The ultimate guide for choosing your accommodation in Malta
If you plan your holidays in Malta, the most important thing is to select the right place where to sleep. The choice depends predominantly on the duration of your trip, the activities you want to enjoy (visiting the best attractions or relaxing at the beach), the means of transport and your budget. Let’s see the best neighbourhoods together.
Let’s go to discover the best areas of the island
Well known for being the capital of Malta, Valletta is one of the main attraction of the Island and offers a very high concentration of monuments and points of interest such as St. John’s Co–Cathedral, Fort Saint Elmo, Baraka Gardens, Church of Our Lady of Victory, National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta Waterfront and many other things. It is the beating heart of the Island, and it is situated in front of the Three Cities, another must of Malta. Valletta is full of quality restaurants and cafes, very well served through efficient public transportation like buses to reach all the areas of the island and 2 ferries terminal that link to Sliema and the Three Cities. It is one of the best locations where to sleep if you want to discover the country’s culture and history. On the other side, it is also the most expensive area, and it is hard to find budget accommodations.
|Our top choice|
Sliema is a popular area located on the northern coast of the Island, right in front of Valletta. In our opinion, it is the best place where to stay if you want to discover Malta. You will find a wide range of budget accommodations, excellent restaurants, take away, cafes and pubs along its promenade. Sliema is well connected to Valletta by a ferry (only 5 minutes ride) and buses (15 minutes ride) and the rest of the Island with a high bus frequency. Along the promenade, you’ll also find many stalls offering tours around Malta and boat trips to Gozo and Comino. Click here to see the accommodations in Sliema.
3. St. Julian’s
St. Julian’s is located to the west of Sliema, and it is one of the most bustling areas of Malta. This place is a good compromise for both touristic and relaxing perspectives since you are not that far from the main attractions and can also enjoy the beach. St. Julian’s is well served by buses to Valletta and the rest of the island. Here you’ll find a high concentration of accommodations, restaurants, cafes, shops, English schools and, last but not least, it is perfect for nightlife and clubbing.
4. Mdina & Rabat
Mdina, also known as the silent city and old capital of Malta, is a fortified city surrounded by high bastions on the top of a hill. Rabat is the town in front of Mdina and is known for its quiet, more rural character and natural beauty. These two places are fascinating, and once there, the timeless atmosphere will take you back in time. Recently they became very famous since some scenes of the series Game of Throne were filmed here. Mdina and Rabat lie in a central position and are well served by buses. If you decide to sleep here, consider that it takes around 40 minutes to reach Valletta and about 1 hour to get to the airport by bus.
5. Three Cities
If you decide to book your accommodations in one of these three cities, you are looking for an intriguing stay. Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua are some of the main attractions of Malta, and they offer a fantastic insight into the culture and the history of the Island. The Three Cities are connected to Valletta by ferry (10 minutes ride) and to the rest of the island by bus. It is an excellent solution for those who love quiet and immerse themselves in the country’s reality.
6. Bugibba, Qawra & St. Paul’s Bay
Three areas located along the northern coastline next to each other. Since there is no attraction here, you should consider these places most for relaxing and enjoy the beach. During the low season, you can find excellent deals whereas in the summer they are hectic places due to their shores and prices can increase a lot. It is not such a wrong choice even if you want to discover the attractions of Malta but consider that the frequency of the buses is not high as other places such as Sliema, St. Julian’s or Valletta and you can waste a lot of time getting some points around the Island. For example, catching the bus takes 50 minutes to reach Valletta or Mdina and 1 hour and a half to get to the airport. Alternatively, there’s a stop of the Hop on-Hop off buses in front of the Topaz Hotel in Bugibba.
If your choice is Mellieha, it means you are mainly going to Malta for its beaches and relaxation. Mellieha is well known for its bay that boasts the largest sandy beach of the Island (Ghadira beach) and for other beaches as Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay. However, its popularity is not a very busy place due to the low range options of the accommodations. There are few restaurants and cafes around there, and it is not a place for nightlife. Mellieha is built on top of a hill, so you need a mean of transport to reach the beaches. Some hotels offer a free shuttle bus, but you should consider renting a car. Using the local buses, it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Valletta.
8. Marsaxlokk & Marsaskala
Usually, the south of the island is famous for its picturesque and authentic fishing villages. Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala are quiet towns to relax and walk next to the sea, far from the crowd. A bustling fish market takes place every Sunday along the promenade of Marsaxlokk. Anyway, it’s not the first choice to book accommodations. The frequency of the buses is not very high and going around using local transports is not that easy.
Where to stay in the other islands of Malta
Gozo is the second-largest island of Malta (the third is Comino) and the right choice if you want to spend some days relaxing surrounded by nature and slow down from the hectic way of life. Victoria-Rabat, the main town of Gozo and the best place to stay if you want to visit the island’s attractions, boasts a beautiful Citadel further up on a steep hill encircled with high fortified walls. During the summer season, if you prefer relaxing, the best places are Xlendi and Marsalforn Bay. Here you can enjoy the sea, evening walks, and find many restaurants and bars. All the boat trips to/from Gozo start from Mgarr Harbour, regularly connected to the main island by a ferry (30 minutes ride). Anyway, most of the tourists visit Gozo booking a day trip from Malta.
Comino is the smallest island of the archipelago, well known for the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful area with transparent sea, cyan water and a white sandy base. It owes its name to the cumin herb, one of the few herbs that grow on this uninhabitable island. Usually, visitors come to the island by taking the ferry from Cirkewwa or daily boat tours from St. Julian’s, Sliema or Bugibba. Anyway, if you decide to immerse yourself in nature far from the crowd, the only accommodation on the island is the Hotel Comino.