Top 10 Museums in Malta
The 10 best Museums in Malta
The extremely colourful and rich history of our home Malta is something we feel truly blessed and eternally proud of.
Staggeringly inhabited since around 5900 BC it’s no surprise then that we have an incredible amount of beautiful artefacts to share with you.
What better way to do that then to display them in one of our magnificent museums in Malta.
Today we are sharing with you what we passionately feel are our top ten museums for you to visit whilst on holiday in Malta.
Here we go, and in no particular order…
1. Fort St Elmo / National War Museum – Valletta
This is a must see! Not only can you explore this star shaped fort constructed in 1552 by the Order of St John but the fort also holds the National War Museum, housing artefacts reaching way back to prehistoric times. Fort St Elmo played a crucial role in holding back the Ottoman attacks during the Great Siege of 1565, as well as suffering the first aerial bombardment of the islands during WW2. Within the awesome grounds are two beautiful chapels, and one of the jewels to be found in the National War Museum is the George Cross which was awarded to the island of Malta by King George VI.
Video Link – Fort St. Elmo: National War Museum
Tip – to get there take the scenic 3 cities ferry from Valletta
2. Grandmaster’s Palace – Valletta
Referred locally to as “The Palace” this beautiful building is located in Palace Square, and is and has always been the house of the Government in Malta. It has an extremely colourful political history, being home firstly to the knights, then the British and now its home to our President. When our parliament is not in session there is so much to see here! Gobelins tapestries, portraits and frescoes, splendid art objects, coats of arms, and the Armoury which houses one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.
Video Link – Grandmaster’s Palace
Tip – Catch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at 1030am every last Friday of the Month in Palace Square.
3. Lascaris War Rooms – Valletta
Located 150 feet beneath the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Lascaris War Rooms was one of Malta’s best kept secrets during WW2.
Consisting of a network of underground chambers and tunnels the war rooms housed Britain’s War Headquarters in Malta. It was here that the islands defence against the Axis forces was planned and all offensive operations in the #Mediterranean were waged.
Tip – Take the Upper Barrakka Lift and have lunch at one of the fabulous cafes and restaurants at the Valletta Waterfront.
4. Saluting Battery – Valletta
Located on one if not the best vantage points overlooking the Grand Harbour the Saluting Battery’s origins are as old as the city of Valletta itself.
During the Grand Siege the full length of the promontory where our capital city now stands was overtaken by the Ottomans. It was here they that they built several powerful siege batteries to keep the Knights of St. John and the Maltese holed-up within Fort St. Angelo and two of the 3 cities, Vittoriosa and Senglea.
At the end of Siege in 1565 the Order of St. John ordered the building of a defensive city, Valletta, and constructed a powerful defence in place of the Ottoman battery presiding over the Grand Harbour.
Tip – Plan your visit to take in the spectacle of the firing of the noon day gun across the Grand Harbour.
5. Wignacourt Museum – Rabat.
The Wignacourt museum was originally the baroque residence of the Chaplains of the Knights of St John.
It is linked to St Paul’s Grotto, which is the cradle of Christianity in Malta and where St Paul the Apostle way back in AD 60 founded the very first Christian community on Malta. This is a stunningly eclectic museum set on three levels. The underground level holds an eerie labyrinth of chambers, and a number of WW2 shelters, the ground floor is host to a wonderful collection of art along with a beautiful garden, and on the first floor you will find a breath-taking picture gallery, relics and spectacular sculptures.
Tip – Team your visit here with a visit to Mdina – The Silent City.
6. Malta Toy Museum – Valletta
One of our favourite Museums in Malta, this museum is an absolute joy for all ages.
Spread over three floors, the museum is a treasure trove of vintage toys dating back to the 1950s. Its oldest treasure being everyone’s favourite, a precious wooden model of Pinocchio dating right back to 1883.
Tip – following your fun visit why not enjoy a delicious sweet treat with a visit to the islands famous Caffé Cordina on Republic Street.
7. Malta Aviation Museum – Ta’ Qali
This awesome museum is a super day out for all of the family! What a location!
Situated in the former Air Force Station at Ta’ Qali, you will find two huge hangars packed full of WW2 airplanes! Along with viewing the aircraft close up, you will also be able to learn all about the military history of the islands and the war in the skies above Malta. Plus there’s oodles of memorabilia too, ranging from aircraft engines, to uniforms and badges, and there is also the Warden’s Post and Chapel Garden to explore!
Tip – pop along to the artisan crafts village at Ta’ Qali afterwards and pick up some unique souvenirs.
8. Rotunda of St Marija Assunta (The Mosta Dome) – Rabat
Not a museum per se, but a church. But this is no ordinary church, this is a church with a miraculous story attached and what is purported to be, the world’s third largest unsupported dome!
During the incessant air attacks of WW2 upon the island, on April the 9th 1942, a 500kg German aerial bomb crashed through the dome landing in amongst 300 parishioners gathered for prayer. Miraculously it failed to explode, there were no injuries and the church remained mainly intact.
To this day it is referred to as “Il-Miraklu tal-Bomba” the bomb miracle. You can read more about this miraculous day in a room at the back of the church where you can also view an exact replica of the bomb.
Other highlights are of course the dome itself, the sacristy, a large-scale model of the church, the basilica and the beautifully colourful and extremely ornate interior.
Tip – Plan your trip to arrive before 1000 and on weekdays to avoid the crowds
9. Malta Classic Car Museum – Qawra
If you are a car or motorcycle enthusiast then this museum is for you!
The impressive collection of cars on display here has been lovingly restored to their original pristine condition.
But it’s not just cars on display here, as you stroll around, the collection is framed with antiques and memorabilia from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. There are gramophones, antique television sets, jukeboxes and even the fashions of yesteryear. A visit here will transport you (pardon the pun) back to the golden age of motoring.
Tip – if you are a real enthusiast a number of vintage cars are also available for sale!
10. Muza – Valletta
Part financed by the EU, Muza is our brand-new visual arts institution and legacy project for the Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture title.
The building itself has a 500-year-old history, being the prime historic site of the seat of the Italian knights of the Order of St John. The art collection housed here is laid out in sections inspired by stories grouped into four main themes, those themes being, The Mediterranean, Europe, Empire and The Artist.
Video Link – Muza Museum Valletta
Tip – Have a delicious bite to eat in the bespoke cafeteria and restaurant which serves dishes not only inspired by, but branded to complement the art collections on display.
We do hope we have inspired you to take a peek inside one of our awesome museums in Malta. I’m sure you will agree, what our islands may lack in size, we most certainly make up for in heritage, miracles and history!
If you haven’t chosen where to stay in Malta browse through our collection of holiday homes – Our Portfolio