Valletta Old Town
Valletta Old Town

Why Valletta Is Europe’s Prettiest Capital City in 32 Photos

There’s no better time to visit Valletta than now, when the beautiful Maltese city shares the title of European Capital of Culture 2018 with Leeuwarden, Netherlands.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this city exudes history from every square inch of its narrow cobblestoned streets, from every ornate Baroque building and imposing rampart, gently lapped by the blue Mediterranean Sea.

But, within the ancient walls of this glorious fortress, life bubbles in sunny piazzas lined with elegant outdoor cafés, around honey-colored limestone palazzi, and beneath enclosed wooden balconies painted in bright colors.

Old buildings in Malta

Old street in Europe

Alley in Valletta Old Town

Though small, the capital is home to the largest concentration of art in Europe, and the beautifully restored centuries-old townhouses dotted throughout play host to some of Valletta’s best boutique accommodations.

Founded in 1565 by the Order of St John, Valletta is a delightful mélange of Arabic, British, and Italian influences, all of which shine in its majestic architecture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural life. And speaking of culture, some major infrastructural projects and over 400 events have been planned in the city and various locations across Malta in preparation for its function as European Capital of Culture 2018.

Throw some excellent Mediterranean restaurants, outstanding scuba diving, and a constellation of art galleries into the mix, and you’ve got one of Europe’s most alluring coastal cities – These images prove it in spades:

European Capital of Culture 2018

Colorful wood balconies

Street festival in Valletta

Medieval street

Majestic architecture in Malta

Lower Barrakka Gardens

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Watch tower in Valletta

Beautiful park with ancient architecture

Red British telephone cabin

Popeye village

Rooftops and the sea


The Grand Harbour

Small colored boats

Street carriage

Valletta skyline

Upper Barrakka lift

Lift in the old town

Auberge de Castille

Church of Saint Catherine of Italy

Jean de Valette Square

National Library of Malta

Seaside city in Malta

Sunset in Valletta

Most beautiful city in Europe

Maltese architecture

Port of Valletta

Blue hour in Valletta

Images licensed by Ingram Image