Upper Barrakka Gardens

Valletta Malta Grand Harbour,
The Three Cities On The Other Side Of The Harbour

The Upper Barakka Gardens overlook the Grand Harbour. From their terrace they afford one of the most beautiful panoramic views in Malta as they command a unique view of the only natural harbour in the Mediterranean with the Three Cities as its backdrop.

It is the place which attracts so many Maltese and tourists all year round. The view is so breath taking that you will find yourself revisiting it several times. Sitting on a bench overlooking the view is something that cannot be missed and keeps you coming back for more.

It is situated near the Auberge de Castile and adjacent to the Malta Stock Exchange formerly the Garrison Chapel built in 1855-1857 by the British Empire stationed in Malta.

Interesting historical fact

Originally, the gardens were built at the expense of the Bailiff Fra Flaminio Balbiano as an exercise ground for the Knights of the Langue of Italy.

On the two sides there is an arcade which has given the Upper Barrakka gardens a very imposing character. Originally these arcades were roofed in 1661.

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During the reign of the Knights of Malta, the roofs were removed in 1771, after the Rebellion of the Priests. At the time the Grand Master Ximenes de Texada, on the erroneous assumption that a conspiracy had been hatched here, ordered that the roofs are cleared completely.

Saluting battery

The saluting battery is found in the gardens directly beneath the top tier of the main garden. It was the place for many centuries past where at noon everyday marked the passage of mid-day.

The location of the guns are as a defensive location but also as a saluting battery for ceremonial salute to many dignitaries entering the Grand Harbour of Malta.

Barrakka lift

The lift provides a link between the Grand Harbour and the gardens. A lift had already been in place and this had operated between 1905 and 1973 however this had been dismantled in 1983 as time had changed the way people travel.

Now after the development of the Cruise liner waterfront, a new idea was developed for tourists and Maltese alike to facilitate  quick and easy access to Valletta. The lift is 38 metres high, the height of the fortifications built by the knights.

This new modern structure has recreated a vital link attracting many to these gardens.


The Upper Barakka gardens hosts a collection of the famous bronze statue, of Les Gavroches, as well as the monument of Lord Strickland, both the work of the eminent Maltese sculptor Antonio Sciortino.

One also finds the monument to the Governor The Hon. Sir Thomas Maitland, and that erected to the memory of Dr. Joseph Zammit.

There are also memorial tablets to other prominent naval and military officers.

It is on record that a small bronze replica of Les Gavroches was presented by the Government to Her Majesty, then H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth during her stay in Malta.

Opening hours: 07:00 to 22:00
Entrance: Free

The Upper Barakka Gardens remains the most attractive location in Valletta the Capital of Malta.

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