photo by Louis Jansen


Sliema and St Julian's are Malta's most modern and most built up areas and where most tourists stay. It is where one will find the most hotels, rental apartments, restaurants, bars, shops and clubs.

Sliema and St Julian's form a near continuous town spread over two adjacent peninsulas with St Julian's to the north (about 20 minutes walk) and Valetta and a third peninsula to the south (about 20 minutes drive).

Malta is a very Catholic country and its people are some of the friendliest and most embracing of tourists in Europe. It is important to note though that certain behavior is strongly frowned upon (such as excessive drunken raucous behavior) and other behavior is illegal (such as topless sunbathing) despite this town being a common tourist area.

Street names in Malta are written first in Maltese then in English, it becomes helpful to learn both since some people only use one or the other when giving directions and some maps only give the Maltese (on the assumption that the reader will be able to translate).

Getting there

By car

The area is well signposted from Valetta and the international airport and is about 20 minutes drive from Valletta and 1 hour from the airport.

By bus

Buses for Sliema leave the Valletta terminus regularly. Be warned that the Valletta - Sliema/St.Julians routes can get quite crowded in the summer months. Any number beginning with '6' will take you to or from Sliema and St Julian's.

The bus routes are very much concentric to Valletta, such that if you wish to travel from Sliema to another part of the Island (in any direction) it will likely be necessary first to travel into Valetta then back out again. This is being reviewed with a view to modernization along with other aspects of public transport.

Please note that in Malta bus drivers own their buses and as such the service is run like a cab rank, leading to some excellent service and some less than ideal. The buses tend to be uniformly ancient.

By boat

A ferry regularly (each half hour between 8am and 6pm and later on special occasions such as Notto Bianco) crosses the harbour between Sliema and Valletta. A one-way ticket for the five-minute journey costs €0.93.

Traveling around

Things to do

The town is a mostly residential area and as such tourists would tend to travel outside of Sliema during holiday.

However, there are a number of excellent restaurants in and around Howard Street and a tiny supermarket just off Stella Maris Street.

The sea front is well developed and offers shaded seating areas often with free wireless internet, an array of cafes, bars and restaurants and some stone beaches with safe and clean swimming areas.

Sliema is one of the largest and most modern shopping centres in Malta : see 'Buy' below.



  • Offshore. A small coffee shop on the Strand with the best cakes and coffee in Sliema.


  • Ta' Kris. Tucked away in a little alley off Bisazza Street, the main shopping thoroughfare, this is one of the best places on the island for Maltese cuisine.


Baracuda in Baluta Bay has some of best food around. Fish is what they do best, fresh out of the sea.



  • Hibernia House Gateway Hostel, Depiro Street, tel. +356-21-333859, . Cheap and friendly HI-affiliated hostel, just don't expect too many frills. Dorm rooms have basic cooking facilities. Good location a few blocks from the beach.


This is Malta's largest and most modern shopping district. You'll find several streets packed full of shops, including international favorites like Zara, Top Shop and Mango, as well as a variety of many designer labels. Malta's prices aren't anything to be excited about, but if you're looking for something trendy, possibly from a store that's more uncommon in the States, this is where you'll find it. There is also a small Mark's and Spenser's for the British, but this one does not have a deli section.


Being the busiest tourist area petty crime associated with it is most rife here. That said there is still relatively little crime compared to many other mediterannean tourist destinations.


Several of Malta's English language schools are located here.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Louis Jansen, Erik Söderström, Meg Zimbeck, olivia capel

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Burmesedays, Vlad Beu, David and Jani Patokallio, Morph and PeterW

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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