The island country of Malta may be relatively small in size, but it is one of the very few places where history and culture remain an active part of its identity today. In fact, its rich culture and eclectic history, which date back hundreds of years ago, are still reflected in various festivities and heritage sites that many tourists get to enjoy.
If you’re one of the thousands of travel enthusiasts who want to explore Malta, there are several things you have to consider first before making that trip. For one, it’s best to have an idea as to what places showcase the country’s history and culture. It also won’t hurt to make preparations in advance to avoid any inconveniences during your trip.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE VISITING MALTA
One of the things you must consider before booking that flight to Malta is your accommodation. In this country, there are many hotels and even self-catering apartments that offer excellent services and deals. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or a simple lodging to take a break from your sightseeing, there’s definitely something that will satisfy your needs.
Aside from accommodation, you also have to consider the mode of transportation you will use in getting around Malta. Since this place is relatively small, it’s more convenient to rent a car and drive around the island. There are many car rental services in the country that provide more flexibility on your outings. Car rentals are especially useful if you are planning to explore different areas on the island and want to fully appreciate their beauties.
Car hire rates in Malta are relatively cheap. With all the rental agencies available, you will never have a hard time acquiring their services all year round. Not only will you be able to travel and explore at your own pace but you are likely to save money as well.
However, if you are not into car rentals, there different modes of public transportation in Malta available for tourists and locals alike. From buses to taxis and even ferries, you’ll definitely find something that can take you to your destination.
Of course, you also have to prepare your itinerary. This will help you be more organized during your travel, especially when it comes to your schedule.
If you’re thinking of the best places to add in your list, here are some recommendations that are sure to introduce you to Malta’s history and culture.
MALTA’S RICH HISTORY AND CULTURE
The history and culture of the Maltese Islands are considered one of the richest and most varied in the world. For that reason, tourists from all over the world flock to this place to learn and experience it firsthand. Here are some of the most notable historical sites in Malta that you might want to visit.
• THE GRAND MASTER’S PALACE
Officially known as The Palace, this majestic site has been an administrative center of the country for over three centuries. Located in Valletta, the palace is known for its rich history, which dates back between the 16th and 18th century. Originally, it serves as the seat of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, who ruled Malta in the past. Today, it serves as the House of Representatives and office of the President of the Republic of Malta.
• ST. JOHN’S CO-CATHEDRAL
This majestic church in Valletta is one of the finest Baroque architecture in Europe. Built between 1572 and 1577, it served as the conventual church for the Knights of St. John. Because of its breathtaking beauty, St. John’s Co-Cathedral continues to attract tourists and is still being used today as an important shrine. It also serves a venue for different cultural events.
• PALAZZO FALSON
Nestled in Mdina, Malta, this medieval townhouse was built around 1945 and holds a rich history. Initially, it was used as a residence by the Maltese nobility, the Falson family. In the 20th century, Olof Frederick Gollcher acquired and restored the building. Since 2007, it has been known to the public as the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, which displays antique collections and other exhibits.
• ST. PAUL AND ST. AGATHA’S CATACOMBS
The catacombs of St. Paul and St. Agatha are some of the largest and earlier archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. Located in Rabat, these sites feature astonishing medieval frescoes and other archeological pieces such as the agape table carved from a rock. This piece was used by mourners to hold a wake in honor of the deceased. Today, both sites are used as small museums that display historical collections, including coins and artifacts.
• CARNIVAL IN MALTA
Among the many traditions of this island country is the carnival. Every year, thousands of tourists get to enjoy this colorful festivity, usually held for a week in February. The carnival is a way for locals to start the somber period of Lent. The carnival event features large and vibrant floats with interesting themes, as well as extravagant parades.