St John's Co-Cathedral

Address: St John's Square, Valetta, Malta
Telephone: 21 220 536

- Mid-range


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.

Value for money

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

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.

No narrow-heeled shoes are allowed as they damage the floor.

I would certainly take the excellent audio guide, which is available in six languages including English and is free with admission.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • First-time travellers
  • Mature travellers
  • Singles
  • Education
  • Sightseeing
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture