Attractions in Malta: Mdina
A definite must see from all the attractions in Malta, Mdina was once the capital of Malta. To describe this city as stunning would be an understatement! Its quiet, “lonely” streets ooze history from every corner.
The magnificent city of Mdina will capture your attention even from a distance!
Dubbed as The Silent City, Mdina has retained its charm for many centuries. To this day, it's still virtually unchanged! No words can ever do it justice, you just have to go there and savor the atmosphere for yourself.
If you go early in the morning or in the evening, you would probably be tempted to whisper not to disturb the peace and quiet!
Mdina is a walled city and it was fortified by the
They had called the city “Malet” meaning place of shelter. In Medieval times, the city was known as Citta Notabile - the noble city.
Mdina owes its present name to the Arabs. During the Arab era, they gave it the name Medina, which means walled city. The present name is a derivative of that.
The magic starts as soon as you enter Mdina Gate
What's there to see in Mdina?
Just wandering around in its narrow streets and alleys, is enough for most visitors.
This is because the atmosphere is so evocative that if you’ve got a vivid imagination you can almost picture life in Mdina during Medieval times.
Just think, the few hundreds that live here get to experience this atmosphere every single day!
No wonder nobody ever usually moves out of Mdina.
This medieval city boasts many fortifications, alleys, tiny squares and exquisite architecture.
Mdina is also blessed with many palazzi, museums and also a magnificent cathedral.
Not to mention, a couple of excellent restaurants and cafes.
The main attractions of Mdina
St Paul’s Cathedral
The cathedral is the main focus of Mdina, the silent city. It's one of the most recognized from all attractions in Malta, since this majestic piece of architecture dominates the Mdina skyline.
Mdina’s cathedral is dedicated to St. Paul, who is said to have brought the Christian faith to Malta.
The beautiful and impressive cathedral of Mdina
Designed by the most famous Maltese architect of that time, Lorenzo Gafa, the cathedral was inaugurated in 1702.
Just across the road from the Cathedral, the museum is literally a showcase of all the Cathedral’s artworks that were accumulated over centuries.
Obviously, Catholic art is dominant in this museum.
A series of 53 woodcuts and copperplates by Albrecht Durer are one of the highlights of the museum.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in Pjazza San Pawl and is open from Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4.30pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Entrance fee is Euro 2.50 (cathedral and museum). The cathedral is also open on Sunday for mass and on that day entrance is free. Opening hours of the museum are the same as the cathedral.
The Roman Domus (or Roman Villa)
The remains found in this villa suggest that it must have belonged to a senior Roman figure.
Built in around 50 AD, the villa was discovered in 1881.
The site that you see today was built in the 1920’s to incorporate the remains of the Roman villa/townhouse.
The highlight of the Roman Domus in Mdina is the original peristyle court. Its mosaic floor has an image of two birds perched on a water bowl.
Other relics include pottery fragments, oil lamps, sculptures and amphorae. All this help make the Roman Villa, one of the most visited attractions in Malta.
The villa is located at Il-Wesgha tal-Muzew (just on the outskirts of Mdina and only a few minutes walk away from Mdina’s main gate). Opening hours are from 9.00am to 5.00pm and entrance fee is Euro 4.66.
How to get to Mdina
No cars are allowed into the city, so if you're thinking of heading there by car you have to park your car outside the city.
If you're thinking of going by bus, you can choose from the various routes that serve this popular location. Visit www.arriva.com.mt for more information on the best bus route to take depending on your departing location.
Other places of interest
Malta is full of interesting and fascinating places. Check out these three popular spots below ...