When I first started to look for a place to call my stomping grounds for the time I was spending in Malta, I had originally planned to hop from city to city, rather than stay in one place for the entire week. The more research I did, the more I realized it’d be a waste of time and money to hotel hop my way around, considering the fact that Malta is such a small country with all other towns and villages just a few minutes’ drive away from each other…depending on traffic, of course.
After days of filtering out hotels, guesthouses etc, I finally came to a conclusion… I was going to be staying in Sliema! Staying in Sliema just made sense to me. It was close to a lot of other cities and towns, steps away from the major bus stops to take me to those towns and only a ten minute walk to the Sliema-Valletta ferry port, which takes people to Valletta across the harbour in under ten minutes. It was also a short 25 minute shuttle to and from the airport…again, depending on traffic.
Sliema is a coastal town situated on the northeast side of Malta, near the city of St. Julians. Once the home of Malta’s big shots, it has now become a major commercial area that is popular for shopping, bars, cafés, restaurants, luxury condos and hotels, but still manages to have some older, quaint side streets with famous Maltese architecture.
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Sliem is the Maltese word meaning peace or serenity, but Sliema is definitely not known for its peacefulness nowadays. Sliema is actually quite a large residential town, according to Maltese standards, with a population of around 15,000 locals, but also houses also a significant number of expats from all over the world and it’s also known for being a party town. Now, since staying in “party towns” is definitely NOT my thing, I was hesitant at first hearing about the late night party-goers reputations to hoot and holler throughout the night. Being off season, I totally lucked out.
When I arrived to my hotel in Sliema, I noticed that the area did have plenty of newer developed hotels, condos and even a large shopping mall. I even noticed a Ducati dealership along the main street.
Once I was checked in, I headed up to my room (in the smallest European elevator) and was immediately greeted with the amazing view of the insanely bright turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea from my room window as soon as I opened the door. It was beautiful. Definitely a WOW moment, seeing as though it was my first time travelling to the Mediterranean.
I decided to take a stroll along the promenade just outside of my hotel and look for someplace to eat. I came across a restaurant and tucked myself inside for a bite to eat and a beer. The window view showcased the Sliema beach, but it wasn’t a typical sandy beach…this one was on one big chunk of rock along the water’s edge, which apparently in the summer season is jam packed with tourists sunning themselves. The locals are known to say that Sliema was a place to see and be seen.
During my stay, I found Sliema to be the perfect area to stay in for the week. Don’t let the party-town reputation turn you off, unless you’re into that sort of thing though. You do you.
Sliema boasts a ton of fantastic restaurants, bars and the promenade is a great area to sit and people watch, or stroll to the neighbouring cities, like I did every night.
Here is a list of 10 great restaurants located in Sliema:
Here are some of my faves that I visited during my stay: