Birgu / Vittoriosa

Address: Birgu / Vittoriosa, The Three Cities, Malta

- Free


This is the Knights of St John’s first capital in Malta- where the streets are full of history.

Birgu - officially now called Vittoriosa (but locals all call it Birgu) - is still Medieval in feel, and the Collachio – the area the Knights reserved for themselves when they took over Malta in 1530 - is much as they left it when they moved to Valletta just 40 years later. An historic maze of small streets, Birgu is a wonderful place to wander around just soaking up the atmosphere and the history.

Right on the Grand Harbour with creeks either side, Birgu was fiercely fought over when the Ottoman Turks attacked in the Great Siege of 1565, and again during the Second World War. It is surrounded by historic fortifications and offers marvellous views across the harbour to Valletta.

Value for money

Expert tips

Start from the main Victory Square. Streets fan out from here so it will help you to keep your bearings. If you stand with your back to the waterfront, the Collachio starts at the granite bollard in the top left hand corner.

I like to walk the fortifications. From Fort St Angelo, head along Kalkara Creek and across the landward side through the Three Gates (where you will also find the excellent Second World War Malta at War Museum), then follow the water along to the Vittoriosa Waterfront (and new yacht marina) for a waterside drink.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • First-time travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Education
  • Great views / scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • History