“Citta Notabile” or “Silent City”, Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, brings together 4000 years of the island’s history. Its 300 inhabitants, mostly descendants of the Maltese nobility, maintain with love the most beautiful palaces of the archipelago. The cleanliness of Mdina is exemplary. Visit Mdina for its calm and its exceptional heritage.
In this article you will find:
What to visit in Mdina?
Visit its alleys
Timeless, Mdina takes you through a maze of alleys. Good signage provides cultural and historical information in front of many monuments. Quiet and pedestrian city, we always come back to admire the knockers of its doors, its high houses with rich pediments, its majestic bougainvilleas… And simply enjoy its serenity.
Visit its ramparts
Located on the central hill of Malta, the walls of Mdina dominate the island. The view is breathtaking over Mosta, the Mediterranean and Valletta. On its sides, the alignments of the best Maltese vineyards.
Visit Saint Paul’s Cathedral
Rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693, behind its monumental facade, you will discover a masterpiece of baroque architecture. The beauty of its floor composed of carved marble slabs shelters the eternal resting place of the Grand Masters of Malta. Entrance is free during services (a fee is charged if you want to visit the cathedral museum).
Visit the Palazzo De Piro
Built in the seventeenth century, the Palazzo de Piro is now a “multipurpose cultural center”. It hosts, in an atmosphere filled with grandeur and nobility, the important exhibitions and artistic events of Malta. Enjoy a drink on its extraordinary terrace overlooking the whole northern part of Malta. Free entrance.
Tip: Through the entrance of the Local Council, access a very nice courtyard (in front of the Xara Palace hotel)
Visit The Moat Garden
Before leaving Mdina, go down to the moat for the pleasant garden, relaxing with its benches and its beautiful perspective on the entrance and the fortifications of the city.
Mdina takes around 5 hours to visit (excluding historic monuments). High tourist place of the archipelago, we advise you to extend your visit to the old capital of Malta in the evening, for its bewitching atmosphere when the majority of the visitors have left.
Guided tour of Mdina
Mdina is so rich in history and anecdotes, we recommend that you take a guided tour. There are several ways to do this:
There are excellent guided tours of Mdina and its surroundings. They range from 2 -3 hours to a full day. We list here the best guided tours, to find more information and book with a reliable operator at the best price, just click on the link :
Full-day guided tour :
For a day trip to discover the beauty of Mdina’s and central Malta’s main attractions: the catacombs of St. Peter’s, the Catacombs of St. Peter’s and the Catacombs of St. Paul. Cataldus, the cliffs of Dingli, the church of Mosta, the garden of San Anton as well as the craft village of Ta’Qali. A driver will pick you up at your hotel, you will be with a small group and lunch is included. Click on the button below to reserve:
Half-day guided tour
For organizational reasons, you may prefer to visit Mdina and the surrounding area over half a day. In this case, you will discover the 3 main attractions including the famous St. Mary’s Church in Mosta, the local craftsmen of Ta’Qali and the ancient city of Mdina. A driver will pick you up at your hotel and you will be with a small group. Click on the button below to reserve:
If you are a group or have the budget to afford a private guide to visit this extraordinary region of Malta, click here to book.
Where to get information in Mdina?
At the tourist office located 50 meters to the left of the main entrance of Mdina. You will find all the necessary indications to visit Mdina and a warm welcome.
Also, to learn about the extraordinary history of Mdina in a quiet place, you can watch the audiovisual show“The Mdina experience” and then “The Knights of Malta” for the history of the knights right next door.
Where to eat in Mdina?
Twenty establishments offer a wide range of prices and menus. Our favorite: “Le Fontanella Tea Garden” for its quality/price ratio, its beautiful view… And especially its pastries!
Where to sleep in Mdina?
Only one hotel within the city limits: the Xara Palace, (classified“Relais et Chateaux“). The alternative: “Le Point de Vue”, a bed and breakfast located 150 meters from the entrance of Mdina in the city of Rabat.
Find here the hotels of Mdina :
Getting to Mdina by bus
From Valletta: lines X3 – X4 – 31 – 32- 35 (about 1 hour)
From St Julian’s and Sliema: lines 202 -203 (about 1 hour)
What to see near Mdina
Visit Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temple
The Neolithic site of Ħaġar Qim is located near the town of Qrendi on the cliffs of southern Malta. It houses a megalith of almost 60 tons. The ruins of these four temples were built over a period of a thousand years, from 3,600 to 2,500 BC.
To visit Hagar Qim , you can go by yourself and buy your entrance ticket for 10€ per person or book a guided tour.
Visit Ghar Dalam
Malta’s oldest prehistoric site, Għar Dalam, invites visitors to step back in time. Rows of ancient animal bones, exhumed from the Għar Dalam Cave, are on display in the Joseph Baldacchino Room, which preserves one of the few Victorian-style displays in Europe.
The entrance fee is 6,50€ per adult.
There is a popular tour of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra temples and Ghar dalam caves with a guide. It is a unique and exciting collection of stories in Europe that we can only recommend. Click on the button below to reserve:
The Domus Romana is an archaeological site, it is located between Mdina and Rabat. It corresponds to an ancient Roman dome dating from the 1ᵉʳ century BC, and on which was later established a Muslim necropolis in the 12ᵉ century. Its entrance costs €6.
Tip: With the My Little Malta discount card, you’ll get 30% off entrance tickets or 15% off guided tours: A good investment for your stay. Find outmore in our article here.