All of you weekend-getaway-lovers out there: When it comes to spending a long weekend in another European city, which places are on your bucket list?
Is it Barcelona? Rome? Amsterdam? Madrid? Very likely Paris?
That’s kind of how my city trip bucket list looked like aswell. When I went to StrasbourgI already felt very „off the beaten path“ regarding my usual destinations (if you are interested in my trip to Strasbourg, check out this blogpost).
And then I arrived in Malta and visited its capital city Valletta for the first time.
Valletta is maybe the most beautiful and most overlooked citytrip destination you could ever wish for!
Only a short 2,5 hours flight away from Austria or Germany, this pearl offers the perfect place for a lovely weekend. Impressive architecture, interesting history, a lot of good bars and restaurants and Italian-style Aperol Spritz‘.
Valletta for a quick weekend getaway
You are looking for a city that you can reach quickly and where you can have two or three enjoyable days? Maybe a girls‘ weekend? Perfect. Europes smallest (in terms of surface area) capital does not overwhelm you with must-do-sightseeing. In fact, you can easily cover that within half a day. The rest of your time can be spent on nice long strolls along the steep little streets and along the city walls, with a cappuccino here and an Aperol Spritz there, snacking Pastizzis and Maltese olives and shopping on Republic Street.
If it becomes too small for you, bord a boat and head over the Grand Harbour to the Three Cities. Or jump on one of the many and convenient buses and visit the Tarxien temples, bustling St. Julians or the pretty harbor town Marsaxlogg.
Valletta for lovers
Honestly, I could never understand why Paris is called the city of love and romance. Paris is big, noisy and very de-centralized.
When it comes to romance, Valletta will melt your heart. Family-run restaurants in the small streets, hidden bars and an atmosphere that is made for people in love.
My tip? Grab a bottle of chilled Maltese wine and two glassed and find a comfy spot outside of the city walls along the Grand Harbour. And then stroll back to your hotel after dusk when all the palazzi and ancient walls are bathed in warm light.
Guys, if anyone of you is looking for the perfect spot to pop THE question, check out the Upper Barrakka Gardens by night. It will be unforgettable.
Valletta for culture-seekers
For a European capital, Valletta is a relatively young city, founded in 1566. Nevertheless, is doesn’t lack exciting and rich history thanks to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. After being expelled from the Holy Land, they took seat on the small island of Malta, only to be faced with the invasion of Turks in the 16th century. Although they were outnumbered by far, the order fought the Turks off and secured their home. In the battles the fort St. Elmo played an important role in saving the former capital Birgu (Vittoriosa).
However, after the war was won, the danger of new attacks was still present. The grandmaster of the orden, Jean de la Vallette, lay the foundation of a new, impregnable capital: Valletta. That’s why the city’s character is shaped by the massive walls, the grand moat and massive ramparts.
So if your heart beats for history, indulge in Vallettas rich and thrilling past.
Valletta for all-in-travelers
Cannot decide between a classic citytrip or a weekend at the ocean? Yes, there’s Barcelona, but we have all been there, haven’t we?
Go to Valletta and start your sightseeing trip after a good breakfast. Have your bikini and shorts ready, because if you start to feel too hot, just walk down to the Grand Harbour and have a refreshing dip. Or jump on the bus and head to St. Peter’s Pool closeby Marsaxlogg. Or book a boattrip to Comino and enjoy snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon. The waters are crystal-clear and turquoise blue, and a tasty cocktail is never far away.
Need more pictures to get a glimpse of Vallettas beauty by night? Check out my gallery of Valletta by night and bord the next plane!