Sunny waterfront vistas of Mggar in Gozo, Malta

Best Places to Stay in Malta (Areas for Couples, Families & Nightlife)

12 Jun 2019 By Danielle Gunner
Sunny waterfront vistas of Mggar in Gozo, Malta

What’s not to love about this cultural archipelago? Iconic scuba diving spots, relics dating back to the 16th century and sun-soaked beaches with blue lagoon waters. There’s no such thing as a bad area to stay in Malta, regardless you’re surrounded by ancient tombs, vivid nightlife and sought-after attractions.

Whether you’re on a budget, seek family-friendly fun or want to be amidst all the action – there’s a resort for you. We’ve even thrown in hotspots that are perfect for romantic retreats and seclusion! What are you waiting for? Check out the best places to stay in Malta.  

Mellieha

Sweeping view of Popeye Village from the bridge in Mellieha Malta

Situated on the top of a hill and one of the most northern villages in Malta, this idyllic resort is home to the island’s longest beach. Its stand-out location places you just moments from Ċirkewwa, a famous ferry terminal which provides easy access to the islands of Gozo and Comino. This dramatic coastal delight is ideal for lazy days on the sand, with its remote location favoured by couples and families alike.

Find the sleepy enchanted town of Mellieha bursting with old-world churches featuring historical remains, cosy restaurants with sea views and quaint boutiques selling hidden souvenirs. Although traditional, don’t be fooled by its quiet demeanour, it’s a popular tourist destination meaning you can revel in things to do.

There’s 800 metres of toe-sinking sands backed by clear Mediterranean Sea for snorkelers. Not forgetting you’re only 30 minutes from major draws including the city of Mdina, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Ta’Hagrat Temples.  

Best for: Couples – This quiet resort oozes romance with its authentic eateries, cosy cocktail spots and everlasting landmarks. Its hotels come in all shapes and sizes, from adult only escapes to apartments overlooking the ocean, this off-the-beaten-track spot won’t disappoint.

Area highlights:

  • Golden Bay
  • St Agatha’s Tower
  • Ghadira
  • Mellieha Square
  • Popeye’s Film Set
  • WWII Shelter
  • Selmun Palace

Top tip: Purchase an ExplorePlus card for roughly €30 which provides you with seven days of unlimited travel on public transport around Malta and includes two ferry trips.

Valletta

One of the medieval colourful streets in Valletta Malta's Capital

Named after the famous French Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Jean Parisot de Valette and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, expect an endless stream of culture and timeless ruins with a stay in Malta’s capital.

City break seekers will be in awe of this once European Capital of Culture, its list of highlights are infinite. Still retaining its 16th century elegance, Valletta is often described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’.

There’s no shortage of open-air museums to wander  – after all, the city lives and breathes Baroque architecture. Not only admired for its art and archaeological remains, but its series of ethnic events including concerts by leading opera singers.

Best for: Sightseeing – Every street corner in Valletta tells a story dating back to 1566, this walled city was built by the Knights of St John and as it sits high above a peninsula there’s no shortage of jaw-dropping vistas either. Hotels nearby offer unparalleled views of the capital, ideal for avid explorers.

Area highlights:

  • St John’s Co-Cathedral
  • Upper Barrakka Gardens
  • National Museum of Archaeology
  • Casa Rocca Piccola
  • Grand Harbour
  • Parliament Building
  • Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
  • Fort St Elmo

Did you know? Despite its small size, there are 25 churches in Valletta alone.

Where to stay

  • Grand Hotel Excelsior: Ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this establishment not only provides an all-access pass to Valletta’s biggest wonders but an unforgettable dining experience, a good night’s rest and an ocean bar. Its fancy 5 star rating offers a luxurious ambience, perfect for a romantic city break.  
  • 66 Saint Paul’s: Stay in a slice of Maltese history at this archaeological delight, this hotel is a modernised 17th century palazzo combining crumbling walls and first-class facilities. Rooms come equipped with a walk-in shower, a Nespresso coffee machine and a private sun terrace gazing out onto the city.
  • Hotel Phoenicia:  Another 5 star beauty, this glamorous hotel is steeped in culture and full of mod-cons. It’s only a stone’s throw away from must-visit marvels and it’s one of the island’s most sought-after wedding locations due to its awe-inspiring vistas, three a la carte restaurants and infinity edge pool.

Bugibba

The coastal road of Bugibba resort on a sunny day in Malta

Nestled within the zone of St Paul’s Bay, this in-demand resort is a playground for holidaymakers. Its five kilometres of pebbled coastline is crammed with stylish hotels and after its recent refurbishment, a waterpark now takes centre stage on the sand.

There’s a fancy Blue Flag number with watersports and shallow waters for families, while the town centre houses a brand new cinema, fast food restaurants and traditional eateries.

The small harbour full of rustic fishing boats provides an authentic experience and you’re only a 20-minute bus ride from Valletta. It’s also one of the largest resorts with a thriving nightlife and plenty of activities. Not to mention it’s great value for money too, with everything from All Inclusive establishments to pubs with dedicated happy hours and cheap eats by the sea.

Best for: Families – With its extensive range of All Inclusive and child-friendly hotels, as well as its first-class sand spots with adrenaline filled watersports and tasty eateries it comes as no surprise that it’s a crowd pleaser among all generations. You’re just a short journey from Malta’s biggest attractions, but away from the hustle and bustle, offering the best of both worlds.

Area highlights:

  • Malta Chocolate Factory
  • Gozo & Comino Cave Tours
  • Bugibba Waterpark
  • Qawra Point Beach
  • Bugibba Temple

Top tip: Always take spare clothes i.e a jacket or long trousers when exploring the churches, as some may require you to cover your shoulders and knees before entering.

Sliema

Views of the church in Sliema and the surrounding waters with floating fisherman boats in Malta

Once a tiny fishing village, now a bustling town full of character, its waterfront is Sliema’s biggest highlight with quirky wooden boats decorating the coast and the 18th century Fort of Tigne dominating the backdrop.

This culture-rich spot is famed for its designer stores, fine dining restaurants and rooftop cafes. Holidaymakers can expect a laid-back ambience, in fact it’s perfect for guests seeking a quieter resort.

Nevertheless, Valletta’s thriving core is only 20 minutes from this resort allowing you to combine tranquility with cityscapes. Be that as it may, Sliema has its own set of lures including a seaside promenade walk which stretches all the way to St Julian’s, past Art Deco townhouses and 17th century coastal towers.

You can also be your own captain for the day by renting a boat, sail around the island and discover coves filled with tropical sea life.

Best for: Peaceful retreats or solo travellers – If you’re travelling alone, then this must-visit resort is the ideal base. You’re only a short journey from Malta’s biggest landmarks and placed in one of the most authentic areas. Its serene ambience allows you to escape the capital’s crowds and opt for a traditional Maltese experience.

Area highlights:

  • Christine X Art Gallery
  • Tigne Point
  • Salesian Theatre
  • Roman Baths
  • Stella Maris Church

Top tip: Peak of summer is not only scorching, but very crowded. To see the island in all its glory, visit between October and May for long hours strolling old town cobbles.

Where to stay

  • Hotel The Palace: Placed in the beating heart of Sliema, nestled between the Mediterranean and a fashion focused promenade find this elegant hotel with its one-of-a-kind facilities. Rooms are contemporary with chic interiors and there’s even a cosy Asian eatery onsite for gourmet treats.
  • Hotel Victoria: If you’re seeking a 5 star experience, you’ve come to the right place. This establishment provides state-of-the-art accommodation mixed with Victorian decor and high-class customer service. You’re less than two kilometres from the seafront and Sliema’s never-ending attractions.
  • Hotel 1926: A top choice for unparalleled city views, this new hotel ticks all the boxes. There’s a spa boasting an aquatonic pool, a fine dining restaurant with Champagne on tap and down by the water edge find a beach club hosting all the entertainment.

St Julian’s

Spinola Bay waterfront views in St Julian's resort Malta

If you’re seeking an all-singing, all-dancing resort, look no further. Overflowing with nightclubs, casinos and top-notch eateries, it doesn’t get more action-packed than a holiday to St Julian’s. Of course, it still has its fair share of Baroque mansions, such as Spinola Palace and Gothic architecture at Balluta Bay.

Add a touch of luxury to your stay with an evening at the marina, where lavish yachts sail the surrounding waters and fine dining restaurants call your name.

Backed my golden sands and shimmering waters, the beaches here are a snorkeler’s oasis. And don’t forget to delve deep into Malta’s 7,000-year-old heritage with an ancient Mdina on your doorstep.

Located on the island’s north coast, you can still witness the town’s old-world charm with a quaint fishing harbour decorated with picturesque wooden canoes and timeless shops enticing you in with handmade goods.

Best for: Nightlife – This an extremely popular choice with revellers, take a stroll down Paceville where you’ll stumble across neon-lit bars, music-pumping clubs and jackpot-filled gambling houses. Couples will also be enticed by its beachfront cocktail hideaways and its extensive list of things to do.

Area highlights:

  • St George’s Bay
  • Spinola Bay
  • Balluta Square
  • Bay Street Shopping Centre
  • Portomaso Business Tower

Did you know? Malta International Airport is only 20 minutes away from St Julian’s resort. 

Now you know the best places to stay in Malta, why don’t you check out the island’s must-visit attractions for a memorable escape?

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