The tiny walled, hilltop settlement of Mdina traces its history back 4,000 years and it was just outside the city that St Paul took refuge in a cave when he was shipwrecked on Malta in 60 AD. The town was once Malta’s capital and is crammed with glorious golden-stoned mansions built for the aristocracy in the 15th and 16th centuries. Chief among these is the grand Palazzo Falson, with a series of elegant rooms clustered around a central courtyard in typical medieval Spanish style and a charming little museum full of eccentric bygones.

Among its tangle of cobbled streets and splendid medieval architecture, Mdina’s pride and joy is massive St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa and completed in 1702 in an exuberant Baroque style similar to Valletta’s St John’s Co-Cathedral. The interior features a nave covered with marble tomb slabs of the rich and famous and the vaulted ceiling is covered with frescoes from St Paul’s life. The cathedral’s museum has a small but excellent collection that includes works by Rembrandt and Dürer.

To learn more about Mdina’s checkered history, head for the audio-visual Mdina Experience on Triq Villegaignon. The area immediately outside the ancient city walls is Rabat; visitor attractions to catch here include the Domus Romana for its fine Roman mosaic pavements and the catacombs of St Agatha, dating from the fourth century AD and whose tunnels are aglow with 16th-century frescoes.

Practical Info:

A 20-minute ride on bus routes 80 and 81 from Valletta bus station or a 10-minute drive by car, in the summer Mdina can get overrun with visitors admiring its splendid medieval architecture. Stay overnight to capture the atmosphere as it reverts back to being Malta’s ‘silent city’, steeped in tranquility and mystery. The Heritage Malta Multisite Pass can be used at the Domus Romana.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Highlights of Malta Full-Day Tour from Valletta, Valletta, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Highlights of Malta Full-Day Tour from Valletta

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

The island’s size works in your favour in this postcard-perfect full day tour of Malta. You’ll walk along the same narrow streets as the Knights of St ...  Read more

Location: Valletta, Malta
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $535.52
Driving Night Tour of Malta, Valletta, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Driving Night Tour of Malta

Experience this magical 3.5 hour tour of Malta under the stars! After a pickup from your professional guide at 7:30pm from your hotel, you will be driven to ...  Read more

Location: Luqa, Malta
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $32.13
City Sightseeing Malta Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, Valletta, Night Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

City Sightseeing Malta Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 63 Reviews

Experience the perfect introduction to Malta aboard this City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour! Malta boasts more than 7,000 years of history and is ...  Read more

Location: Valletta, Malta
Duration: 1 to 2 days

From USD $23.80
Malta's Panoramic North Hop On Hop Off Tour, Valletta, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Malta's Panoramic North Hop On Hop Off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

This tour takes you around Malta's panoramic North. You have the chance to stop in all famous landmarks of the beautiful island. Audio commentary in 16 ...  Read more

Location: Sliema, Malta
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $23.80
Malta by Night Open Top Bus Tour, Valletta, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Malta by Night Open Top Bus Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

See Malta’s main attractions by night! When darkness falls, Malta’s famous landmarks are illuminated and you will surely see some of the Island’s impressive ...  Read more

Location: Valletta, Malta
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $23.80
Private Tour: Malta's Best Attractions in a Tour, Valletta, Night Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Malta's Best Attractions in a Tour

See Malta's highlights in one day starting in Valletta with its magnificent St. John's Cathedral and Caravaggio's masterpieces.  From there on to Mdina ...  Read more

Location: Valletta, Malta
Duration: Flexible

From USD $446.27

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