San Anton Gardens

San Anton Gardens in Malta, a bus ride away from Valletta, are beautiful formal gardens which belong to the current presidential palace (pictured above). Although the palace is not open to the public, the gardens are and they’re definitely worth the trip from Valletta. The gardens are laid out within a huge surrounding wall, with pathways criss-crossing throughout the site. There are many different areas to see as you walk the paths and along the way you’re bound to meet up with some of the gardens inhabitants including turtles, cockerels and peacocks.

San Anton Gardens (Il-Ġnien ta’ Sant’Anton) date back to the 17th century and used to be the private gardens of the Grand Master’s rural retreat. They were used most during British rule when the gardens were often the locations for diplomatic events. Many of those visitors would bring a gift of a plant or tree – often from their native country – and so San Anton has many species of trees and shrubs, some of them 300 years old. The are several features in the gardens that create interest. In the centre is a row of bird houses, some of them still with inhabitants to see. There is also an orangery, a maze, ornamental ponds and water fountains.

The gardens opened to the public in 1882, although they had been opened on occasion before that. What you find today is a combination of a botanic garden, stately home garden and public park. The stone pathways lead from one area to another and there is also a pathway all around the perimeter. The on-site gardeners are currently in the process of re-laying many of these paths as they have risen up with tree roots underneath them. The garden had it’s own irrigation system which supplied water to each of the areas. Although this has since fallen into disrepair and been replaced with hose pipes, you can still see the intricate web of throughs and channels throughout the garden.

The garden and palace were used as a filming location for the first series of HBO’s Game Of Thrones. You can find out more about which scenes were filmed here and the other filming locations on the island in our special guide here: Malta Game Of Thrones Filming Locations. Apart from the palace itself, the biggest feature in the garden is the huge Eagle Fountain (pictured below) which is one of the oldest features here. Once you leave the gardens, you can also visit the president’s kitchen garden which is on the other side of the palace, across the road. There is also a cafe and children’s play facilities here.

San Anton Gardens are open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission is free.


Address: San Anton Gardens, 7 St George’s, Attard, Malta
Contact: +356 2149 3170

San Anton Gardens are in an attractive area of Malta with large houses and villas. From Valletta, take bus number 52 which has a stop right outside the gardens. You can also take bus 51 or 53 to the area. The journey can take up to 30 minutes. If you’d prefer an organised tour with transport, try this one: Mdina, Rabat & San Anton Gardens From Valletta


San Anton Gardens – Visit Malta
San Anton Palace – Wikipedia
Hotels in Valletta –
More Things To Do In Valletta – GetYourGuide