swans in pond at san anton gardens malta

Jul 22, 2019 @

San Anton Gardens Malta: A visit to the royal grounds

Located in lovely village of Attard, the San Anton Gardens self paced tour is a perfect way to spend an afternoon on your Malta vacation. Malta has very little green space, especially in the very touristic center, and it’s quite common to feel a little claustrophobic quickly, especially with all the constant construction and accompanying noise.

A 20 minute bus ride from Valletta bus stop will fix that. The San Anton Gardens offers a walled sanctuary that just makes you feel good. It was built as a country house by the Grand Master Antoine de Paule as an add-on to the San Anton Palace that he had built.  Antoine de Paule was a knight  of the order of St. John. Today, the palace is official residence of the President of Malta. One side of the garden is open to the public l recommend it as part of any Malta sightseeing list.

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San Anton Gardens Address:

24 G. Portelli, Attard, Malta

San Anton Gardens Directions:

The best way to get to San Anton Gardens from Valletta is to take any bus towards Dingli (C2 etc.) and get off at Anton stop. The gardens will be a 4-5 minute walk from the bus stop.

San Anton Gardens Entry Fee:

Free entry! A bargain.

San Anton Gardens Opening Hours:

7AM – 7PM (Winter time till 5PM)

San Anton gardens Malta fountain
Plants and trees abound at the San Anton Gardens too, some over 300 years old. The San Anton gardens have been open to the public since 1882. In the past, the reigning Governors used to give oranges grown in this royal gardens as gifts during Christmas celebrations. There are also lots of fountains, walkways, ponds with ducks and turtle. It’s a perfect place to chill and just enjoy nature. There is a maze for the children to navigate.

San Anton gardens palace wall plaque

San Anton Palace wall plaque telling the royal history and connection to the Knight of the order of St. John. Many members of royalty have passed/stayed at the Malta palace.

Related Reading: Garden of Serenity Malta

bursts of past presidents at the San Anton gardens portico

Busts of past presidents line the portico at the Malta presidential gardens. Seems to be a popular place for the cats that are forever roaming the grounds.

San Anton Gardens Events:

The Malta Horticultural show takes place at the San Anton Royal Gardens. During the summer months, the central court is used as an open air theater for musical performances and dance. Queen Elizabeth II has stayed at the San Anton Gardens 3 times on official Royal visits (1954, 1967 and 2005) since Malta used to be under British rule until independence in 1964. The palace has of course hosted many more foreign dignitaries. The San Anton Palace chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, who was the Patron Saint of the Knights of Castille and Portugal.

Black swans at the San Anton gardens Malta

Pair of black swans grace the gardens and we loved watching them nest.


ducks at San Antonio gardens Malta

Some swans waddling their way through the grounds.

Where to stay in Attard close to the Malta Royal Gardens:

If you want to stay close to this palatial property, consider the Corinthia Hotel and Spa San Anton. It is a true luxury hotel that is situated close to the centre but is a lot quieter. Unless you’re young and love to party, trust me when l say you want less noise. Rated as one of the best, Corinthia Palace Hotel will surely satisfy and make for  memorable Malta holidays.

Click here to find the best priced hotels in Malta.

Passageway with plants at San Antonio Gardens malta

Greenery, something lacking in the city. This would be such a wonderful setting for weddings or photo shoots.

San Anton Gardens Cafe:

Kitchen Garden of the San Anton Palace is a nice way to end your visit to the gardens. The cafe has good food at reasonable prices. Situated to the rear of the palace gardens, it offers shade, refreshment and fun rides for the kids, even a petting zoo. All proceeds go to charity too, so you can feed your body and soul at the same time.

Tree lined street at the San Anton Gardens Malta

This walkway leads towards the palazzo San Antonio.

Things to do in Malta related reading: Game of Thrones site Mdina


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san anton gardens maze malta

A little maze for the kids to explore.. Unfortunately, it was no challenge for adults since it only comes up waist high, but for kids, it’s a lot of fun and you are still able to keep an eye on them.


San Anton Gardens fountain

Loads of turtles happily swimming.. There are so many fountains contained in the San Antonio gardens Malta, including this one.


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giant older than 300 year old tree at San Anton gardens Malta

What to do in Malta with kids: I suggest a visit to the serene gardens, something off the beaten path. Some of the roots of these trees were gigantic and hundreds of years old.

Would l recommend a visit to the San Antonio Gardens? You betcha! :o) . I think it should be included in any Malta itinerary. It is especially recommended for people that live on the island. The kids will love the maze, adults too actually. We can get so caught up in the concrete jungle that is Malta, that we forget that there is a little bit of relief from all that.

Most people on a Malta vacation desire nothing but going to the beach during the day and partying all night. For those that desire something different and are actually interested in the culture and normal day to day life, I think they would enjoy visiting the gardens, especially if they have children in tow.

Gardens San Anton in Malta is a place where you can relax and catch your breath. Hey, if it’s good enough for the President, it’s good enough for me. San Anton Gardens is also perfect for the budget traveler. It offers history and insight into Maltese palace life. Understated, but elegant. Very few guards seen, but you get a sense that it is very well protected.

Would this be on Malta places to visit list? Or do you prefer your holiday to be all sun and fun?