Mdina By Night
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At 101 HQ, we’re great fans of Mdina . In fact we are so convinced that this historic and beautiful city will be a hit with tourists who visit that we have written not one but two separate articles recommending you go. The first sings its praises in the hours of daylight, while this one is much darker!
That’s because the former capital of Malta takes on an entirely different atmosphere and perspective once the cloak of darkness has descended. And that’s not just because you can’t see much of it any more.
In case you didn’t know, Mdina is known as the Silent City – largely because all traffic within its fortified walls is banned, apart from vehicles belonging to those who reside there. The ‘silent’ title can be a little misleading during daylight hours because such is its popularity with tourists that Mdina is rarely that quiet.
After dark, however, when the coach-loads of people have departed and the main attractions have closed their doors, this really is the Silent City. It’s still very pretty though and very atmospheric, making a trip here after dark well worth the effort if you prepare properly.
What you’ll need for the full night-time Mdina experience is a picnic of some sort – certainly a bottle of wine or a beer or two, some cheese, bread, maybe some local nibbles, like olives and sun-dried tomatoes or even some pizza slices or pastizzi (deeply unhealthy pea or cheese pasties made from flaky pastry). You then head straight for the far end of the city.
There you will find the city bastions, lofty fortifications built on an already lofty hilltop. From the top of here you can see the vast majority of the island and during the day this spot arguably provides the best and most extensive panoramic views.
Make your way to the top, crack open your alcoholic beverages and tuck into a truly memorable picnic staring out at the lights of Malta! Recline on these historic defences and do some star spotting too while you enjoy the peace and let your mind wander. Just make sure you don’t let your legs wander because there’s a fearsome drop over those walls and very little light. Maybe pack a torch too then eh?
You can get away without lights, however, if you time your trip so it’s at the same time, or close to, a Full Moon. The bright moonlight creates a unique hue on the normally golden coloured buildings and for romantic couples there is nowhere finer to spend a few hours.
You might also want to look out for a house near the bastions with many pretty flowers outside. This is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a Maltese Knight. He took his own life after the woman who lived there rejected him so look out and see if you can spot is shadow lurking on the balcony from where he reputedly made his fatal leap!
Mdina is well signposted and easy to find if you are driving yourself. There’s ample parking, especially at night, right outside the main gates. Buses run regularly too but check the timetables on the Arriva Malta site to make sure you don’t miss the last one back.
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