Notte Bianca is a night owl’s dream, as the streets of Valletta go nocturnal in a blaze of art and culture. Museums and palaces put on special displays, theatres stage new works and reimagine old ones, and in the streets, local and international musicians and dancers go all out to entertain with roaming performances. Best of all, it’s free! If you haven’t been you can’t miss it… and if you’ve already attended, you’re probably planning on going again! Here the lowdown.

Where, when and how much?

Saturday 6th October. The action is throughout Valletta from the City Gate to Fort St. Elmo, from early evening onwards. No charge.

How do I get there?

Ditch the car! Malta Public Transport runs an extended bus service to get you there and back, and ferry services will run from Sliema to Marsamxett, Valletta and from the Three Cities to Lascaris, Valletta and back from 7pm to 2am. Park and Ride Blata l-Bajda will also be operational, as will the Upper Barrakka Lift.

What’s on the menu?

Food is a key part of the experience and Valletta’s restaurants will be open until late, with many serving special menus. There will be additional food stalls with tables in the streets.

Who’s playing?

If you’re a fan of alternative rock and pop, then rejoice! In St. George’s Square, British band Toploader will be performing (you’re most likely to know their smash hit ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’). Also in St. George’s Square, local group Nosnow/noalps will be banging out their electronic indie hits, while Emma and Biondo will be pulling in the crowds, with Emma Muscat’s soulful voice set off by Biondo’s raps (but it’s really their super cute love story that we’re buying). There’s also reggae from The Selector at Fort St. Elmo, Vinicio Caposella at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal for folk fans, Tangerine Dream at the Mediterranean Conference Centre for electronic heads and metallers have Anvil from Toronto, Grotium or Beheaded at (both from Malta) at Il Fossa.

What else is going on?

A lot of weird and wonderfulness. On Strait Street, six girls will be poised on six balconies and ‘engaging’ with passersby. Will they wink, scold or come down for a dance? You’ll have to pass them to find out. There’s also an activity area with the theme of ‘Love, Loss and Longing’ with ‘themed food and drink’.... you can discover whether that involves tear cocktails or heart shaped sweets in the Lower Barrakka Gardens. And in front of the Parliament, there will be a number of doors. Which one will you choose in this particular mind game? There’s also dancing, poetry, theatre, visual arts and, well, too many treats to list - you’ll have to find out the rest for yourself.

Suitable for?

Mostly adults, given the kind of shows and the lateness of the hour, but older kids could get a lot out of it too .

How do I get tickets?

You don’t need any. Yippee!!

Where can I find out more?

They say…

Notte Bianca is the night where all of Valletta comes to life”.

We say…

Check out Kamarata in Merchants Street, for an immersive experience that blurs the line between living and acting… it’ll mess with your version of reality.

By Helen Raine

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