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If you’re interested in the maritime history of Malta this is a place you must visit.

The Malta Maritime Museum is set within the Old Naval bakery on the Birgu (Vittoriosa) waterfront. Within it, artefacts and exhibits take you on a 7,000 year journey through Malta’s maritime history, showing how this history and the ties with the Mediterranean sea influenced Maltese people and the island in general.

This museum is part of my list of the 29 Best Museums and Tourist Attractions in Malta.

Ship model on display at the Malta Maritime Museum in Birgu.

Starting in the prehistoric era, the museum offers detailed information about all things concerning the sea, from ship building to customs, from the Phoenicians to the French to the different roles within the British Navy to the different ways in which the navy was deployed during both world wars.

The museum started collecting the artefacts on display in 1988. Many of the items on display are donations by Maltese citizens, companies, international maritime and naval museums and foreign navies. Today the number of artefacts add up to more 20,000, making this museum quite a worthwhile visit for history buffs and curious travelers. Make sure you put aside a couple of hours to visit this place properly.

Among the collection, you will be able to see some unique artefacts including a 4-ton Roman anchor, the earliest known Maltese exvoto, a model of a ship belonging to the Order of St John, a collection of over sixty boats, a collection of cannons, the Napoleonic figure head of the 110 gun ship HMS Hibernia and a marine steam engine from the 1950s.

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Highlights – Why is the Malta Maritime Museum worth visiting?

There are over 20,000 reasons why you should visit this museum. That’s the number of artefacts contained within the walls of the Malta Maritime Museum which include:

  • The largest Roman lead anchor in the world
  • A large 18th century ship
  • Over sixty traditional Maltese boats.

This is also Malta’s largest museum and both the setting and the building within which it is housed are very unique.

Visitor information

How to get there

The museum is located at the start of the Birgu waterfront, which eventually leads to Fort St. Angelo at the tip of the peninsula that Birgu was built upon.

Getting to Birgu by bus is easy – it only takes 15 minutes from Valletta via bus route numbers 2 or 4. There are no direct lines from other popular localities, however, so if you’re not staying in Valletta you’ll need to catch a bus heading there first.

Alternatively, a more scenic and stylish way to cross to Birgu is across the Grand Harbour from Valletta (Malta’s capital city), either by ferry or by a water taxi (gondola style!).

The crossing takes 7 minutes and starts from the Valletta waterfront. You can also take the 30-minute harbour tour for a little extra. The trip back is equally pleasing, providing a beautiful approach to Valletta.

Address: Ex-Naval Bakery, Vittoriosa Waterfront, Vittoriosa BRG 1721, Tel: +356 21 660 052
Website: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/malta-maritime-museum/

Visiting hours

  • Monday to Sunday: 09.00 – 17.00hrs
  • Last admission at 16.30hrs
  • Closed on 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January & Good Friday

Entrance fees

  • Adults (18 – 59 years): €5.00
  • Youths (12 – 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €3.50
  • Children (6 – 11 years): €2.50
  • Infants (1 – 5 years): Free

Tickets can be combined with ticket to the Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu and can be purchased in advance through the website of Heritage Malta.

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