Sliema, the ideal place to stay in Malta

Sliema, the ideal place to stay in Malta

Some say that there are so many things to do in Malta that it would take you a whole year and still not be able to cross them all off of your ‘must do’ list. That being said, a two week vacation seems like a dismal time for you to fully enjoy the many attractions of the island.
That is why you must choose wisely your accommodation and treat it like a general headquarters for your daily trips. “Location, location, location” is what Lord Harold Samuel, a real estate tycoon, once said. In terms of a Malta holiday Iwould safely choose “Sliema, Sliema, Sliema.”

Sliema Waterfront

Sliema Waterfront

Where is Sliema?

This small town, which would easily fit as a neighborhood in most of the continent’s big cities, has a strategic place north of Valletta, just 20 minutes away, by bus. It is bordered by St. Julian in the north and Gzira in the south.

Sliema is located by the seaside and serves as transfer knot of transfer for the transport service. Basically, almost all major routes pass through this small town. For the same price of 1.5 euro that you would pay a bus to take you to Valletta, you could take the ferry and shorten your journey to just seven minutes while also enjoying the marvelous view between the two promontories. You can reach it from the airport by taking the X2 bus, located just outside the arrivals terminal.

Sliema location

Sliema location

Why Sliema?

It would take forever to comprise a list of all the reasons why this would be the best place to stay in Malta. I will give you the major arguments and leave you to discover others through your own experience. Besides the comfort of easy transportation you will find that this place combines the peaceful afternoon siesta with the noisy partying scene of the warm Maltese nights. All along the seaside you will find a waterfront promenade, excellent for long walks or just for admiring the seeming endless horizon.
These seafront leads up to the next town of St. Julian, which is bordered by Sliema through a simple demarcation sign. This area is filled with shopping centers and restaurants, making it a rather noisy environment and a place where heavy spending comes easily.

Just outside St. Julian, only 20 minutes of serene walk from Sliema, you will find the most notorious scene of night-long parties in all of Malta, the infamous Paceville. A heavily congested region of clubs, bars and restaurants make for a continuous buzz, every day and every night. It is a great place to lose yourself every evening through the easy going crowds and loud music, but when your body calls for its much needed rest, you will need a calm and quiet place like Sliema. At night, should you decide to ditch the 20 minutes’ walk, you can grab a night bus for three euros, or a taxi for double that price.

I came here for lying in the sun; can I do that in Sliema?

More than anything, sunbathing is easily accessible in Sliema. The rocky beaches just under the waterfront will prove to be the perfect, natural tanning beds for you. Swimming facilities are laid all along these honey-like strip, and you can even observe the local fishermen trying their luck on the nearby piers.
At night, you can grab your friends and a good pack of beverages of your own choice and head to the seaside. Here, the daily tanning beds serve for meetings between groups of young people who socialize over a small bonfire and the sound of stringing guitars.

Sliema's rocky beach

Sliema’s rocky beach

Where to stay in Sliema?

If you want to enter the special atmosphere of this location, there is no better place to stay than Hostel Jones. Situated just two minutes from the waterfront, this welcoming place will present you with the perfect opportunity to meet new people and experience a laid-back stay inside its original and beautiful painted walls.
Where to eat in Sliema?

The waterfront offers a wide array of restaurants and bars which cook traditional Maltese food, as well as British and Mediterranean dishes. Nothing is more enjoyable than to take your lunch or dinner by the seaside, on the high seafront, while the sea gently brushes the shore beneath you.
Should you want to cook your own meals and save some money in the process, you can easily do your groceries at one of the cheap supermarkets that are situated in walking distance from Hostel Jones. Also, you will find trucks that sell fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh fish on a daily basis on the narrow streets of Sliema, or just outside the hostel.

What to do in Sliema?
After the morning tan is over and a healthy lunch has completed the first part of your day, you can take a stroll through the streets of Sliema. Away from the scorching sun, you will find that the cold stone walls will provide a cooling shadow for your mellow steps. The Maltese architecture will embrace your view through traditional houses and the occasional Church, while the random locals will greet you on your way. The noise and traffic will seem to be a thousand miles away in this adumbral labyrinth.

When the evening settles in, and you feel that dinner can still be postponed, you can join the locals that use the waterfront as a jogging boulevard. Hundreds of runners gear up and take a run from Sliema to Gzira or St. Julian, right by the sea. A 20 minute run will give you the runner’s high and leave you energized for the rest of the night.

Sliema Harbor

Sliema Harbor

Sliema is also the location for a Street Art Festival which takes place every summer and attracts influential performers from all over the world. You will find many of their trademark works on the streets of Sliema, and displayed at the Hostel Jones as well.

During your stay, Sliema invites you to reach the other interesting places on the island through its many bus routes, or spend your time with fine dining and souvenir shopping at the many locations on the waterfront. A popular place with many active tourists, Sliema will feel like home even if you stay there for just a week, and it will leave you with the desire of coming back for more.

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