Until 1975, Malta’s fortified capital city, Valletta, was connected to its Grand Harbour through a passenger lift. This was used by thousands of commuters, particularly those crossing over from the opposite three cities of Cottonera.

  • Valletta



  • European Regional Development Fund


    European Regional Development Fund

  • Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life


    Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life

  • €2,335,569

    Cost of Project


  • €1,985,233

    Total EU Allocation


At the time of its first inauguration, back in 1905, the lift was also a lifeline for the many commuters who used to travel by tram, which had its terminal adjacent to the lift at lower Valletta.

Unfortunately, with the passage of time and the end of the tram service, the lift was left without maintenance, and eventually  its operation came to a complete halt and the lift was dismantled in the mid-Seventies.

Lower Valletta, one of Malta’s most fascinating sites in the majestic Grand Harbour, was revived in the Nineties with a state-of-the-art cruise terminal, As a result of this, massive cruise liners started berthing in the harbour, leading to hundreds of thousands of visitors every day.

Thanks to EU funds, the Barraka lift got a new lease of life.

The project proposed a modern facility with an attractive design, connecting once again the Grand Harbour to the centre of Valletta. The lift has been serving its purpose since its inauguration 2012.

Situated just 500 metres away from the Cruise Liner terminal, the lift serves as the best option to reach Valletta in a very short time. Other public transport services have been created around this new facility, including regular scheduled passenger ferry services connecting the City to Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa.

The lift is also a more environmentally-friendly form of mobility, as this has transported hundreds of thousands of visitors to their destination without requiring the use of conventional transport means – and the combustion of more fossil fuel.

It is estimated that in 2019, the Barrakka lift carried more than 345,000 paying customers, while another 160,000 used the lift for free as its cost was included in the ticket used for the ferry crossing from Cottonera.

The lift transports its commuters up the 58-metre spectacular view of the Grand Harbour in just 23 seconds and can take up to 42 passengers at one go.


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