This article will give you an elaborate list of the top things to do in Malta. We are making a special emphasis on the ancient Maltese city of Mdina.
The old capital city of Malta, otherwise known as ‘the silent city’ is a must-see gems of the island.
The walled city of Mdina was once Malta’s capital up until the 16th century.
It is renowned for being the place where both Maltese nobility and the rich resided before the Great Siege.
First built by the Phoenicians, Mdina used to be a plain village until it was conquered by the Arabs. They built walls for its defence, thus turning it into the fortress city that we know today.
This small city made up of narrow roads and a strict car restriction attracts more than 80,000 tourists a year.
This is no surprise due to the Baroque buildings, palaces, churches, and even a cathedral.
In fact, the entire location is like a step back in time.
This stunning city is on UNESCO’s list which says that “it deserves every degree of protection possible to ensure its survival for the benefit of both future generations and national pride”.
This city provides us with plenty of things to do in Malta.
Located a short distance from Mdina’s main gate is the Mdina dungeons.
This tourist attraction is one of a kind on the island and definitely be on your list of things to do in Malta.
This is the perfect place to have a creepy adventure.
Wander through the narrow, dimly lit passageways and chambers of the dungeons to experience recreated scenes. They are complete with sound effects of a dark and often forgotten side of medieval Malta.
This is definitely a great sight to see. It should definitely be one of your first things to do in Malta during your holiday.
National Museum of Natural History
This is a fantastic option to add to your list of things to do in Malta.
The National Museum of Natural History is situated in the breathtaking eighteenth-century palace known as Vilhena Palace, which has a long history serving as a hospital in the nineteenth and twentieth-century for the ill as well as British troops.
Vilhena Palace became the home to the National Museum of Natural History in 1973. Here, one can find a number of areas on display within the palace.
These cover a vast array of natural topics, from Maltese geology to more exotic animals and habitats.
vertebrates. Here one can truly discover the importance of the animals of the past which existed in Malta, Gozo, as well as the small and uninhabited Maltese islands of Fifla, St Paul’s and Fungus Rock.
The museum is also worth visiting just to see the gorgeous interior of the Palazzo Vilhena.
The palace was designed in Parisian Baroque style for the Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena.
It is a sight for sore eyes, and should be on your list of things to do.
St Paul’s Catacombs
Right next to Mdina, about a twenty-minute walk to Ħal Bajjada are St Paul’s Catacombs.
Albeit not actually in Mdina, this does very much play a part in Mdina’s history. It deserves a place on your list of things to do in Malta.
These are a series of underground chambers which were used as a resting place. They are said to have still been in use up until around the eighth century.
This is the largest complex of an interconnected, underground cemetery on the island
These burial chambers are the largest recorded evidence of the earliest Christian settlers on the island to date. It is a known fact that Phoenician law forbids burials in the city.
In the times of ancient Rome, Jews, Christians and pagans, were buried in these catacombs.
Interestingly, Maltese Christians also began to make use of this underground labyrinth as a venue for their secret religious services and rituals, and also when they were persecuted by the Roman emperors.
This is a very interesting site to visit on your list of things to do in Malta.
St. Agatha’s Historical Complex and Catacombs
These catacombs got their name from an ancient local legend.
Legend has it that in the middle of the third century, St. Agatha, who is now considered one of the most famous saints of the early Christian period, made a getaway from Sicily and found shelter in Maltese catacombs, while she was trying to escape from persecution.
According to legend, St. Agatha prayed in a tiny underground basilica which was carved in the rock of the local labyrinths.
Situated in beautiful surroundings, among trees and shrubs is the crypt.
There is a small museum at the entrance of St Paul and St Agatha’s Catacombs which displays an interesting and very vast collection ranging from coins to Roman, Egyptian artefacts and even Etruscan.
St. Agatha’s complex continues to attract tourists interested in the history of early Christianity.
The complex features a number of mysterious catacombs which host extremely ancient tombs. There are age-old frescoes, and a tiny, but an exciting archaeological museum.
This is perfect for your list of things to do in Malta.
Domvs Romana, Malta
Throughout the years this Museum continued to hold Roman material. It soon became an open storage space for all the Roman artefacts found around the Island.
Built around the remains of a rich, aristocratic roman townhouse (domvs) is the small museum of the Domvs Romana discovered in 1881.
We now know that the Domus Romana building which previously existed was a townhouse which existed within the Roman walls of Mdina which extended much further into Rabat at the time than they do now.
One can find it very obvious that it was made up of numerous lavish rooms which were built around a remarkable peristyle, which was a stunning porch containing vast columns surrounding a central courtyard.
Amazingly, this outside area has been reconstructed using, partly some of the original stonework, such as a floor mosaic which is of outstanding quality.
The detailed mosaics such as a splendid mosaic pavement which were unearthed and survived for centuries and the artefacts found within the remains are an amazing testimony of the original richness and story of this amazing place.
Several other mosaics were also found, as well as Roman sculptures and other artefacts which turned out to be the remains of a Roman aristocratic home just outside the walls of Mdina
This is now one of the most visited tourist attractions on the island.
It is rare that construction contributes positively to the preservation of Malta’s heritage but this was the first building in the Maltese Islands to have been purposely built to protect and host an archaeological site and collection.
Visitors of any kind should take some time during their holiday to visit this wonder and take a gander at the splendid archaeological works which it houses.
Definitely one of the top attractions and things to do in Malta while in Mdina.
Cathedral of Saint Paul
As one arrives at the main square in the centre of the city of Mdina, one can not simply miss the Cathedral of St Paul found at the heart of it.
This site is a peculiar one as it has seen a number of buildings built on it before the well-known Cathedral of St. Paul.
Lorenzo Gafa designed this baroque-style building. It has this effect on tourists and locals alike, where it leaves those who behold it awestruck at the sheer magnitude of it.
Reminiscent of St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the floor of St Paul’s is made up of marble tombstones of Maltese clergymen nobles, while the vault is painted with stunning scenes from the life of St Paul.
Luckily, the famous altar painting ‘The Conversion of St Paul’ by Mattia Preti survived the earthquake, so did the beautifully carved oak doors to the sacristy.
Also housed in a beautiful Baroque building, this museum displays a number of fascinating objects which were originally in the cathedral.
The museum also features many masterpieces of European painting.
Also noteworthy are the engravings by Albrecht Durer.
A two-in-one ticket means that this should also be on your list of things to do in Malta so do not miss it.
Mdina Dungeons Museum
The Mdina Dungeons Museum provides a truly unique but memorable and dramatic experience for the brave on often forgotten aspects of the dark past of Malta’s history – telling tales of those long forgotten.
So you should definitely consider visiting this when looking through your list of things to do in Malta.
This museum illustrates the history of prison life in Mdina which ranges from different periods in Malta’s chequered history such as Romans, Byzantine, Arabs, Knights and even French.
These were times when beheading, public executions, crucifixion, torture, crime, revolts, conspiracies, imprisonment, punishments and inquisitions were all relatively common
Underground passageways that lead to chambers and cells once occupied by prisoners make up this attraction.
It is safe to say that this museum shows the darker history of Malta’s past and is another of those truly amazing things to do in Malta.
Palazzo Falson: Museum of Fine Art and Antiquities
Palazzo Falson, formerly known as Casa dei Castelletti, and the Norman House, is a medieval townhouse in Mdina, Malta.
It is believed to have been built as a family residence by the Maltese nobility in 1495, probably incorporating parts of an ancient 13th-century building, and it is named after the Falson family.
This makes it the second oldest building in Mdina.
This piece of architectural splendour exemplifies the Sicilian-Norman style exquisitely.
Fantastically, it displays the original decor of antique furniture, oriental rugs, and fine paintings.
As you will see, each of the rooms on display is a wonderfully vast treasure trove of artworks.
The library also contains more than four thousand books, and the kitchen displays very old cooking equipment.
The Knights of Malta Experience
This is an amazing experience which you should definitely add to your list of things to do in Malta.
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem has left a very important and significant stamp on the island of Malta.
From the fortifications of our current capital Valletta, the medieval capital Mdina as well as numerous other architectural gems.
Over one hundred life-like, life-size figures of the knights as well as the Grandmasters from the eight Langues, which depict what life was like times of the knights which then culminates into one of the most important wars in the history of the Maltese Islands – the Great Siege.
These are depicted by means of dramatic sound effects reminiscent smells and appropriate lighting.
This is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Malta.
As you can see, there are a number of viable options which you can enjoy in Malta.
We hope that you have gained the knowledge necessary to form a list of things to do in Malta.
Stay with Us
Without a shadow of a doubt, Mdina genuinely provides a great environment which tourists enjoy over and over again during their holidays in Malta.
Come and stay at 1926 Hotel and Spa to be close to the dream city!
Definitely a great option during your holiday in Malta.