Exploring Cospicua (Bormla) In Malta: Top Things To Do

Welcome to the enchanting city of Cospicua or Bormla, in Malta! Here you can explore an area full of culture, history, and stunning scenery. Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Valletta, a family holiday with your kids, or just some time away from it all – Cospicua has something for everyone. From the American University of Malta to Żabbar’s charming streets and waterfronts – there are plenty of activities to keep you busy throughout your stay. So grab your walking shoes and let’s explore the best of Cospicua!

Cospicua (Bormla) – Exploring Malta

Taking a walk around Cospicua (Bormla) is an excellent way to explore the culture and history of Malta, with its impressive city walls and dockyard. The Santa Margherita Lines were built in 1638 to defend against the Ottomans, while the Cottonera Lines were built by the Knights of St. John during the 18th century. Both lines are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which also includes Fort Rinella and Fort Saint Elmo. As you walk around, you can also learn more about Cospicua’s maritime history by visiting its large dockyard as well as a range of other attractions such as historical churches and monuments. It’s easy to get lost in time here! In addition to exploring the sights, it’s worth trying some local delicacies like Pastizzi or Ftira at one of Bormla’s restaurants or cafes. When it comes to embracing Maltese culture, nothing beats walking through these Three Cities for an experience that combines both old-world charms with modern-day life.

The History of Cospicua

You’ll be fascinated by the rich history of Cospicua, formerly known as Bormla, which dates back centuries and has seen its fair share of battles and expansions. The Order of Saint John began fortifying the Three Cities in the 16th century, building walls around Birgu and Senglea with the Santa Margherita Lines being completed in 1645. These walls were later expanded upon during the 18th century with a second line of defense – the Cottonera Lines – which were finished in 1736. During British rule, not only were these walls modified but also Malta Dockyard was expanded and modernized to become an important target during WWII; unfortunately it suffered significant damage along with much of Cospicua itself. This city had a population centered around 12 thousand before the war struck but dropped to 4.800 by 1948 and still hasn’t returned to pre-war numbers. From this fascinating history, it’s now time for you to discover all that Cospicua offers today!

Sights in Cospicua

Discovering Cospicua’s waterfront and landside fortifications is sure to give you a unique insight into Malta’s past. From walking along the city walls to admiring the views from Fort St Angelo, there is plenty of history to uncover in Cospicua. The city was one of the Three Cities, which were built during the Great Siege of 1565. You can explore the churches and other architectural gems left behind from this time period. There are also plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Maltese cuisine while taking in views of ancient structures like St. Lawrence church and Fort Rohan. Not only will you get a glimpse into Malta’s past, but also its present culture as well. So make sure to take your time exploring all that Cospicua has to offer – it’ll be an experience you won’t forget! With that said, why not head on over to the American University of Malta next?

American University of Malta

Head over to the American University of Malta for a unique insight into American-style education in an old British building and the Knights’ Building from the 17th century. This university offers a great chance to explore two pieces of history, both of which date back centuries ago! At the same time, it is also a place where you can learn about modern educational methods and experience an American college campus. Plus, AUM’s faculty provides students with personalized learning experiences that promote critical thinking and creativity. Explore this one-of-a-kind college and gain insights into its rich cultural heritage. From here, you can take in stunning views of Cospicua’s waterfront as you make your way down to the next sight – Bormla Waterfront.

Bormla Waterfront

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Bormla Waterfront and take in its mirror-like waters, green park, and centuries-old docks. With so much to explore, here are a few things you must do when visiting:

  1. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade for breathtaking views of the harbor.
  2. Have a picnic on one of the benches or chairs set up by the waterfront for an even more relaxing experience.
  3. Explore the historical American University of Malta located at the docks for an educational journey through time!
    Experience freedom as you take in all that Bormla Waterfront has to offer and get ready for your next adventure to Collegiate Church of The Immaculate Conception!

Collegiate Church of the Immaculate Conception

Take a journey back in time and explore the grandeur of the Collegiate Church of the Immaculate Conception – one of Cospicua’s most treasured landmarks! This baroque-style church was completed around 1730 and overlooks the historic city center. It is often referred to as ‘The Jewel of Bormla’ due to its elaborate architecture and historical importance. Inside, you will find stunning frescos, paintings, ornate sculptures, and an intricately detailed main altar. Visitors can also take part in mass services held here or simply admire its beauty from the outside. From this vantage point, you can also get a breathtaking view of the Bormla Waterfront. To learn more about this unique landmark, be sure to book a guided tour at their official website! With that said, it’s time for us to move on to our next stop: Cottonera Gardens.

Cottonera Gardens

Experience the tranquil beauty of Cottonera Gardens, a green oasis tucked away within the city walls of Cospicua! Here you can enjoy:

  1. Strolls through the lush and green gardens while admiring the sights and sounds of nature;
  2. A small playground for children to have fun in;
  3. A wooded area that provides shade during hot summer days; and
  4. Recreational activities to keep you entertained.
    Take a break from your busy day-to-day life and explore this peaceful paradise! Wander around its winding paths and get lost in its mesmerizing greenery. Spend some time here to find true tranquility or even just take a moment to relax under one of the trees or on one of the benches scattered throughout the garden. With so much to offer, Cottonera Gardens is sure to give you an unforgettable experience! Transitioning now into exploring ‘Cottonera Lines’, another fascinating part of Cospicua (Bormla).

Cottonera Lines

Step back in time and marvel at the breathtakingly beautiful Cottonera Lines – a historic defense wall built to protect Cospicua centuries ago! Built between 1670 and 1760 by the Order of Saint John, these walls are a must-see when visiting the town. Just take a look around you, and you’ll be able to get an understanding of their grand size. The lines also include some stunning city gates such as Notre Dame Gate, making it all the more worthwhile to explore this incredible piece of history. Take your time wandering through this historic area and appreciate its beauty; it’s sure to be an experience that will stay with you for years to come.

The Cottonera Lines are incredibly well-preserved and remain a crucial part of Maltese history today. They provide insight into past times when fortifications were needed for protection, while also giving people a sense of freedom as they walk along the long stretch of walls. Visiting Cospicua is incomplete without seeing these majestic lines, so make sure you don’t miss out on exploring this iconic landmark!

Notre Dame Gate

Stroll through the Notre Dame Gate and be amazed by its stunning architecture, built centuries ago to protect Cospicua. This Baroque masterpiece was completed in 1675 and has been known as the Cottonera Gate or the Żabbar Gate, with a more recent name being Bieb is-Sultan, Maltese for “King’s Gate”. The gate stands 20 meters tall and is made of limestone blocks and red sandstone ashlar blocks; it contains three arches at the ground level and two above that are topped with a pediment carved with coats of arms. Take some time to admire this beautiful work of art before heading to your next stop, Saint Helen’s Gate.

Saint Helen’s Gate

Marvel at Saint Helen’s Gate, a 17th-century bastion that marks the entrance to Santa Margherita Lines, with two post-war openings for cars. From the intricate stonework on its façade to the grand archway that looms over it, this impressive monument in Cospicua (Bormla) is a must-see for any visitor. Here are just some of the things to expect when visiting:

  • Get up close and personal with Malta’s historical past as you explore centuries of military engineering and fortification
  • Take time to admire the gate’s unique design elements like its distinctive scalloped arches and red brickwork
  • Take a moment to appreciate all the events this structure has witnessed throughout its 300-year history
  • Admire how this ancient gateway has been modernized, with two openings added in 1947 so cars can pass through

With awe-inspiring architecture that will transport you back in time, Saint Helen’s Gate is an unforgettable experience. From here, continue your journey through Cospicua (Bormla) by exploring Santa Margherita Lines.

Santa Margherita Lines

Experience the magnificence of Santa Margherita Lines, a centuries-old fortification built by the Order of Saint John and featuring five bastions and three gates. Built between 1638 and 1645, it was designed to be an inner defense for the city of Cospicua (Bormla). The structure includes walls with loopholes for musketry as well as seven redans – small walls that protrude from the main wall. There are also two ravelins which were added later for further protection. Take a stroll along these historical lines and imagine what life must have been like during its time. Get ready to be filled with awe by this impressive piece of military architecture! Let your imagination run wild as you explore the magnificent Santa Margherita Lines – a reminder of Malta’s rich past and culture.

Cospicua Activities

Discover the remarkable legacy of Cospicua through its centuries-old fortifications and storied military architecture, offering a unique peek into Malta’s past. Explore the fortifications in all their glory with a guided tour, learning about the rich history of this small island nation and its defense against foreign invaders. Or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade with plenty of picturesque views to be seen. There are also several museums in the area that offer fascinating insights into Malta’s past, from its maritime tradition to its cultural heritage. With so much to explore and discover in Cospicua, you’ll never run out of things to do! From discovering fascinating history and taking in beautiful views to indulging in local cuisine, there is something for everyone here. The next step on your exploration journey is hiking to and from Cospicua – an adventure not to be missed!

Hiking to and from Cospicua

Explore the beauty of Malta and unlock hidden gems as you hike to and from Cospicua. Taking the coastal path to the north or west will lead you through beautiful landscapes, providing plenty of opportunities for exploration. To the east, following the coast will eventually take you to Marsaskala, a 10-kilometer journey away. If you decide to go west, walking around Grand Harbour will get you close to Valletta, and then continue on a waterfront path towards Sliema. Bring plenty of fluids and sun protection for your adventure! There are also many other activities in Cospicua just waiting to be discovered – like shopping!

Shopping in Cospicua

Take a stroll through Cospicua to uncover hidden gems of shopping just waiting to be found. The bustling streets are full of small shops, offering everything from clothing and footwear to souvenirs and snacks. You can find local handmade crafts, jewelry, and even freshly made traditional Maltese pastries at the bakeries. There’s something for everyone in this part of Malta! As you meander through the winding streets you’ll stumble upon quaint cafes where you can sit down and relax after a long day of shopping. Whether it’s picking up some treats or finding unique items that cannot be bought elsewhere, there is plenty to explore in Cospicua for those who want an unforgettable shopping experience. With its vibrant atmosphere, a diverse range of stores, and friendly locals, Cospicua offers more than meets the eye when it comes to retail therapy. Now that your bags are full let’s look at some interesting excursions from Cospicua!

Excursions from Cospicua

Now that you’ve shopped ’till you dropped in Cospicua, why not explore the rest of Malta? There are so many wonderful places to visit within easy reach, and there’s no better way to experience them than to get out and explore! From ancient ports and fortresses to stunning natural landscapes and awe-inspiring architecture, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day trip or an adventurous excursion, Cospicua is perfectly situated for exploring the island of Malta. Catch a ferry from the Grand Harbour and take in views of Valletta before setting off on your journey. You could wander around Mdina’s winding streets, discover historic sites such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, or take a boat trip along the coast for some unforgettable memories. So grab your sunhat and head out on an adventure – it all starts here in Cospicua! With so much to see just outside its walls, this quaint town is sure to be a highlight of any Maltese vacation. Now let’s move on to Fgura – where we’ll discover even more fun things to do!


Just outside the walls of the Three Cities lies Fgura, a bustling town full of small shops and local busses, just waiting to be explored! Here you can find all sorts of interesting things – from local produce to curiosities. Fgura is also well known for its busses that connect it with both Valletta and Marsaskala. Exploring this vibrant town can be a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience something truly unique. With plenty of spots to explore, you’ll never run out of things to do in Fgura. To add even more appeal, it’s an ideal location for those who are looking for an authentic Maltese experience or simply want to take a break from their busy lives. With so much on offer here, let your curiosity guide you as you explore all that Fgura has to offer.

From here, why not venture further out into neighboring Marsaskala? This picturesque village offers a glimpse into traditional Maltese culture with its quaint atmosphere and stunning views along the coast.


Nestled on the east coast of Malta, Marsaskala is a charming village offering visitors a glimpse into traditional Maltese culture. Here you can explore the winding streets of this picturesque town and soak up its laid-back atmosphere. In addition to its many cafes, restaurants, and shops, there are some interesting sights to be seen in Marsaskala. The main attraction is St Thomas Bay beach, which offers its visitors stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. There are also several beautiful churches worth visiting such as Our Lady of Lilies Church and St Anne’s Chapel. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a boat trip out to Filfla Island or visit one of the nearby fishing villages? With so much to do and see in Marsaskala, it’s easy to see why it has become a popular destination for tourists on holiday in Malta. With all these activities on offer, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time exploring this quaint little town! Now that you’ve explored Marsaskala’s top attractions, let’s move on to our next destination: the three cities – Birgu, Cospicua (Bormla), and Senglea.

The Three Cities – Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea

Step back in time and experience history up close with a visit to the Three Cities – Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea. Explore the unique culture of Malta as you stroll through the narrow streets of these ancient towns that are steeped in history.

Take a tour of Fort St. Angelo located in Birgu – once home to the Knights of St John and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site; or take part in one of Cospicua’s many festivals throughout the year such as Cavalcade dei Re Magi or Santa Maria. And if you want to explore further, check out Senglea’s beautiful gardens or visit its Military Museum for an insight into Malta’s military past. From exploring historic sites to enjoying cultural events, there is something for everyone when visiting The Three Cities.

From here, transition effortlessly into Valletta for another exciting voyage into Maltese history and culture.


Immerse yourself in the unique culture and history of Malta as you explore the ancient walls of Valletta, a city that stands proudly overlooking the Grand Harbor. The old fortifications, which were built to protect Valletta from invaders, still stand today and are a reminder of Malta’s long and proud history. As you wander through the streets of this medieval city, you will be able to appreciate its charm with its narrow alleys lined with pastel-colored buildings and decorative doorways. Enjoy panoramic views of the harbor from Upper Barrakka Gardens or take a stroll around Saint John’s Co-Cathedral – one of the most important churches in Malta – where Caravaggio’s masterpiece ‘The Beheading Of St. John’ is located. Take your time to soak up all that Valletta has to offer before heading out to żabbar, another town on Malta’s Grand Harbor.


Stroll through the stunning streets of Żabbar and explore its captivating culture, brimming with traditional Maltese balconies and peaceful parks. Take a look at the historic fortifications of the Three Cities that borders Żabbar, or take your kids to the sprawling Park ta’ San Klement. Here’s why you should visit this town:

  1. Get up close to history: Witness centuries-old fortifications from different eras as you walk around Żabbar’s outskirts.
  2. Enjoy picturesque views: Admire colorful Malta balcony houses in all their glory on these sunny summer days.
  3. Bring your children: Let them play in the park safely as you relax under some shade!
    Experience a side of Malta away from the touristy crowds and savor its unique charm – come to Żabbar for an unforgettable time! To top it off, you can always take a short drive to Cospicua (Bormla) for more activities with your little ones!

Cospicua with a Kid

Now that you know a little about Żabbar, let’s take a look at what Cospicua has to offer for kids. With more open spaces than nearby Birgu and Senglea, Cospicua is definitely the place to be for children who love being outdoors. Of course, it’s important to keep an eye out for traffic, but there are plenty of activities that will keep your little ones entertained. From the Three-City ferry between Valletta and Cospicua (which adults can enjoy just as much!) to playgrounds dotted around town – there’s something for everyone! Speaking of playgrounds, let’s explore what else this historic city has in store…

Playgrounds in Cospicua

If you’re looking for playgrounds in Cospicua, there are a few options. The Cottonera Gardens offer several play structures and plenty of running space for kids to enjoy. Another great spot is x-Xghajra ta’ Bormla, which has lots of grassy areas perfect for playing ball or just running around. Both are great spots to let your little ones have some fun!

Cottonera Gardens

Take a visit to the Cottonera Gardens and enjoy its smaller playground, though it may be in poor condition. Despite its state of disrepair, it is still an enjoyable place to explore with your children. Get ready for some fun as you discover the vast expanse of green lawns and trees that make up this area. Feel free to take a stroll around and take in the sights and sounds of nature while your little ones run off their energy on the playground equipment. There are even benches here if you need a rest from walking around! From here, move on to X-Xghajra Ta’ Bormla where more outdoor activities await you!

x-Xghajra ta’ Bormla

Come discover X-Xghajra Ta’ Bormla, a fun outdoor playground full of activities for you and your kids to enjoy! This park is located between the towns of Cospicua and Birgu and offers something for everyone. With a large recreational area, it’s great for spending quality time with family or friends. There’s even a smaller playground specifically designed for younger children! So whether you’re looking to relax in the great outdoors or have an afternoon of fun with the kids, X-Xghajra Ta’ Bormla has something for everyone. Take some time to explore this wonderful park and make some memories that will last a lifetime!


You’ve just explored the amazing city of Cospicua (Bormla)! From its rich history to its bustling waterfront, there’s something for everyone. You can take a stroll in Valletta, explore Żabbar and the American University of Malta, and even bring your kids for a fun day at one of several playgrounds. No matter what you choose to do here, you’re sure to have an amazing time. Cospicua is an incredible city full of life and culture that you won’t want to miss out on. So what are you waiting for? Come explore this beautiful Maltese town today!

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