Flights to Mdina
Mdina was the old capital of Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean. It’s now one of the country’s popular tourist attractions and sits on a hilltop in the centre of the main island. Mdina means fortified place in Arabic and this town certainly is fortified with its impressive walls and gates.
There is no airport directly serving flights to Mdina, so you should plan to arrive at the Malta International Airport (airport code: MLA) outside the capital city of Valetta instead. There is a regular bus service between Valetta and Mdina. There is a one-stop flight to Mdina with South African Airways that transfers in Frankfurt, or you can travel through London with either BMI or Virgin Atlantic. Emirates Airlines also flies to Malta, with a transfer in Dubai.
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The Tourist Attractions of Mdina:
Mdina has a long history going back to the Phoenicians in around 700BC. The fortified town was created by the Romans when the enclosed the upper part of the town within city walls and separated it from the lower part of the town which became known as Rabat. Technically it’s all still one town, but for tourists, the walled part of the town is the main attraction.
The narrow back streets of Mdina are a joy to wander around and you really get a sense of what life was like 1000 years ago. Very little has actually changed to this part of Mdina during that time, so take your time exploring the narrow streets. It would be difficult to get really lost in Mdina because it’s not a large place. Walking from one end to the other non-stop would only take around 10 minutes.
St Paul’s Cathedral
In terms of specific things to see in Mdina, St Paul’s Cathedral is the major attraction. It was built to replace the original Norman cathedral that had stood here since the 12th century and was destroyed during an earthquake in 1693. The cathedral is attractive from both inside and out. Externally the architecture is of the baroque style while inside there are spectacular decorations and frescoes lining the ceilings.
Once you’ve visited the cathedral itself go inside the small Cathedral Museum where there are some lovely collections to see.
Palaces and Museums in Mdina
Mdina has many beautiful palaces, known as palazzos, and while you can admire these from outside most of them are privately owned unfortunately so the insides are not accessible.
In addition to the Cathedral Museum you can also visit the Natural History Museum. Mdina Dungeons is another attraction, as is the Benedictine Monastery.
The best way to make sure you get to see all the main attractions in Mdina is to take a self guided tour. Discover Mdina is a possibility – this is an audio self guided tour that can be downloaded and takes you around the city describing what you’re seeing.
When Should You Visit?:
Mdina can be visited at any time of the year as it has a warm Mediterranean climate. Summers are the hottest with temperatures peaking in August at an average high of 26C. Rainfall is scarce between May and August and though winters are mild they are wetter.