Tourism to Dubrovnik in Croatia has soared since the worldwide phenomenon, Game of Thrones began filming there. However many people do not realise that for season one, it was actually Mdina on the tiny island on Malta, that played the fictional city of King’s Landing.
Anyone who has watched the series, SPOILER will know that in a later series a large, naval battle results in many shots of the city from the sea. As Mdina is landlocked, it was no longer the best place to film, and so it all moved to Croatia.
The Lannister Lion is already waiting at the gate, all they needed was some medieval costume, endless debauchery and some ruthless murder thrown in for good measure.
Mdina is also known as The Silent City and it is easy to understand why. Adam and I arrived just before lunch time and the place was deserted. We occasionally ran into the other few tourists who had got the bus in with us, but any other life was scarce. The silence too was almost eerie. Only necessary cars are allowed into the city so you can happily amble about without the risk of being squashed by an impatient local. In all honestly, the majority of streets were so tiny, most cars would not fit anyway.
The city is tiny but everything is beautiful. Whereas in most places, for every building that is even remotely architecturally pleasing there are probably five grotty/abandoned/90s/.. buildings, but that is not the case here.
Although the atmosphere was very serene, I did wish there was a little more going on. Wandering round you felt somewhat rude, as if you shouldn’t be there or something. We only came across one empty café and would have loved if there were more places to sit and spend time at. Close to this café however were the old bastions of the city which gave impeccable views across the island. It really made you realise quite how tiny it is!
Mdina is a gorgeous place to look around when in Malta. I’m sure there are more things to do if you look into it a bit more in advance or plan to spend longer there. My plan had just been to explore the streets all morning before having a long, lazy lunch and heading on our way. Perhaps later in the day it picked up a bit but we were probably only there for an hour. So my recommendation is just have a quick google of some nice restaurants there, or anything to do as I would have loved to have spent more time there if I had known where to go.