Malta promises you with various things to see and do, especially in Valletta, the capital city. Valletta is full of museums, cathedrals, piazzas, squares, and gardens to wander around and explore. However, sometimes, you might need a break from all of those places, from a busy crowd to somewhere more peace and calm. At Upper Barrakka Gardens, it is an ideal place for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the magnificent view of Grand Harbour right in front of you. Here you can take a quick break from the city since the garden is situated in the middle of the city not very far from Triton Fountain and Valletta bus hub.
Upper Barrakka Gardens offers the most beautiful view of the Grand Harbour, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the famous Three Cities. If you get off the bus from the bus hub, past the Triton fountain and main city gate and keep walking straight, you will pass by many important attractions such as Parliament Building, Royal Opera House, Castille Place, St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Auberge de Castille, Malta Stock Exchange, until then, you will finally arrive at the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
These beautiful aches were built by the Italian knights, Flaminio Balbiano in 1661, as the private gardens and exercise grounds for the knight of Italy. Then until 1824, it has been transformed into the charming garden opened to the public with trees, flowers, monuments, and fountains. During World War II, the garden suffered from the major damages and received the restoration back to its full form once again.
Once you step inside the gateway of the garden, you will feel like you are in another land full of trees and flowers. The tiny fountain situated in the middle of the garden surrounded by monuments. The archway lies beautifully connecting you to the terrace with benches. There you will see one of the best views of Malta with the breathtaking panoramic view which attracts the tourists and Maltese to come here all year round. The most beautiful moment at Upper Barrakka Gardens is the magic hour when the sun is about to set.
The blue sky turns into orange and pink colour which is hard for yourself to resist not to keep taking photos. From the terrace, you can see the Three Cities; Vittoriosa, Cospicua, and Senglea standing right in front of your eyes. Sometimes, there will be an enormous cruise cruises pass by the sea. Directly below the terrace is the Saluting Battery with several cannons which will be fired daily at 12:00 and 16:00. If you want to visit and learn more about its history, you can book the ticket online on its website and have a closer look at the cannons.
There is the Upper Barrakka Lift which connects the garden with the Grand Harbour. Newly re-opened in December 2012 at the original site of the old one that has been disassembled since 1983 after operated from 1905 to 1973. The lift considered to be the quickest way to get into Valletta city centre from the Valletta Waterfront. It takes only 25 seconds to travel up 58 metres from the ground onto the garden. The lift can contain up to 20 people at a time and it only cost 1€ for the round trip.
Inside the garden, there is the Upper Barrakka Kiosk that provides you with the drinks, pastries, ice cream, and several others for you to refresh yourself during your visit. You can either sit at the provided table or at the benches in the terrace area watching the sunset while drinking your favourite drink.
The gateway to the Saluting Battery is just right in the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The cannons will be fired every day at 12:00 and 16:00. You can wait to watch the firing cannon on the terrace of the garden. Do not miss the chance to watch the sunset and Saluting Battery if you visit Malta.
Words and Photographs by Aphinya Kasemsukphaisan
UPPER BARRAKKA GARDENS
Address: 292 Triq Sant' Orsla, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta
Transportation: Bus line 133 Kastilja Station
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00-22:00
Address: Saluting Battery, Battery Street, Valletta, VLT1221, Malta
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Admission Fee: Adult 3€ / Children between 5-15 years old 1€
Website: Click here