Best Places to Stay in Malta & When to Visit Malta (2022)

Where to Stay in Malta and When to Go

Deciding when to visit and where to stay in Malta will all depend on the weather and what you are looking for. Are you are travelling as a family, as a couple looking for a romantic getaway? Or maybe like me you are a solo traveller. Are you looking for the best beaches in Malta or maybe the nightlife is more important for you?

So before you go ahead and book your Malta hotel take a few minutes to check out this "where to stay in Malta" video to see which area of Malta is going to be the best place to stay for you.

How to get to Malta

Getting to Malta is fairly easy with many places all over Europe offering quite good budget flights into the international airport which is based just south of the capital Valletta.

Fortunately Malta is not very big so you can stay in one place and visit all the main attractions in day trips. Here are some of the main attractions and areas of Malta, and things to do and see in each area to help you decide on the best place to stay in Malta for you.

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Valletta - Capital City of Malta

Malta's capital Valletta is one of Europe's smallest capitals and walking around the street is like taking a historic stroll through an open-air museum. The whole city of Valletta is a UNESCO heritage site.

There is a lot to see and do in this tiny capital which means the streets can get busy during the day but they get very quiet at night.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Valletta, all with lovely unique views.

Accommodation in Valletta is a little more expensive than other areas of Malta, it is the capital after all, with mostly mid to high-end choices of hotels and apartments.

How to get to Valletta

Valletta is a 20 minute taxi ride from Malta airport. Expect to pay in the region of €18.
A cheaper alternative would be to take the X4 bus which leaves right outside the
airport terminal, estimated cost €2.

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Valletta at a Glance

Stroll along narrow streets and admire the beautiful architecture, sit at one of the many street cafés absorbing the atmosphere.

Beaches near Valletta: There are no sandy beaches in Valletta
Valletta is suitable for: History lovers
Places to stay in Valletta: Mid to high end with very few budget options
Places to eat in Valleta: There are lots of street cafes and restaurants
Airport Bus to Valletta: X4

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Sliema

Starting life as a small Malta fishing village Sliema is now a bustling town with a distinctive feel. Old buildings blend with new apartment buildings and office complexes.

Sliema is a good choice for singles couples or groups that want to be close to all the action with pubs bars restaurants clubs and cafes lining the promenade that stretches to St Julian's where the best night life in Malta is to be found.

How to get to Sliema

From the airport Sliema is a 20 minute taxi ride (€18) or you can take the X2 bus (€2) which leaves right outside Malta’s airport terminal.

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Sliema at a Glance

A popular place all year round Sliema is centrally located making it a good base to explore Malta. Roads are congested and parking is difficult so Sliema is not a good place if you are renting a car.

Beaches at Sliema: Only rocky beaches in Sliema but a long promenade to stroll along the waterfront
Sliema is suitable for: People wanting to stay in a quiet central area but close to the nightlife
Places to stay in Sliema: More mid to high end hotels3 & 4 star hotels, B&Bs and apartments
Places to eat in Sliema: Nice variety of eateries with some budget options as well as waterfront restaurants
Airport Bus to Sliema: X2

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Saint Julian's

Just up the coast from Sliema is St Julian's. St Julian’s is best known for its nightlife and clubbing area Paceville which offers a great variety of nightclubs and bars. The best nightlife in Malta.

St Julian's is also a good area for restaurants and entertainment with a cinema area, bowling arena and a big shopping complex.

Saint Julian's is most suited for a younger crowd looking for entertainment, good food and nightlife.

How to get to St Julian’s

Just like getting to Sliema, you can take the X2 bus to St Julian’s for €2. The bus leaves right outside the airport terminal.

If you choose to take a taxi to St Julians it will take about 20 minutes and cost around €18.

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St Julians at a Glance

Built up around a fishing village St Julian's is now a tourist town and a fun place to stay in Malta perfect for those wanting to experience the nightlife capital of the island - Paceville.

Beaches near St Julian’s: There is an artificial beach at St George’s Bay but it can get crowded.
St Julian’s is suitable for: Younger crowds who want to explore the party scene at Paceville
Places to stay in St Julian’s: From luxury 5 star to affordable 3 & 4 star hotels as well as B&Bs and apartments
Places to eat in St Julian’s: Good choice of restaurants and a lots of great little bars and cafes
Airport Bus to St Julian’s: X2

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Qawra, Bugibba and St Paul’s Bay

These three villages, Qawra, Buibba and St Paul’s Bay along the northern coast of Malta are some of the most popular tourist areas in the summer season with lots of lovely beaches close by.

A mixture of accommodation can be found in this popular area of Malta, from budget to four star, and good public transport links it to the rest of the main Malta island.

How to get there

From the airport in Valletta it is a 35 min/€40 taxi ride to this area of Malta. You can also take the X3 bus which costs €5 and takes 80 minutes.
Qawra, Bugibba and St Pauls Bay at a Glance

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Qawra, Bugibba and St Paul’s Bay at a Glance

A favourite among ex-pats and locals these villages have a party like atmosphere and good bus links to beaches and historic places across Malta

Beaches: The north of Malta is where the best beaches are with lots of options close by
Suitable for: People who want a more laid back pace with plenty of places to drink, sunbathe and chill.
Places to stay: Good for budget conscious travellers with backpackers, budget hotels, apartments and a few 4 star hotels.
Places to eat: A nice selection of different places to enjoy from street cafes to seaview restaurants.
Airport Bus: X3

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Mellieha

On the north of Malta is the picturesque village of Mellieha which overlooks Malta's largest sandy beach. Mellieha has a pleasant village character and everything you need for a lazy peaceful holiday in Malta.

Mellieha is situated on a hill which offers beautiful views over the surrounding area, but does also mean you should be prepared for some steep uphill walks.

The location of Mellieha is close to some of the best beaches in Malta, and is also good for exploring Gozo and Comino (read more about Gozo island below).

Renting a car to explore other areas of Malta is recommended since Mellieha is a little out of the way.

How to get to Mellieha

From Valletta it is a 35 min/€40 taxi ride to Mellieha. You can also take the X1 bus from the airport which takes 90 minutes and costs €5.

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Mellieha at a Glance

Mellieha is the best place to base yourself if you are after a beach holiday in Malta. Less developed than other tourist spots Mellieha still has a local vibe.

Beaches at Mellieha: The best beach area of Malta with several sandy beaches to relax on
Mellieha is suitable for: Families, couples and anyone wanting a beach holiday, not ideal for those with limited mobility
Places to stay in Mellieha: 3 & 4 star hotels, resorts and apartments with few budget options.
Places to eat in Mellieha: A good selection of restaurants and a few pubs and bars. Mellieha is not a party place.
Airport Bus to Mellieha: X1

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Gozo Island

Sometimes referred to as “what Malta used to be like”, Gozo is the second last largest island of Malta but it only has a small population making it a much quieter place to stay than on the Malta big island.

With a more relaxed pace and a more rural way of life Gozo is perfect for anyone wanting to forget the stress and commotion of life and enjoy the history and landscapes of Malta.

Victoria is the only city on Gozo island and it is well known for its medieval Citadel and fortified walls.

Accommodation in Gozo is scattered around the island and you can find affordable hotels and apartments through to luxury five-star boutique hotels and self-catering villas.The selection of hotels and places to eat, especially outside of Victoria, is quite limited, so renting a self-catering apartment or villa is a good idea.

Public transport is not so good, so renting a vehicle is also a good idea if you opt to stay in Gozo.

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How to get to Gozo Island

Getting to Gozo using public transport can be a bit tricky. There is a bus from Malta airport to the the ferry terminal where you can board a ferry as a passenger.

You can get a taxi to Gozo from the airport in Valletta but it will be cost €120 or more plus the cost of the ferry itself.

The best way to reach Gozo is to rent a car and drive.

Gozo Island at a Glance

Gozo island has only one city (Victoria) and a handful of villages. Transport around Gozo is not great so car rental will allow some freedom to explore the remote beaches and old fortifications.

Beaches of Gozo: Quiet untouched beaches, go explore find your own space.
Gozo is suitable for: Those looking for a quiet holiday away from the crowds. To relax and enjoy island life.
Places to stay in Gozo: Varied if limited choice of hotels from 5 star luxury to some affordable hotels. The best option is self catering rentals.
Places to eat in Gozo: Victoria has a selection of places otherwise places to to eat are quite limited. Self catering is the way to go.
Airport Bus to Gozo: There is no public bus to Gozo.

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