Visitors to the National Archaeology Museum explore on self-guided tours—choosing to rent an audio-guide if they wish—delving into its two floors to learn about Malta’s history. You can view everything from prehistoric tools to extraordinary temple carvings of humans and animals plus Phoenician jewelry and pottery. The museum features on some day-long Valletta city tours, most of which include the admission fee. For a more comprehensive visit, choose a private tour focused on Valletta or the whole island that lets you tailor the itinerary to spend however long you want at the museum.
Things to know before you go
- The National Museum of Archaeology is a must-visit for archaeology and history fans.
- Allow for one to two hours inside, depending on your level of interest.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly, and offers free admission to wheelchair users.
- Facilities include an elevator and restrooms.
How to get there
The museum stands on Republic Street—one of old Valletta’s principal thoroughfares— very close to St. John's Co-Cathedral. The easiest way to reach it is on foot; most of Valletta Old Town is pedestrianized. If you’re traveling to Valletta by bus, disembark at the main A1 bus terminal and find Republic Street by turning right at the Triton Fountain. Drivers will find designated parking outside the City Gate.
When to get there
The museum is open daily from 9am-5pm January-September and from 9am-6pm October-December. It’s closed on public holidays, including December 24, 25, and 31; January 1, and Good Friday. Although it’s rarely crowded, it’s sensible to arrive early if you want to explore when it’s quiet—especially in summer.
What to See at the National Museum of Archaeology
Scan the museum’s exterior before stepping inside: it occupies the elegant Auberge de Provence, originally the official residence of the Knights of St. John from Provence in France. Once inside, explore the richly decorated Gran Salon hall and ante-rooms to view the chronologically arranged exhibits. Don’t miss highlights such as the island’s prehistoric “fat-ladies” figurines—including the Sleeping Lady of the Hypogeum tombs—and a stunning bronze pendant of the Egyptian gods Horus and Anubis.
- St. John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta' San Gwann)
- Malta 5D
- Auberge de Castille
- St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Spazju Kreattiv)
- Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck
- Grandmaster's Palace
- Upper Barrakka Gardens
- Lascaris War Rooms
- Teatru Manoel
- Valletta Waterfront (Pinto Wharf)
- Casa Rocca Piccola
- Marsamxett Harbour
- Lower Barrakka Gardens
- Grand Harbour
- Great Siege of Malta & the Knights of St. John