Discover Mdina

Mdina. The silent city.


This area of the island is as old and as chequered as the history of Malta itself.

The citadel of Mdina has been fortified since as far back as 1000BC when the Phoenicians built a protective wall here. The history of Rabat dates back just as far and also has strong religious ties as this is where St. Paul was imprisoned during his time in Malta and later where St. Agatha hid after she had fled from Sicily.

Over the years Mdina has had different names and titles depending upon who was ruling the island at the time. Named Malet meaning ‘place of shelter’ by the Phoenicians, and Melita by the Romans who built a large town here, it’s current name comes from the Arabic word madina meaning ‘walled city’. The Arabs built strong walls around the city and dug a deep moat between Mdina and its suburbs known as Rabat. No name or title, however, characterises the city of Mdina so accurately than “Citta Notabile” – The Noble City. This name came about in medieval times when it was the favoured residence of the island’s aristocracy and the seat of the “Universita’” or Governing Council. Even from a distance you can sense the nobility.

The Knights who were a sea-based force, favoured Valletta and the Grand Harbour as their centre of activity and Mdina sank into the background as a retreat of the Maltese nobility and to this day has preserved its medieval aristocratic ambiance.

Mdina is today often referred to as the Silent City. Perched on a hilltop, with its massive walls and peaceful shady streets, one really gets the sense of having stepped back in time when walking round this city.



  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Cathedral Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Palazzo Falson (Norman House)
  • Museum of Roman Antiques
  • St Paul’s Catacombs
  • St Paul’s Grotto
  • St Agatha’s Catacombs
  • Views from the Mdina Bastions
  • Ta’ Qali Crafts Village
  • Buskett Gardens & Verdala Palace
  • Dingli Cliffs
  • Clapham Junction



The old capital is a typical medieval town perched on a rocky hilltop in the centre of the island. ‘The Silent City’, as it is still known, commands a magnificent bird’s eye view of the island and retains a romantic aura quite unlike any other.

  • Easily accessible by public transport.
  • Malta International Airport is 8km away and a limousine service can be booked from the Hotel.
  • Valletta, the capital, is about 15 minutes drive from Mdina.
  • Large car parks around the 3 gates of Mdina accommodate many cars daily.
  • Once in Mdina the best way to travel is on foot or of course by our typical horse drawn carriages – ‘karrozzin’.



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The Xara Palace Malta Experiences & Packages

Sailing Adventure Package

  The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux is delighted to offer the ultimate relaxing day on board an exclusive sailing Yacht. Take this opportunity to spend time together in peace and tranquility on board and...

1 Night Package

Treat a loved one to celebrate a special occasion or whisk them away for a spontaneous break of beauty, charm and romance in The Silent City.  Take advantage of this very special 1...

2 Night Package

Treat yourself to an unrivalled vacation in style and indulge with this 2 night package designed to add  value and make your visit to The Maltese islands and The Xara Palace Relais &...

3 Night Package

You can never have too much of a good thing and we are confident that once you have settled in the unsurpassed beauty and charm of The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux you...

4 Night Package

A unique possibility to experience The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux and a whole array of sensations. The package offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty...

7 Night Package

This package includes a luxury 7 nights' stay in Mdina at The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux and a wide range of benefits including dinner at our fine dining ‘de Mondion’ and executive...

Romance Package

For all couples wishing to share some romantic, intimate moments in a unique setting enhanced by impeccable service. Discover the romantic charm of an overnight stay at The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux.Let...

Charm and Fine Dining Experience

Our award winning de Mondion Restaurant commands a spectacular 180° view of the Island and is housed in the 17th Century Palazzo, The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux. The romantic atmosphere and fine...

Discover Malta Package

A lover of history, art or cultural events? Set off on holiday and explore exceptional cultural heritage. Whether it’s a baroque facade, a medieval residence, a Neolithic temple, a fortification, combine your love...

The Xara Palace Hotel

Misrah il-Kunsill, Mdina
MDN 1050, Malta.
Tel: (+356) 21 450560,
Fax: (+356) 21 452612,

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