Cospicua one of the 3 cities in Malta

Visiting Malta’s Three Cities from Valletta

  • Nov 20, 2017

Casa Ellul's guide to visiting the 3 cities in Malta!

A visit to the Three Cities is a Maltese experience that many tourists miss out on, as the existence of the Three Cities is not publicised anywhere near as much as the main attractions like the Grandmasters Palace. But we thoroughly recommend a day trip, or even an overnight stay in one of the Three Cities, to Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua, especially if your visit coincides with holy days or festas when the streets come to life with decorations and celebrations. The Three Cities are where Maltese locals live an authentic lifestyle and will welcome you as visitors to their communities. The harbours and marinas are home to the yacht clubs, and some magnificent boats too.

Getting to the Three Cities by Bus or Ferry

Reaching the Three Cities from Casa Ellul is very straight forward using public transport. There are small ferry boats departing regularly from the Grand Harbour, which can be reached by using the lift from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The ferries take a few minutes to get to the Three Cities and cost around €2. Ferry passengers can enjoy some stunning panoramic views from the top deck on clear days. Alternatively, there are also some water taxis available to Birgu, which have space for less passengers and therefore offer a more intimate travelling experience. Some of these water taxis are motor boats so can make the trip in a shorter time. When reaching the Three Cities, Birgu is a good starting point, as it’s where you’ll find the majority of restaurants and bars to sample some authentic Maltese cuisine by the waterfront; ideal for brunch to fuel your day of exploring.

Guided Tours and Wandering around the Three Cities

If you prefer not to travel by boat, the Valletta bus service does travel straight to Senglea or Birgu. There are a few tourist shops in the main square at Birgu where you can pick up a map if you like.  There are several tour guides regularly working in the Three Cities, and a very special way to see the sights is to take a Gondola ride, or on dry land take the Happy Train. It’s also possible to join boat tours that include lunch with a glass of local wine. Some visitors to the Three Cities prefer not to take a guided tour or use a map, but to simply wander around “lost” in the architecture and history, and discover new parts of Malta for themselves.

Where to unwind, explore, wine and dine

Notable landmarks and places to visit within the Three Cities are Fort St Angelo and the Maritime Museum, and recommended restaurants are Il-Hnejja in Senglea for seafood, Nuovo Cafe San Giorgio in Cospicua for peaceful al-fresco dining and Panorama Restaurant Bar & Lounge for an evening of wining and dining overlooking the Three Cities and watching the Cruise Ships sail by.

If you would like to know more about making the most of your trip to Valletta, we welcome you to stay as our guests at Casa Ellul and we will be delighted to share more of our local knowledge with you.