The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an outstanding underground burial complex that bears testimony to a civilization that has disappeared. It was in use between 4000 BC and 1500BC. Covering a remarkable 500 square metres, it was amongst the first Maltese entries on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Ġgantija Megalithic Site.

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum lies on the summit of a hill in Paola, not far from the Grand Harbour. It was accidentally discovered in 1902 by a stone mason who was laying the foundations to build a number of houses. By the time the Hypogeum was reported most of the houses had been completed and made ready for habitation. As a consequence, the upper level of the monument sustained irreversible damage. By the end of 1903 the site became public property and its excavation lasted until 1911.

The site yielded a wealth of archaeological material, including pottery, human bones, personal ornaments, little carved animals and larger figurines. The Hypogeum at Ħal Saflieni is a unique monument, consisting of halls, chambers and passages hewn out of globigerina limestone. The complex is dug in three levels: the upper level, the middle level, and the lower level, with the site users digging deeper as space became limited.

The upper level consists of a large hollow with a central passage and burial chambers cut on each side. One of the chambers still contains original burial deposits. Some of the smoothly-finished chambers of the middle level recall the interiors of above-ground megalithic structures. The deepest room in the lower level has four side niches and lies 10.6 metres under road level.

This unique monument was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981, as a site that bears unique testimony to a civilization that has disappeared (criterion iii).

Hypogeum Special Terms & Conditions

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Museum, Archaeological Remains

Mon to Sun (Closed on Good Friday, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve & Day): 09.00 am - 17.00 pm

Raħal Ġdid (Paola), Malta

Adults (18+): €35.00

Youths (12-17): €20.00

Senior Citizens (60+): €20.00

Children (6-11): €15.00

Infants (1-5): Not admitted

Last Minute Tickets: €50.00

Gallery

Virtual Experience

Getting Here

Public Transport

The closest bus stop is 2 minutes by walk. Interested in getting here by public transport?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common questions

Tickets can be purchased from booking.heritagemalta.org

Last minute tickets can be purchased from Fort St Elmo, Gozo Museum of Archaeology, and the site itself. After 10:00am tickets can be purchased from the National Museum of Archaeology.

No, photography is not allowed on site for conservation purposes.

Environmental factors that impact on site preservation such as carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity are all affected by the number of persons within the site at any one time. Additionally, spaces within the site are small and such limited numbers ensure an enjoyable visit.

The statuette known as the sleeping lady is currently on display at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

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