Rabat (Malta) - not to be mistaken with the city of Rabat in Gozo, or that in Morocco, is a small town just a few minutes away south of the magnificent ancient city of Mdina.
The name of this town comes from the Semitic word for suburb. Rabat was in fact a suburb of Mdina in the old days. The town’s main attractions are its Christian catacombs.
As a sidenote, if you’re visiting Rabat, make sure to taste the famous Maltese pastizzi. The tastier ones are found in Rabat, Malta! :)
If you'd like to know what pastizzi are, visit our Easy Cheesecake Recipes from Malta page for more information on these local snacks and also to get the recipe!
St. Paul's Catacombs
St. Paul is said to have been shipwrecked on the Maltese islands in 60 A.D. The catacombs are basically a labyrinth of early Christian burial chambers. They’re set on different levels and in all, there’s some 1000 tombs!
Will you dare explore this incredible labyrinth?
At the entrance, you will find a primitive chapel where people gathered to pray during the burial rituals. The catacombs are the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta.
St. Paul’s Catacombs are located at St. Agatha Street, Rabat and are opened daily from 9.00 am till 5.00 pm. (The site is closed on the 24th, 25th & 31st of December, the 1st of January and on Good Friday. Entrance fee is Euro 5.00. (Discounts apply for kids, students and senior citizens).
St. Agatha’s Catacombs
These catacombs were in use up to the 17th century and are located at St. Agatha Street in Rabat.
St. Agatha’s catacombs are a huge complex of 500 tombs (adult and children). There’s also a crypt where St. Agatha allegedly hid when in 249 AD she fled Catania, because she was being persecuted by the Romans.
The site also has a pagan burial chamber with intact original skeletons in open tombs. You can also see some beautiful ancient frescoes in the two small chapels at the crypt.
St. Agatha’s catacombs are open from Monday to Friday (from 9.00 am till 4.30 pm) and on Saturday (from 9.00 am till 12.30 pm). Entrance is Euro 2.50.
Note: If you suffer from claustrophobia, you might want to reconsider visiting these catacombs.
For information on bus routes that serve Rabat, go to www.publictransport.com.mt.
Check out our interactive map below to see what accommodation is available in Rabat and nearby.