Birgufest 2023 : A window into Malta’s past

Located in Malta’s Grand Harbour, Birgu  (also known as Vittoriosa) is one of Malta’s oldest and most historic cities. Every year, the Birgu Local Council organises a festival along with the community to celebrate Malta’s culture and history, as well as the arts. Birgufest will be back this year to illuminate Birgu’s charming winding streets next week from 13 to 15 October! 

The festival will feature multiple impressive exhibitions of works by local artists, as well as thrilling musical concerts ranging from the classics to the contemporary. The lineup has yet to be announced but the St. Lawrence Band Club are expected to make their regular appearance. Last year, there was even a short film festival! Moreover, if the mediaeval architecture alone isn’t enough, you’ll absolutely be transported back in time between the historical activities. The three-day event will feature captivating historic re-enactments, an artisanal market with traditionally produced goods, and a variety of delectable Maltese cuisine.

Furthermore, Heritage Malta will be extending the opening hours for The Inquisitor’s Palace and Fort St. Angelo (from 10pm to midnight). On Birgufest weekend, you can visit both sites for just €3! Tickets for admission will only be available for purchase at the door, though keep in mind last admission will be at 23:30. That Friday, the ‘Dark Tales at Fort St Angelo’ event will be taking place, where you can learn mysterious and fascinating stories of Fort St Angelo’s history – very fitting for a Friday the 13th! Meanwhile, an exhibition titled ‘The Maltese Bride: 18th – 19th century Bridal wear in Malta’ will be on display at the Inquisitor’s Palace.

What really attracts the masses of tourists and locals every year is Birgu by Candlelight. Go to Birgu on Saturday 14 October and enjoy the radiant view as thousands of candles – a number that went up to 20,000 last year – cast warm light upon the old city. The scene is undeniably stunning – there’s a reason many people consider Vittoriosa one of the island’s most picturesque towns. You can even sit down and enjoy a dinner in the beautiful square under the glow, with melodious music to match.

So, let’s all hope for good weather because this exceptional combination of history, art, and illumination is worth seeing at least once. 

See you there!