If some cities of the Maltese archipelago are better known like Valletta, Sliema or St Julians, other cities are also worth knowing. In this article we take a tour of the biggest cities in Malta and what you can do there.
Valletta is the capital of Malta, touristy and it contains many monuments and historical sites that are a must to visit. This city is also of human size and authentic contrary to what we are used to see in a capital. Valletta is very lively during the day with tourists and at night with its many restaurants and bars. Moreover, walking around in the evening is a real pleasure, there is a good atmosphere.
The city has excellent public transport links. There is a bus station, various ferries to Sliema, the 3 cities and even directly to Gozo.
Find here our dedicated article on Valletta.
It is a lively city between Valletta and St Julian’s where the nightlife is the most important. Sliema offers a long beach of flat stones where it is still good to settle. Perfect for walking around, seeing the architecture and discovering the many restaurants, bars and cafes. Gzira, located south of Sliema, is a favorite spot for expatriates for good reason.
Sliema is also very well served by bus, many excursions leave from Sliema. There is a ferry to Valletta, the capital.
Find here our dedicated article on Sliema.
St Julians (San Ġiljan in Maltese) is a popular spot for young people, many of whom study English here. Paceville is a district of St Julian’s known as the place to party in Malta. There are many bars, clubs, discos and nightclubs for special parties. The city has the small beach of St George’s Bay which is quickly full in summer, but always pleasant. There is also one of the beautiful bays of Malta called Spinola bay, a little before Sliema.
St Julian’s is close to Sliema so it is also well served by bus. If you want to relax and party, Sliema is the place for you.
Find here our dedicated article on Paceville, in St Julian’s.
Perfect for families and people who want to relax on the beaches of Malta. In Mellieha is Ghadira Bay, a large sandy beach accessible. There is more space, so you can find villas for rent and large hotels, do not expect to see a city.
As far as transportation is concerned, you will have easy access to buses, but the easiest way is tohave a car or at least a scooter to get to the points of interest.
Bugibba and Qawra
Saint Paul’s Bay, is also called San Pawl il-Baħar in Maltese and Baie de Saint Paul in French. This bay contains the cities of Bugibba and Qawra. It is a good place to mix relaxation by the sea, walks and outings. Indeed, there are many bars, restaurants and beautiful walks to do on the extensive esplanades. There is the National Aquarium of Malta, there are few sandy beaches, but you can go to the famous Café del mar to relax by the infinity pool.
To get around, there are buses at the Bugibba terminal. It also takes 30 minutes to get to Valletta or one hour by bus.
Marsaxlokk (pronounced “Marsachlok”!) is an authentic small coastal town in the southwest ofMalta. One of the only seaside resorts to be preserved from modern buildings, its picturesque waterfront and its lovely fishing port are a must during your stay in the Maltese archipelago.
Its 3800 inhabitants take pride in having the largest number of active fishing boats and the largest weekly market in the entire Maltese archipelago!
Find here our dedicated article on Marsaxlokk.
When the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem arrived in 1530, they decided that Birgu would be the capital of Malta, judging Mdina to be too far inland. Built in the Grand Harbour around Fort St. Angelo, Birgu became the maritime base of Malta. It played a vital role during the Great Siege of 1565, hence the name “Città vittoriosa”. Lose yourself in the calm of its narrow streets or along the ramparts and the marina, you will discover an exceptional heritage…
What to visit in Birgu :
– The Inquisitor’s Palace,
– The museum of the navy,
– The Inns of France and England.
Tip: Go along the building “san Angelo mansions” to access the bay of Kalkara
We all cross Floriana to go to Valletta and despite everything few visitors linger there. And yet… Its large esplanade “the Granaries “with circular stones (grain silo lids from the XVIIᵉ) offers a beautiful perspective on St Publius Church. Its promenade (The Mall), from the Tritons fountain to the entrance of the gardens, invites you to relax. Its grid of streets with pretty balconies immerses you in an authentic neighborhood life… To the north as well as to the south, Floriana offers you beautiful views of Grand Harbour and Marsamxett (Valletta’s ports).
What to visit in Floriana :
– The Argotti and St. Philip gardens,
– the Msida Bastion Garden,
– The Arcades.
Tip: Admire the Grand Harbour from the King George V Park
Naxxar is a nice town in Malta! Sit on one of the shady terraces around the main church or walk through its little-known streets, Naxxar is a beautiful and little-known stopover in Malta. The “Palazzo Parisio” offers you its beautiful gardens, the church of St. John the Baptist with its octagonal base a lot of originality.
What to visit in Naxxar :
– The Chapel of San Pwal,
– The Church of the Nativity and its museum (statues from the 18ᵉ).
When visiting Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, make time for the nearby city of Rabat. With its elegant mansions and peaceful streets, it is a high place of Roman and Arab history of Malta: many monuments to visit. From the top of its hill, a beautiful view towards the South.
Not to be confused with Rabat, otherwise known as Victoria, on Gozo.
What to visit in Rabat :
– The catacombs,
– The Domus Romana,
– The collegiate church and the grotto of St. Paul.
Tip: Visit the Gallery of Modern Art “Cremona
Residential city between Gzira and Msida, Ta’Xbiex is the city of embassies. In our opinion, this is the best place to admire the splendors of Valletta and Manoel Island. Its promenade along the large marina offers a view of luxury yachts and beautiful old buildings. Restful city, a step to enjoy.
What to visit in Ta’Xbiex:
– The Embassy district,
– The waterfront in the evening, for the view on the capital of Malta.
Tip: Have a drink on the beautiful terrace of the Royal Yacht Club of Malta.