In my blog I have taken you to Malta’s capital, Valletta, for a couple of times, but I haven’t recommended any other towns yet. Could there be any more interesting places to see in the tiny island of Malta? You might be surprised. Join me on this tour around the island and visit at least these three beautiful towns during your next Malta trip.
Located in the centre of Malta, Mdina is the former capital of the country and definitely worth a visit. Arabs gave Mdina (Medina) its name that means a city surrounded by walls. Often Mdina is called a silent city because of its quiet and tranquil atmosphere, especially in the early mornings or late evenings, when the crowds have left. Get lost in the small alleys, marvel the beautiful architecture and imagine that you are living 400 years ago. Mdina is straight from the series Game of Thrones – and no wonder. Don’t miss this place during your Malta visit!
Places to see:
St Paul’s Cathedral – an interesting cathedral, and with the same entrance fee you can visit the cathedral museum too. It is being told that the cathedral has been built on the same place where Publius, a Roman governor, used to live in the 60 AD. He was the governor who welcomed St Paul to Malta.
Palazzo Falcon – Palazzo Falcon used to be a villa of an artist Olof Gollcher. He was a dedicated collector, and all the rooms are organised to showcase some of his collections. A lot of beautiful details and on the top of the places to see in Mdina.
National Museum of Natural history – This is a place where you feel that time has stopped since the 50s. Stuffed animals, texts written with a typewriter, world maps with Jugoslavia and other former countries still there. Don’t feel sorry if you miss this place but it was a fun visit though.
Mellieha is located conveniently near a sandy beach, but just perfectly away from it. Why do I say perfectly? Well, because that’s why the city has retained some of its original charm and haven’t become a full-on tourist destination, like Sliema or St Paul’s Bay. In Mellieha, you can combine a bit of history with a chill day on the longest sandy beach in Malta.
Places to see:
The Church of our lady Victory – The church is located on a hill, so it is impossible to miss. Take a peak in the Sanctuary of our Lady Mellieha. That has been a place of pilgrimage since the medieval times and the story tells that it has been blessed by the St Paul himself.
Mellieha Air Raid Shelters – This was a hidden place for the people of Mellieha during the second world war. The place is spooky but worth a visit because this is one of the largest underground air raid shelters in Malta.
Ghadira Nature Reserve – I haven’t had time to visit this reserve yet, because it is open only during the weekends. This is a popular resting place for migrating birds, and over 200 species have been spotted here.
Birgu is one of the Three Cities near Valletta and the first capital of Malta. The most convenient way to get there is to take a ferry or water taxi from Valletta. The harbour area in Birgu is really beautiful, and the town has a lot of things to see for a full day. If you are visiting Malta during Birgu Fest, don’t miss the festival. The highlight is a night when all the electronic lighting is turned off and the whole city is lit with hundreds of candles and lanterns!
Places to see:
Fort St Angelo – Fort St Angelo is a must see -place for only its stunning views over Birgu and Valletta. The place has been fortified since the 9th century, and even before that there were Roman and Phoenician temples in the area. The knights of Malta and later the British have done their alterations to the fortress, and nowadays the place is open to tourists.
Inquisitor’s palace – Inquisitor was a person whose job was to protect the religion and people from heresy. In inquisitor’s palace, you can for example take a peak into the cells where the prisoners were being kept.
War museum and Maritime museum – I haven’t yet have time to visit these places but they are on my list. Both warfare and maritime are an important aspects of the Maltese history so I will go to see these places probably on my next Birgu visit.
What other towns would you recommend to see in Malta?