National Museum of Archaeology

Address: Auberge de Provence, Republic Street, Valletta, VLT 1112, Malta
Telephone: 21 221 623

- Mid-range


A remarkable display of Neolithic arts and crafts, in an original 16th-century building.

The Neolithic galleries display all the best art and craft work from Malta’s extraordinary temples built between 3600BC and 2500BC, as well as interesting material about their construction, and jewellery and pots made at that time. There are carvings of patterns, animals and people, including the “Fat Ladies of Malta” - voluptuous statues that, along with various phallic symbols, were probably part of a fertility cult. The best of the “Fat Ladies” is a delicate little “Sleeping Lady” found in the Hypogeum. She was modelled out of clay at about the time Stonehenge was being built.

Value for money

Price advice

Adults cost 5 euros, over-60s and children aged 12-17 cost 3.50 euros, and children aged 6-11 are 2.50 euros. Children under-6 go free.

Expert tips

Bronze Age to Roman galleries are set to open some time in 2011.

It's well worth a visit – especially when combined with a visit to any of the temples. If there is a special exhibition upstairs, pop up to see the marble candelabrum (or cippus) at the top of the stairs. On the base is an inscription in Phoenician and a shorter version in Greek. This, and its pair (now in the Louvre in Paris), helped experts first decipher the Phoenician language.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • First-time travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Education
  • History
  • Design and architecture