Malta’s history couldn’t be understood without the importance of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua, commonly known as ‘The three cities’. If you are planning to study in Malta or you are already here, this is a good plan you can make and perfect for this time of the year, were the weather is not too hot to walk around the streets and discover the history hidden between the walls of these Three Cities.

The area in which they are located is known as Cottonera, which has served as a refuge, defensive bastion and home for different people that have conquered Malta throughout its history. The Knights of the Order of Saint John built these historic cities and nowadays its imprint remains in many buildings whose history dates back to the end of the 16th century.

Senglea (L-Isla)

This little city close to the sea has maintained its historical beauty despite the bombings suffered during the Second World War. Senglea's main attraction is Fort Saint Michael, built by the Knights of the Order of Saint John Malta in the mid-16th century.

From this fortification you will enjoy incredible views of Valletta, Senglea’s port and the neighbouring city of Vittoriosa. The watchtower of Fort Saint Michael stands out for the eye and ear carved on its sides, which symbolise the continuous guard of the knights to protect the city: always with eyes and ears open.

The centre of Senglea is a network of streets with colourful balconies, saints figures in every corner and flowerpots on the doors.

Vittoriosa (Birgu)

The most charming town in Cottonera is Vittoriosa, known to the Maltese as Birgu. Due to its excellent location by the sea, the knights made it the capital of Malta until 1565, when it changed to Valletta.

That year the Great Siege of Malta took place, an episode that united the Knights and the local population to stop the Ottoman army. The main bastion of Vittoriosa is the Fort of San Angel, which serves to understand the military importance that the city had.

​​Vittoriosa's architecture remains almost intact and nowadays you can imagine how the knights and nobles from Castile lived here. The most significant building in the old part of the city is the Inquisitor’s Palace, an old prison.