, documents and paintings.
Highlights include the original 18-th century model of the third-rate ship of the Order of St John.
Currently the museum is closed for restoration.
Muza - National Museum of Fine Arts
Merchant street, Auberge d'Italie, Valletta
“MUZA” has found its home in Auberge d’Italie at Merchant street in Valletta. This spacious palace exhibits more than 20000 artefacts.
The collection of the museum is presented in four themes: “The Mediterranean”, “Europe”, “Empire” and “The Artist”.MUZA is proud to introduce Mattia Preti, Victor Pasmore, Antonio Sciortino and other prominent artists.
St Christopher's street, Valletta
Saint Agatha’s Tower is usually referred to as the Red Tower. It is located in Mellieha and is considered to be the most famous watchtower because of its colour and size.
St Agatha’s Tower is the only one, which was painted in a different colour. It was built in 1649 and it became the last large bastioned tower, which has been built in Malta.
Saint Agatha’s tower had an important strategic position. It was located on the top of the hill to observe the Mellieha Bay and protect from the potential enemy who could land in this area.
It also has a clear view of Gozo and Comino and was used as a communication link between the towers of the north and the headquarters of the knights in Valletta. The towers used special signals to communicate with each other. Smoke and flags were used during the day, while fire and petards were used by night.
The museum inside the Red Tower gives a unique opportunity to explore how the fortifications were built and how they functioned during the time of the knights.
Nowadays the Tower of St Agatha is open to the public. Its better to check the opening days, before visiting the site. Usually you can see the flag of the Order of the knights when the Red Tower is open for the public.
The complex of Tarxien Temples consists of 4 megalithic structures built in the Neolithic period.
The discovery of the site in 1913 became an important step in understanding the culture and traditions of the prehistoric times. Tarxien temples had been hiding unique artefacts of the giant figure wearing pleated skirt, altar with secret compartment and bas-relief depictions of spirals and animals.
Best museums in Malta.
Underground Valletta has been opened recently for the public. There you can see water cisterns and reservoirs from the time of the knights (16th century) and the shelters from the WWII.
Tickets can be purchased from the museum of Archaeology in Valletta.