Welcome to Valletta’s cruise port guide. Valletta is the capital city of the Republic of Malta. It might be surprising to know that there are not even 7000 people that call Valletta home. Valletta truly is one of those unique cities in the Mediterranean. It is the city that is on the UNESCO world heritage list for it’s beauty and historical significance. Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, build during the rule of the order of St. John of Jerusalem. Especially when you sail into port or walk through the city centre you can clearly see they build it with the clear intent to withstand any attack especially from the Muslim Ottomans. Valletta was designed by military engineers and it remains fundamentally the Knights city where the layout has changed little over the centuries. It is a true gem to explore especially if you have done your research and read up on its history. Valletta is a small peninsula of 1000 x 600 meter so consider exploring Malta in the morning and exploring Valletta in the afternoon.
FAQ about Valletta
– How far is the city centre? If you are docking at the Valletta Waterfront you’re about a mile away from the city centre, provided you take the Barrakka lift.
– Can I pay with euro in Malta? Yes, the official currency of Malta is the euro.
– How do I pay for the Barrakka lift? You pay 1 euro cash at the machine.
Cruise Port Guide Valletta – Malta: docked
There are a couple of options where cruise ships can dock in Malta, but most of the time you will dock at the Valletta Waterfront depending on how many ships will be in port.
Valletta Waterfront is one of the most advanced cruise ports in Europe so enjoy all the facilities they offer. It has a convenient spot in town as it is about a 1,5 km walk to the city centre.
At the waterfront there are shops and restaurants for wi-fi and refreshments. On your way out you will cross the a tourist information point that provides you with a free map of Malta and Valletta. Next to the Tourist information stand is the taxi desk, the hop on hop off bus desk and car/scooter rental desk.
By foot, taxi, public transport or hop on hop off bus. It is up to you how to spend your day and what form of transportation would suit that. Please find underneath the break down of the available options.
Public bus system
The bus system is a nice and cheap way to get around Malta. You’ll find the main bus station at the Triton Fountain, which is about 10 minutes uphill walk from the port. Bus 130 makes a stop right outside the port, this bus only goes around Valletta. The busses you are looking for are most likely at the main bus station (+/- 10 minute walk) at the Triton Fountain:
number 71: to the Blue Grotto and Hagar Im Temples
number 41, 42, 44: to Mosta
number 51, 52, 53: to Mdina
number 81, 82: Hypogeum
number 81, 85: to Marsaxlokk
You can purchase some tickets from the driver when boarding the bus, but it would be better to already buy your tickets online, at a booth, resellers or at the machine. More information is available through: www.publictransport.com.mt/home?|=1
Taxis in Valletta
Taxis are widely available in port. They have a folder at the taxi desk in port that will give you an idea of their prices. See underneath the prices they advertise:
– 1 hour taxi tour: 26 euro
– 2 hour taxi tour: 52 euro
– 4 hour taxi tour: 80 euro
– 6 hour taxi tour: 108 euro
– 8 hour taxi tour: 136 euro
All prices are per taxi, up to 4 persons.
They also provide fixed recommended tours:
– Tour A: 2 hours visiting: Mdina the silent city, Rabat and Ta’ Qali Crafts Village = 52 euro
– Tour B: 3 hours visiting: Mdina the silent city, Ta’ Qali Crafts Village and Mosta Rotunda = 66 euro
– Tour C: 4 hours visitng: San Anton Gardens, Ta’ Qali Crafts Village, Mdina the silent city, Mosta Runda and around coast road of Sliema & Valletta = 80 euro
– Tour D: 5 hours visiting: Tarxien Temples, 3 cities including Senglea point, Marsaxlokk fishing village, Blue Grotto = 94 euro
As an alternative to your normal taxi you can also rent a “Cab Horse Ride” which is 60 euro per hour in which they give you the full tour around Valletta.
Hop on hop off bus
There is a hop on hop off bus in Valletta. There are actually more companies that provide one. Therefore is a bit confusing from time to time on which bus you belong. To make it more difficult each company’s provides multiple routes all over Malta. The nice thing is they are relatively cheap with an average price of 15 euro a day and it is a nice way to see more than just Valletta. Keep a close eye on your time and the route you are taking and the company that best suits you.
Destination and distance:
Valletta 1 km when taking the elevator, 1,7 km when walking
Marsaxlokk 10 km south east of the port
Mosta 12 km west of the port
Mdina 12 km west of the port
San Anton Gardens 7 km west of the port
Blue Grotto 12 km south of the port
Hagar Im 13 km south of the port
Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to see your ship sail into Valletta. This truly is one of the most scenic approaches in the world. The ship goes into the natural harbour of Valletta while this and the 3 cities are coming by your window.
In 2012 a new elevator opened up, linking the Grand Harbor to the Upper Barrakka Gardens and Valletta city center. When you exit the port, simply take a right, walk down the street until you see the elevator on your left hand side. Get a ticket for the way up for 1 euro at the machine, down is free. It will save you a 58 meter climb up the road to the higher city center. The lift is wheelchair accessible.
This is a service also available in port. Have the freedom to ride around the island all the day long. Find the information booth at the waterfront cruise terminal.
We find the Blue Grotto in the south east of the island. It is one of the most scenic coastlines in Europe. Come here to enjoy the views, a nice lunch or take a boat to explore the numerous sea caverns you can find here.
Aside from Valletta, Mdina is the most scenic spot on the island. It is the old capital of Malta. This 6000 year old town is nowadays mainly known for being the fortified silent city. It has a labyrinth of little streets and there is always something new to find around every corner.
Marsaxlokk is a famous fishing village in Malta. It is mainly known for its unique harbour where the colourfull boats lay at anchor. Malta is an archipelago and therefore you could imagine that the local rely on boats. The boats you will see in the harbour of Marsaxlokk are unique in the area. They are known for their bright colours and moustache on the front. Enjoy a nice refreshment and local dish here at on of the many cafes and restaurants around the harbour.
Take the Barrakka lift on your way to the city and the first you’ll see is the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Enjoy the best views in town as you’ll look out over Senglea, Vittoriosa and the Grand Harbour. The park itself is very beautifull and full of information. Make sure not just walk through it, hand around for while.
Cisk (pronounced as Chisk) is brewed on the Mediterranean island of Malta since 1928. The name Cisk originated from the Maltese mispronunciation of the world “ Cheque”. It is not the most spectacular beer in the world, but when in Rome…..
Triq Ir-Repubblika is the spine of Valletta. Its main streets runs north to south, hitting a lot of highlights along the way and it is also the most popular shopping street of Malta.
In the 16th century the brotherhood found they needed a new church. This new building would be dedicated to their patron saint St. John the Baptist. It became more than a building of collective worship. It would finally become a place that would embody the wealth, glory and power of the Order of St. John itself. Make sure not to skip this unique piece of architecture with all of its rich golden decorations and 375 grave stones on the floor.
Most cruise ships dock at Valletaa Waterfront. This dock offers great facilities like a bars, restaurants, shops and transportation booths. You will find all you need for a great start of the day in port at the cruise terminal. To walk to the historical city center you simply turn right when you exit the port and take the elevator up to the old town. Read the full Valletta cruise port guide for all the information.