October 21, 2016

MDINA ~ MALTA



The history of Mdina traces back more than 4000 years. According to tradition it was here that in 60 A.D. that the Apostle St. Paul is said to have lived after being shipwrecked on the Islands. Furthermore it is said that St. Paul resided inside the grotto know as Fuori le Mura (outside the city walls) now known as St. Paul's Grotto in Rabat. Lamp lit by night and referred to as "the silent city", Mdina is fascinating to visit for its timeless atmosphere as well as its cultural and religious treasures.

Visiting the Mdina is like stepping back in time.  It's fun exploring the narrow cobblestone streets, the churches, monasteries, and palaces.  Step into gift shops and try some of the amazing pastries and cakes as you tour this amazing ancient walled city.



Mdina is one of Malta's major tourist attractions, hosting about 750,000 tourists a year.  No cars are allowed except for a limited number of residents and service vehicles which is partly why it has earned the nickname "the Silent City."  



The day we were there, tour groups from the cruise ship were arriving.  There were hundreds of people milling about the streets and courtyards and although it was very crowded, there was still plenty of opportunities to see everything and the shops are restaurants were not that crowded.






The city displays an unusual mix of Norman and Baroque architecture including several palaces, most of which serve as private homes.














There are several cafes and shops where you can pick up something to eat.  My daughter and I stepped into a little cafe and had and wonderful sandwich served on a baguette.  Some of our friends ate at the Fontanella and say the chocolate and orange cake is delicious.



There are plenty of places to get food and drink in the Mdina and it is wheelchair and stroller accessible.  Be sure the get a map from the information center located near the front entrance when you arrive.


Pretty much everywhere in Malta can be reached by bus.  You may see vintage yellow buses in photos of Malta but those buses have been replaced my modern buses.  The good news:  These buses are comfortable and clean.  The are incrediably cheap - €1.50 for a day ticket and €6.50 for a week.  
The bad news: You can't go by the bus times listed at the bus stops.  I had read that they closer to half and hour to an hour instead of the 5-1 minutes listed.  Our longest wait was 15-20 minutes.  
For more info about public transport in Malta, check the official public transport site.  I suggest you print it out or save it to your phone.

If you liked this post and are interested in more information about Malta, you can check out all of my posts HERE.  


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