Five amazing, easy to reach attractions, for a fantastic one-day excursion in Mdina.

Mdina from top

Welcome. You are visiting Malta, and you have very intelligently chosen to read up beforehand, to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the delightful treasures this island has to offer. And you’ve set your eyes on Mdina too. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

My name is Mario, and for the past thirtyeight years, I have spent the majority of my days inside this “Silent City” as they call it. Every year, through my restaurant Bacchus, I meet thousands of tourists who, just like yourself, want to know the best places to visit in Mdina. I happily share with them what I know and without fail, when they return to my restaurant at the end of the day for a refreshing drink and a bite to eat, they tell me all about their adventures, and what a fantastic time they’ve had. This makes me happy.

So I would love to share with you what I know about Mdina, that you may have a delightful day like so many other visitors before you. Mdina is packed with things to see, but I will give you the top five favourites, those that every single visitor enjoys thoroughly and can’t stop talking about. Here they are, in no particular order.

St. Paul's Cathedral

It’s not easy to describe St. Paul’s Cathedral. A visitor once described it to me as “a wonderful splash of crimson and gold”. People tend to react very differently to it. Some will comment on its beauty, others about its air of peace and sanctity, and others still about its striking architecture.

The one thing that visitors speak most often about is its impressive collection of artifacts, paintings and frescoes. These include a monumental depiction of the conversion of St. Paul, by Calabrian artist and knight Mattia Preti, a 15th century Tuscan painting of the Madonna and Child, and frescoes in the apse, illustrating Paul's shipwreck.

Mdina Glass

During your visit to Mdina, you will no doubt be looking for a little piece of charming to take back with you. For this, you will probably want to visit Mdina Glass.

Their artisan glassblowers create a constant outpour of exquisite, handmade glass items that will bring light and colour to your home. More importantly, whichever item you pick, and whatever its size, it will have the innate ability to bring you a warm recollection of your visit to Mdina every time you gaze upon it.

Carmelite Priory Museum

This is a deeply spiritual place, but not necessarily in a religious sense. The Carmelite Priory is the only priory in Malta to be open to visitors. The friars here have opened up their doors to those who would appreciate a glimpse into their way of life. There is a guided tour through various rooms including a decorative refectory, an authentic kitchen, a typical friars cell, as well as a sober oratory. The impressive church also forms part of the tour. There is also a daily prayer schedule for those would like to participate.

If you would like to go beyond the religious, the Priory regularly hosts a number of artistic, literary and cultural activities. I assure you that their famous Tea Time Concerts go down a treat and are always a favourite topic of discussion at my tables.

Mdina Dungeons

Mdina Dungeons

The Mdina Dungeons are a bit of a debateable entry. Many love them, others are not too keen on them. They are located beneath the Magisterial Vilhena Palace just inside the main entrance gate to Mdina. The Dungeons are not for the faint of heart. Their portrayals of torture and death are very realistic. Even more unsettling is the knowledge that the episodes they portray represent a very dark but very real period in history. You will wander through the dungeons at your own pace, to discover drama mystery and horror spanning centuries.

National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

Some people like to look beyond a country’s people and architecture. They look at the sea, the soil, the plants and the skies. If you’re one of these exquisitely sensitive people, then you must visit the National Museum of Natural History. Located inside an impressive Baroque style building, just inside the main entrance gate to Mdina, it houses within its walls all the colour and variety that Malta’s rich ecosystem has to offer.

Restore and refresh yourself after an exciting and eventful day

the secret garden

Mdina is rich in history, architecture, art and breathtaking views. You will never tire of it. Even locals visit regularly once or even twice a week. They will have a casual stroll through the quiet streets, spend a few minutes gazing over the expansive views from the bastions, and then, invariably stop by my restaurant Bacchus, for refreshments and a bite to eat.

You see, Bacchus is in itself one of the most beautiful jewels in Mdina, and I don’t make this claim lightly. It is housed inside two chambers built by Grand Master Fra Martino De Redin. They date back to 1657 and were used as gunpowder magazines for the main fortified bastion. The chambers are double vaulted and have preserved their original characteristics. The building practically oozes history.

These aristocratic chambers have been transformed into the perfect environment for you to restore and refresh yourself after your exciting day in Mdina. I have personally handpicked a special selection of dishes to cater for a variety of tastes. And each of these dishes has been repeatedly approved of, by thousands of visitors every year.

You can choose to dine inside the chambers or ‘al fresco’ in the Secret Garden on warm summer nights. We are open seven days a week.

I would love it if you too dropped by. You could tell me how you’ve been enjoying your stay in Malta, and particularly what you’ve loved about this old city that we are all so fond of.

the secret garden A word of advice though, if I may. I really recommend you book in advance. You see, although Bacchus can seat hundreds of people at any one time, I sadly find myself turning people away everyday. And I would hate it if that were to happen to you.

So, my wonderful IT team have devised a very simple way for you to register a booking. All you need to do is click the button below, fill in the form, and everything will be taken care of.

I really hope these few pointers will help you enjoy your excursion in Mdina, and that you will choose to end it with me at Bacchus. You will certainly be most welcome.


Kind regards,
Mario
Bacchus Restaurant

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