Mdina is the ancient capital of Malta, sometimes referred to as The Silent City. Mdina is a stunning example of an old fortified city, dating back to before 4000 BC. Situated in the centre of Malta, perched high on a hill overlooking the rest of the country. With views all the way out to sea, its location makes it an obvious place to build a capital city. It dominates the surrounding landscape and can be seen from quite a distance when it is all lit up aglow in the evening.
As such a desirable place to rule from, it has seen the likes of The Knights of St John, the Romans, the Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans claim power. It has also seen attacks from the Ottomans, Saracens and even briefly the French. This ever changing rule shows in the architecture throughout the city, though it is predominantly medieval and baroque.
This small city is known as the Silent City as cars are not allowed within the confines of the walls for anyone other than the residents. Not a traffic light in sight which is marvellous! As soon as you enter through the city gates you’ll be captured by the small narrow lanes, the limestone houses offering a warm glow in the sun, the pretty little doors and balconies. It is like stepping back in time.
Although Mdina is a relatively small city, you could spend hours wandering these streets, getting lost in the beauty and taking in the silence. This is the perfect place to disconnect from reality, to remove yourself from the modern day entrapments. It is an absolute pleasure to escape for a few hours. The beauty itself is enough to get lost in. And certainly enough to make you wish you lived here.
Wherever you turn there is something else to make you go ‘Oooh!’ Mdina oozes history out of every nook and cranny. It is filled with palaces, churches, museums, a theatre, chapels, a dungeon and the most incredible medieval architecture. It would be hard for anyone not to fall in love with this place.
There are some fantastic places for lunch. One place that is most well known amongst tourists is the Fontanella Tea Garden due to it’s stunning views over Malta. If you want lunch with a view, this is certainly the place to go. I have to say though, there is better food to be had in the city. The views however, are unbeatable and definitely worth sitting down to enjoy with a drink in hand. A cold glass of wine on a hot day is the perfect accompaniment. And maybe indulge in a slice of cake. They have quite an extensive menu on the cake front.
When you’re done relaxing there is plenty more to see as you walk around. The main square houses St Paul’s Cathedral, a number of Palazzo’s and not far from here is the Dungeons. Ideal for those looking for a little more entertainment. Mdina is an absolute must see if you visit Malta. This UNESCO site is unrivalled for those lovers of history out there.
If you are looking for other places to visit in Malta there here are a few of my suggestions on places you really shouldn’t miss out on!
Where To Stay
When travelling I only ever book places to stay through either booking.com or airbnb.co.uk both of which have some fantastic places in Malta. I would recommend staying inside the walls of this historic city for an authentic holiday away and to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this one of a kind city.
For the full luxury experience book a room at The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux. A 5 star luxury, family-run boutique set within the medieval, fortified city. A real treat to yourself.
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