Mosta is an inland city in the northern region of Malta. It is home to around 23.000 inhabitants and its famous church, the Rotunda. The city is located inland, a few kilometers from the coast, and is the third largest city in Malta after Saint Paul’s Bay and Birkirkara.
Mosta has three twin cities. The first one is Millbrae in California, USA. Then there is also Ragusa on the Italian island of Sicily and Cassagnabère-Tournas in the Occitania Region of France.
Our blog posts about Mosta:
The History of Mosta
The lands around what is today Mosta have been inhabited for a very long time. A settlement here has probably seen the rule of the Phoenicians, the Romans, and the Arabs. The renewed Christianisation of Malta began in the 12th century at which time Mosta was a small farming settlement.
Mosta became its own parish in 1608. It had prior to that being a part of Naxxar Parish. The parish church was built in the 17th century and was in use until the grandiose plans of the 19th century. This was when the Church of The Assumption was built to be able to house more visitors. Also known as the Mosta Rotunda, the church was completed in 1871.
The many wars and armies that have had Malta as their theater have also affected Mosta. The village has been raided by pirates, has had a large wall (the Victoria Lines) being built at its doorstep by the British, and it has also seen the bombs fall from the skies during the Second World War.
Sights in Mosta
There is the Rotunda of Mosta and then there is the rest of the city. This is a place with a long history and plenty of historical sites to explore.
Cumbo Tower is one of the more historical sights in the area. It is today a villa but it has played the part of a stronghold in its long history. It is believed to have been built in the 16th century.
The original bridge across the valley was built in the 19th century by the British. The bridge was later replaced in the 1980s. The bridge is today the highest in Malta.
Rotunda of Mosta
Formally known as the Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, this is the main attraction in Mosta and one of the main sights in Malta. The Rotunda of Mosta is a church that was completed in the 1860s. It was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome and has the third-largest unsupported dome in the world. The Pantheon still has the largest unsupported dome in the world.
The Rotunda of Mosta has some incredible stories to tell as well. It was hit by three bombs during the Second World War when the German Luftwaffe was bombing Malta. Only one of these was able to penetrate the large dome. But as with many bombs and explosives at this time in history, it failed to detonate. Considering that the church had around 300 visitors at the time, the outcome could have been quite devastating.
Ta’ Bistra Catacombs
The largest catacombs in Malta can be found in Rabat. But if you exclude Rabat then you will end up at Ta’ Bistra Catacombs in Mosta. Information about the catacombs was first documented at the end of the 19th century and much is still left to learn. The site is today managed by Heritage Malta and is open to the public.
The British built the Victoria Lines at the end of the 19th century, they are a line of fortifications separating the north of Malta from the rest of the island. The total length is 12 kilometers, which includes both a wall as well as forts and other defensive structures.
In Mosta, there is Fort Mosta, which is not accessible to the public. But there are also other signs of the wall to explore. The most famous part is, however, a bit to the southwest – the Dwejra Lines.
Wied Filep Dolmen
Wied Filep is the valley between Mosta and Naxxar and it houses a few remains from the Bronze Age. In a field on the outskirt of Mosta are two dolmens. A dolmen is a stone portal tomb, where at least two upright stones support an overlaying stone and by so create a kind of table.
World War II Shelter
Right next to the Rotunda, there is access to the shelters of the Second World War. This is today a museum that leads you through the narrow tunnels and where you get to learn more about life underground during the war.
Sports in Mosta
A lot of the sports coverage in Malta seems to center around football. That is soccer for any American reader.
Mosta FC & Charles Abela Memorial Stadium
Mosta FC is the local football club. It was founded in 1935 and is currently playing in the top-tier league in Malta, the BOV Premier League. The team played in the top league for the first time in 1974 but was demoted after one season. Mosta FC has now been playing in the Premier League since 2010 and is as of the 2022/23 season making its 16th season in the top-tier league of Malta.
The team plays its home games at Charles Abela Memorial Stadium. The stadium was opened in 2010 and has a capacity of 700 spectators.
Mosta Cycling Club
Mosta Cycling Club was founded in 1953. The team has had several cyclists competing for Malta in international competitions.
There are plenty of activities in Mosta once you have seen the Rotunda. It is easy to find a restaurant or café to sit down for a meal or a coffee. But it is also easy to use Mosta as a base to explore the rest of the island, either on foot while heading out on a longer hike, by taking the local buses, or by heading out on a road trip.
Beaches in Mosta
Mosta is located inland and has a few kilometers to the coast. But its central location also means that many of Malta’s beaches are within easy reach. Swimming in St Paul’s Bay one day, in Mellieħa the next, and ending the weekend at the beach at Golden Bay? That is a possibility.
Mosta’s location at the center of the island means that hikes can really start in any direction. You will encounter obstacles on larger roads where car traffic might limit the possibilities to cross or make it a bit too unsafe to continue. However, on smaller countryside roads the rural landscape will offer unlimited possibilities.
Hike Along the Victoria Lines
Hiking along the Victoria Lines is one option that is quite popular, even though it as well might have some obstacles. Following the fortifications will take you through the rural landscape of Malta and will offer some great views.
Shopping in Mosta
The streets in the central part of Mosta are filled with small local shops and restaurants. So shopping in Mosta is a possibility even without many of the international brands that you can find in Sliema and Valletta. Those stores are instead collected at the PAMA Shopping Village on the outskirt of Mosta.
PAMA Shopping Village
The PAMA Shopping Village is on the outskirt of Mosta and houses around 30 different outlets. Here you will find fashion brands as well as toys and a large supermarket.
Excursions from Mosta
Mosta’s location at the center of Malta makes it a perfect base for exploring the island. Nothing is really far away from here, especially if you dare to drive yourself. There are also plenty of public buses and even a taxi might be an option when exploring Malta.
Birżebbuġa is a town in the southeastern part of Malta. It is not only the home of the large Malta Freeport, but it is also the home of a few historical sites. You will mainly find two interesting archaeological sites here, Għar Dalam and Borġ in-Nadur. This is also a popular summer resort for the locals.
From our visit:
Gozo is the second-largest island in Malta and is considered to have its own culture without the stress of the main island. The regular ferry to Gozo goes from the port in Cirkewwa, a short drive to the northwest of Mosta. On Gozo, you will find several small villages as well as the main city of Victoria. Located at the center of the island, Victoria is home to the impressive Cittadella.
From our visit:
Marsaskala is a coastal resort town located in the eastern part of Malta. This former fishing village has grown into a resort town with beaches, playgrounds, and plenty of cafés and restaurants.
From our visits:
- Marsaskala – Exploring Malta
- Malta Highlights – November 2021
- Marsaskala, Malta – Sant’Antnin Family Park
- Marsaskala, Malta – Exploring the Playgrounds
- Marsaskala, Malta – A December Visit
- Marsaskala, Malta – Arrival and First Visit to the Playground
Marsaxlokk is an old fishing village famous for its traditional colorful boats and the daily market. This is one of the main tourist attractions in the eastern part of Malta. The colorful fishing boats, known as Luzzu, are an addition to the Maltese culture dating back to the early 12th century.
From our visits:
Just a short distance to the south of Mosta is the city of Mdina. This is the former capital of Malta and its fortifications make it a very impressive sight. Probably even one of the most impressive sights on the island. Mdina is also neighboring the town of Rabat, a town that is possible to combine in the same visit.
From our visits:
- Mdina – Exploring Malta
- Mdina, Malta – Exploring the Old Capital of Malta
- Blue Grotto, Malta – A Hike to Dingli Cliffs and Mdina
Saint Julian’s is the main tourist resort in Malta and it is a short drive to the northeast of Mosta. This is where many of the hotels are located and it is popular for its restaurants and shopping. It is also the home of Paceville, an area that is both loved and hated for its many bars and nightclubs.
Sliema is another tourist resort along the Maltese northern coast. This is one of the busiest towns in Malta and a modern commercial center. For anyone looking for shopping or other urban activities, then Sliema is usually among the main options on the island. Together with neighboring Saint Julian’s, Sliema makes up one of the main tourist resorts in Malta.
From our visits:
- Sliema – Exploring Malta
- Sliema, Malta – Playgrounds and City Life
- Sliema, Malta – Finding More Playgrounds
The Three Cities – Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea
The Three Cities of Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea are famous for their fortifications and marinas. This is where you will find Fort Saint Angelo and several places with great views of the marinas, the Grand Harbor, and the capital Valletta.
From our visits:
- Birgu (Vittoriosa) – Exploring Malta
- Cospicua (Bormla) – Exploring Malta
- Senglea (Isla) – Exploring Malta
- Marsaskala, Malta – A Hike to Senglea
- Birgu, Malta – The Three Cities
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is one of the places that most people visiting the country will try to see at least once. Its high walls and other fortifications make it an impressive sight and the view of the sea is never far away. There are plenty of connections from Valletta to the rest of the island with public buses.
From our visits:
- Valletta – Exploring Malta
- Valletta, Malta – A Carnival in Town
- Valletta, Malta – A Kid Re-discovers the Island
- Valletta, Malta – Sunshine in the Capital
- Valletta, Malta – Christmas in the Capital
Mosta with a Kid
Mosta has a slower pace compared to the areas around Sliema and Valletta. This makes it a lot easier to bring the kids while exploring the city. The fact that there is a playground in the center of Mosta, also makes it easier to activate the kids when taking breaks from exploring.
Read more about Malta with kids:
Playgrounds in Mosta
We have been able to locate one playground in Mosta, right next to the Rotunda. In case you know of any other public playground that kids might enjoy, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Gnien Reggie Cilia
Right next to the Rotunda is a small park with a playground. There are plenty of trees offering shade from the often burning sun and it is plenty of attractions in the playground for the kids to explore.
There are more towns and villages to discover. Join us in Exploring Malta >>