Autumn and Winter months in Valletta are like no other. Temperatures drop to anywhere between 10⁰C to 20⁰C, so very mild indeed when compared to other European countries! The rainfall is light hence not enough to put a stop to anyone having fun in the buzzing capital city.
Valletta is full of compelling attractions which make anyone’s stay worthwhile, no matter what the weather. Here is our list of top attractions to visit in beautiful Valletta on a rainy day:
1. Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
This is one of the oldest churches in Valletta and it was built by the Order of St. John between 1572 and 1577. The church was designed by a renowned Maltese architect, Girolamo Cassar. Its exterior is designed in a Mannerist architecture with the façades bounded by two large bell towers. The interior of the cathedral is rich and artistically decorated, with carved stones depicting the life and times of John the Baptist, to whom the building was dedicated. In the 17th century, the interior was redecorated in Baroque style by Mattia Preti and several other famous artists from the period. The paintings on the ceiling appear to have a 3D effect and the marble floor features a series of tombs of knights of the order. The interior of the church is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of high Baroque architecture and design in Europe, and for this reason it is well worth a visit.
2. Grandmaster’s Palace
This palace was built for the Grand Master of the order of St. John, who at the time ruled Malta. It was designed and built in a Mannerist and Baroque architecture between the 16th and 18th centuries. The Grandmaster’s Palace is the largest palace in Valletta as it occupies a city block. It is still an office of state as part of it is currently the Office of the President of Malta. However, several parts of the building are open to the public such as the Palace Armoury and the Palace State Rooms.
3. The National Museum of Fine Arts
This museum was opened in 1974 and contains various works of art from different parts of Europe. In 2012, it recorded an average of 30,000 visitors a day. The collection for this museum began in 1923 and includes Maltese artworks and work from prominent European artists like Guido Reni, Giuseppe Ribera and Matthias Stom.
4. Manoel Theatre
This theatre is one of the oldest in Europe, having opened in 1732 and it is still in operation. It is considered to be the country’s national theater and is the home of Malta’s Philharmonic Orchestra. The theatre is a small, 623 seat venue, with an oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes which are constructed entirely of wood, decorated with gold leaf and a beautiful pale blue trompe-l’oeil ceiling that resembles a round cupola.
5. Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
These two gardens offer panoramic and beautiful views of the Grand Harbour. The gardens served as a recreation center for the Italian knights, but at the end of the French occupation, it was opened to the public in the 1800’s. The terraced arches are a beauty to behold and the gardens are rich with tales of Malta’s history. Grab an umbrella and visit these gardens anyway – not worth missing!
6. The Grand Harbour
The Grand Harbour is also known as the Port of Valletta, one of Malta’s greatest geographical assets. It has been modified over time with docks, wharves and various fortifications. The picturesque view blends with the sea and is a complete delight for all who visit.
7. Risette Restaurant
Valletta is not only famous for its museums, theaters and gardens, it also provides the finest in cuisines both local and international. For those who desire exquisite meals, Risette restaurant, located in the grand Casa Ellul Boutique Hotel in Valletta, is the place of choice. Its chief chef, Andrew Borg, has worked in various kitchens around Europe and with his vast experience, creates gastronomic irresistible dishes. The restaurant prides itself in using the freshest produce, thus the menu changes weekly blending cultures and methods to showcase Andrew’s technical abilities and passion for flavour.
No matter what the weather is like, Valletta is a city that can be enjoyed all year round, and with so many attractions, rest assured you will enjoy your stay either way.