Valletta is certainly one of the most curious cities which you might come across. It is characterised by magnificent palaces and surrounded by bastions giving it a grandeur like no other place in Europe. Citta Nobile as it used to be referred to, is a city where you cannot get lost. It has a grid type of plan which by the end of your stay you would have memorized by heart. None the less you will be amazed that every time you pass through a square or a cobbled street there will be things which you would have missed. The different Auberges which the Knights of Malta built, still retain their fascination, the hidden churches and lively markets makes this city unique. With so many palazzos and piazze to discover, Valletta is a place for the late night strolls spent wandering charming traffic-free streets, when all of the bustle of the day dies down; stopping in one of the wine bars for the last glass of wine… it is truly a romantic capital which is generally underrated.
Taxis: Use public buses. These are old but inexpensive and you get to see a lot. All buses leave from just outside the city gate in Valletta.
Tipping culture: In restaurants, service is generally included in the bills and it is up to you if you feel like giving a tip, generally depending on the service, however this is not obligatory.
Siesta and Fiesta: Business hours are fairly standard. Food shops close around 1300hrs and reopen at 1600hrs. Shops are closed on Sundays but the open markets are alive!
Packing tips: Comfortable shoes and bubble wrap for protecting fragile purchases such as Maltese glass. http://www.phoenicianglass.com/
Cuisine: Maltese cooks exploit the fruits of the sea and you will find really excellent dishes. Try the Maltese rabbit which is a local dish which is cooked in a variety of ways. Some of the restaurants in Valletta have their own secret recipie.
La Mere: 174, Merchant Street Valletta.
Rubino: Old Bakery Street, Valletta. Tel: 21 224 656.
Capistrano: 61, Bakery Street Valletta. Phone 21 225 329. (close to Manoel Theatre) Nice quiet little restaurant
Giannini: 23 Windmill Street. Phone 21 237121.
Fumia: The Manoel Theatre, Old Bakery Street, Valletta. Tel: 21317053.
Legligin: 119, St.Lucy Street, Valletta. Tel 21 221 699.
Do go/ Dont go: August nice and sunny with open air cafes in the piazzas but also a lot of tourists. Winter quiet and romantic and you can get good weather as winter in Malta is mild.
Prepaire you own picnic basket, a bottle of Maltese wine, local bread and Maltese cheese – Gbejniet. Then go and enjoy the sun in one of the gardens on the bastions with fantastic views of the Grand harbour.