Discover a unique venue for business and leisure travellers
Activities designed to spark curiosity for travellers are always welcome, whether you’re organising a M.I.C.E. event or youth travel experience. Esplora, Malta’s National Interactive Science Centre, is one destination that combines learning and fun for travellers of all ages! The venue offers interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, science shows and a fascinating Planetarium. Esplora is situated in the southern coastal village of Kalkara, with breath-taking views of Valletta’s Grand Harbour and the historical forts of St Angelo, St Elmo and Ricasoli.
Esplora brings together some of the most interesting aspects of science and highlights the importance of science in everyday life. Visitors are invited to engage with the subjects from a different perspective to what is traditionally taught in school – making it both fun and easy to understand.
What can I do while I’m there?
At Esplora, visitors can discover and understand science at their own pace through numerous hands-on experiences and phenomena-related exhibits, leading visitors to question, predict, experiment, analyse and make conclusions.
A typical visit would start by interacting with the 200+ educational exhibits located across the whole centre. These focus on topics ranging from Motion and Electricity to Earth and the Human Body.
Want to explore more? Then check out the science shows or participate in hands-on workshops that are regularly held for visitors, featuring experiments, art, music, theatre, the occasional bang, and so much more.
Why not travel to outer space in the EsploraPlanetarium? As the only planetarium in Malta, the space hosts fascinating and immersive shows about Earth and other planets. The EsploraPlanetarium, with its 10.7-metre diameter and a colourspace 4K theatre, also gives visitors the chance to feel like they are truly in the never-ending universe. To complement this, the Universe Exhibition features a variety of interactive exhibits that showcase our solar system and the International Space Station.
A trip to Esplora can also be fun for younger children through Little Esploras! Featuring a Home and Garden section along with a ball factory, this area is perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years, giving them the chance to have fun while still learning more about science. The Outdoor Areas’ exhibits are delightful and include water exhibits and a pirate ship!
Want to take a quick break?
Lunch breaks can be organised at the EsploraCafè, where visitors can take in the fascinating views of the Three Cities, the Kalkara Creek, the Grand Harbour and its impeccable surroundings!
This is the perfect getaway from the action-packed experience of visiting Esplora, with EsploraCafé’s menu catering to the needs of every customer.
Before leaving, visitors can head to the EsploraShop, where they can find a wide selection of exciting and educational items that are ideal for all ages.
Self-led tours of Esplora and Villa Bighi
Apart from venturing into the scientific universe and learning more about the world around us, Esplora definitely has more to offer to its visitors.
The centre is situated in the historical Villa Bighi. Sitting on the edge of the Kalkara peninsula, it is one of the Grand Harbour’s most iconic buildings.
Originally built as a summer residence for Fra Giovanni Bichi in 1675, Villa Bighi was then expanded by the British in the early 19th century to become the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi, featuring stunning designs that make the structure’s beauty complement its importance for Malta over the years.
Esplora visitors can take a self-led tour of the building that allows them to have an exclusive experience of its history, walking in the footsteps of the nurses who worked at the hospital, and seeing the different wards in it. The tour also features a visit to the Cot Lift that contains a remarkable memorabilia collection of related historical artefacts and a collection of stories. This tour can also be organised for group bookings.
If you want a brief overview of what Esplora looks like, take a look at the virtual tour so that you can see some of the area’s stunning features from the comfort of your own home.
Additionally, the building is also used as a venue for hire with its location proving to be perfect as a backdrop for weddings, as well as corporate events like conferences, photoshoots and private functions. More information on this can be found on the Venue section of Villa Bighi’s website.
Travel and Accessibility
Situated in the south of the island, getting to Esplora is very easy.
Visitors are encouraged to use public transport, with a bus stop on the way to and from Valletta being just around 100 metres away from Esplora’s main entrance.
If you’re interested in a more scenic trip, then you can hop on the iSee Malta ferry that leaves from Sliema ferries and docks right below Esplora.
For private transfers, there are multiple street-level parking spaces across the road leading to Esplora.
Bicycle stands are also available underneath the outdoor escalators.
Esplora’s street address is:
Dawret Fra Giovanni Bichi,
For more information on how to get to Esplora, check out the accessibility section on the website.
Want to learn more about Esplora?
Get in touch with us to organise a trip to Esplora as part of your next Malta event.