Valletta and St John’s Cathedral: Icons of Malta

Valletta and St John’s Cathedral is like Paris and the Eiffel Tower, that’s what they say….

How about we go see a Valletta show that leaves you staggering out of the cinema, a church with enough gold to go head to head with Buckingham Palace (no doubt) and then meander through the iconic streets of Valletta that seem to come alive at night – interested? The read on.

Good Morning Valletta

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Valletta, Malta’s third reigning capital city and the smallest capital in Europe, is home to the jaw dropping St John’s Cathedral. It’s probably ‘the’ most talked about place in Malta and loved for its steep and narrow streets.

Around 9000 builders were needed to build Valletta, that’s a lot of graft. All that hard work is much appreciated today.

Even on a rainy day Valletta is heaving with tourists, I doubt there’s ever a quiet time unless you get there at sunrise or after midnight, which I’m sure many committed photographers do.

Tritons’ Water Fountain

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These mythological tritons (greek gods of the sea) are thought to represent Malta’s relationship with the sea.ย









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This one’s a bit spooky at night!!



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The cutest little job centre.

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St John’s Cathedral

Now Malta isn’t short of a few churches, all of which are stunning – you’ll probably hear all about the Mosta Rotunda is famed for it’s miracle dome and St Paul’s standing tall in Mdina.

In comparison, St John’s Cathedral is on an entirely different level of incredible.

This has to be the most majestic church I’ve ever had the privilege of stepping into. You’ll be blown away by the detail, the glaring abundance of gold, the intricacies of the architecture and decor.

St John’s Cathedral is big on wow factor, they weren’t really going for the low-key look with this one.

Minimalist – not a chance.

Whether you have a religious faith or not, like churches or not – this one is a must-see, just for its sheer opulence.

Pictures never really convey sights the way they truly feel when you’re there in person – the depth, the feeling it gives you. Honestly, I’d seen plenty of vlogs and photos of St John’s Cathedral before I went, I knew it was something special but I was still amazed when I saw it in the flesh.

Without wanting to sound cliche, ‘its awesome”.

The Vatican must be very proud.

The floor is covered with 375 tombstones and there isn’t a patch in this church that isn’t adorned and embellished in some way.






I tried to imagine organs playing and the echo of beautiful hymns throughout the domes and hallways – it must be quite an emotional experience.






Valletta and St John’s Cathedral really ought to be on your list of things to do for a first trip to Malta.

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Malta in 5D

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There’s a 5D show in Valletta that gives you a whistle stop account of Malta’s history – quite literally bringing it back to life if you choose the moving seats. Yes – for anyone who hasn’t experience 5D cinema yet – the seats move, the images are holographic and it feels like your on a simulation ride half the time – a bit like those rollercoaster simulations where it really feels like your moving, and dropping on the terrifying dips.

You’ll get a pair of 3D (or whatever) glasses, before being subject to ‘leg ticklers’, water spray, air blasts, scents and thrashed around in your seats.ย 

Lovely – sounds like a great night out!

During the 5D show you will be hard pressed not to cover your face or dodge left or right during the show for fear of something hitting you or hurtling toward you, even though you know it’s not real – I kid you not.

Warning signs in the cinema advise people with certain health conditions and pregnant women not to sit in the moving seats – there are also ‘none moving seats’.ย Seats are clearly marked – the choice is yours!

I chose a moving seat and confess, I left feeling a bit dizzy and light headed afterwards lol, so I’d advise you not to do this whilst tipsy – not sure if that was on the warning list but is ought to be!

I wasn’t tipsy – just to clarify.

You can see the show independently – but it’s also included in an organised Mosta, Mdina and Valletta night time tour.


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Candles and flowers for the late journalist who lost her life, the ongoing story around it has been in the mainstream news.

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10 thoughts on “Valletta and St John’s Cathedral: Icons of Malta

    1. Cherryl

      Wow!!!! 1972. You absolutely must re-visit then, the before and after pictures and descriptions will make a fantastic blog post. Quite a few people have told me its changed a lot since they visited within the last 20 years so it will be all the more interesting for you. I have a few more Malta posts to come… Happy travels for 2020 and beyond!! โœˆ๏ธ๐Ÿ”†Thanks for reading.

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