Choosing your Christmas trip destination is not an easy thing. Enjoying the Christmas spirit in another country might not turn out right. Malta, however, is a cool destination to visit at all seasons!
Basic info about the Republic of Malta:
Consists of the islands of Malta, Gozo and Camino
Currency: Maltese lira (= €2,3) - adopting euro in 2008
Languages: a mixture of Maltese (similar to arabic but with latin characters) and English
Weather: usually wonderful, warm but humid.
Typical dish: rabbit
Valletta: the capital
A very picturesque city where many movie scenes were taken.
- St. John's Co-Cathedral
Simply wonderful! Great architecture and decoration. The building was divided in 8 chapels for the 8 houses of the knights in the old times. This way all the different nationalities of the knights could co-exist together under the same church. The floor is covered with the tombs of knights. Don't miss the amazing painting by Caravaggio!
- Public Garden
Simply beautiful, but the best thing is the view from its side: you can see all the Grand Harbour with the 3 cities on the opposite side.
Originally the house of the Grand-Master, currently housing the Maltese Parliament. You will see the emblems of each house of knights, as well as their typical armors. The 3 coloured rooms are wonderful, yellow, green and especially the red room.
- Malta Experience
Nothing more and nothing less than a small underground cinema where you can use a short documentary about Malta: history, culture and sights in a very pretty presentation translated in your language. It's worth watching it, just make sure you've had a good night's sleep otherwise you're likely to miss most of Malta's conquerors!
Maybe the first thing you'll notice when you arrive in Malta. Doesn't it feel like Cuba suddenly?
All the buses gather in the City Gate of Valletta around the Triton fountain and they go all around the island - pretty comfortable!
- Coffee at the Biblioteca
If you're feeling kind of tired from the walk, then a coffee in the square outside the Biblioteca is just perfect! The pigeons can be a bit annoying, but with the sun shining down and the wonderful traditional maltese sweets... who cares!
Around the 3 cities: which cities?
A nice tour is to go around "The Three Cities" on the other side of the harbour from Valletta: Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea.
In fact the cities in Malta are not really separated or large. In the old times, they used to be separate cities but through the ages they grew and eventually they came touching one the other. It is funny that you might go a few kilometres and then see a sign: Welcome to ... and you're in the next city!
St.Julian's: the party is here
It's THE place to go when going out. At nights, especially Fridays and Saturdays, it's full of teens looking for a party. There is a big variety of different bars and clubs, all close together - just choose the one you like. Be careful though, the entrance to some clubs is 7 liras (= more than 15 euros!) and you might not like what you find inside. So before going into a club, make sure it's the one for you.
Maybe the best bar in St.Julian's for people in their 20s! Warm atmosphere and nice music with a more lively underground floor. Did you notice the black chandeliers?
You might find it expensive to stay there, but for sure you can go for a drink in its spectacular round bar or take a dive in the super swimming pool and have a taste of wealthiness!
- Dragonara Casino
If you want to try your luck, this next-to-the-sea casino is the best spot. Be careful not to spend too much though!
Lots of stores close together where you can find anything you like! The Plaza shopping center is definately a place to enter.
Mdina: medieval city
Enter the gates and you are tranferred into the medieval ages! Take a slow walk around it's narrow stone streets. Don't miss the cathedral in the middle of the city and the view from its walls. No wonder it was such a good fortress!
Mosta: the dome
The church of St Mary, Mosta Rotunda as it is called, is supposed to be the 3rd largest unsupported church dome in Europe after St Peter's in Rome and St Sophia in Istanbul.
Gozo & Camino: the sister islands
The two other islands of the Republic of Malta, totally green and full of wonderful nature, a "must" place to go. Visit the Citadel, the Cave of Calypso (Odyssey), the ancient Temple ruins of Ggantija but don't forget to relax taking walks in the nature , going diving or swimming in the Blue Lagoon of Comino.
Malta is a wonderful place to visit. A few days there for stress-free vacations are just the thing for you: HALARA!