Good map and main tourist sites of Valletta:
The cruise port area is within walking distance to some of the main sites: Barrakka Gardens, St. John’s Cathedral, The Grand Master’s Palace, and the Fort of St. Elmo. A round trip to see four sites is about a 75-minute walk.
Hints from other cruisers: This was the one stop that we visited twice. The first time 5 of us went to the war rooms under the fortress. If you’re interested in WWII these are very interesting, if not it’s probably a waste of time and money. These are recently opened and are where Eisenhower, etc. oversaw the invasion by the Allies into Europe. Malta is also famous for resisting the Axis bombardment for months during the war. The view from the top of the fortress is very impressive and, if you walk away from the harbor from the park at the top of the hill about ¼ mile, you come to the main shopping street at the top of the hill – not particularly easy to find.
The second time we went on the HOHO bus – what a bust. Since it was really hot, you could either sit on the upper level and get a breeze (and sunburn) or go to the lower level and be hot and nauseous (no AC on the bus). We went on 2 different routes (about 3 hours+ riding around the island)- not worth it in my opinion. Very poorly organized, unhappy passengers, just a fiasco.
Here’s Rick Steves’ info blog: