Gardens in Valletta are quite limited, mainly owing to the fact that when the city was built in the 16th century, the authorities banned private gardens due to water shortage. This doesn’t mean that there are no green areas, however. This blog lists six gardens one can enjoy in and around Valletta.
1. Upper Barrakka Gardens
Possibly the most famous of them all, the Upper Barakka Gardens situated in one of Valletta’s top vantage points overlooking the Grand Harbour. From the main terrace one can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the most beautiful panoramic views in Malta. A unique view of the only natural harbour in the Mediterranean with the Three Cities as its backdrop. This terrace also overlooks the Saluting Battery, now a ceremonial platform where you can watch the military salute at noon and 4pm, daily.
2. Argotti Botanical Gardens
One of the most beautiful of Floriana’s public gardens, the recently refurbished Argotti Gardens are among the oldest Commonwealth gardens and serve as a wonderful green haven within their urban environment. The Argotti Gardens were laid out in the 18th century as a private garden belonging to Grand Master Pinto. Today Argotti Gardens has a dual personality: the public area contains rare trees, plants and flower beds. The many benches shaded by trees invite mainly Floriana residents to enjoy periods of relaxation. Sunday mornings serves as an invitation to others. They enjoy a pleasant walk through the ‘Biskuttin’ garden opposite The Phoenicia Malta, through the Mall Garden and then a leisurely walk into the Argotti.
3. Hastings Garden
Hastings Gardens is located on top of St. John’s Bastion and St. Michael’s Bastion, on the west side of the City Gate. The garden offers views of Floriana, Msida, Sliema, and Manoel Island. Hasting Gardens in Valletta is the home to a monument raised in honour of Lord Hastings who was a former British governor of Malta. He died at sea in 1827 and lies buried in the garden. Even though this garden is relatively small, it is still very attractive and charming, providing opportunities to take wonderful pictures.
4. Lower Barrakka Gardens
The Lower Barrakka gardens is situated at the lower end of Valletta on the bastions overlooking the entrance to the Grand Harbour. Located strategically so, as from there one can see the Harbour from another angle, from its mouth. The Lower Barrakka gardens is the place where you can sit down and relax looking at the splendid panoramic view. It is a nicely decorated garden with pathways and greenery.
5. Gnien Laparelli
Laparelli Garden, named after the Italian architect who designed Valletta in 1566, is a public garden located in the ditch below Valletta’s City Gate bastions. Inaugurated in February 2019, the garden was formerly a car park which was transformed as part of the regeneration of the area that also included the new City Gate and Parliament building, as well as the restored Triton Fountain and the surrounding square. Surrounded by the imposing Valletta fortifications on all sides, the Laparelli Garden features green landscaping, open spaces, benches and around 50 indigenous trees.
6. The Phoenicia Malta Gardens
A grand hotel like The Phoenicia Malta would not be complete without a magnificent garden; 7 acres of gardens, to be exact. Heading out of the hotel towards the famous Bastion Pool, one can admire a variety of trees, shrubs, and plants. Find one of the secluded benches and sitting areas, or the manicured Relaxation Garden. Enjoy a picnic or catch up on your reading, whilst enjoying the sounds of nature and birds chirping away. Alternatively, take a seat at the edge of the garden and enjoy breath-taking views overlooking Marsamxett Harbour and the Bastion Pool.