One of the many wonderful things about Malta is that the islands have something for everyone.
If you come to Malta on a getaway with friends and expect to find an enjoyable island resort replete with bars and clubs, you won’t be disappointed.
If you come to Malta expecting to enjoy the peaceful natural beauty of the Mediterranean archipelago, you’ll leave satisfied. You get the picture.
The story is no different if you’re coming to Malta for a cultural holiday this March. Malta has a long history and plenty of relics to prove it.
The islands also have a buzzing contemporary art scene and lots to do and see in the cities.
As such, Malta is a prime destination for your cultural vacations.
Here are a few of the sightseeing highlights that makes us special.
The most ancient manifestations of culture on the islands are the megalithic temples of Malta.
The newest of these beautiful ruins was built in 700BC and the oldest almost 4,000 years ago, making some of these temples among the oldest freestanding structures on earth.
Visiting these malta temples is also a great way to see the beautiful countryside and take in some culture with a sea view.
The Roman Villa, or Domvs Roma, is another fantastic example of ancient Maltese culture.
Located in Rabat, this beautiful building is one of the most popular tourist sites in Malta.
The well preserved mosaic pavements are divine, and there are also some beautiful marble statues which decorate the villa.
The adjacent museum, with its display of beautiful terracotta, is also well worth exploring.
The Domvs Roma is probably the most impressive Roman cultural site in Malta, but it is by no means the only Roman attraction on the islands.
The Roman period was a vibrant one in Malta, and there are plenty of other ruins and smaller attractions to see.
Three Cities Malta
The three cities are another famous part of the sightseeing circuit in Malta.
The “three cities” refer to the fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua.
Birgu has been around since the middle ages, but the other two beautiful cities were founded by the Order of St John in the 16th and 17th centuries.
What makes the three cities so singular is their enclosure within what is called the Cottonera lines, an intricate fortification project that was incredibly ambitious for its time.
You can view these beautiful coastal enclosures from Valletta, but if you have even a fleeting interest in architecture, they are certainly worth a visit of their own.
The stonework itself is beautiful, but there is also a long and complex story behind these fortifications.
St John’s Co-Cathedral
St John’s Co-Cathedral, located in Valletta, is an absolute must see and a gem of Baroque architecture.
Like the three cities, it was also built for the powerful order of St John in the 16th century, hence the name.
It was constructed by Glormu Cassar, who also designed some of the more impressive buildings in Valletta.
It’s interior is considered one of the finest examples of Baroque art in Europe, but beyond being a point of cultural consideration, it remains a very important shrine to this day.
St Paul’s Catacombs
Named for another saint, the catacombs were first explored in the late 19th century and remain one of the most important features of early Christian archaeology in Malta.
These underground alleys and tombs were in use from the 4th century AD until the 9th century AD.
They are open to the public today, making for an excellent if slightly spooky cultural excursion.
What the public is able to visit, however, is only a small fraction of the true extent of this marvellous subterranean structure.
If you are a fan of imbibing your culture by walking in the dark, then the Mdina dungeons are another must-visit cultural attraction.
From their use in the Roman times, through to the age of Napoleon, the grotesque history of these dark tunnels is brought to life in a wonderful exhibit that combines history and horror in an atmospheric setting.
A great choice for families, but only if the kids can put up with a little fear factor alongside their history lessons.
A visit to the Manoel Theatre in Valletta provides a wonderful way to experience new and old culture together.
The building itself is Europe’s third oldest working theatre, but the events showing are thoroughly contemporary and a great opportunity to drink deep of the well of Maltese culture.
There is often some fantastic opera on at the Manoel Theatre, along with great recitals, and frequent choral performances.
A more entirely modern cultural symbol in Malta is the Esplora Interactive Science centre.
A great day out for the family, Esplora was only opened in 2016 with the mission to nurture scientific curiosity and a culture of exploration amongst the Maltese public.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring yourself.