Mdina, the enchanting ancient town known as the “Silent City,” is the old capital of Malta. The medieval Old Town is confined within the original city walls, perched on a hill in the heart of the island. Narrow alleys and high walls open up into wide squares, grand churches and magnificent palaces. The town is a museum in itself, dotted with medieval lanterns, ornate edifices and narrow passageways. Mdina is almost entirely free of cars, so exploration of this beautiful old city on foot is simple and pleasantly slow-paced.
Stroll around the town’s winding paths and immerse yourself in its rich history. Mdina has been settled as a city since before 4000 B.C. but its current fortifications date back to the Arab period, around A.D. 870. Take a guided tour starting from Vilhena Palace to experience the Old Town’s heritage. Alternatively, ride a horse-drawn carriage around the whole city. Ensure you agree on a price before getting into the carriage. Visit the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum to see a fascinating collection of art and antiques and enjoy a beautiful vista across the town from the rooftop terrace café.
Stop by St. Paul’s Square and visit the charming Mdina Cathedral. A small entrance fee allows you into the cathedral’s beautifully decorated interior and a small museum dedicated to the cathedral’s history and architecture. Admire the stately old palaces and the buildings’ mix of Norman and Baroque architecture.
Visit one of the town’s stylish restaurants for a meal before heading up to the ancient fortifications from Bastions Square. Peer over the edge for panoramic views across the islands and out to the Mediterranean Sea. Complete your night with a drink at an atmospheric wine bar.
Mdina is located near the center of Malta, just a mile (2 kilometers) from the bigger city of Rabat. Mdina is well connected to the other towns by road and plenty of tourist and local buses run services to and from the old town walls.