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“This is a must if you are in Malta” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum - CLOSED

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: PLEASE NOTE that this site is TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Tours of the site are therefore currently suspended. 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 Hal Saflieni Hypogeum should be bought well ahead of the chosen visiting date since tours are often fully booked weeks in advance.For more information visit Heritage Malta's website.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“This is a must if you are in Malta”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

There are many archaeological wonders in Malta but this place must be one of the best in the world.
The Heritage Malta sight gives details of many temples and sights that are both magnificent and a wonder. The feeling one gets in these s underground chambers is indescribable. This is not on the same scale as Cappadocia’s underground cities but much more spectacular, and more easily accessible. One has not to go down 150 stairs and duck and crawl to walk through.
Remember three minutes away from this underground wonder there are the Tarxien temples, another archaeological above ground site.
Both these sites are easily accusable by public transport, BUT, BOOKING g for the Hypogeum is a must more than a month before on the Internet.
Definitely a must attraction and a world heritage site.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tarcisio S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Metro Portland ME
Level Contributor
130 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Can't beat the WOW factor of this unique prehistoric spot!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

This is a truly must-see on Malta. We unfortunately did not book far enough ahead; Lonely Planet says order a month ahead in busy season, and when we tried online, we were several weeks too late. So we were bummed until, upon arriving, we read at another Heritage Malta site that you can get next-day tickets at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta. It took 2 days since the first day we only arrived at 9am opening time; learning our lesson, we arrived the next day at 7:45 and with only 5 people ahead of us, got the last tickets of the 20 that are available this way. So go early if you really want tickets. And this was October!

The tour itself seemed too short, too crowded. It is dark and you have to navigate stairs with little light. I'm glad they are preserving the place in this way, but if you are walk-challenged, beware. That being said, the carved out rooms are fantastic to see, wondrous to imagine how they were sculpted. This is a negative sculpture, after all. Very impressive. Number one place to go as far as I'm concerned. You just don't see places like this around: so old, so extensive, so awesome.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank lspwroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Indescribably and breathtakingly... not cheap”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

Yes it is unique and you will definitely see a better preserved site than at the excavated remains of the various above-ground temples in Malta/Gozo, even though its scale is much smaller.
But the fee is now €30 (previously €20) if you book ahead of time and €35 when you are able to snatch a last minute next day ticket (12pm or 4pm) at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valleta.
Unfortunately there is nothing really comparable, so either you are interested in archeological sites and this is a must or you just save your money for some other activities.
I think what makes the visit memorable on top of the site itself is the very polished visit starting with a video and the step-by-step audio guide. I don't think everybody would be necessarily as enthusiastic if it was a wander-on-your-own visit.
It feels crowded though even being limited to 10 people per hour. Let's say it is cozy. The fact that the lights turn on only for a limited time as the audio guide talks about the area makes it difficult for everybody to see well. You have to make sure to move around if you really care about what is shown at the time and you are not close to the front.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank sf_franck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Book ahead!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

A truly wonderful and ancient underground series of chambers. You must book ahead of your visit: there is a limit on the number of visitors per day, and no exceptions.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Woody53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level Contributor
627 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 432 helpful votes
“Indescribable”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

It is impossible to describe this site - an underground temple to the dead, built over 5000 years ago, dating from older than 3000 years BC - what??!! Yes. The preservation of this site is remarkable. The tour is extremely well done - only 10 people allowed in per hour, an audio guide timed to the path that you are on, lights in the site that light up coinciding with the audio portion. A guide makes sure you pass through safely, but all information comes from the audio guide. I am still in a bit of a state of shock over it's age and how well it is preserved - very hard to wrap your head around something this ancient.

As by now you have read, you have to book your entry months in advance, though I understand you can sometimes get lucky with a booking. We were visiting Malta on a Celebrity cruise, and we wanted to be sure to see the Hypogeum, and since we only had one day available to us, we booked very far in advance so that we would be sure to get a booking at the time that we needed. Getting to the Hypogeum from the cruise port was a bit tricky, but everyone in Malta is so nice - we eventually found the bus terminus and were told that either bus 81 or 82 would get us close to the Hypogeum. Once on the bus, a very kind fellow passenger told us where we needed to get off, as the map we had wasn't all that clear - he saw our confusion, and initiated the conversation, asking us what we were trying to find - so nice of him!

Go to this site, and be amazed. And if you have time, definitely plan a trip to the National Museum of Archaeology and see in person the statue which is fondly called "Sleeping Lady" which was found in one of the grave sites in the Hypogeum, dating back to 3100BC. No one really knows what she is supposed to represent, her purpose, but it is so very exciting to think that a culture from 3000BC was creating art like this. We unfortunately were not able to go to the Museum, but I purchased a souvenir copy of the statue at a gift shop! She is so similar to modern sculptures done by Botero, one must imagine that he was influenced by her mysterious grace.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lexmiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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