Written by Luke Attard. Luke’s love for exploring places took him to more than 30 countries and on 5 different continents. Back in Malta after years of travel and he is discovering all the amazing quirks this little island has to offer.
When staying at Valletta G-house you have this incredible world class city right at your doorstep. The 16th century residence gives you the opportunity to go back in time and imagine the city as it was in the past and to live like a true local. If you have followed your guide book and saw the main sights and experiences that Valletta has to offer, now try these for the more authentic feel:
Lower Barrakka Gardens
If you liked visiting the spectacular Upper Barrakka Garden but found it a tad too busy, I would highly suggest a visit to its smaller sibling – the quiet and lush Lower Barrakka Gardens. With great views of the most beautiful harbour in Europe these gardens are the perfect place to sit on a bench,just stop thinking and soak in the Mediterranean in all its glory.
Is-Suq Tal-Belt (Valletta Food Market)
You can’t decide what you feel like having for lunch, no worries! ‘Is-suq’ has it covered for you. After years of restoration this place re-opened a couple of years ago and has become a hit with locals and tourists alike. Here you’ll find a huge variety of fresh produce to cook at The Valletta G-House’s fully equipped rustic kitchen or eat in at one of the many restaurants ranging from Maltese food to Asian fusion.
Anthony D’Amato record store
This store claims to be the oldest record store in the world opening in 1885. Upon entering you will notice the musty smell of old records and a friendly smile from the descendent of the original D’Amato family. This humble store is a real gem that everyone should visit and if you do have a record player at home be sure to have a look through their collection.
West of Republic Street
In the western parts of Valletta you can find a selection of buildings that make up its iconic skyline. But funnily enough not too many tourists visit this area. Just a couple of steps from Valletta G-House you’ll find Our Lady of Mount Carmel church with its beautiful oval domed ceiling; be sure to pop inside if it’s open, its definitely a sight to see. Taking the next right corner from the church’s entrance you’ll come face to face with majestic Anglican Cathedral of St. Paul’s with it’s magnificent spire and from there you can also see the picture perfect Maltese Balconies all perched there in a pattern.
The tiny Manoel Theatre is the third oldest working theatre in Europe. It doesn’t look like much on the outside but it’s a marvel on the inside and for a couple of Euros a guided tour is offered at selected times. Another option is to check what performances are on during your stay and you’ll be able to hear its world renowned acoustics.
Coffee and sweets
For those with a sweet tooth Valletta is a perfect destination. You’ll find plenty of sweet shops, with the most popular being Camilleri on merchant street. The city also offers heaps of coffee shops like Cafe Cordina, with its Viennese style decor, that has been open to the public as a coffee house since the sixteen hundreds. The original natives who lived at The Valletta G-House loved it, and we’re sure you will too.
Citylights and cinema bar
Now when I recommend this place to people they are initially confused and for good reason because it is the historic porn cinema in Valletta which has become part of the city’s many quirks and charms. Recently a revamp of this place started attracting customers of all backgrounds, genders and ages. Enjoy The Cinema bar with its 1920’s themed decor show indie, art house and some great Hollywood classics in the evenings while enjoying delicious cocktails, craft beers and popcorn. Visit their Facebook page to see what’s on during your stay. P.S: don’t walk up to the second floor ‘by mistake’ because then you’re in for a real shock.
Money shot on South Street
If you are a keen photographer, one of the best places to take a photo of the picture perfect parallel streets of Valletta is on the corner of South Street and Old Mint street. It’s a marvel of great views from the top of the hilly road with a clear line of sight of the iconic huge domed church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The narrowest street in the city is an absolute gem. Also known amongst the WWII British and American soldiers as ‘The Gut’. In its heyday this was the red light district for the young reveller sailors visiting Valletta. After years of disrepair the bars from that era have been reopened and restored into 1940’s themed establishments that make them the perfect place to have a beer or a fancy cocktail.
Another good reason why to stay the night in the heart of the city at Valletta G-house is to enjoy the great pub and bar scene. You could start the night on Strait street then continue to The Pub, this charming British pub is infamous for being the place where Oliver Reed had his very last pint before his forever sleep on one of the benches. Afterwards you can continue down to Bridge Bar which is this tiny hole in a wall where you could take your drinks outside and on certain nights mostly on the weekends enjoy a live jazz and blues band.
Ok so having gone to the cinema, the theatre, bought some records, ate your way through the city and had a great night on the town, the only place left to explore is your accommodation which is a must see in its own right. Be sure to have a look around and appreciate all the layers of history The Valletta G-House has to offer and with its 21st Century comforts you will fit right into its history without breaking a sweat.
Lower Barrakka Gardens – Wikimedia
Bridge Bar – Instagram @zerihatravels
Money Shot on South Street – https://makeitcount.blog/malta-jewel-mediterranean-3/
Anthony D’Amato – www.timesofmalta.com
Valletta Sky line – http://www.qualityassuredmalta.com
City Lights – www.cinematreasures.org
Valletta Balconies – Reddit
Strait Street – www.valletta2018.org