Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
4.5
Ancient RuinsPoints of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & Statues
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site, a complex made up of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to c. 2500 BC. The Hypogeum was first opened to the public in 1908. Due to its uniqueness, the site became very popular with visitors. Unfortunately, this had a negative impact on the delicate microclimate of the site. For this reason, a conservation project was conducted that also included the closure of the site for 10 years between 1990 and 2000. As a result of these studies, a new visiting system was established. Nowadays, only 10 visitors an hour are now allowed inside the Hypogeum for a maximum of 8 tours a day. This system is also complemented by an environmental control system which keeps temperature and humidity at required levels. Tickets for the Hypogeum should be purchased well in advance.
Duration: < 1 hour
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  • Andrew S
    Weston, Connecticut48 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well Done But Pricey for What It Is
    I have mixed feelings about this site. The Hypogeum is a one of a kind historic site and the small group tours are well done, but it is VERY expensive and needs to be booked far in advance. It is really interesting and it’s amazing how long it has been there, but so little is known about the meaning of the site, the ochre drawings, etc that it leaves you somehow wanting more. The limited interesting statuary that was found here are kept in another museum. So come to marvel that something like this was created 3-4000BC but be prepared to leave uncertain why it was here and what it was used for. The Hagar Qim to me was more interesting and a much better value.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 October 2023
  • JERSEYGROWN
    335 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome, Awesome!
    I Booked online for a specific day and timed ticket about 7 months in advance on the Malta Heritage sight Website. I was in Malta for only 7 days. 20 Euro and well worth it. It starts with a short movie and then only no more than 8 people are led by a guide along small metal walk ramps to a maze of underground rooms, vaults, burial sites, 2-3 floors, cool damp, moisture drips from the walls, your voice echoes in mysterious ways. The sight where the " Sleeping Beauty Statue" in Valetta Museum of Archeology was found. It is kind of eerie down there but in a phantasmal kind of way to see such a structure left preserved over the centuries BC. It ties in beautifully with stone formations and rooms above ground at the other Megalithic Temples of Malta. I went from the Tarxien temples and walked over here. GPS on my phone ran me around in circles but a very nice lady who spoke English pointed the way. Looks like a little residential building but the secrets lie beneath. Bus from Valetta Central station- 7 day bus pass got me there. Great local neighborhood to eat. No pictures allowed. A must to see if you are in Malta on land and or cruise ship.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 9 October 2023
  • Clive T
    Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom359 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A neolithic stunner
    A neolithic treasure. Tucked away of the main street and they restrict entry. You have to book well in advance so not crowded. All excavated by men armed with stone and antlers - and the red ochre ceiling decoration is amazing.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 October 2023
  • Sharon H
    London, United Kingdom31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Real history
    The accidental discovery of the Hypogeum under the busy streets in Paola seems to be a well kept secret. Discovered shortly before the tomb of Tutenkhamun and as old as Stonehenge, it was an exciting opportunity to see some real history. A well narrated sound track, small group size and the silence of the underground tomb, make this one not to be missed
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 November 2023
  • Ronald R
    Stromness, United Kingdom317 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    INCREDIBLE site, inspiring and intriguing, there will always be questions
    Get your tickets from Heritage Malta, a few months before you go to get the best price 35 euro possibly. We didn't but managed to get the 50 ones by the skin of our teeth, mind you we still think it's well worth the money. A totally unique and inspiring site in the world not just Malta, the layout of the neothlithic creation is just stunning. The three levels are individually impressive and collectively, literally almost out of this world. Your group will be small no more than ten, 70 a day max to try and help preserve this masterpiece of prehistory. It's advisable make sure you get there 15/20 mins before your hourly slot. This is to make sure that you have time to sort your stuff into lockers etc, no mobiles or cameras are allowed and you will be removed from the tour if you try. We had a tour guide and the audio guide as well which filled in the detail and the guide pointed out the main points. The roof decor is so clear and in flickering torchlight it would be moving and circling in a way to leave you in awe, i imagine that would be the intent but who knows? There are steps etc but plenty of handrails to assist you way along, most of the area is on walkways to protect the fabric of the Hypogeum. The bus stop nearest is Ipogew and we used the 180 from Valletta to get to Paola, but we did visit Tarxien temples before our Midday slot here. It is also well worth a visit. The small shop in the reception was very good as well. The reception area is also small but then again only a max of 20 people at a time would be expected. Do not miss this place if you are in Malta and have any interest in prehistory
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 November 2023
  • Twomaples
    493 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    No photos
    Well organized with lockers for your cameras etc. Prepared audio-visual presentations were quite effective and I liked how the images wrapped around the second room so everyone could enjoy it, not just the "people in front". Hand held speakers were a bit awkward, perhaps lanyards could be supplied. The site was fascinating and the info given just enough and useful. But our guides were world-weary and there was no energy from the front desk. Suggest pairing this with the Tarxien Temples, a short walk nearby.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 February 2024
  • WoodsieSolihull
    35 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the lucky few
    There are 10 in each group per hour and it can be very intimate in the small spaces underground. The audio guide features a lot of bingy bongy music, which gets a bit irritating. Feel very privileged to have got a spot to visit it. Feel it could be a bit more informative, have the skeletons been dna examined? What are the latest theories on the reclining woman? Maybe mock ups of what it may have looked like in film or model.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 March 2024
  • KMKM
    57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Do it! but book it early!
    This is amazing. But, you MUST book tickets months in advance. There is a tour for 10 people every 30 min. No reservations? You likely wil; not get inside. You can line up 2 hours before an office in Valletta opens for standby tickets- but most tours are booked full months ahead. It is unlike anything you will ever see.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 March 2024
  • Kevin W
    307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating and mysterious - book well in advance
    I didn't know much about Malta when I was planning a last minute trip there. This small island has some amazing history including this Hypogeum which is older than Stonehenge in England. Like Herculaneum in Italy it's underneath a modern small town and it's a surprise that it's there and accessible. They intentionally limit the number of visitors here to help preserve the site. There are tours on the hour for ten people which need to be booked about 6-8 weeks in advance for 35 EUR. You can also buy tickets for the next day from two locations in Malta for 50 EUR. I turned up at Fort St Elmo at about 9:10am and was pleasantly surprised to get tickets for the next day at 4pm. The tour uses audio guides to cater for multiple languages on a single tour. It starts with a short video and a second immersive video installation. As another reviewer notes, the background sounds are a bit grating. I think these are meant to recreate the sound of people at work with hand tools digging out the underground rooms. No photography but there's plenty online and you can buy postcards. It's a little frustrating as the lack of written records leaves so many unanswerable questions. As a chance for a tourist to hazily peer into the lives, art, rituals and deaths of our neolithic ancestors from over five thousand years ago it's unrivalled. It makes you wonder how many more places there are like this waiting to be discovered. Many of the artefacts are displayed in the National Museum of Archaeology in Valetta. The (bronze age) Tarxien Temple ruins are a short walk away and well worth pairing with a trip here.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 June 2024
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4.5
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CookieMonster1968
Karlsruhe, Germany103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
After not being able to get some tickets last year we booked our tickets for this year well in advance, and it was totally worth it! The tour started with an informative video, then our group was led to the underground site. The site was totally amazing and breathtaking, especially considering the fact when this all was built and what kind of tools were being used. During the tour you have an audio guide that explains everything in great detail, and there’s also person that shows you around (and makes sure that noone leaves the trail...). Highly recommended!
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wherehaveinotbeenyet
Manchester, UK411 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This is an interesting 50-min tour of an underground burial site, however it is not worth the extortionate price. Additionally, unless you book months in advance you will not get in as only ten people are allowed in per hour to protect the fragile environment. You have to leave all your belongings in a locker and are not allowed to take photos.
Written 30 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bwanaalan
Salisbury, UK246 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The Hypogeum isn’t well signed, but it’s only a short walk from the bus stop in front of Paola Church, and we simply asked for directions from there.

Visits are by tour only. To be sure of getting one, you need to book ahead. We did so 4 weeks in advance of our visit (in February!). Only a few people can enter at one time. Cameras, phones and bags must be locked away. Visits start with a short introductory film and last about 50 minutes. Commentary (there’s a choice of language) comes from a handset. The tunnels and chambers were cut by hand, and there’s an attempt to create ‘atmosphere’ through a background of metallic tapping that I found extraordinarily irritating. One was never sure when the commentary would start up again, so there was no avoiding it. Even with small groups it can be difficult to see what the audio guide refers too, because others in the group are in one’s line of sight. Stick close to the human guide if you can.

OK, so there are challenges, but this is still a ‘must-do’. The site and the workmanship that went into its creation are very impressive. My suggestion to help get the most out of your visit would be to study a good plan of the place before you go. This helps to relate one stopping point to the next, because (for example) the three levels are not as distinct as I expected.
Written 13 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cindy C
Hong Kong, China51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
The admission fee may dissuade some travellers. But spend it. You won't regret it! We went in off season and found two slots two weeks before the visit. If you plan to go during peak season, book a couple of months ahead of time. They only take 8 groups a day and 10 people max. per group. The underground trip is unforgettable. There simply are no words to describe how people from thousands of years ago were capable of building such a massive burial site.
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Darren C
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
A very well organised tour of a unique place in Malta.

Definitely worth going, even for the locals, especially while the low touristic season continues.

More half-price events should be organised to encourage attendance.
Written 15 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear DarrenC2120, Thank you for reviewing Hal Saflieni Hypogeum we are glad you enjoyed your visit and we will be happy to welcome you back again. Very much appreciated 😊!
Written 19 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LivingLovingItaly
Naples, Italy1,144 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
This site only allows 10 persons per hour to enter the hypogium to protect for future generations. We schedules weeks in advance to be sure we could tour. The presentation is unique and available with translation into appropriate language. The idea of no metal tools and only animal horns, rock & flint used to create such detail & lines in the stone over 5000 years ago is mind-boggling. No photographs are allied. Purses and belongings are locked up and no pictures f any kind are possible.
Written 5 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear LivingLovingItaly, Thank you for reviewing Hal Saflieni Hypogeum we are glad you enjoyed your visit and we will be happy to welcome you back again. Very much appreciated 😊!
Written 19 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Erika C
Los Angeles, CA68 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
This was a fascinating site to visit. A minimal number of people are allowed to visit each hour so you definitely want to book in advance. These ruins, which date back to 4000 BC, are very well preserved. The tour was well organized although might not be appealing to anyone who is slightly claustrophobic. Each guest receives an audio guide and it appeared that they were all synced up so that we were listening to the same passages simultaneously. The small group that I was with (about 10 people) stood open mouthed in awe throughout the tour. Bear in mind also that no cameras (even cell phones) are allowed.

Was slightly disappointed in the Customer Service. Over a month before our trip to Malta I accidentally purchased tickets for the wrong date (one week before our visit) I realized my mistake immediately and wrote to customer service less than an hour after the purchase, not asking for a refund but simply to move my reservation date. Customer Service was completely inflexible and would not help me. So I ultimately wound up paying twice for this visit. This, unfortunately, took away from our enjoyment of this site. I would have understood if I had been asking for a refund, but that was not the case.
Written 30 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Avid1
United Kingdom95 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Part 1 - Getting Tickets: As we hadn't booked tickets months in advance, we had to do the early morning queue at St Elmo's fort, hoping to get a couple of the 20 next day tickets made available from there. Ticket sales open at 9am. We arrived at 7.09 am, and there were aleady quite a few people already ahead of us. A Swedish man who arrived after us, used his initiative and asked each set of people in the queue how many tickets they wanted. Unfortunately the result ruled him out of picking up any that day but at least he didn't wait around for hours to find out. One thing to note if you decide to follow his lead is that it seems some people lie. A US couple should, according to the "queue questionnaire" have also gained tickets but one couple ahead of them bought 4 when they said they would only buy 2.

Part 2 -The site itself: We drove ourselves and were lucky enough to get parking very nearby. Our visit was on Dec 28th so that could be unusual. You have to leave all bags, cameras and phone in lockers before you go in. To be honest, whle it's a shame not to get photos, the aim is to preserve the site, and it does mean you can view things without people fighting for the 'perfect picture'. You are given hand held recorded guides in various languages. Which are configured to move the whole group along at the same time, even if some of the languages take longer to explain each chamber.

One tip - it can be cramped, even with the small group of 10. If your view of what's being described is obscured, it's worth politely asking people if they wouldn't mind letting you have a quick look as there is no opportunity once the group has been moved on because the lights are turned off as soon as people start to move away.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AWilliams1978
Harpenden, UK1,096 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
I was really underwhelmed by this site. You start with a video explaining the site which was quite good then go “underground”. You don’t go more than a few meters I would think. The audio guide was SO ANNOYING!! I think that’s was my problem was. In-between commentary there was constant banging and ringing sounds coming from this little device. It was exasperating! It was interesting though. Book in advance as only 10 people go in at any one time and visitors are limited to preserve the sight.
Written 28 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeannie2207
Windsor, UK1,069 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Friends
This place is extraordinary. Only discovered in the early 20th century it was then excavated over the next 50 to 60 years. It has been damaged over time when it was used as a bomb shelter and playground surprisingly. But now it’s being really well preserved and there are only 10 people per hour allowed every day so do book in advance.
Built between five and 6000 years ago the people who built it were gone by the time the Bronze Age people arrived. It’s a definite must visit.
Written 18 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Paola

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