Centuries of history overlap in these compact areas easily reached by bus and ferry from Valletta. Set on two narrow peninsulas, the Three Cities area, comprising Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, was the original home of the Knights of St John in Malta. The district's narrow laneways are now mainly residential, while at Vittoriosa's northern end, the recently restored Fort St Angelo offers superb views across Grand Harbour to Valletta.
To the southwest of Malta's fortress capital, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is one of the country's essential sights. Around 5000 years old, the mysterious subterranean burial chambers inspire awe and provide a unique insight into life and death across the millennia. Booking ahead a few months before visiting Malta is essential.