Famous as the location for blockbusters Game of Thrones and World War Z, Malta’s capital city, Valletta, will take centre stage as next year’s European Capital of Culture.
The island, which sits between Southern Italy and Northern Africa, once served as a key tactical location for war-faring nations (in fact Valletta was one of the most bombed cities during World War II). Over the years the island has mixed the old with the new, making it one of the most interesting cultural destinations on earth.
In 2018 Malta invites the rest of the world to participate in a year of cultural events across the island. The Maltese tourist board launched Valletta 2018 at the Museum of the Order of St. John in Clerkenwell, the English headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller, whose symbol, the eight point cross, emblazons Malta’s national flag.
The Mediterranean island will host over 400 events in 2018, half of which are taking place outside the capital city in various localities across Malta and Gozo. It’s predicted that around one million people will participate in next year’s events with some 80,000 members of the public expected to join the opening celebrations, which will last from January 14–21.
There will be music and dancing in each of the city’s four main squares. Guest performances will include shows by acrobats La Fura dels Baus and contemporary dance troupe ZfinMalta.
Catherine Tabone, executive director of Valletta 2018, said the project “will see the culmination of six years of continuous development which have placed Malta’s culture sector, the capital city of Valletta and the Maltese islands at large on the European Cultural map.”
Along with the Valletta Design Cluster (housed in a formerly abandoned abattoir) and the regeneration of Strait Street, one of the city’s most historical thoroughfares, the Valletta 2018 Foundation also plans to open a new national museum of fine arts. MUŻA will occupy the Auberge d’Italie, a historic building originally dating to the late 16th century, once used as the seat and residence of the Italian knights of the Order of St. John.
With an amazing year ahead, Malta is definitely a destination to watch in 2018, not only on the big screen!
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.