St John's Co-Cathedral

Price guide: Mid-range

St John's Square, Valetta

Price guide: Mid-range

St John's Co-Cathedral
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By Juliet Rix, your Valletta expert

#2 of 5
expert-rated things to do in Valletta
Expert overall rating:4.9 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, First-time travellers, Mature travellers, Singles, Art, Design and architecture, Education, History, Sightseeing

Best for First-time visitors - Expert review of St John's Co-Cathedral

The Knights of St John’s main church in Malta is a Baroque extravaganza.

It seems that not a single square inch has been left undecorated in the church of the Knights in Malta. It is a kaleidoscope of gold and colour. Each langue (language group) of the Knights had their own chapel here and competed for opulence, and the floor is covered with tombs inlaid with coloured marble while the ceiling has paintings by Mattia Preti, the Italian master who settled in Malta. In the Oratory is Caravaggio’s largest painting and the only one he signed, 'Beheading of St John', as well as his 'St Jerome', both painted in the brief period when he lived amongst the Knights in Malta.

Price advice: 

Admission is 5.80 euros for adults, 4.65 euros for over-60s, and children under 12 (accompanied by an adult) are free.

Expert tips: 
I would certainly take the excellent audio guide, which is available in six languages including English and is free with admission.
No narrow-heeled shoes are allowed as they damage the floor.
High Mass is sung in Latin every Sunday at 9.15am. All are welcome to attend (though not to wander around sightseeing!) - it's quite an experience.

More information on St John's Co-Cathedral:

Price guide:
Historic site, Museum, Religious site
St John's Square, Valetta
21 220 536
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm, Sat 9.30am-12.30pm (last admission is 30 minutes before close). High mass in Latin with full choir is usually at 9.15am on Sundays.
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