Hypogeum Malta also known as Hal Saflieni, is an underground burial site dating back to the earliest remains which dates back to 4000 BC and the burial complex was used through a length of several centuries to circa 2500 BC.
It is a cultural asset of outstanding prehistoric importance. It is the only known example of a subterranean structure of the Bronze Age. It is situated at Paola in Hal Saflieni Street. There are three levels underneath each other.
It was discovered by accident in 1902 by a stone mason who was building the foundations of some houses. Immediately the Museums Department of the time took action where they discovered a wealth of archaeological material.
Back to 2017 a new visitors center with a small exhibition and audio-visual show was built to enhance the visitors visit to the Hypogeum.
The upper level is a burial complex where rock was dug out to form burial chambers. Here, remains of more than 7,000 human bones were discovered. The bodies were buried with various ornaments. Stone implements, flint tools, stone, alabaster and clay statuettes, and a great variety of personal ornaments like shell beads and precious stones were found.
The middle level consists of various chambers very smoothly finished, which give the impression of built masonry. The workmanship is all the more impressive when it is considered that the chambers were meticulously carved using only flint and stone tools. Impressive spiral paintings in red ochre are still visible in some areas.
One of the niches in the 'Oracle Chamber' has the characteristic of echoing deep sounds. The carved facade is magnificent and the quality of its architecture is in a remarkable state of preservation.
The chamber known as the Holy of Holies is a huge sculptured area, which looks very much like the megalithic temples built above the ground. More about this site which talks about elongated skulls.
Hypogeum Malta forms part of the UNESCO underground heritage sites.
For those who love history Hypogeum Malta is a must. So if you intend travelling to Malta you have to book much in advance, at last a couple of weeks or months before as you will find that they are booked well in advance. It depends on tourist summer peak times to low season winter times.
Only 8 groups of 10 person each hourly tours have the possibility of buying a ticket. We suggest that you consider booking the tickets from here. Often fully booked from weeks in advance.
- Monday to Sunday: 09:00 – 16:00 (last tour)
- Last admission 16:00
- Closed on 24th, 25th and 31st December, 1st January and Good Friday.
- Eight Guided tours each day
- Last minute tickets are available for Guided Tours at €40 only for the 12:00 and 16:00 guided tours. These are available the day before from Fort St Elmo (Valletta) and the Gozo Museum of Archaeology (Citadel, Gozo).
- Why go through to such a hustle and waste so much time when you can pre-book your tickets from the comfort of your home by clicking this button.
- Tours start exactly on time. It is important that you arrive 15 minutes before. If arriving exactly on time you might be refused.
- It is a one hour tour. It starts with a small exhibition and a video and then leads into the monument itself with an audio tour. With lighting and music effects it really takes you into a mystic tour giving you an experience not to be missed. You are taken round to all levels. A well worth experience.
- You are advised to wear comfortable shoes especially no slippery since there is high humidity inside the Hypogeum. Certain areas might be wet and slippery. No sandals are permitted.
- No filming and photography is permitted inside the premise.
- Children under the age of 6 years are not permitted inside the premises due to health and safety reasons.
- If there are persons who might be sensitive to claustrophobia they might have some discomfort.
- The audiovisual presentation is accessible to wheelchairs within the Visitors Centre. The Hypogeum archaeological Malts underground temple is NOT accessible to wheelchairs due to its shape.
- For visitors who will not be able to use the audio guide provided at the Visitor’s Centre may request a written copy of the script in English a week before their visit.
(18 - 59 years of age) - €40.00
- Children: (6 - 11 years of age) - €20.00
- Youth: (including aged 12 - 17) - €25.00
- Seniors: (60 years and over) - €25.00
- Infants (1 – 5 years) – No admission
- Tickets purchased are not refundable or exchangeable.
There is an option to buy tickets for the audio visual 20 minutes show about the site but with no access to the Hypogeum.
- Adults (18 – 59 years):
- Youths: (including aged 12 - 17) - €3.50
- Students, Concessions - €3.50
- Seniors: (60 years and over) - €3.50
- Infants (1 – 5 years): No admission
Private Car: By car drive up to Paola. There are signs and look for
Hal Saflieni Street lying close to the main Paola Church. AS around as the
people will be very helpful. You have to look around for parking bay withing
the surrounding side streets. It is suggested to part within the white parking
Public Transport: Follow the signs from the bus stop. It is around 5 minutes walk away from the Paola Parish church.
- To Ħal Saflieni: 81, 82, 83, 84, 88, 206, X2, X3
- To Valletta: 81, 82, 83, 84, 88
Hop-On Hop-Off Routes: The Red South Route for both sightseeing operators namely Malta Sightseeing & City Sightseeing Malta pass from here with a stop at the main road a munuite walk to the visitors centre.
Eating: There are various snack bars in the Paola church area.
Surrounding Villages: Paola and Tarxien are two villages attached to each other. Other villages in the vicinity which encircle the area, Fgura, Luqa, Marsa and the three cities, Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Bormla.
- The Tarxien Temples and Hypogeum are about 10 minutes away on foot from each other where you will also find a stop for the hop-on hop-off route buses apart from bus stops for public transport.
- Do not miss to see the Paola Church a few minutes away from the Hypogeum. iT is usually open in the morning.
- The three cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Bormla. Fortifications and many interesting things to see.
Hypogeum Malta is a unique must see attraction.