Must see attractions in Victoria (Rabat)

  • Top ChoiceSights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Il-Kastell

    While the walls surrounding Il-Kastell date from the 15th century, there have been fortifications atop this flat-topped hill since the Bronze Age: it developed under the Phoenicians and later became a Roman town. After terrible raids on Gozo by the Turks, it became customary for all the island's families to stay within Il-Kastell overnight, a practice that lasted into the 17th century. Walk almost all the way around the city walls, for astounding views over Gozo and towards the sea

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Cathedral of the Assumption

    Built between 1697 and 1711 to replace a church destroyed by a 1693 earthquake (which was in southern Italy but caused damage as far Gozo), the cathedral was designed by Lorenzo Gafa, also responsible for St Paul's Cathedral at Mdina. The elegant facade is adorned with the escutcheons of Grand Master Ramon de Perellos and Bishop Palmieri. Due to a lack of funds the dome was never finished, but a trompe l'œil painting makes it look as if it were.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Heart of Gozo

    This innovative small museum was founded by the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria to exhibit treasures belonging to the Basilica of St George as well as other artefacts, including coins and lamps from the Herod era in Israel and scrap silver amounting to the weight of a shekel. A column runs through all three floors showing the island's history from prehistoric Ġgantija through to British rule. There's an audio room, where you can listen to traditional local music.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Archaeology Museum

    Victoria's Archaeology Museum houses some incredible finds. There are some 'fat lady' carvings from Ġgantija Temples and Xagħra, around 3000 to 4000 years old. There are also Roman anchors, a 3rd-to-5th-century skeleton that was found buried in an amphora, Bronze Age jugs dating from 2400 to 1500 BC, and some fascinating Phoenician amulets in the form of the Eye of Osiris – an ancient link to the symbols seen on Maltese fishing boats of today.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Ċittadella Visitors' Centre

    Inaugurated in mid-2016 as part of the excellent restoration of Victoria's Il-Kastell, this award-winning visitors' centre includes a poignant and informative audiovisual presentation of the history of the site, and other interactive displays covering the history of Gozo and Malta. The spectacular architectural makeover cunningly makes use of capacious former water reservoirs built by the British in the 1870s.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Pjazza Indipendenza

    Victoria's main square hosts a daily market (6.30am to 2pm) and is known throughout the island as It-Tokk (the meeting place). The semicircular baroque building at the western end of the square is the Banca Giuratale, built in 1733 to house the city council. After being restored in 2016, it now hosts occasional art and cultural exhibitions.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Cathedral Museum

    This jumble of objects within the Cathedral Museum includes a zucchetto (skull cap) worn by Pope Francis, church gold and silver, some religious art (including a disturbing 19th-century painting depicting the martyrdom of St Agatha) and a 19th-century bishop's carriage.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Gozo Nature Museum

    This gracious old building houses a series of low-key exhibits explaining the geology of the island and its water supply. There are some interesting fossils downstairs, including huge megalodon shark teeth. Parts of the building were used as an air-raid shelter during WWII.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Basilica of St George

    The well-attended original parish church of Rabat dates from 1678, and the lavish interior contains a fine altarpiece of St George and the Dragon by Mattia Preti. Note that wearing shorts inside the church is not allowed.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Il-Borgo

    The old town, known as Il-Borgo, is a maze of narrow, meandering alleys around Pjazza San Ġorġ. It's a beguiling place to wander.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Old Prison

    The Old Prison served as a jail from the late 1500s to 1904, and proved particularly useful for locking up hot-tempered Knights until they cooled off. The cells here once held Jean Parisot de la Valette for a few months for beating up a layperson. His punishment included two years service in Tripoli before he later became Grand Master. Particularly fascinating is the historic graffiti etched into the walls by the inmates, including crosses, ships, hands and the cross of the Knights.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    St John's Demi-Bastion

    There is a good panorama from here. Look for the huge dome of the Rotunda at Xewkija, with Comino and Malta in the background; the distant Gothic spire of the church above Mġarr Harbour; the watchtower of Nadur, and the dome and twin clock towers of its parish church; and the view of Xagħra on its hilltop to the east, capped by Ta'Kola Windmill and the Church of Our Lady of Victory.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Gozo 360°

    Gozo 360° is a 30-minute audiovisual show that gives a good, basic introduction to the island's history and sights before veering off into tourist board–style fluff. Shows are every 30 minutes, and commentary is available in 15 languages. The show is held at the Citadel Cinema, which also screens a concise and up-to-date program of blockbuster and arthouse films.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Villa Rundle Gardens

    The Rundle Gardens, south of Triq ir-Repubblika, were laid out around 1914 by General Sir Leslie Rundle (Governor of Malta, 1909–15), and are pleasant and shady for walking around. Occasional concerts and festivals are held throughout spring and summer, and there is a children's playground.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Gran Castello Historic House

    This folklore museum is a lovely maze of stairs, rooms and courtyards. The fine, rambling old building itself, dating to 1500, houses a collection of domestic, trade and farming implements, which give an insight into rural life on Gozo.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Banca Giuratale

    The semicircular baroque building at the western end of Pjazza Indipendenza is the Banca Giuratale, built in 1733 to house the city council. After being restored in 2016, it now hosts occasional art and cultural exhibitions.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Church of St Savina

    The church was built in the early 20th century, but the site has been used for worship since the 15th century. The altar centrepiece is a 1622 painting of the Virgin Mary.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Chapel of St Joseph

    Renaissance chapel originally dedicated to St Nicholas. It was built in 1625 on the site of another more simple chapel already dedicated to the saint.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Church of St James

    Severely damaged during the 1551 corsair raid on Gozo led by Sinam Baxar, this has been rebuilt many times, most recently in the 20th century.

  • Sights in Victoria (Rabat)

    Ċitadella Centre for Culture & Art

    Occasional exhibitions in a former prison building. Stop in to admire paintings, photographs and other local artworks.