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We went to Hagar Qim because of the pictures we saw on the internet, it's location at the seaside etc. In their attempt to preserve Hagar Qim from wind and other damages from nature they covered the site by an enormous monstrosity of a structure. What makes these structures special is how they are constructed in relation to how the sun comes up etc. They definitely ruined that. It's impossible to take any decent picture of it (will add some ugly ones later). The adjacent site...same story.
Unique Suggestions: If you are really interested in archeology by all means go! If you (like me) want to be impressed and amazed by such ancient structures. Spare yourself the trip and disappointment.
Updated Oct 24, 2010
If you get a bus from the airport to Valletta you might be charged a child's fare for each of your cases.
Unique Suggestions: As the child's fare is only 23 cents I wouldn't get too stressed by it, but it's as well to know. Try and have the right change for the bus driver too - some don't like giving change to tourists. Just wait with your hand held out and they usually oblige though!!
Written Apr 19, 2009
Valletta Grand Harbour cruises - a number of boat operators run hour-long cruises around the Grand Harbour with a commentary explaining the various sights along the way. The trip includes the shipyards and offers views of the Baracca Gardens, Vittoriosa (and the Three Cities) seafront, Manoel Island etc. Many start and end on the Sliema seafront.
Unique Suggestions: You will no doubt notice any number of opportunities to take a "Grand Harbour Cruise". There are a number of operators and some of the most popular ones run from the seafront in Sliema.
There is also a ferry across from Sliema to Valletta (and back of course) which is very cheap.
Whilst these tours are all very good, we took the Luzzu cruise instead of the Captain Morgan boat.
Whilst the Cpt Morgan boat looked as if it was a little better looked-after, it was much larger than the tiny Luzzu boat. However, the Luzzu boat was able to take us much further into the little bays and harbours which meant that we got to see a little more and went a little closer to some of the sights.
The commentary was good and it was an all-together very pleasant experience.
The water does get a little choppy as the boat enters the main harbour going past the bombed-out sea defences!
Fun Alternatives: Just take the ferry from Valletta to Sliema for a short crossing offering good views of the towns from the sea.
If you visit Valletta, take the bus from your resort to Sliema instead then cross to Valletta using the ferry. Then, take th ebus from Valletta back home again!
Updated Jan 9, 2009
Well do not call a taxi from the hotel, they are going to charge you and you will never now about it. The Maltese authorities out a fare lists that they have to keep.
Unique Suggestions: you have to or arrange the price in advance or insist to make the counter run.
Fun Alternatives: just get on the bus - they are fun and you will keep some money
Written Jun 14, 2008
Be aware !!! The buses are very conveninet way to get around, but be careful as they are not very happy if they have to give a change when you give them more then 5 euros.
Unique Suggestions: Prepare the change.
Fun Alternatives: if you are staying for more then a few nights and you are not renting a car buy the few days buy a MULTI DAY PASS. You can buy them directly on the bus and then they can not trick you anymore.
Written Jun 14, 2008
Keep a close watch on the prices in Euros. Malta is currently converting from the Maltese lira to the Euro currency, and I have no doubt that some people will try to take advantage of this situation.
Fun Alternatives: Make sure the prices are fair & count your change!
Written Sep 10, 2007
When you are in any of the stores that sells souvernirs like knights and other things be especially careful around magnets. They are totally fragile (I think on purpose), situated low and in a narrow exit and keep on falling down even if you brushed against them with your clothes. Then the owner of the store asks you to pay for the damaged item - usually around 1 lm. I had to pay once and have witnessed this in many Valletta souvenir shops during rush hour.
Unique Suggestions: Just avoid all souvenir shops where you see magnets in a narrow areas.
Written Apr 9, 2007
On occasions, especially in Bugibba, Qawra and St Paul's Bay Promenade, you meet persons who sell timeshare. Altough Malta's timeshare have excellent reputation, DO NOT engage in a conversation unless you are genuinly interested in buying. If you show the slightest hint of interest, prepare yourself for a two hour dialoge, negotions, brochures and hotel tours.
Fun Alternatives: Just say firmly but politely that you're not interested in timeshare.
Updated Mar 11, 2007
Be aware of different prices charged i.e one for the locals, one for maltese living away, and one the tourists (other than maltese) Don't be shy to bargin - bargin & bargin - enjoy . Hopefully this will change when euro kicks in January 2008 other than that; enjoy these little islands of Malta & Gozo. They have alot to offer.
Unique Suggestions: Just Bargin and don't forget to smile
Fun Alternatives: Find out costs before spending
Written Feb 26, 2007
When you buy something from Kiosks at Valletta, make sure you don't pay extra. If you have Maltese relatives or friends let them buy the things for you. Because the Kiosks near the bus terminu, Valletta, tend to charge higher prices for turists. Sometimes they even charge higher prices for me! always ask for the receit to!
Fun Alternatives: Try to buy things from village confectionaries or groceries.
Written Aug 17, 2006
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