One of the most iconic places to visit in Malta is Mdina, a town steeped in history. It feels like a trip back in time, no wonder parts of Game of Thrones were filmed here!
Besides the filming locations (and the neighbouring town of Rabat), there are many places to see and things to do in Mdina. Here’s your quick guide.
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St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina is one of the most beautiful attractions the city has to offer. This Baroque style cathedral was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to Malta’s patron saint.
The ceiling is decadently painted with scenes from St. Paul’s Shipwreck as depicted by the wonderfully talented Manno brothers. The interior of the cathedral is also an example of incredible masonry and marble work.
When entering and leaving the cathedral, notice the two clocks outside telling different times. It is said that this is done to confuse the devil as to what time people will be attending mass.
After visiting St. Paul’s, take a trip to the Cathedral Museum, the perfect next step if your cathedral loving heart hasn’t yet gotten its fix. The museum is in the same square as the cathedral, so it’s easy to see both in an afternoon.
It was built in the 18th century and has a large variation of collections. A few of the museum’s highlights are a collection of coins discovered in Malta, the Silver Collection, which is dedicated to objects that the Brotherhood of the Souls in Purgatory owned and an extensive wax collection.
The National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is one of the best Mdina, Malta attractions. It is located in an 18th century palace that used to be a hospital for cholera and tuberculosis patients in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Instead of infectious disease, now the palace is full of displays that cover everything from exotic animals and their homes to Maltese geology. There’s even a whole hall that is dedicated to the skeletons of different vertebrates.
Just inside Mdina’s main gates are the Mdina Dungeons. This Mdina attraction is one of the most unique things to see in Mdina in Malta, and absolutely should not be missed.
Reach the dungeons through twisty, dimly lit passages that wind beneath the Vilhena Palace. The passages and dungeons are full of recreated scenes and sound effects that will take you back to the medieval days of Mdina, Malta history.
Visit Game of Thrones
Every Game of Thrones lover heads to Dubrovnik in Croatia or Belfast in Ireland to see their favourite scenes from the hit show come to life. However, very few people realise that Malta is home to many iconic Game of Thrones locations as well.
Such Mdina Malta Game of Thrones filming locations include several parts of King’s Landing, including the Red Keep. Wander around the city and see if you can pick out the spots where famous scenes were shot.
Examples are Catelyn and Ned Stark’s farewell, the fight between Ned and Jamie Lannister beneath Lord Baelish’s balcony and tons more.
If you have extra time to seek out Game of Thrones scenes in Malta after you leave Mdina, visit the Azure Window on Gozo Island to see the site of Daenerys Targarean and Khal Drogo’s wedding.
Should you be looking for free things to do in Mdina, head over to Howard Gardens for a relaxing stroll through some beautiful nature.
These flourishing gardens separate Mdina from the city of Rabat. Wander through the orange tree orchard, play some tennis or come with a book and have a chilled out afternoon relaxing in the grass beneath some shady Maltese trees.
Fontanella Tea Garden
The Fontanella Tea Gardens are one of the top things to see in Mdina. This place is very well loved so depending on the year it may take some time to be seated, but it is well worth the wait.
Enjoy sprawling views of the land and neighbouring towns with a perfect cup of tea and a bite to eat. The Fontanella Tea Garden is famous for its homemade cakes.
Their menu is long and varied and the portions are quite large, making any afternoon spent at the Tea Garden extremely satisfying.
The Knights of Malta
The Knights of Malta is one of the most fun Mdina, Malta attractions. Wander through life like wax figures of the 16th century surrounded by expert sound and lighting effects to really immerse yourself in Mdina, Malta history.
Much like the time period, the experience is epic and should not be missed on any Malta trip.
In case you don’t have enough of historic houses, you also have the option to enter an actual medieval townhouse in Mdina. In fact, it’s the second oldest building in town.
You might see Palazzo Falson referred to by various names, such as Palazzo Cumbo-Navarra, Casa dei Castelletti or the Norman House. It isn’t dedicated to the Knights of Malta but showcases life of the local nobility in its 17 rooms. The building style reflects the Sicilian heritage of its original owners and during your visit you will learn how it was extended and built upon over time.
Do a Full Day Trip around the Region
If you want to have a local, expert guide by your side to introduce you to the history and significance of Mdina in Malta, why not join a tour? This way, you will not only get to experience Mdina but also important sites in the vicinity.
Mosta, for instance, is a definite must see near Mdina due to its iconic rotunda church. It’s actually the third largest unsupported dome worldwide! Other stops can include the Crafts Village and former British WWII outpost named Ta’Qali. Book your spot here.
If you’re not big on guided tours and rather explore by yourself, you can rent an audioguide to still get the perks of expert guidance. Reserve one here.
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