St Barbara Bastion | Picture-perfect townhouses with views
Known as the poshest area of the city, St Barbara Bastion is every billionaire’s dream
You’ll know you’ve arrived at St Barbara Bastion because this part of Valletta’s fortifications easily commands the most picture-perfect view in Valletta, the subject of numerous postcards and happy couple selfies. This part of the city is kind of hidden, but you can reach it easily if you keep following the fortifications outside the Lower Barrakka Gardens and take a left fork.
St Barbara Bastion was built in the 16th century, but there’s nothing outdated about the houses, hotels and bars surrounding the area. The residences here are every billionaire’s dream – gorgeously maintained with original town-house features, the most modern amenities indoors and, of course, an impeccable view spanning The Three Cities and the Grand Harbour area. In fact, there are a few rich and famous people reputed to own a residence there.
St Barbara Bastion is also the site for one of Malta’s luxury hotels, Iniala Harbour House. Brunch on the terrace of the hotel is one of the most sought-after on a Saturday morning, but make sure you book beforehand. After sunset, the place takes on a more Bohemian feel, with live jazz played every Friday at the nearby Bridge Bar. This is another of Valletta’s most popular hot spots with the trendy crowd, and when the outside tables are full, patrons just use the cushions on the stone staircase that leads to the outskirts of Valletta.
Around St Barbara Bastions
St Barbara Bastion overlooks the area known as Ta’ Liesse, which is synonymous with the annual Malta Jazz Festival. The festival is a big deal on the international circuits and has hosted the biggest names in traditional and experimental jazz, including Chick Corea, John Scofield, Al di Meola and Betty Carter.
With the stage set up right underneath, St Barbara Bastion became jokingly known as ‘the complimentary jazz festival seats’, with those wanting to enjoy the festival without purchasing tickets setting up picnics on the bastion itself. Those lucky enough to own a boat do the same, mooring in Grand Harbour to enjoy the best unofficial seats. The festival takes place in summer, usually on the last weekend of July.