Yesterday, I visited Valletta, Malta’s capital city. Valletta is the smallest capital city of any EU member state, measuring just 600m by 1000m and with a population of around 6,000.
My arrival in Valletta coincided with a Scout music band marching along Triq ir-Repubblika (Republic Street) which already put me in a good mood because I love the sound of bagpipes.
Valletta was only built in 1566 to protect Malta against a Turkish invasion (this was after the Great Siege of 1565). It was the first planned city in Europe with a grid system of streets (see map above). The long straight streets allow the cooling sea breeze to circulate, serving like an air conditioning system for the whole city.
It’s easy to walk through the whole city in a few hours. You will come across everything from grandiose sights
to shops (and a cinema) that throw you back in time by 50 years:
Despite its small size, there are several parks to have a rest underneath trees and next to water fountains, primarily the Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens and Hastings Gardens.
Overall, I found Valletta a relaxed and slow city which is maybe best summed up by the following picture:
I stayed in Valletta for the evening after sunset and I will share these photos in a separate post “Valletta at Night“.
(This article was featured on Hopper.)