Where to sleep in Malta: the best areas to stay

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Valery Aloyants
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Discover the best areas to sleep in Malta. Finding the right place to stay on the island is essential since, despite being small, its areas are really different from each other and moving between them is very slow.

Malta is a small country made up of an archipelago located in the center of the Mediterranean. Its largest island, Malta, covers an area of ​​around 245 km2 and has an end-to-end length of 27 kilometers and a width of 14,5 kilometers.



On such a tiny island where travel is supposed to be short and quick, it seems like where you choose to stay doesn't have to be that important. Nothing is further from reality. A lot of time is spent touring the island. It takes almost an hour to travel from one location to another by public transport.

With a'rental car it's obviously easier, but not everyone hires one (especially considering that despite being very cheap, you drive on the left, which discourages many people from doing so).

On the other hand, the areas you can choose for your accommodation are very different from each other. The peaceful atmosphere you will find in Valletta has nothing to do with the life and hustle and bustle of Sliema or St. Julians. Each area has a very different profile from the rest of the island and knowing what you will find in each of them will allow you to make the right choice and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

The best areas to sleep in Malta

Malta is characterized by great variety of accommodations which offers its visitors and at very affordable prices compared to other destinations on the coast and islands of the Mediterranean.


St Julian's, one of the best areas to stay in Malta - Photo from Istock

The vast majority of accommodation in Malta is concentrated in the area which includes St. Julian's, Sliema and Valletta. There are also a good number of hotels and tourist apartments on the north coast, mostly concentrated in the summer months, in the St. Paul's Bay and Mellieha area, and to a lesser extent on the island of Gozo.


Prices in Malta are very competitive during the low season and in the months when the weather is already good and you can enjoy the beach while in the high season, in the months of July and August the prices go up quite a bit and it is necessary to book in advance to find good offers.

The best areas to sleep in Malta, or at least the most popular, are St. Julian's e Sliema, which represent the liveliest areas and where there is so much to do. Furthermore, being well connected, they are a good base camp from which to visit the rest of the island.

Valletta it has an audience looking for culture, tranquility (not much fun at night) and ease of movement.

Apart from these three places there are other interesting alternatives such as Mdina o Gozo for those who wish to experience authentic Malta. While the areas of the north coast such as St. Paul's Bay e Mellieha they are a good option in the summer months for those looking for sun and beach holidays.


Valletta, the heart of Malta

Valletta, Malta - Photo from Istock

Valletta is the capital of Malta and is distinguished by the beauty of its historic center which together with the 3 historic cities that surround it constitute one of the most beautiful fortified complexes in the Mediterranean.

Classified as World Heritage Site by Unesco, this ocher bastion bordered by turquoise waters, built by the Order of the Knights of Malta, is a real dive into history. It is located on a small walled peninsula which presides over the entrance to its magnificent harbor.

Sleeping in Malta in Valletta is ideal for those who prefer cultural visits. It is a pleasure to stroll through its streets full of history and monuments, and even more so to enjoy the fantastic views of Sliema or the Three Cities that can be had from its walls.


It is also the place with the best communications on the island. Being a central point, it is very easy (especially during the summer) to travel from there by bus to any tourist spot on the island.

The whole area is very quiet because of that nightlife in Valletta is very poor. It's a perfect place to sleep in Malta if you want to get away from the big tourist spots and the hustle and bustle of kids and young people partying.

Its strengths are:

  • its streets are rich in history and culture,
  • hosts excellent restaurants and wine bars,
  • has an accommodation offer with a good value for money,
  • it is the best base camp if you are interested in exploring the island by public transport.

The main disadvantages of Valletta are:


  • it has almost no nightlife,
  • its accommodation offer is rather limited,
  • slightly higher prices than the rest of the island.
Find and book accommodation in Valletta

St Julian's

St. Julian, Malta - Photo of Istock

St. Julian's was initially a small fishing village, while today the tourist and urban boom has made it one of the main tourist destinations in Malta, which is full of hotels, bars, restaurants and discos and all the services a tourist may need.

Together with Sliema, it is the most popular area to sleep in Malta thanks to its atmosphere and its lively nightlife. Plus it offers one wide range of accommodation for all budgets, it has excellent restaurants, a beach and is very well connected to the rest of the island.


Being the most touristic area of ​​Malta, St. Julian's is well connected by public transport: Valleta, the northern sandy beaches or the airport can be easily reached as most Maltese buses stop here.

Its liveliest area is Paceville, a collection of a few streets located just off St. Georges Bay, filled with bars and clubs with loud music. This is where most of Malta's nightlife takes place.

If you want to avoid the noise and hustle and bustle, you may want to choose another area of ​​St Julian's, such as the elegant marina area of Portomaso with excellent restaurants and Spinola Bay this too with excellent restaurants, bars and a very pleasant promenade.

Find and book accommodation in St. Julian's

Sliema

Sliema, located between St Julian's and Valletta, is one of the best places to sleep in Malta. It's a very elegant and commercial residential city, a central area, more relaxed but equally touristy.

The city has a wide range of hotels and tourist apartments. It is characterized by the modernity of its apartments and hotels, its restaurants and the elegance of its shops. It is undoubtedly the best place for shopping in Malta.

Sliema has no beaches but along its promenade, which goes from St. Julian's to the point where the ferries for the crossing to Valletta are embarked, it has bathing spots. Its waters are very clean and crystal clear.

Its location makes it ideal for visiting Valletta (you just have to take a ferry at its pier), to enjoy the nightlife of Paceville (thanks to the promenade you can walk to St. Julian's without any problems), and to visit the rest. from the island as it has good connections to public transport.

Find and book accommodation in Sliema

Mellieha

Mellieha is a small coastal town located almost on the north coast. This is a good option where to sleep in Malta for those looking for sun and beach since in addition to being able to enjoy its beach, one of the best and longest beaches on the island, it is also very easy to visit the other beaches of the north coast (the best in Malta) from it.

It is a tourist resort with all the necessary services to spend a good holiday. In this city there are bars, restaurants, cafes, some shops and a good number of good hotels at a good price but not a lively nightlife.

On the other hand, if you want to visit the island as well, keep in mind that due to its location it takes almost 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus to Valletta.

If you rent a car, it is a great place to stay in Malta, enjoy the beaches and visit the island with the mobility that allows you to have a vehicle. In reverse, if you intend to move by public transport and you want to visit the island, it may be more convenient to choose a more central place with better communication.

Find accommodation in Mellieha

Mdina and Rabat, central Malta

Away from the hustle and bustle of Valletta or the north coast, Malta's central region offers hilly landscapes, paving the way for a more rural face.

It is also in this heart of the country that the former capital of the country is located, one small fortified medieval town, vestige of the period of Arab influence, Mdina. A true museum city, where surprising tranquility reigns inside the ramparts.

Despite being one of the main tourist attractions on the island, at dusk the city is completely silent and there is little to do.

Rabat, a small town located just outside Mdina, and its catacombs complete the picture of a region where it is ideal to stay for those seeking tranquility, who want to get to know the interior of the island and experience rural Malta.

Find accommodation in Mdina and Rabat

Bugibba and St. Paul's Bay, cheap accommodation in Malta

The area of ​​St. Paul's Bay, also located in the northern part of the island, includes, in addition to the bay itself, the towns of Bugibba and small Qawra. These three destinations located on the north coast of Malta, next to each other, are mainly summer destinations while in winter they are rather quiet.

Of the three only Bugibba has a beach (artificial). However, they have rocky areas that are suitable for bathing and are very well connected by public transport with the beaches of the north of the island.

St. Paul's Bay has a large number of hotels and apartments for rent with the necessary infrastructure for those who want to enjoy a holiday of sun and sea. There is also a good variety of restaurants and even some nightlife in Bugibba (the St Paul and Qawra areas are very quiet).

This area is characterized by generally cheaper accommodationi of those of Sliema or St. Julian's.

Find accommodation in Bugibba and St. Paul's Bay

Gozo, the authentic sister of the island of Malta

Blue Lagoon, Comino - Gozo, Malta - Photo from Istock

Gozo, even smaller than neighboring Malta, is an island that brings together everything the traveler who loves nature and authenticity can dream of. It is a goal perfect for tourists looking for peace and quiet: no big cities, small seaside resorts, a decidedly rural and familiar spirit, unspoiled nature.

Besides being able to enjoy its quiet and relaxed atmosphere, it also allows you to enjoy some of the best beaches of this small archipelago such as Ramla Bay.

Accommodation in Gozo is cheaper than in Malta and are distributed throughout the island. You can stay in its capital Victoria, in rural villages like Gharb or Xaghra, or in coastal maritime areas like Xlendi or Marsalforn.

The modest size of the island does not preclude the practice of a myriad of activities, maritime or rural, such as snorkeling and diving in Xlendi Bay, rest on the orange sand beach of Ramla Bay or stroll through the narrow streets of Victoria to its citadel.

Find accommodation in Gozo

Cheap accommodation to sleep in Malta

Malta already is one of the cheapest seaside destinations in the Mediterranean. The island offers a good amount of budget accommodation and is also a very popular destination for young people who want to learn English.

Malta. Village Popeye – Stock Photo

It is possible to find beds in shared dormitories starting from just 10 euros and small hotels with single rooms starting from 30 euros in the low season. In the summer months, especially July and August, it is quite difficult to find such cheap accommodation in Malta, so you need to book in advance.

Find cheap accommodation in Malta

Where to sleep in Malta if you travel with children

Without a doubt, Bugibba and Qawra a St Paul’s Bay they are the best areas because they offer numerous hotels with swimming pools, restaurants for families and in addition they are very safe areas.

Bugibba man-made beach and Ta`Fra Ben in Qawra are perfect for children and there is also a large playground, national aquarium, cinema and other entertainment venues here.

In addition there is also a bus service (to go to other places on the island) and you can take boat trips from the port of Buggiba.

Another quiet area to sleep with children in Malta is the one near the beach of Mellieha which hosts some all-inclusive resorts. However, if you choose Mellieha to sleep in Malta, it is recommended rent a car.

Valletta, Malta - Photo from Istock
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