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Valletta is the capital of Malta and has only about 7,000 inhabitants. It is located along the central eastern coastline and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 because of its Baroque character combined with other building style elements. Valletta has a natural harbour where cruiseships can dock and apart from tourists from the ships, many people visit Valletta while on a package holiday in one of Malta's many hotels. The city boasts an enormous collection of churches, palaces, museums and squares which keep you busy for days if you are very interested in history and culture.
The St. John's Co-Cathedral is unremarkable from the outside but its incredibly ornate inside is truly stunning. The barrel shaped ceiling is a single huge fresco, the lifework of famed artist Mattia Preti. Furthermore, the floor is entirely taken by a knight's graves all intricately inlaid marble in different colours. This relatively unknown cathedral can be count on as one of the most impressive in Europe. On weekdays it is open between 9:30am and 4:30pm; and between 9:30am and 12:30pm on Saturdays. Entrance is through the Carappechia Annex on Republic Street in between St John's Street and St Lucy Street, directly opposite the Law Courts. As soon as you enter, you will be provided with an audio guide, included in the entrance fee, which is available in 6 languages. It leads you through the cathedral with 24 stops enabling you to get further historical information about the paintings and special parts of St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
The Grandmaster's Palace is the President's office and the Maltese parliament at the moment. The staterooms are quite impressive, when accessible. It also houses the Knights' armoury which is open to visitors daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. At the entrance you receive audio guides which are included in the entrance fee. They provide you with further historical information about the various armoury of different epoches beginning from the medieval times up to the 17th century armour.
Valletta has a typical Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers and mild but relatively wet winters. Temperatures occasionally hit more than 40 °C in summer, so the best time for a visit are April to June and September/October when it's usually pleasantly warm, dry and sunny. Winters are mostly between 15 °C and 20 °C with occasional heavy rainfall.
The nearest airport is the Malta International Airport. Airlines include the national airline, Air Malta, with destinations to Europe, Africa and Middle East. Some other regional airlines flying into Malta include Air Méditerranée, BritishJET, MyTravel Airways, Ryanair and Thomsonfly.
As of July 2011, bus service on the islands were taken over by Arriva. The old buses dating back to the British period that plied Malta's streets have been replaced by new buses. Buses are operated by Arriva, and schedules and routes can be found on the Arriva Malta website. Tickets can be bought on-board, and fares run from €2.20 for a 2-hour ticket, €2.60 for a day pass or €12.00 for a 7-day pass for non-Malta residents.
Most buses to Valletta arrive at the bus station, just outside the city gates.
Valletta receives international ferries and cruise ships at their port.
Internal to Malta, there are ferries to Sliema.
Getting around by car is not recommended if you aren't accustomed to driving in Malta, because the streets are narrow and there is a lack of parking space.
Buses are easy and affordably priced (adults from €0.47 to €1.16 for special routes).
Bus routes 98 (clockwise) and 198 (counterclockwise) go around Valletta. They depart from the Valletta Terminus.
The city is best reachable on foot because the main attractions are near or on the main street (Republic Street), which is not steep. However, the city is built on a ridge and therefore walking up and down may be challenging for some.
Further historical information about the numerous sights to see throughout Valletta can be gained by hiring an audio guide. From the Archeology Museum (Republic Street), it is available in different languages such as Maltese, English, Italian, French, Dutch, German and Spanish. You can choose independently from the 33 stops and it is not necessary to follow the given order. Stops can easily be skipped or visited in another sequence if you are tired or suffering information overload.
|British Hotel||40 Battery Street||Hotel||81|
|Valletta Studios||61A Battery St Valletta 62, Battery st Valletta||Apartment||-|
|Valletta Boutique||21 Merchant Street||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Palazzo Sant Ursula||74 St Ursula Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Studio Il Guva Maisonette||25 St Nicholas Street Gardenia Court Apt's 5||APARTMENT||81|
|V.B. Apartments||No. 1, 51, Old Bakery Street||APARTMENT||-|
|Osborne Hotel||50, South Street||Hotel||-|
|YMCA Valletta||30 St Nicholas Street||HOSTEL||73|
|Blue Sea St George's Park & La Vallette Resort||Dragonara Road St. Julian’s||Hotel||-|
Internet cafés and Wi-Fi zones are quite abundant with connection rates peaking at 30Mbit/s. More and more small, independent cafes and restaurants are providing free WiFi hotspots.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international telephone code for Malta is 356. Emergency number is 112 for all services.
The country has three mobile phone networks available: Vodafone, Go Mobile, and Melita Mobile. Due to international agreements with providers across the globe, Vodafone, GO and Melita are sure to be apart of your carriers roaming plan. To avoid high costs, buy a local SIM-card.
Malta Post is the national postal service with generally cheap and reliable services, albeit not very fast. All post offices are open from around 8:00am till noon, some opening slightly earlier or closing later. The main offices stay open until around 4:00pm.
For sending international packages, you might consider companies like DHL, TNT or UPS.
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