Malta's top five attractions to visit this summer

Five Maltese attractions managed by Heritage Malta have been granted Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for consistently earning outstanding traveller reviews

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
1 July 2017, 3:40pm
Fort St Angelo was one of the top-rated attractions in Malta
Fort St Angelo was one of the top-rated attractions in Malta
For those of you who repeatedly complain that the grass is always greener on the other side and that Malta has few or no quality sites and attractions, Trip Advisor is here to prove you wrong.

The American travel website, which provides unbiased reviews covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide, has granted five sites in Malta its Certificate of Excellence for 2017.

The Malta Maritime Museum, Fort St Angelo, the National War Museum, Domus Romana and St Paul’s Catacombs – all under Heritage Malta administration – were awarded the certification, given only to establishments and attraction that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on the website.

Winners of the Certificate of Excellence represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on tripadvisor.com, with only the top 10% receiving the prestigious award. Based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers around the world, these annual awards reflect ‘’the best of the best’’ for service, quality, and customer satisfaction, from hotels and accommodations to destinations, attractions, and even brands and products.

To qualify for the certification, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months of the year in question.

 

Malta Maritime Museum

The Malta Maritime Museum is housed in the former Royal Naval Bakery
The Malta Maritime Museum is housed in the former Royal Naval Bakery
The Malta Maritime Museum is located on Vittoriosa’s waterfront and is housed in the former Royal Naval Bakery, which was built in the 1840s as the main bakery for the Mediterranean Fleet.

The museum has a collection of over 20,000 artifacts, and it is the largest museum on the island. Its aim is to illustrate Malta's maritime history, starting from prehistory to the present. The museum shows this within a Mediterranean and a global context.

It earned an average rating of 4.5 in 256 reviews.

 

Fort St Angelo

Fort St Angelo was built by the Knights of St John between 1530 and 1690
Fort St Angelo was built by the Knights of St John between 1530 and 1690
Fort St Angelo is a large bastioned fort in Birgu, located at the centre of the Grand Harbour. It was originally built in the medieval period as a castle called the Castrum Maris or the Castello al Mare.

It was rebuilt by the Order of Saint John as a bastioned fort called Fort Saint Angelo between the 1530s and the 1690s, and it is best known for its role as the Order's headquarters during the Great Siege of Malta of 1565.

The fort was garrisoned by the British from 1800 to 1979, at times being classified as a stone frigate known as HMS Egmont or later HMS St Angelo. The fort suffered considerable damage during World War II, but it was later restored. In 1998, the upper part of the fort was handed back to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Fort St. Angelo has been on Malta's tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998.

On Trip Advisor, it averaged a rating of 4.0 across 167 reviews.

 

National War Museum

The National War Museum was refurbished in 2015
The National War Museum was refurbished in 2015
The National War Museum is located in Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta and is one of the most popular museums in Malta. From 1975 to 2014, its collection mainly focused on World War I and World War II. It was refurbished in 2015, and its collections now include exhibits ranging from the Bronze Age to 2004.

The museum was located in the Old Drill Hall of Lower Saint Elmo. The building was originally a gunpowder magazine, that was converted into an armoury in around 1853. Anti-aircraft gun crews were trained there during World War II.

Lower Saint Elmo is the lower part of Fort Saint Elmo, built in the 18th and 19th centuries after the original star fort (Upper Saint Elmo) and the outer fortifications (Carafa Enceinte).

Fort St Angelo earned an average rating of 4.5, with 1,032 reviews submitted on Trip Advisor.

 

Domus Romana

The Domus Romana in Rabat has been open to the public since 1882
The Domus Romana in Rabat has been open to the public since 1882
The Domvs Romana is a ruined Roman-era house located on the boundary between Mdina and Rabat. It was built in the 1st century BC as an aristocratic town house (domus) within the Roman city of Melite.

In the 11th century, a Muslim cemetery was established on the remains of the domus.

The site was discovered in 1881, and archaeological excavations revealed several well preserved Roman mosaics, statues and other artifacts, as well as a number of tombstones and other remains from the cemetery.

Since 1882, the site has been open to the public as a museum.

On Trip Advisor, the site earned an average rating of 4.0 in 327 reviews.

 

St Paul’s Catacombs

Only two out of 24 catacombs in the St Paul's cluster are currently open to the public
Only two out of 24 catacombs in the St Paul's cluster are currently open to the public
St Paul’s Catacombs are some of the most prominent features of Malta’s paleochristian archaeology. The archaeological clearing of the site has revealed an extensive system of underground galleries and tombs dated from the fourth to the ninth centuries AD. The site was first fully investigated in 1894 by Dr. Antonio Annetto Caruana.

The site that is currently open to the public comprises two catacombs out of the 24 in the St Paul’s cluster. The main complex, covering an area of more than 2000 square metres, is so far the largest catacomb ever to be found on the island. It is large enough to have served as a communal burial ground in successive phases of Malta’s history.

Although the complex contains almost all of the burial types found in the Maltese repertoire, the best represented are so-called Baldacchino tombs. These free-standing, canopied burials dominate the main corridors of the complex; their four elegant arches and supporting pillars are exemplary. Other decorations within this catacomb include illustrations and written messages in red paint.

The site earned a rating of 4.0 with 824 reviews submitted.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...