It is also a popular tourist destination although perhaps a little quieter, having more seaside accommodation and a few more open spaces.
Qawra is similar to Buġibba and the two villages kind of blend into each other. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a particular street is a part of Qawra or of its neighbouring village, even for locals. You’ll also find several places with addresses listed in St. Paul’s Bay that are actually located in the other two towns.
The village is known for its salt pans, referred to as is-Salini (and the area of Salina, which is located opposite Saline Bay, to the East of Qawra).
At the tip of Qawra point, there’s a historical watchtower that overlooks a small bay which is a popular bathing area, even though it’s mostly rocky. Apart from being a swimming zone, Ta` Fra Ben beach is also a great spot for snorkelling enthusiasts. In fact, it’s a favourite summer destination for me, for that very reason.
The seaside promenade that runs alongside the coastal area of Qawra stretches out over 3.5 kilometres past Buġibba and ends at the top of Xemxija hill (which is part of St. Paul’s Bay).
It’s a popular location for tourists, both for families with children as well as couples of all ages. Busy in summer, quiet in winter, it’s a lovely seaside place all year round, but not the most exciting of places in terms of nightlife.
For younger couples, the St. Julian’s area may be a more suitable holiday location. Mellieħa is usually the preferred option for those seeking peace and quiet and enjoying some of the best beaches in Malta.
If you’re the type of traveller who wants to explore a country or city, Qawra may not be the most interesting destination to stay. (Have a look at my suggestions for other places to stay in Malta.) Nevertheless, if you want a good balance of exploration with a traditional holiday, it’s not a bad place to stay thanks to good public (and commercial) transport connections.
Because Buġibba and Qawra are so similar in character and adjacent to each other, it doesn’t really matter whether you stay in one or the other. St. Paul’s Bay is generally a bit quieter, still retaining some of its original fisherman’s village character.
Hotels in Qawra range from 3- to 4-star properties and are mostly family-friendly and popular options for holidaymakers. Booking well in advance and taking up deal options quickly can pay off as hotel rates in the high season soar with rising demand.
These are a few of the best hotels in the area to consider:
You can view more of my recommended options here: Qawra Hotels: The 12 Best Reviewed Stays
Qawra is pretty well-connected to the other parts of Malta through the nearby bus terminus at Buġibba, which is within walking distance from most parts of Qawra. A few routes can take you directly to major points of interest and attractions directly, without any transfers.
Getting to Qawra from the airport takes around 45-60 minutes and tickets cost as little as €2 per ride (for any route really). You can buy tickets at the airport when you arrive (there are a ticket booth and machine in the Arrivals Hall) but if you have a VISA debit or credit card you can buy single-ride tickets onboard the bus with contactless payment.
Getting an airport transfer by private taxi costs around €20 and a shared shuttle bus around €14 for 2 adults (both one-way prices).
More info here: How to get from Malta Airport to Buġibba and Qawra.
Qawra forms part of the wider area of St. Paul’s Bay, to which most road signs point to. It usually takes around 30-45 minutes by car (or taxi) to get to Qawra from the airport.
Although bus connections to other parts of Malta are good and you can certainly set out for day trips, there isn’t an awful lot to see and do in Qawra itself.
Having said that, it’s a good place to stay if you want to find a balance between a comfortable (value) stay and easy ways of getting around to do your sightseeing.
Here’s what’s around in Qawra:
The nightlife in Qawra consists mostly of pubs and bars and only has one nightclub that doubles as a lido during the day. Cafe Del Mar, part of the National Aquarium complex, is a popular establishment that serves as a lido during the day (drinks by the infinity (!) pool, with a view of the open sea and St. Paul’s island) and often hosts parties during the evening.
If you’re into clubbing but decide to stay in Qawra, you can easily catch a (night) bus to/from Paceville, part of St. Julians, which is where you’ll find a number of clubs and bars. If you’re a little more adventurous and looking for something a little different, consider partying at one of Malta’s open-air nightclubs like Gianpula Village or UNO Malta.
Various bars and pubs can be found in the area, most with an English or Irish feel. The wider area crossing over into Buġibba is dotted with small bars and pubs, often showing live sports on large screens and having small terraces outside.
On the Qawra side of the area, these are a few bars/pubs to check out if you’re staying nearby:
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On one of the side roads of the main street Triq it-Turisti, there’s a small supermarket called Welbees and you’ll find a few others next door to the Santana Hotel in Triq il-Maskli.
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