The Malta Experience & Holy Infirmary

The Malta Experience is right next door to the entrance to Fort Saint Elmo and is another popular attraction in the city. We’d recommend visiting on your first day in Valletta as it’s a great way to introduce you to the city and its immense history. Essentially, you’ll be watching a specially constructed film, in your own language, all about Malta. Apart from the show itself, one of the most exciting things about the Malta Experience is the location. The entrance is a complex of buildings above ground, including a cafe with a great view out into the Valletta harbour. Follow the signs for the entrance and shop and you begin your descent underground.
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The passageway above goes under the road and links the Malta Experience entrance to the building where the show takes place. This building is truly fascinating and is the former Holy Infirmary (Sacra Infermeria), built by the Order of St John to look after the sick and dating back to 1574. In more recent years, the building has had a number of new additions including a theatre and cinema. The Malta Experience show takes place in the cinema and you’ll need to select the correct language on your headset.

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The film lasts around 45 minutes and is very well done. It depicts all the major events in Malta’s history in an accessible and entertaining way – even our 7 year old loved it. At the end you’ll feel you have a much better understanding of the country you’re visiting. For us, doing this on day one, better informed our entire stay as most of the attractions you’ll see in Valletta are in some way connected to its history.

Whatever you do, do not miss the additional tour of the Holy Infirmary after the cinema show. This was one of the top highlights of our entire trip. Our guide, Anna, was fantastic and really brought the place to life. The first room you’ll see (pictured below) was the main ward of the infirmary. It was designed for the wealthy and the little doors you can see on either side contained en-suite facilities for every patient. Remember, we’re talking about a hospital built 400 years ago!

The most impressive thing about this ward is how long it is. The screen half way down makes it look shorter, but look at the roof and you’ll get a better impression of how long the building is – 155 meters in fact. This building has several floors and they go down, not up. The next floor down is even more stunning. It’s the ward which was used by those who could not afford to pay for their care. Once again the screen in the picture below prevents a full view of the length here, but it is similar to the ward above. The Holy Infirmary had more wards on lower floors, but these are not accessible today. This building has been used as a hospital for most of its existence, although it was partly destroyed in WW2 and had to be rebuilt.

The Malta Experience offers shows on the hour from 11am to 4pm weekdays and between 11am and 2pm on weekends. Adult admission, including the tour of the Holy Infirmary is 20 Euros. Discounts are available for children and those under 4 are free (2024 Prices). You can buy tickets here.


Address: The Malta Experience, St Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street, Valletta VLT 1253
Phone: (+356) 2552 4000


The Malta Experience – Official Website
The Holy Infirmary – Official Website
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