Where's the best place to stay for you in Malta.

Where to Stay in Malta: Best places and Malta resorts

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Knowing where to stay in Malta and knowing the different resorts in Malta before you book can make or break your Malta holiday.

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to suggesting the best places and Malta resorts to stay, but I’ll do my best to guide you with a number of options based local knowledge.

Here’s what I’ve put together in this article:

  1. A guide to the different resorts in Malta
  2. Info on what it’s like to stay in different areas of Malta (and Gozo)
  3. Suggestions for different types of travellers and their general needs

Looking for a hotel in Malta? Have a look at my top Malta hotel recommendations or take a look at my overview of accommodation in Malta for other options!

Where's the best place to stay for you in Malta.

Have any questions on where to stay in Malta that haven’t been answered in this article? Ask me a question by leaving a comment below!

Guide to Malta’s most popular resorts

Let’s kick off with a quick overview of the most popular resorts. I’ll be referring to all of these further down in my article and you can scroll back here to click/tap through for the articles with more info on each.

Map of Malta resorts

Valletta travel guide for 2019!

Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay

Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay are three villages located along the northern coastline of Malta that border each other. Quick notes:

  • One of the most popular tourist resorts
  • Busy in summer, quiet during the off-season. St. Paul’s Bay least busy during summer.
  • Beaches: Artificial sandy beach at Buġibba, rocky beach at Qawra (referred to as Ta` Fra Ben) and several smaller spots in St. Paul’s Bay
  • Accommodation: Mix of budget hotels and a few nice 4-star hotels. No luxury resorts. Read more: Top hotels in Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay.
  • Suitable for: Couple of all ages, families (family-friendly location) and (except for the high season) seniors.
  • Location: With local bus terminus, public transport can take you to pretty much anywhere. You’ll be well-located between the sandy beaches further up North and culture/history-rich places like Valletta and Mdina. You can also catch boat tours to Comino and Gozo from here.
  • Note: Public parking very limited particularly in summer.
The main square in the resort of Bugibba. Photo by Glen Bowman


  • Good for family holidays and budget travellers
  • Good options for going out
  • Good choice of accommodation
  • Good public transport connections
  • Easy to get to Gozo and Comino (and the Blue Lagoon)


  • Relatively few bathing areas. One (artificial) sandy beah
  • Very little culture and not really offering a feel of life in Malta
  • Busy during summer months, quiet in winter


Sliema is another popular tourist resort located along the northern coast of Malta, close to Valletta. Quick notes:

  • Popular tourist location all year round. Known locally as a good location for shopping. Shark contrast between high-rises and busy coastline and the beautiful and mostly quiet streets of the quaint village core (which is sadly making room for greedy developers).
  • Good choice of restaurants, also pubs.
  • Beaches: Only rocky beach areas. Sandy beaches quite far away.
  • Accommodation: Mostly budget and what’s advertised as 3/4-star needs refurbishment. Look for B&Bs or apartments here to get good value. Good hostels for budget travellers and backpackers. Read more: Hotels in Sliema.
  • Location:Good location to explore Malta on a budget. Public transport connections are OK. Ferry to Valletta and boat tours around Valletta’s harbours and to Comino and Gozo biggest benefits. Look for accommodation on the Valletta-facing side for easy access.
  • Suitable for: Couple of all ages and seniors. Family-friendly, but there are better options.
  • Note: Big pain to get public parking, at any time of year. Often congested with traffic. Don’t stay if you’re looking to rent a car.
A more peaceful side to an otherwise busy Sliema, a popular Malta resort.


  • Good choice of hotels
  • Charming character in the old village core
  • Easy to reach Valletta (ferry)
  • Boat trips to Gozo and Comino easy to get from Ferries area
  • Long promenade along the coastline for seaside strolls


  • Touristy and built up. More modern than typically Maltese
  • Bus connections good but long trips to popular places
  • Notorious for traffic congestion and lack of public parking
  • No sandy beaches
  • Not much culture/history around.

St. Julian’s and Paceville

St. Julian’s is located to the West of Sliema and is a resort with two faces: The old seaside town with quaint features (which, like Sliema, features high-rise buildings too) and the nightlife centre referred to as Paceville. Quick notes:

  • Popular tourist location all year round. Busy, more modern part of Malta, which is very popular with tourists and youths looking for nightlife and clubbing.
  • Good choice of quality restaurants and some really great little bars even outside of Paceville.
  • Beaches: Artificial beach at St. George’s Bay (not super clean, despite best efforts of local government). For decent rocky beach options: Sliema in walking distance. Otherwise: 1-1.5h bus rides to sandy beaches.
  • Accommodation: Most varied mix of options from luxury 5-star resorts to affordable 3/4-star hotels, privately rented out apartments, B&Bs and also hostels for budget travellers.
  • Location: Great for lazy resort-holidays, good dining out and nightlife. Not great for beaches and exploring. Public transport connections are good, which means you can get to Sliema Ferries in 10-15 mins. Hop on/hop off for quick day trips also an option.
  • Suitable for: Mostly singles and younger couples. Families: Resorts on the western-most tip or edge of Paceville. Seniors: Be careful not to book in the Paceville area – noisy!
  • Note: Looking to rent a car? Make sure that: 1) Private parking is available with place of stay and 2) You’re a confident driver – busy part of Malta!
Spinola Bay in St. Julian's.


  • Great place for dining and relaxed/fun nights out
  • Good choice of hotels – from value to 5-star luxury resorts
  • Paceville is the place for nightlife in Malta
  • Central location


  • Busy and not really child-friendly
  • One artificial sandy beach at St. George’s Bay, but not always clean in summer
  • Little culture/history
  • Incidents and petty crime are not uncommon in Paceville (mostly drunk brawls and pickpocketing).


Mellieħa is one of the Northern-most resorts in Malta and the main reason for its popularity is its close location to Mellieħa Bay, Malta’s largest sandy beach.

Although it is a tourist resort as such, and it can get a little busy in summer, the village itself isn’t as busy as you’d think it would be. That could be caused by the beach-lovers looking to stay as close to Mellieħa Bay as possible, but also because of the limited accommodation available. My notes:

  • Highly sought-after location for beach holidays and great overall option for families looking for that type of trip. The village itself still offers a view of daily village life in Malta, not being spoilt too much by tourism as some of the other resorts in this list.
  • Good dining options and a few bars around, but not a place to expect great nightlife from. A car will offer more flexibility in that regard.
  • Beaches: Despite the obvious Mellieħa Bay, you can easily get to other beautiful sandy beaches on the East coast like Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay.
  • Accommodation: Focused on 3-star/4-star hotels and resorts. No luxury options and few budget options. Apartments and villa rentals can be found here as alternative options. More info here: The Best Mellieħa Hotels
  • Location: Great for beaches but for exploration you will want to rent a car. That allows you to visit other places of interest around the country and even hop over to Gozo (separate island, part of the country) easily. If you decide to stay up in the village, keep in mind that you’ll need transport to get down to/up from the beach. Some hotels offer free shuttle buses.
  • Suitable for: Younger couples and families with kids. Not suitable for people with limited mobility, since Mellieħa is built on top of a hill and has a few steep streets and many steps to get to different street levels.
  • Note: Mellieħa Bay gets busy in summer, particularly on Sundays when the locals head to the beach.
Mellieħa church seen from down below.


  • Great for beach holidays
  • Good choice of hotels (although in limited numbers)
  • Good selection of restaurants around
  • Easy access to Gozo and Comino
  • Good balance between tourism and village life in Malta
  • Not as touristy as you’d expect, in the village itself primarily.


  • Limited nightlife but several bars/pubs around
  • A little remote – not ideal for exploring the rest of Malta, unless you hire a car
  • Early booking required.


Valletta is Malta’s capital city and offers a high concentration of points of interest and museums/attractions. It’s not really a tourist resort, but it is still a popular place to stay and not as busy as you’d expect a capital city to be. Notes to consider:

  • Unique place to stay all year round, full of history and hustle and bustle of a popular place of work for locals with a setting of Baroque architecture all around. Best place to stay off-season as well.
  • Good choice of quality restaurants and you can easy spend 3 full days exploring what is actually a very small city. More info in my travel guide for Valletta here.
  • Beaches: No beaches in Valletta, bar a few rocky places to take a dip. More info here: Where are there beaches in Valletta?
  • Accommodation: Luxury 5-star resorts and boutique hotels most popular here and hard to find budget accommodation. Privately rented apartments offer affordable options. More info here: Best Valletta hotels, apartments and other accommodation
  • Location: Best location for exploring and discovering Malta’s past and seeing its present. Main public transport hub (bus terminus) means you can literally go anywhere in Malta from here. Ferries to Sliema and The Three Cities. Also ferry to Sicily.
  • Suitable for: Curious travellers of all ages whose primary aim isn’t lazing around at the beach or hanging out by the hotel pool all day. Budget travellers will have a hard time finding a place to stay here though.
Carmelite church seen from a higher part of Valletta.


  • Centrally located, full of character
  • Good holiday base to explore Malta’s history and culture, hub of local public transport
  • High-quality (also luxury) accommodation available
  • Good choice of restaurants and (wine) bars


  • Accommodation limited, so early booking is recommended
  • Nightlife limited to restaurants and bars
  • No sandy beaches nearby – requires a trip by bus with pretty long travel times (1+ hours)


Gozo is the second-largest of Malta’s three islands (the third being Comino) and I like to describe it as “what Malta used to be like” – Quieter and more rural.

  • Great option if you’re looking for a quiet holiday and touring the main island of Malta isn’t a must.
  • No particular standout location on the island to stay. Perhaps Victoria is a little busier than other parts, but then it’s the best location if you depend on public transport.
  • Beaches: Good choice and largely untouched by man. More info here: The best beaches in Gozo.
  • Accommodation: Varied choice from luxury 5-stary to affordable hotels and a few budget options. Self-catering apartments and villa (farmhouse) rentals are popular options that can provide better value for money. More info: My top 25+ Gozo Hotels, Farmhouses, Villas and other accommodation
  • Location: Great location for a quiet holiday, with plenty to see and do, lovely beaches that don’t get nearly as busy and a good respite away from busy everyday life. Downsides: Public transport isn’t very reliable/efficient and for accommodation it’s hard to get value.
  • Suitable for: Couples of all ages and families (but probably not with teenagers – very, very limited nightlife).
  • Note: Even if you might not be inclined to hire a car, I highly recommend you do so. Not only because public transport is so-so but also because driving there is pretty easygoing and it just offers so much more flexibility.
A small bay in the North of Gozo.

Other (quieter) places to stay in Malta

Looking to stay away from the busier tourist resorts? These are a few options to consider:

  • Mdina and Rabat are a must visit to anyone’s who’s looking to get to know Malta, but it’s not always an obvious place to actually stay. Accommodation is limited but with Airbnb you can find some good deals and it’s pretty quiet (particularly Rabat and its rural outskirts).
  • Marsaxlokk is one of the few remaining fishing villages in Malta and – except for Sundays when it’s a popular location for lunch – it’s quiet and quaint. Without a car it might not be ideal though, especially if you’d like to go sightseeing.
  • Mġarr is a lovely little village on the western side of Malta, close to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches the country has to offer (Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay). It’s a great location to experience village life in Malta and have a quiet base to explore its surrounding nature from (or to explore Malta by car). The locals are very friendly and helpful and you can get all the basics easily here. If Airbnb is an option for you, there’s no better person I can recommend staying with than Stephanie. You can view her Airbnb listings in Mġarr here and she’s the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to hiking, diving and outdoor exploration. (Tell her Ed says hi if you decide to get in touch with her! 😉 )

Best places to stay in Malta for…

In this section I provide quick suggestions for specific types of travellers – to make your search a little easier.

Best places for couples

  • Budget/affordable: The Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay area is a good option for a holiday:
    • Good selection of hotels and other accommodation
    • Decent choice of restaurants and bars/pubs
    • Bathing options around: Artificial sandy beach and rocky bathing areas.
    • Well-connected with public transport, boat tours and hop on/hop off.
    • Downsides: Touristy and busy in summer, very limited public parking
  • St. Julian’s and Paceville is a better choice for dining and nightlife, as well a resort holidays
    • Mostly modern, small traditional village core
    • Good mix of accommodation options, also best luxury resorts are here.
    • Few places to swim in the sea and far from sandy beaches.
    • Public transport connections good but there are better places to stay as a base for exploring
    • Downsides: Construction projects ongoing and gets busy easily, also outside of the high season.
  • Sliema is one of the oldest tourist hotspots around.
    • Modern side with high-rises but still has quaint village core with colourful houses.
    • Good for budget travellers looking for hostels and apartments. Hard to get value from 3-/4-star hotels.
    • Rocky beaches and lidos with pools are good for swimming
    • Good for exploring: Ferry to Valletta and boat trips to Comino/Gozo.
    • Downsides: Sliema is one of the busiest places in Malta with heavy traffic congestion and notoriously difficult to find a parking spot in.
  • If you’re looking to explore Malta and swimming/beaches are less important, consider staying at Malta’s capital city, Valletta. Drenched in culture and history, great restaurants and wine bars, good quality accommodation and well connected with other parts of Malta through public transport.
  • Another good option for exploring the country is Mellieħa:
    • Close to the best sandy beaches in Malta
    • Still has character of traditional Maltese village.
    • Relatively peaceful, although beach at Mellieħa Bay gets very busy in summer.
    • A few nice restaurants and bars around, but not much nightlife.
    • Downsides: For some might be too quiet.

Best places for Senior couples

  • Although it’s Malta’s capital city, Valletta is not as busy as you’d expect and apart from good quality accommodation and great restaurants, there’s plenty to explore in terms of culture and history. All bus routes start and terminate in Valletta, meaning it’s an easy place to get around from.
  • Mellieħa is a charming, quiet village in the North of Malta, with good options for hotels and restaurants and several smaller (sandy) beaches where it’s quieter to swim if Mellieha Bay (largest beach) is too busy for your liking. I recommend hiring a car if you’re considering staying here.
  • Mdina (old bastion city full of history) and Marsaxlokk (a quiet fishing village on the East coast of Malta) are alternatives to consider as well, although you’ll definitely need to hire a car if you decide to stay there.
  • Gozo (smaller island) is also an option to consider. Quiet, largely rural, yet offering several places to explore, it’s a charming place to stay. Although public transport is available, it’s recommended to hire a car here as well.

Most places listed recommend hiring a car. Since these areas are relatively quiet, driving won’t be nearly as challenging as in the busier parts of Malta.

Best places for families with kids

  • Without a doubt, Buġibba and Qawra are your best bet. There’s a good choice of hotels around with pool facilities, a good selection of family-friendly restaurants and it’s a safe area. Bathing areas (artificial sandy beach of Buġibba and Ta`Fra Ben at Qawra) are child-friendly and you can board hop on hop off buses and boat excursions in the area. There are also a large playground, the national aquarium, a cinema and other places of entertainment around.
  • If you’re looking for something a little quieter, there are a few all-inclusive resorts close to the beach at Mellieħa you could also consider. Renting a car is recommended here, though.

A lot more on that topic here: Family holidays in Malta with kids.

Best place for nightlife and single people

If you’re looking for clubbing, pub crawls and nightlife, Paceville (St. Julian’s) is the place to be. If you feel adventurous or you’ve got your own transport, there are open air clubs located in the countryside (surroundings of Mdina and Rabat) that open during the summer months that are a must to party at.

One downside: Drunken brawls are not uncommon here, but as long as you stay out of trouble you’ll be fine.

Best place for beaches and sun/sea holidays

If hanging out on the beach and sunbathing are your top priorities, these are the options to consider:

  • Staying at Mellieha means you’ve got Malta’s largest beach at your doorstep and smaller (sandy) beaches further up North. It’ll also be easy to cross over to Gozo to check out beaches like the beautiful Ramla l-Hamra beach.
  • Want to combine a beach holiday with staying in a proper Maltese village? There are apartments rented out privately in Mġarr and Manikata that allow you to be close to some of the best beaches around and also give you a taste of Maltese village life. You’ll definitely want to rent a car, however.
  • Super lazy and have spare cash to burn? The Radisson Golden Sands hotel sits right on the edge of one of Malta’s best beaches: Golden Bay.

Decided on where to stay in Malta? Next steps!

Great! Here are a few next steps with more tips and recommendations to:

Still not sure where to stay?

Feel free to send me your questions through my Contact form.

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  1. My wife and I are thinking of spending 6-7 weeks in Malta during February/March, 2018. We enjoy absorbing different cultures and wonder if Malta in the winter would be an attractive option for us? We are both active seniors whose beach holiday days have passed. We are leaning towards Valletta but wherever location we decide, we would like to be close to shopping and sightseeing and are willing to rent a car for our holiday.

    Any advice you could give us would be appreciated.


    • Hi Nick, I think that makes perfect sense and if you decide to push that trip to March, possibly April you’ll get the best of the weather, plus it’ll still be relatively quiet and peaceful. Valletta is a great option as a home base and really and truly with it being the central terminal for the local buses you wouldn’t necessarily need to rent a car. In fact, being a busier part of Malta (on the roads as well) perhaps that’ll be the better option for you.

      If, however, you decide to stay in or around some of the smaller villages, particularly those towards the West of Malta (or perhaps even Gozo), a car will make it easier and more efficient to get around.

      I hope that helps!

  2. Hi Edward,
    I have come across your amazing site and feel so lucky to have done so. Wow! Well done it’s a credit to you. I am just in the process of planning a trip for next April/May that will be including just on 1 week in Malta at the end, before we fly home to Australia. I don’t have a question at the moment but am sure to have a few in the future. i just wanted to praise you on your brilliant site.

    • Wow, thank you for that Lyn, appreciate you leaving a quick note and do let me know if there’s anything I can help with!

  3. I would like to book accomodation in Marsaxlokk in September. What would you recommend

    • Hi Brian, I’d recommend Port View Guesthouse – Lovely location, modern and gets good reviews.

  4. Hi Edward!

    I will be travelling with a group of friends (max 10) to Malta in July. I think our main needs are to sunbathe & go out at night, and we are looking to stay in a villa. We will want to do culture day trips as well but dont mind travelling to do these! where do you suggest?

    • Hi Fionnuala, it sounds like St. Julian’s might be the best fit for you, since you’ll be near Paceville, which is the nightlife centre of Malta.

      There aren’t an awful lot of villas that I’m aware of in the area that would still be available on pretty short notice, however. I would try Airbnb.com and search for places in St. Julian’s (on the side of Paceville) or Swieqi.

  5. Hi Edward, my husband and I are visiting early June we are staying with family in the south for a few days then want to stay elsewhere for a few nights. We are in our forties but young at heart. We would love to experience authentic Maltese food with a friendly atmosphere day and night. We are interested in historical War Museums. We would like to do a harbour tour and possibly Gozo. Another option is we hire a car and venture Malta, if so is it easy to find car parks at the historical sites?
    Thank you

    • Hi LeeAnne, it really depends what historical sites you have in mind. Some offer ample parking, in other places it’s quite a challenge. Happy to guide you further with more info on what places you’re planning to visit.

  6. Hello Edward
    Wonder if you can help with pointing us to the area which would suit us better.
    My wife has a bad spine and arthritis, she can walk a bit, but we often get out the wheelchair. This also means really hilly towns are no good for us. We can hire a car or use the buses, but where we stay needs to be flat, ideally a harbour we can stroll along in the evening. Can you suggest what area(s) would be a good idea to look at for basing ourselves ?
    Many Thanks

    • Hi Matt, I would consider Sliema or St. Julian’s (avoid the Paceville area towards the West, however) or the Buġibba area.

  7. Is Gżira a good base to stay and explore the rest of Malta?

    • Hi David, if you’re not afraid of a little walk (to get to Sliema Ferries) it’s not a bad base for exploration. Bus connections to routes coming out of valletta (main hub) are pretty easy to get. If you’re renting a car, however, make sure your accommodation includes private parking as it’ll be a challenge to find a parking spot in the area, pretty much all year round.

  8. Hi Edward,
    My sister and I are hoping to visit Malta during the Isle of MTV concert. We were wondering where would make the most sense to stay, since we would like to explore the rest of the island too and be away from the crowds wherever we stay. We are hoping to self cater.

    • Hi Layla, I’d have a look at an Airbnb in or just outside Valletta. It’s the capital but most of the crowds around the event will be stuck in traffic or on buses trying to get in/out of the area. Plus, the main bus terminus is located just outside of the capital city.

  9. Hi Ed,

    I’m Charlie I am 54 and planning to go to Malta in May to see family, I will be staying in Saint Paul’s Bay could you please recommend some places to visit while I’m there? I will be in Malta for 21 nights.
    Cheers Charlie.

  10. Hi, I’m travelling with my friend on the 27th July this year and we will be staying two full days. We will be going to the Grotto one day and perhaps a tour around the island the 2nd day with a visit to Valetta.
    We are looking for a lovely spot to stay which has access to restaurants, nice strolls at night and pretty views but where we can also get the bus to places as well. We will be in Santorini for 5 nights, so we will be partied out – so that’s not a priority. My friend said to stay in Sliema, which looks nice. We are looking at the Carlton Hotel in Sliema or the Victoria Hotel – do you know which one would be better for location, views and public transport?

    Thank you in advance!


    • Hi Faye, If budget isn’t an issue I’d actually stay in Valletta. Trouble there is that it’s hard to find low-cost accommodation, particularly at that time of year. If you’re lucky perhaps you can find a good listing on Airbnb, even if it’s just outside Valletta (distances are short!). Valletta is the main hub for public transport, plus there’s a lot to see there.

      Sliema is an option but ideally, since you want to visit Valletta, I’d look for something on the side of Sliema Ferries (where you can take a quick ferry right to the North side of Valletta). Public transport isn’t great if you want to go to places like the Blue Grotto to be fair, but accommodation might be a little cheaper. The Victoria Hotel is within a 10-minute walk so that one’s alright, plus it’s a nice hotel. If you’re on a budget have a look at the Pebbles Boutique Hotel and the Waterfront Hotel is also worth considering.

  11. Hi Edward,

    I’m going to Malta & Gozo with my husband in October. He hopes to get some good dives in?
    We are staying near St Pauls Bay for 3 nights, with 3 nights planned for Gozo & 3 nights elsewhere in Malta, to
    also dive but also see another side of the country. We enjoy eating out & seeing the country & will hire a car for part of the trip. Any recommendations of places to stay?
    Can we take the hire car over to Gozo?

    • Hi there! October should still be good for diving, it’ll just be less busy, so good timing! Seeing as St. Paul’s Bay is a little busier/touristy and Gozo has a character of its own (in a good way!) I’d consider staying at a smaller village like Rabat, Mgarr (in the West) or Marsaxlokk (in the East of Malta). Happy to recommend a place in Mgarr with a host who’s very knowledgeable of local dive sites btw. Yes, you can take a hire car over to Gozo without problems (in fact I definitely suggest you do so, with public transport not being super efficient there).

  12. Hi I love the information you have on this site! I am looking at visiting Malta but am in a wheelchair, where would be the best area to stay please? Needs to be accessible, enjoy markets, shops, stroll along prom, bars and restaurants.

    • Hi Charissa, thanks, glad you lie the site! That’s not the easiest question I’ve been asked – to give you a safe answer, probably Valletta is your best bet. Although you can find seaside promenades around the St. Julian’s/Sliema and Buġibba areas, it can get pretty busy there around the high season and, unfortunately, local government isn’t always proactive in ensuring pavements are up to scratch and accommodating for everyone. If you decide to go for Valletta it’s perfectly possible to get good transport for sightseeing, though.

  13. Hi Edward! This is by far the most helpful guide I could get for my planning to go to Malta. I’m planning to go there with 3 friends probably this upcoming 22/3-26/3. We plan to see the beaches (but maybe not swim) and have a relaxing holiday, with much sight-seeing in mind. Maybe we would rent a car for that purpose. One friend would love to dive, and we’re looking forward to visit Gozo & St Peter’s Pool as well. We don’t need pubs & bars kind of nightlife, but would prefer somewhere we can easily shop for grocery as we’d prefer to cook at the accommodation. Can you advise us where to stay? Also, would the weather be nice for swimming in diving? Thank you so much for your help 🙂

    • Hi Farhana, glad the site’s of help! 🙂 Late March will be a little early for swimming usually, though it could be that you’re in luck and it’ll be doable. For diving, unless you’re unlucky to find bad weather, it should be fine with the right kind of gear. Since you’re not too fussy about pubs/bars and that sort of thing I’d consider looking at either Mellieha and outskirts, or places like Rabat and even Mgarr through an Airbnb rental. Happy to suggest a few addresses to check! 🙂

  14. Hello! I’m planning on going to Malta in May for my birthday. Do you know if the water is warm at that time? I would love to have bothad, some nightlife or just some bars/pubs around and beautiful sandy beaches and to do some boat trip or something. We are a couple of 25 years old. Do you have any idea? Love your website. Many thanks

    • Hi Cláudia, May is right around the time when the weather starts warming up and early bathers start swimming and going to the beach. The water will likely be pretty chilly still though, so you’ll have to suck it up for the first couple of minutes and enjoy the fact that the water will be super clean and it’ll be quiet on the beaches still. 😉 If beach is priority, definitely have a look around in Mellieha or even Gozo (which is quieter than Malta but best to rent a car there!), if nightlife/bars/pubs are priority better go for St. Julian’s/Sliema. You can do boat trips from there but to get to sandy beaches it could take 1-1.5h by bus.

  15. Hi Edward,

    This website is very useful, thanks a lot! My girlfriend and I are going to Malta around mid-April for 8 days, we’re 27 and 30 years old, we love beaches, cycling and exploring nature and historical places. We don’t care too much about nightlife (we live in London!) although as Italians we love good food. We would also like to visit Gozo and Comino. What would you suggest for us? Also, Malta looks very small, do you think we can cycle around and vsit the island by bike?
    Many thanks again!

    • Hi Francesco, thank you – glad you like my site! 🙂
      It sounds like Mellieha or even Rabat/Mgarr might be a good area to stay (in which case an Airbnb stay could be a good option for you as hotels are limited in the area). It’s a quieter part of the country and both Comino and Gozo are within reach. You _CAN_ get around by bike though in Malta I would advise you to be careful and stick to the roads further up North since unfortunately the roads in Malta were never designed with cyclists in mind and the country isn’t known for its courteous drivers, to say the least.

      In fact, I would recommend spending a few days in Malta (to do some sightseeing at Valletta, Mdina and perhaps a few other places) and spend a few more days in Gozo. That’s a MUCH better place to go around on a bike and explore nature and some of the sights there. Some challenging mountain bike routes are documented (not very well at this point, admittedly) here, to give you an idea: Mountain biking routes in Gozo.

  16. Hi Edward,
    So pleased I stumbled on your site, so much helpful advise. We are a couple of Aussies travelling to Malta in June and after reading your info I am tossing up with whether Valletta or Sliema area would suit us best. We usually prefer to stay in self contained accommodation and was wondering if you can recommend any reliable sites to book through ? We will have four days to explore. Thanks

    • Hi Coleen, I would definitely suggest staying in Valletta if exploration is important to you. Sliema isn’t the best place for that unfortunately.

  17. What is the south of Malta like in the height of summer such as Birzebbuga

    • Hi Andy, it’ll be less busy than in the North/centre of Malta at that time of year, though with schools closed it’ll be pretty busy with locals. As a location, although I like Birzebbuga as a town, there may be better places to stay. I’d consider Marsaxlokk as well, which will definitely be quieter (assuming that’s what you’re after).

  18. Hello Edward,
    Wonderful website! Very helpful. My husband and I are going to Malta in January for two weeks. We are from a very cold part of Canada and I will be in Germany for work and we thought we would try and experience some warmer weather while we are in Europe. +15C in Malta is far better than -30C in Canada! We were attracted to Malta because of the warmer weather and the beautiful and diverse culture and nature. We are hoping to experience a little taste of everything Malta has to offer and are open to suggestions on where to stay. We aren’t into very touristy areas but would like a “pinch” of nightlife in the evening – for example go out for a nice dinner and a place for drinks and people watching. 🙂 I’m not opposed to splitting up our accommodation to broaden our experience. Based on my research I was thinking Valletta, Gozo and Mellieha and staying in Air B&Bs. What do you think? Thanks in advance for your help. Best Regards – Erin

    • Hi Erin,
      It’ll definitely be warmer than -30 C, and with a bit of luck you’ll get some good sunshine too! 🙂
      I think you’re on the right track with those places – Valletta is the first place that came to mind, particularly for culture. Although it’s the capital it’s not as touristy as you’d expect. Mellieha and Gozo are great to explore for nature more than culture.
      Enjoy your trip!

  19. This is a wonderful site, thank you!

    My husband and I are planning to go to Malta from April 21-29/2017. We are big foodies and prefer to be close to great restaurants and wine bars. We also want to be close to sandy beaches. We hate being in overly touristy areas, and want to find the perfect balance between restaurants, beaches, experiencing the local charm of the island without the tourist traps. We won’t have a car unfortunately so will need to stay in an area with easy transportation access. What area do you best recommend? Thanks

    • Hi Fazlin,
      April is a great time of year to visit although it’ll probably be a little early in the season to enjoy days at the beach. Usually that becomes much more doable towards the end of May. In any case, I don’t have a perfect solution for you. The St. Julians and Sliema area offer a good number of nice restaurants to try, but then it’s very touristy and busy. Valletta is probably a slightly better option for foodies (and for culture seekers), but then to get to the beach with public transport (buses) can take 1-1.5h and it can be tricky to find affordable accommodation. The Mellieha area is best for staying close to the beaches but there aren’t an awful lot of restaurants around (albeit there are some really great options to try) and not renting a car while staying there isn’t super practical.

  20. Hi, Heading to malta for the first time and was hoping for a bit of a clue as to where is best suited for us. We love Crete, Loutro, Paleochora, also places like Milos and Serifos are among our favourites. We love the small villages that have great swimming nearby, either sand or rocky. Some nice local restaurants would be great but full-on nightlife is not necessary. Quaint and quiet is fine. What would you suggest for us? We are mid-50s, active and will be in Malta end May for 8 days. Thanks!

    • Hi Mark,

      Based off the info you’ve provided as to your preferences, it sounds like Mellieha and surrounding area could be a good fit. You’ll find some of the largest and best beautiful (sandy) beaches within easy reach and Mellieha offers a few good restaurants as well. Considering accommodation options are a little limited I’d highly recommend booking that as soon as possible, however!

  21. Hi Edward, some fantastic info on your site!

    Myself and my boyfriend are getting married in Malta in September next year and went over last April to check out venues etc. It’s such a beautiful country but we couldn’t get over the amount of building work in St. Julian’s. I’ve never seen so much in such a small place! It really put us off staying there. We were only in Malta for 3 days so didn’t get to see much. Are the other resorts like that as well? We would hate to recommend somewhere to our guests that has a building site outside the window.
    Beaches are not a huge priority but would love somewhere with some Maltese charm and not too quiet as it will be mid September.

    Any advise you can give would be great!
    Thank you,


    • Hi Sinead, first off – Big congrats! 🙂

      I get what you’re saying and agree. Both St. Julians and Sliema are unpredictable when it comes to construction at the moment. I’ve emailed you to get a better understanding of what you’re looking for meanwhile.

  22. Hi Edward we are thinking of going to Malta late September for 7 to 10 days and don’t really know where to base ourselves. Your advice is great for others so I hope you can advise us!
    We are in our mid 50’s, interested in culture, walking along the coast and in the countryside. We like eating out and going to bars but not interested in clubbing, beach life etc. We don’t intend hiring a car so it would be good to be able to start our walks from either a city/town without having to take a bus if possible, but it’s ok if we need to.
    We are also interested in a 2 centre stay between Malta and Gozo , but how do we get to the ferry departure points for Gozo, for example if we were in Valetta, is it a taxi ride away? Where would we locate ourselves in Gozo?
    We are probably looking at staying in 4 star hotels, but staying in an interesting, historical bed and breakfast setting would also do.
    Any advice welcome!
    Thank you, Cathy and Gordon

    • Hi Cathy and Gordon,

      This is a tricky one to answer, since you’ve listed quite a few requirements and no location meets all of them. 🙂 The options that come to mind (in order of preference and considering you’re not hiring a car) are:
      1) Valletta, since there’s a lot to explore inside the city and along both harbours and you can cross over to Sliema with a ferry quite easily, plus most bus routes start/terminate at the Valletta terminus. The downside is that there isn’t much countryside to explore as you’ll be located at the busier part of Malta.
      2) St. Julians/Sliema is a better location if you’d like to stay near the coast, with a long promenade and a variety of restaurants in the area. From Sliema you can take the ferry to Valletta
      3) Mellieha is a good location if countryside exploration is more important, plus you’d be staying in a village that’s less touristy

      Getting to Gozo is pretty easy with several bus routes taking you up to Cirkewwa (have a look at the journey planner of Transport Malta for routes from whatever place you’ll be staying at in Malta). I usually suggest hiring a car in Gozo to really explore the island and considering it’s much quieter than Malta I would reconsider, especially since local public transport (buses) isn’t very reliable. Stay at Marsalforn to be close to the coast and salt pans, etc, stay at or near Nadur, Xaghra or Qala for some of the better countryside walks, or stay at Victoria (the local capital a the centre of the island) if you prefer being close to restaurants, shops, etc.

  23. Hi there…. Great website. my husband and I have never been to Malta. we do a lot of walking ( just back from Madeira ). we will not be hiring a car so bus connections are vital. is Malta a good place for a walking holiday ? where would you recommend we stay. we do not do night life and adore peace and quiet, Beaches are not important. thankyou Dee

    • Hi Dee, thanks, glad you like the site! 🙂

      Is Malta a good place for a walking holiday? Generally, yes, and the area around Mellieha and Rabat would be my recommendation. Having said that, I’d also definitely consider staying at Gozo, which in general is much quieter (and less developed) than Malta. Bus connections to other parts of Malta are good, although transit times can be a little longer (say 1-1.5h from Mellieha to Valletta). In Gozo public transport isn’t the most reliable but if you’re not in a hurry or too fussy about punctuality it’ll do the job.

  24. Hi Edward,
    Fantastic website! My girlfriends and I are a planning a trip to Malta at the end of March 2017. We are a youthful group in our mid-40’s to early 50’s. We would like to stay in a place that has access to some swimming (will it be warm enough at the end of March?) and it doesn’t have to be a sandy beach as I see that there are rocky bathing areas available. We would like to be in a location that has good dining and may have some nightlife (not a priority). Since we’ll likely be staying in the same hotel for the entire a week – a location where we can walk around as well as a nice hotel to hang out at (eg. poolside etc) would be ideal.
    We will likely not rent a car but could either take buses or hire a guide/take a tour to check out other places on the Island eg. Gozo, Blue Lagoon.

    • Hi Angela,

      In March it’s unlikely to be warm enough to swim in the sea I’m afraid. Usually, the earliest is May and the latest time of year October – not just because of the sea temperature but also from a safety point of view with undercurrents, etc.

      Based on what you’ve told me you’re probably best of staying in St. Julians or Sliema. Good choice of restaurants, pubs and other nightlife, long seaside promenade and (at Sliema Ferries) easy access to Valletta by ferry and a choice of boat tours to Comino, Gozo, etc.

  25. Great website Edward! Just wondering if you know anything about camping. We are a party three; myself, my husband and our 8 year old daughter. We are interested in camping in beautiful spots near beaches that would be good for snorkelling. I have researched that I might need to apply for some kind of liscence to camp. Just wondering if you have any tips of advice in this area. Thanks in advance!

    • Unfortunately I don’t have much advice to offer you on that myself, though if you use Facebook I’m sure you’ll be able to get expert advice from locals in this public group.

  26. I find this webpage very very helpful. It gave me a whole map and great idea of Malta 🙂

    • Happy to hear that Jill, thanks for leaving a comment! 🙂

  27. Fantastic website Edward! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Myself and the partner are heading to Malta for 14 days in July. We are splitting it half n’half with a stay on Gozo. Intend on hiring a car on landing and exploring both islands. We’d love an area quiet and relaxing in the evenings, preferably with nice views…but can’t decide. Thanks for any help you can give! X

    • Hi Jacqui – thank you, happy to hear you like the site! The first place that comes to mind in Malta is Mellieha. In Gozo it’s a bit tougher to recommend a place because the whole island is pretty quiet and peaceful. The places that come to mind are Xlendi (overlooking a bay) and Marsalforn (both on the coast) or if you prefer something more inland Qala and Għasri.

  28. Hi Edward, this is a terrific site. I have read most of the information, and I am still unsure of where to go. My husband and myself have been to Malta twice now, and stayed at Quara. On the last trip we took my parents, and they had a fabulous time, and would like to go again. We are thinking more in November/December this time, a little cooler. My parents are elderly and very sprightly. There is no need to be near a beach, but would like to see more of the history of Malta. We like to eat out, and explore. Where do you advise us to stay. I await your reply, and Thank-you very much. x

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you, glad you like the site. It sounds like you might want to stay in the capital of Valletta. It’s not nearly as busy as you’d expect from a capital city, you can get anywhere from there by bus, there’s a lot to discover within the city itself and plenty of choice for dinner.

  29. We are a retired couple, planning to visit Malta in November. We would like to explore the Islands during the day, and visit nice bars and restaurants in the evening. we have seen a nice apartment in Birzebbuga, but don’t if there is much there. Could you advise.
    Many thanks

    • Hi John, Birżebbuġa is a tricky one – some people love it, others hate it. Personally, although I have great memories there, I don’t think it’s the nicest place to stay nowadays, particularly at that time of year. I’d much rather recommend Valletta or Sliema to you.

  30. Hi there,
    I’m going to Malta next month, and even though we’ve booked a place in Sliema, we can cancel without a fee, and I’m really inclined to do that after reading this post! According to your post Mellieha is the place to be. My question is: is that difficult to go around by bus from there? We don’t have a driving license, so renting a car isn’t a option! But at the same time, all the nice beaches are close by, so I was wondering if taxis are very expensive for one beach or another that is not so accessible. We are staying 4 nights in Malta and 3 in Gozo. I would like to go to Valleta, and to some beaches around the island, but 90% of the beaches are on the north.

    • Hi Liliana,
      If beaches are your #1 priority it’s either Mellieha (quieter) or Bugibba/Qawra/St. Paul’sBay (more touristy) you want to stay at. There are good connections to/from Mellieha but you’ll spend more time on buses to go around simply because it’s more remote. If, again, beaches are most important, you’re good there. If, however, you want to explore other parts of Malta, Mellieha will be quite remote, whereas you’ll get shorter trips from the Bugibba area – you’re kind of in between the beaches to the North and places like Valletta and Mdina to the South/East. In June it won’t yet be swarming completely with tourists in Bugibba, though you can opt to stay on the side of St. Paul’s Bay and you’ll avoid the very busy parts of the area. Taxis can be pretty pricey – think 25 euro for a one way trip from Mellieha to Valletta.
      Hope you enjoy your trip! 🙂

      • Thanks, Edward! Beaches are my number 1 priority, for sure! I don’t plan to spend more than 1 day and a half sightseeing.I ended up cancelling the hotel in SIiema and booking another one in Mellieha. I saw there are couple of sightseeing buses in Malta that go to most historical places, and I could go to Bugibba to get it from that, and this would make the trip considerably shorter and quicker! As most beaches I plan to visit are not so far from Mellieha, I think it should be ok. I can use buses and take taxis to shorter trips. I’ll be staying just next to the beach in Xlendi for 3 nights as well, so it will be pretty much a beach holiday. By the way thank you very much for your tips, your website is a bible for whoever is planning to visit Malta!

      • Sounds like you’re all set Liliana – Enjoy your stay and thank you for the compliment! 🙂

  31. Hi,

    What a wonderful website. Thank you. My wife and I are looking to come to Malta July 2-8. We like a hotel room where we can see the sea. Good restaurants, good strolling and shopping, seeing the cultural highlights. We will not be renting a car, but want to explore as much of Malta as we can on day-trips. Can you offer a recommendation on which town to stay in? We are not on a tight budget.


    • Hi Joe, thank you – I’m happy you like the site!
      For sea view hotels, good restaurants and walks you’ll be happy to stay at St. Julians and Sliema (where you’ll find some of the better shops in Malta) I reckon. You’ll also be able to take day trips from the South side of Sliema to places like Gozo and Comino and you can take a ferry across Grand Harbour to get to Valletta. High-end hotel choice is limited at that time of year in Sliema and you’ll find there’s more choice in St. Julians. The downside there is that you’ll need a 10-15 minute bus ride to get to “The Ferries” in Sliema to take day tours and shop (various routes pass from this stretch). Restaurant choice is very good in St. Julians, however (although you’ll find good options just the same in Sliema).

      A few hotel options for Sliema:
      Preluna Hotel & Spa
      Fortina Spa Resort

      A few options for hotels in St. Julian’s:
      Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay
      The Westin Dragonara Resort
      Le Méridien St Julian’s Hotel and Spa (closer to Sliema)
      Hilton Malta (closer to Sliema)

      I would HIGHLY recommend booking as soon as possible as these hotels are in high demand at that time of year and will be fully booked soon.

      I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy your stay!

  32. Hi, We are planning a holiday to Malta between 30 May – 6th June .. and have kids aged 9, 4 and a 9 month old. From reading your very helpful article I have come to the conclusion that perhaps Valleta or Mellieha might suit us best as we aren’t going to be involved in the night life that most of the other places offer. We don’t want to be anywhere too crowded and don’t mind hiring a car get around to explore the rest of Malta. We have also looked at Gozo and are not entirely sure how rural this is and how easy it would be to get to Malta from here. We don’t want to be totally isolated either and /but the kids would love the beaches. I need your advise on what would be the best place to rent Villas / holiday homes as this would suit us best with a baby.

    • Hi Amber, since you’ll be travelling with the family and the kids will enjoy the beaches, I wouldn’t recommend staying in Valletta, especially not when hiring a car. It’s an amazing place to visit on a day trip but not the best place to stay with a family and with the idea of spending time on the beach, simply because of the commute and the traffic congestion in the area. With Mellieha as a home base and renting a car, you can easily reach different beaches and places like Mdina (a must-visit) are easy to reach by car as well.

      Gozo is much quieter than Malta and you would only stay there for the full duration of your trip if you’re not too interested in exploring the island of Malta. The ferry crossing to Malta takes 25 minutes alone so you’d have a pretty big commute every time and especially with kids that won’t be practical. The options I see are:
      1) Plan to spend a day in Gozo, which is easy to do from Mellieha (10 min drive to ferries at Cirkewwa in far North) – or multiple trips
      2) Split your stay between X days in Mellieha and X days in Gozo, although perhaps logistically that wouldn’t be practical for you either.

  33. Hi,

    This is the best info I have seen about how to explore Malta and thanks for your patience for the questions as well. Tried to read all comments to see if the answer is hidden but still want to ask.
    We are at early 30’s and will visit at the first week of July for 6 nights with my husband. It is really hard to decide where to stay. Main goal is the best beaches, but would like to see what is to explore in city centre too. so was planning to stay in Mellieha bay or golden by( radisson) for a few days. Then mostly at st julian( corinthia may be) but you say st george bay not clean to swim? Raddison comments say there is not much options to eat out. Is that true? Because we dont plan to rent a car. So i decided on db seabank+spa but requires 5 nights stay. How are the options to go to the blue lagoon, golden or paradise bay from there? Also cruises schedule from mellieha? So we will have one more night to stay in centre, could be st julian for the best? What about masaxlokk side? Seems perfect clean for swimming

    • Hi Burcu, a few quick replies to your questions:
      * The issue with St. George’s Bay is that it’s right at the edge of Paceville, which is the country’s main nightlife area. That means that the beach gets dirty pretty quickly, especially during the night. So although the local authorities make a good effort to clean the beach in the early morning I wouldn’t recommend it as one of the best beaches on the island. Is it safe to swim and an option if you’re staying? Yes, it is. Is it the most beautiful/clean beach around? Not in my opinion, no.
      * The Radisson at Golden Bay is a great place to stay, though aside from the few restaurants the hotel has to offer there’s only one other restaurant on the beach. You’re a little isolated there if you’re not renting a car (which, if you’re staying in that part of the island or at Mellieha is perfectly doable – not very busy at all on the roads, apart from Sundays).
      * The Seabank was refurbished pretty recently and it’s a nice hotel to stay at, plus you’re right opposite the largest sandy beach. You can reach Paradise Bay and Golden Bay quite easily, although the latter requires a switch of routes at Xemxija and takes around 30 mins I’d say. Blue Lagoon and boat trips you can find at Cirkewwa, near the ferry to Gozo (also recommended) – which you can reach easily and quickly by bus from the Seabank hotel.
      * St. Julians is nice to stay at for hotel choice and restaurants, although Sliema makes it easier to find boat trips/cruises around the Grand Harbour and to Comino (Blue Lagoon) and Gozo. You also get a ferry connection to Valletta if you want to explore the capital city. Marsaxlokk is very quiet and you’ll be a little isolated without a car I’d say. It is clean for swimming but it’s not the most beautiful beach you’ll find in Malta.

      I hope that helps!

  34. Hi
    My friend and I are planning on visiting Malta from 11th June for a week, we are in our late 30’s. We would like different options, we would like to visit some of the traditional Maltese villages/towns and experience the authentic way of life and we also want the option on some days of good beaches and complete relaxation, we would like the option of some nightlife (good restaurants and bars with the option to stay out late if we choose too). We are not planning on hiring a car. We would like the option of boat trips and don’t mind a bus trip to a good beach. Can you please recommend the best resort and some good hotels with nice pools? We are looking for comfort but good value for money. Thanks.

    Great helpful website 🙂

  35. Hi, the info on this page is absolutely brilliant. My fiance and I are going to Malta 13th May for 7 nights. We enjoy going out, beaches, water sports but want to have an authentic experience of the country. Trying to do it on a budget- but will probably splash out for the last night for fiances birthday. We won’t be driving. I’m considering staying in St Julians for 3 nights,-to go enjoy the nightlife and to visit the Blue Lagoon- is that easy to get to without a car? Might spend the fourth night in Gozo, and 3 nights at the beaches at Mellieha- is that where the nicest beaches are? Any recommendations for somewhere nice to stay there? Is there public transport from Mellieha to the airport..we’d be flying back on a Friday. Thanks in advance! Claire

    • Hi Claire – A couple of quick answers to point you in the right direction:
      1) St. Julian’s is great for a couple of days but there aren’t any beaches around, so it makes sense spending a few nights in Mellieha to enjoy the local beaches (and yes, that’s the part of Malta where you’ll find the nicest beaches). The largest sandy beach of Mellieha Bay will be in walking distance but you can also take a 5-min bus ride down towards the beach if you like. You can take a bus up North to Paradise Bay but if you only have a few days I’d recommend heading to Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay – two beaches next to each other on the East coast. You’ll have to take a 41, 42, 222 or 250 from Mellieha to Xemxija (15-20 min ride), get off at bus stop ‘Simar’ and take either the 223 or 225 to either of those bays. Ghajn Tuffieha comes up first, then final stop is Golden Bay
      2) You can get to the Blue Lagoon by getting a boat trip from Sliema, which is a town that neighbours St. Julians. You’ll need a 10-min bus ride (a bunch of routes pass on this stretch, e.g. routes 13, 14, 16, 110, 233) to take you to what’s referred to as the Sliema Ferries and you’ll find various boat operators there.
      3) Yes, there’s a direct route from Mellieha to the airport – Route X1 (early morning till late afternoon)
      4) Hotel options – not sure what ‘budget’ means to you but considering you’re only three weeks away I’m assuming it’s up to 100 EUR / 80 GBP per night
      St. Julian’s – Spinola Hotel
      St. Julian’s – Golden Tulip
      For something decent in Mellieha at short notice you’ll probably need to fork out more than 100 eur/night – there’s limited accommodation outside of the tourist hotspot zones. Option 1: Try airbnb Option 2: Stay at St. Paul’s Bay, Bugibba and Qawra. The benefit is you’ll still be able to reach the nice beaches pretty easily, the downside is it’s a tourist hotspot and not the best places to experience the country.

      I hope that helps. Feel free to email at edward@maltauncovered.com if you have any follow up questions.

  36. Hi, me and my boyfriend will be travelling to Malta during week 34 in August and are not sure where to stay. We don’t want to be among loads of tourists or the busiest place with nightclubs, however we do like to go on restaurants and have some choosing options where to eat. We enjoy going on adventures and travel around a bit to get that genuine feeling of the country we’re in. We also like to mix it up with some beachdays and relax. So a little bit of citylife and a little bit f the Maltese countryside I guess would suit us pretty good, or what do you think?

    • Hi there Emma! Are you guys looking to rent a car during your stay? That makes a big difference as to what to suggest.

  37. Hi Edward. We will be a party of 3 travelling to Malta for 10 days from around 19 July. All inclusive hotel but doesn’t have to be The Ritz just good location/facilities and pleasant food/drinks. My 13 year old son would like a large pool near beach with pool table/table tennis etc where he can make friends. Partner likes a good pool/good food/entertainment in the evening and a location with a few live bars/entertainment etc. Having never been Malta before I’m keen to explore – especially Gozo/Como and the Capital Valetta – hopefully our timing might coincide with a Fiesta? We plan to hire a car. Could you recommend anywhere in Malta which might suit everyone? Thanks, Steph

    • Hi Steph, thanks for your question. Let’s start with a location that meets most of your requirements. Based on what you’ve told me, St. Julian’s might be a good fit. There’s a good choice of hotels (with pool facilities), good restaurants and bars and around the weekend of the 24th of July you could experience a festa, in the Balluta area of St. Julian’s – a small, picturesque bay.

      A few things to mention: 1) It can get busy in the area and you’ll definitely need a car (and a confident driver) to make your way around. You can easily catch a ferry boat or tour to Gozo and Comino from nearby Sliema, though you’re better off catching a bus (it’s a nightmare to find a parking spot in that area) – Route 14. 2) Within St. Julian’s you’ll find an area called Paceville, which is Malta’s main nightlife centre. It doesn’t sound like that would be a good fit for you, so if you choose to stay at St. Julian’s, the Balluta area is a much better choice. 3) Since the festa will be held the weekend after your arrival there will be adjusted traffic arrangements with closed streets at times. I’m sure they’ll be able to guide you at the hotel of your choice though.

      “Not the Ritz” is a bit difficult to gauge your budget off, though have a look at these hotels in the area:
      1) Le Méridien St Julian’s Hotel and Spa – Great hotel and facilities, free parking, though not the largest pool perhaps.
      2) Golden Tulip Vivaldi Hotel – Close to the Paceville nightlife area, but you wouldn’t be in the middle of it all, good restaurants nearby and Balluta Bay is within walking distance. Parking is charged at 8 EUR/day, however.

      Suggested articles:
      Driving in Malta
      Gozo travel guide
      Comino travel guide

      I hope that helps!

  38. Hi Edward,

    Amazing website – thank you!

    Your help would be much appreciated – you seem to be the guru of Malta 🙂

    Myself and 2 of my girlfriends are planning on coming to Malta in August. We would like a destination which has good beaches and somewhere with a buzz in the evening.

    We would like somewhere with pretty restaurants to enjoy long dinners before heading out afterwards. we aren’t so fussed about big night clubs but would like to go somewhere we can go to lively bars after dinner, beach bars perhaps?

    We are all on our early 30’s, any recommendations on where to stay?

    • Hi Rachel, thanks – glad you like it 🙂

      So it sounds like nightlife is pretty important to you, in which case your best bet is St. Julians, and more specifically the Spinola/Balluta Bay area, NOT the area known as Paceville because you’ll be right in the middle of the busiest part with night clubs. There are plenty of bars and pubs around the area and some great restaurants to try as well.

      The only downside is the beaches – there’s no place I know of that offers both good nightlife AND sandy beaches in the same place unfortunately. The nearest bathing area is in the neighbouring town of Sliema (5-10 min bus ride) but it’s a rocky beach. Good for sun bathing, easy to get in and out of the sea, but no sand. The area is known as Exiles. Alternative 1: Go to a lido (there are a few good ones around in St. Julian’s and Sliema, alternative 2: Take a bus to Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha (pron. aajn too-fee-hah) – two beautiful sandy beaches on the West coast of Malta. Bus route is 225 and trip is around 1 hour.

      As for timing – if you do plan to stay at St. Julian’s in August, I’d recommend going around 25-28 August. That weekend the local village feast is held – bit of culture, fireworks over the bay, food & drink – you get the picture. Another tip: Open air clubs like Gianpula (and particularly Marrakesh, part of the Gianpula complex) are worth going to. You’ll need to take a taxi, however – probably around 30 euro between the three of you, to and from St. Julians.

      Hope that helps!

      • Excellent information! Really helped me make up my mind Thanks!

  39. My husband and I will be travelling in Spain then across to Malta for a 6 night stay this July.
    We have never been there before and we are thinking about hiring an apartment but not sure what area would be best for us.
    We do like to have some nightlife as in bar/restaurant but not really night clubs, we do like to walk every where we can especially out at night , have a choice of dining options and if possible be close to a beach where we can swim.
    We are 46/47 years old.
    What area would you recommend that we stay in please?

    • Hi Jacqui,
      St. Julian’s (The part adjacent to Sliema) as well as Sliema itself will be good options if you enjoy a little nightlife and good dining. Beaches, however, are limited to rocky bathing areas with. There are no sandy beaches around, but bathing areas in the area are still fine for swimming and sunbathing.
      If a sandy beach is important to you, you could consider Bugibba (which also offers decent options for dining and nightlife – although not as good – and there’s an artificial sandy beach) or Mellieha, which is closest to some of the best beaches on the island but then nightlife is pretty limited, despite there being some great options for dining. You’ll be better off hiring a car if you choose to stay here, however, as it is a little remote.
      You’ve also mentioned to me separately the wish for accommodation with character/history. Your best bet in that case is probably Valletta, which is also good for dining/nightlife, and although no sandy beaches are nearby you can reach any beach of your choice pretty easily with the main bus terminal sitting right outside the city. For accommodation, you’ll mostly find modern buildings in Sliema and St. Julian’s (also Bugibba/Qawra).
      I hope that helps!

  40. Very good points to help choose a location

  41. This information is the difference between a really enjoyable family holiday or a 2 week nightmare. I really appreciate this, thank you very much

    • Glad it’s helpful to you, Anthony! 🙂

  42. This is extraordinarily helpful information. Thank you very much!

  43. I found this concise Guide to Malta a great help, never having stayed in Malta before. Thank you.I think Sliema would suit us best. Now to choose a hotel!

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