Floriana, Exploring Malta

Floriana – Exploring Malta

Floriana is one of Malta’s fortified cities. It is either the suburb or the gateway to the capital Valletta, with large fortifications in all directions. You really have to penetrate the fortifications of Floriana if you are going to Valletta by land. Floriana is home to several gardens and parks, making it a green area for its around 2.000 inhabitants. It is, however, also the car park of Valletta, with many open areas covered by parked cars.

Floriana has two twin cities. The first one is Macerata in the Marche Region of Italy. The second twin city is Rieux-Volvestre in the Occitania Region of France.

Our blog posts about Floriana:

The History of Floriana

The construction of a new line of fortifications to protect Valletta started in 1636. These were the Floriana Lines, named after the Italian military engineer Pietro Paolo Floriani. These new fortifications were not completed until the 1720s.

The new suburb of Valletta started to develop in the 18th century. Many residential blocks were built and gardens were established to create open spaces. The focus for Floriana changed when the British took control over Malta in the 19th century. The town now transformed into a garrison town and new barracks and military establishments were built.

Sights in Floriana

Floriana is home to impressive fortifications, great views of the waterfronts, and plenty of green gardens. There is a lot to see and discover, also outside the city gates of Valletta.

Argotti Botanic Gardens

Argotti Botanic Gardens is a part of the University of Malta. This botanic garden has a history going back two centuries. It is, however, not the research and the garden’s collection that will attract most visitors. It is the park and the view from the top of these fortifications that is the most impressive part. Walking around in this green space in an otherwise stony Malta is a really nice addition.

Pjazza San Publiju

Pjazza San Publiju is a large public space in Floriana, actually one of the largest such spaces in Malta. It is used for events, such as public gatherings, concerts, and festivals. It was earlier known as Floriana Granaries, as it contains several holes for storing grains.

Porte des Bombes

Portes des Bombes was earlier one of the gates of the Floriana Lines. Construction of the lines began in 1636 and the gate was completed in 1721. It had originally only one archway, but a second was built in 1868. The two archways of the former gate stand alone today, with the connection to the fortification line gone.

Sa Maison Garden

Sa Maison Garden is a garden close to the border with Pietà. Stone walls surround this green oasis. Here you will find palm trees and species of the local flora. The garden was established in the 19th century.

Saint Publius Parish Church

Saint Publius Parish Church is the parish church of Floriana. Construction began in 1733 and the church was completed in 1768. It is dedicated to Saint Publius, the patron of Floriana and the first saint from Malta.

The Mall

The Mall is a strip of land in Floriana making up the main promenade leading up to the gates of Valletta. The promenade is around 360 meters long and was built by Grandmaster Lascaris in 1656. Trees, sculptures, and fountains line the promenade.

Valletta Waterfront

Valletta Waterfront is a promenade that is actually in Floriana. Its history goes back to 1727 and has seen many purposes over the years. This is where you currently can see the large cruise ships dock when they visit Valletta.

Wignacourt Water Tower

Wignacourt Water Tower is a part of the Wignacourt Aqueduct. The aqueduct brought water from springs in Dingli and Rabat to the capital of Valletta and construction began already in 1596. The aqueduct was opened in 1615 and was in use for about 300 years. In Floriana was the last out of three inspection towers, which is today known as the Wignacourt Water Tower.

Floriana Activities

Here we have listed some of the activities that you can do in Floriana.

Beaches in Floriana

We don’t know of any beaches in Floriana. Even though the city has the sea on two sides, we have not identified any locations for swimming. If you know of any, please feel free to let us know in the comments.

Floriana Hiking

Hiking in and around Floriana will mostly take you through urban areas. You will need to walk quite far before reaching rural areas, but once you do you will most likely be rewarded. This is especially true if you hike along the coast.

Around the Marsamxett Harbour

One urban hike is around the Marsamxett Harbour. With the ferry connecting Valletta and Sliema, it is possible to walk around most of the bay, passing by the communities of Pietà, Msida, Ta’ Xbiex, and Gżira. That is in addition to Floriana, Sliema, and Valletta.

Shopping in Floriana

Shopping in Floriana is a bit limited. There are a few smaller shops, but most people will probably go to Sliema or Valletta for shopping. For groceries, larger grocery stores can be found along the main roads of Malta.

Excursions from Floriana

Floriana is together with Valletta at the center of Malta’s public transport network. It really is possible to reach the whole island from here. Even though the speed of the buses might be limited, the distances are never really that long. Well, to reach one of the main tourist attractions, the capital Valletta, then you will just have to take a short walk.


Birżebbuġa is a town in the southeastern part of Malta. It is not only the home of the large Malta Freeport, but it is also the home of a few historical sites. You will mainly find two interesting archaeological sites here, Għar Dalam and Borġ in-Nadur. This is also a popular summer resort for the local Maltese.

From our visit:


Marsaskala is another coastal resort town in the eastern part of Malta. This former fishing village has grown into a resort town with beaches, playgrounds, and plenty of cafés and restaurants.

From our visits:


Marsaxlokk is an old fishing village famous for its traditional colorful boats and the daily market. This is one of the main tourist attractions in the eastern part of Malta. The colorful fishing boats, known as Luzzu, are an addition to the Maltese culture dating back to the early 12th century.

From our visits:


Mdina is the former capital of Malta and is today a small fortified town. It is one of the most impressive sights on the island and is just a short bus ride away from Floriana. Mdina is also neighboring the town of Rabat, a town that is possible to combine in the same visit.

From our visits:

Saint Julian’s

Saint Julian’s is one of the towns on the other side of the Marsamxett Harbour and the main tourist resort in Malta. This is where many of the hotels are located and it is popular for its restaurants and shopping. It is also the home of Paceville, an area that is both loved and hated for its many bars and nightclubs.


Sliema is within easy reach, even by foot if you would like. This is one of the busier towns in Malta and a modern commercial center. For anyone looking for shopping or other urban activities, then Sliema is usually among the options on the island. Together with Saint Julian’s, Sliema makes up one of the main tourist resorts in Malta.

From our visits:

The Three Cities – Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea

The Three Cities of Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea are famous for their fortifications and marinas. This is where you will find Fort St Angelo and several places to view the marina, the Grand Harbor, and Valletta itself. It is easy to reach by crossing the two bays with the public ferries.

From our visits:


Valletta, the capital of Malta, is one of the places that most people visiting the country will try to see at least once. Especially if you are visiting Floriana, then Valletta is just a few steps away. Its high walls and other fortifications make it an impressive sight and the view of the sea is never far away.

From our visits:

Floriana with a Kid

Floriana might not be the most kids-friendly area in Malta. The green areas and large public areas are great, but then there is also a lot of traffic and much space being used for parking.

Read more about Malta with kids:

Playgrounds in Floriana

We have been able to locate one playground in Floriana and that one is at the King George V Gardens. We still have to visit this park ourselves, so please let us know your opinions in the comments below.

King George V Gardens

Located on one of the bastions watching out over the Grand Harbor is the King George V Gardens. These gardens include a fairly large playground and open spaces for kids.

There are more towns and villages to discover. Join us in Exploring Malta >>

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.