The first time I sailed into the Grand Harbour of Malta’s capital city, I was struck, as most people are, by the beauty of this place.  That was over eight years ago. I’ve sailed into this port three times now and, while it never gets old, there have been many improvements over the years.  From a cruise perspective, these changes make it so much easier to move from the port to the upper city and beyond.

Of course, you can still take a bus up to the main gate where there are buses to take you all over the island.  And there are plenty of taxis offering tours of various lengths. And even horse-drawn carriages. But now, there is also an elevator that will take you from the port to the Upper Barracca Gardens where you will find some of the best views of the harbour (and where they fire cannons).

For this trip, I did opt for a taxi so that my mother could see more of Malta. Our driver took us on a tour of part of the coastline. At the end, he dropped me off at the Upper Barracca Gardens and was able to drive my mother directly to the ship by showing the port authorities her cane. Sometimes, it is good to have this kind of assistance.

I spent the rest of my day wandering the streets of Valletta, visiting St. John’s Co-cathedral to see Caravaggio’s The Beheading of St. John and generally just enjoying being back in a place I love to visit.

Other travel notes … there are public toilets at the Upper Barracca Gardens. Always good to know!

The elevator *may* charge 4 Euros to use, however when I used it to go back to the port, there was no charge. There are also a number of shops, restaurants and bars lining the area near the cruise port as well.