The Lascaris War Rooms – Valleta, Malta

Did you know that buried under the streets of Valleta in Malta are The Lascaris War Rooms, a large underground secret command centre used during World War II and ‘The Cold War’ and then abandoned for 40 years!

It was from this hidden complex that the defence of Malta and then the invasion of Sicily in 1943 were controlled.

You approach the command centre via steps and a tunnel. 

lascarris war rooms entrance

You can see why this entrance was originally known as ‘the hole‘ by the men and women who worked here during WWII.lascarris war rooms entrance 2Papa Joe and I joined an excellent tour and learnt how the command centre was used and about the battle plans that were developed here. We had already visited The Malta At War Museum so it was fascinating to see the command centre as well.

We also advantage of the free multilingual audio guide and explored the centre at our own speed after the guided tour (bring ID which can be used as a deposit).

The tunnels are being restored and that gradually more sections will be open to the public over the next few years.

Suitable for 7+
Lots of steps and some uneven passageways. Future plans include improved access.

Where: Lascaris War Rooms are located in St James Ditch in Valletta, underneath the Upper Barracca Gardens
Admission: Charge – includes an audio guide (bring some ID to leave as a deposit)
Family tickets, concessions and heritage pass available
Facilities: small cafeteria area and shop
Website: The Lascaris War Rooms

lascarris war rooms 3As you walk around, you look down at the different operations rooms. Steps lead  down to the rooms so that you get a closer look land see the exhibits clearly.

It was amazing to see how early radar was used to track enemy aircraft. Not a computer in sight, but instead large plotting tables where trained operators would move models of aircraft around on the map as information was relayed to them.

lascaris war rooms malta 1You can still see the original furnishings

lascarris war rooms 5

look out for the camp beds set in the walls

lascarris war rooms 6

the telephone exchange


There is a lot to see even though only part of the complex has been opened. More rooms and tunnels are being restored and The Lascaris War Rooms will become part of The Malta Military Heritage Park.

Getting There St James Ditch in Valletta, underneath the Upper Barracca Gardens.
From the Valletta Bus station – before entering the city turn right and head towards St James Ditch to the Ganado Gardens. Go down 10 steps and through a short tunnel that links the garden with the Lascaris Ditch. The route is indicated with sign posts.
Google see map or get directions

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