Rabat is one of the largest cities in mainland Malta and previously served only as a suburb of the medieval capital Mdina.

In fact, Mdina in particular continues to attract tourists to this day, but it would be a mistake to only tour the walled old town and not stop in neighbouring Rabat.

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What to see and experience in Rabat?

Unlike historic Mdina, Rabat is a lively town with many shops, restaurants, bistros and offices. Tourists mix with locals in the streets and Rabat acts as a hub for the whole of inland Malta.

Here, too, you can admire the typical Maltese wooden colourful balconies in the narrow streets.

What are the main sights in Rabat?

  • St Paul'sBasilica - a large baroque church completed in 1783. Admission costs 5 eur.
  • St Paul's Catacombs - a vast system of up to 30 underground tombs dating from the 3rd to 8th centuries AD, most of the site is open to the public. It is open daily from 10am-6pm and you pay to enter 6 eur, see the official website: heritagemalta.mt.

Accommodation Rabat

Rabat is a popular place to stay. With a wide range of cheap accommodation, Rabat serves as a base for exploring the area, whether you head to the cliffs of Dingli or the beaches of Gnejna, Ghajn Tuffieha or Golden Bay.

You can find guesthouses or local hotels in Rabat from 60 eur per night. We select the cheapest guesthouses with good ratings.

How to get there

Mdina is situated in the central part of the island near the town of Ir-Rabat, and road signposts from all over Malta head here.

By car

As one of the centres of Malta, Rabat is well signposted at junctions far and wide.

Parking is free in Rabat in several car parks around Mdina and on the access roads.

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However, especially in the summer season and at weekends throughout the year, it can take more than half an hour to find a parking space.

By bus

The city is, however, easily accessible by bus. There are many bus routes to Rabat, each with an interval of 30-60 minutes. The main bus stop "Rabat" is located about 50 meters from the entrance to Mdina.

Due to the very busy traffic from Valletta, we recommend using buses instead of cars to get to Rabat.

Click on the line number to see the exact timetable and route map.

  • Line X3 - Airport, Bugibba, Tarxien, Birkirkara
  • Line 50 - Valletta, Birkirkara
  • Line 51 - Valletta, Birkirkara, Imtarfa
  • Line 52 - Valletta, Birkirkara and Dingli town
  • Line 53 - Valletta, Birkirkara and Ir-Rabat city tour
  • Line 56 - Valletta, Birkirkara, Ta'Qali Park and Dingli town
  • Line 109 - Siggiewi, Zebbug and Bahrija
  • Line 181 - Birkirkara, Dingli town, Mater Dei
  • Line 182 - Birkirkara, Mater Dei, Imtarfa
  • Line 186 - Mosta, Bugibba, Ta'Qali
  • Line 201 - Dingli cliffs, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim, Dingli town, Siggiewi
  • Line 202 - Mosta, Pembroke, San Giljan, Sliema, Ta'Qali

For ticket prices and more information about buses in Malta, see the Transport chapter.

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