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Cheap Flights to Valletta, Malta

Basic Information:

  • Area City                            : 0.8km² (0.3 sq mi)
  • Area Code                          : 356
  • Currency                            : Euro
  • Population Historical City : 6,444 (2014)
  • Population Metropolitan  : 393,938
  • Official Languages           : Maltese and English
  • Time Zone                        : CET (UTC+1) Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
  • Airport                               : Malta International Airport (MLA)

With its rocky coastline, sparkling clear waters and splendid scenery Malta was named as having the ‘most scenic airport approach in the world’. The airport (MIA) is a distance of 8,3km from the city via Triq Guiseppe Garibaldi, taking around 16 minutes. Passengers can take a bus, shuttle, taxi or hired vehicle from the airport to Valletta. Buses are comfortable, air-conditioned with additional space for luggage. MIA’s official shuttle service is ‘Malta Transfer’ where bookings can be made on-line or at the booking desk in the baggage reclaim area. Taxis are available 24/7 and offer fixed pre-paid tickets that can be purchased from a booth in the ‘Welcomers Hall’. Car rentals include: ‘Avis’, ‘Budget’, ‘Dollar Thrifty’, ‘Europcar’, ‘First’, ‘Goldcar’, ‘Green Motion’, ‘Hertz’ and ‘Sixt’.

Travellers can fly from Cape Town, South Africa to ‘MLA’ with one or more stops with the following airlines:

  • Lufthansa, Condor (via Frankfurt) 15h 40m+
  • KLM, Air Malta (via Amsterdam) 15h 50m+
  • Turkish (via Istanbul) 16h 30m+
  • Air Namibia (via Windhoek) 16h 50m+
  • South African, Swiss (via Johannesburg, Zürich) 17h 35m+
  • Alitalia (via Rome) 17h 55m+
  • Air France (via Paris) 18h 35m+
  • Ethiopian (via Addis Ababa) 18h 55m+
  • British Airways, CSA (via London, Prague) 19h 15m+
  • Aegean (via Athens) 19h 20m+
  • SAS (via Copenhagen) 19h 50m+

Additional airlines touching down at ‘MLA’ include:

  • airBaltic
  • Brussels
  • Czech
  • easyJet
  • Etihad
  • Iberia
  • Meridiana
  • Ryanair
  • Scandinavian
  • Transavia
  • United
  • Vueling

Reasons to Visit Valletta, Malta:

  • Malta’s location at the southern tip of Europe, just 97km from Sicily has been desired by many and ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, the Knights of St John (from 1530 to 1798), the French and the British. The country finally gained independence in 1964 from Britain and became a republic ten years later. The Maltese archipelago comprises three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino of which Gozo is the second largest and more rural while Comino has just one hotel and is mostly uninhabited.
  • A ‘World Heritage’ site, capital city Valletta, ‘The Fortress City’ is the commercial and administrative heart of the Islands. This splendid city flourished on the Mount Sceberras peninsula that rises steeply from the city’s two natural harbours, ‘Marsamxett’ and the ‘Grand Harbour’, the country’s main port that also provides one of the best ‘coming into port’ experiences on the globe. Valletta today is one of the most concentrated historical areas in the world where visitors delight in marvellous historical buildings, statues, fountains, beautiful gardens, museums and quaint narrow side streets with cafes and curious shops.
  • Ideal for visitors appreciating nature is the ‘Malta Campsite’, nestled within pristine Maltese landscape, five minutes from a sandy beach and about 30m from the ocean. It has areas for tents, touring caravans and RVs and is fully enclosed with 24 hour security and a range of facilities. Furnished tents can be hired from March to October, mobile homes can be hired or purchased and plots are available on an annual contract basis. For backpackers there’s ‘Valletta Dormitory’ and others plus a variety located in Gżira. The city provides a good range of budget, boutique and classy hotels, apartments, B&Bs and private villas on the island of Gozo. There’s a fabulous array of eateries and pubs located all over the city, some of the best include ‘Medina’, ‘de Mondion’, ‘Rampila’ and perfect for discovering authentic Maltese food is ‘Legligin’, a warm and friendly restaurant/wine bar located in an old Valletta house and managed by the owner and chef. It’s located at 119 St Lucy Street and reservations are necessary. For jazz, blues and rock, set in a 16th century basement is ‘Django Jazz Bar’ located at 211 Republic Street. The ‘Bridge Bar’ especially comes to life on Friday nights from May to end of October with jazz musicians and great views of the Grand Harbour. It’s located at 258 Saint Ursula Street. For an ‘English-style’ bar, ‘The Pub’ at 136 Archbishop Street is also where Oliver Reed enjoyed his last boozing session in 1999 before passing away while working on the film ‘Gladiator’. A favourite for the islands writers, musicians and artists is ‘Café Society’ at 13 St Johns Street.

When to Visit Valletta, Malta:

The hottest months are July, August and September with temperatures averaging 29°C in the early evening, around 3mm rain during July and August and 45mm in September. For swimming August is ideal. April and May are also pleasant with early evening temperatures at 21°C and rainfall of around 11mm each month. Travellers adverse to heat should visit during February and March, the coldest months.

Places to Visit Valletta, Malta:

  • Undoubtedly one of Malta’s most impressive churches is ‘St John’s Co-Cathedral’, built between 1573 and 1578 and designed by Gerolamo Cassar. The interior, revamped in Maltese baroque style during the 17th century is beyond exquisite. It’s also home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece of ‘John the Baptist’.
  • The ‘Collegiate Parish Church of St Paul’s Shipwreck’, is another of the city’s oldest churches built in Baroque style and home to several remnants related to St. Paul. The church is dedicated to St. Paul’s shipwreck in 60AD on the coast of Malta.
  • With striking 17th century architecture, ‘St Francis of Assisi Church’ dedicated to St Francis opened in 1607 and is another imperative landmark of the city.
  • Previously called ‘Saint Anthony the Abbot Church’, ‘Our Lady of Victories Church’ was the city’s first church and building to be constructed and is a crucial part of Malta’s history.
  • ‘St Augustine Church’ that opened in 1794 is home to a pipe-organ that was built in 1829 by one of the most renowned Italian pipe-organ firms.
  • The ‘Church of St Barbara’ built in 1570 served the spiritual needs of the knights of Provence.
  • Take a guided tour in the 16th century palace ‘Casa Rocca Piccola’, a functioning residence with over 50 lavish rooms. It’s open from 10h00 to 17h00 daily except for Sundays and public holidays and also includes the ‘La Giara Restaurant’ in case you’re famished.
  • Once the residence of the ‘Grand Masters of the Knights of St John’, the ‘Grand Master’s Palace’ has for almost three centuries been the administrative hub of Malta. While there visit the ‘Palace Armoury’.
  • The ‘National Museum of Archaeology’ opened in 1571 and displays prehistoric artefacts of weapons and sculptures.
  • Ideal for children is the ‘Malta Toy Museum’ with a wonderful collection of toys collected over several decades that include 1950s tin cars from Japan, 1912 tin toys from Germany, matchbox cars and oodles more.
  • Dividing and keeping watch over the city’s two harbours is ‘Fort Saint Elmo’ together with ‘Fort Tigné’ and ‘Fort Ricasoli’. ‘Fort Saint Elmo’ is home to the ‘National War Museum’, one of Malta’s most popular attractions.
  • Lying high above the Grand Harbour, the ‘Upper Barrakka Gardens’ is a park with lush landscaped grounds that was planned as a retreat in 1661 for Italian knights and affords spectacular views besides exotic plants, monuments and statues that includes Sir Winston Churchill. The park is twinned with the ‘Lower Barrakka Gardens’ equally lush and beautiful with pathways, sculptures and monuments.
  • A well-known landmark is the beautifully designed ‘Triton Fountain’ located just outside the City Gate that shows off three bronze Tritons holding up a platter.
  • The ‘War Rooms and NATO Tunnels’ affords discovering Malta’s wartime secrets.
  • View the 2.5m statue of French nobleman and 49th ‘Grand Master of the Order of Malta’, Jean de Valette, founder of Valletta in ‘Jean de Valette Square’.
  • ‘Victoria Gate’ built in 1885 and named after Queen Victoria serves as the main entrance from the Grand Harbour into the city.

Getting Around:

Taking a ‘karrozzin’ affords a relaxed mode of transit. These traditional horse-drawn carriages that seat four passengers have been used in Malta since 1856. Treated with the utmost care, many have been in families for generations. They can be found at ‘Valetta’s City Gate’, ‘Fort St Elmo’, ‘Valetta Waterfront’, ‘Mdina’s Main Gate’ and ‘Marsamxetto Ferry’. Negotiate on a price before boarding.

Regular ferries are operated by ‘Valetta Ferry Services’ to and from Marsamxett harbour to Sliema and from close to Valetta Waterfront to Cospicua and to Senglea in the ‘Three Cities’.

Water Taxis:
‘Malta Water Taxis’ and ‘A&S Water Taxis’ operate between Valletta and
Sliema and Valetta and the ‘Three Cities’ and it’s best to book ahead.

Legal Maltese taxis are normally Mercedes vehicles, white in colour and with a taxi sign on the roof. Drivers must by law use the meter, except for travel from the sea port and airport where fares are fixed.

Car Rentals:
Vehicles can be hired from ‘Valletta Car Hire’, ‘Malta Car Rental Group’, ‘Europcar’, ‘Budget’ and others.