Connected to but distinct from Sliema, St. Julian’s is a playground for locals and visitors alike. The town is located along the coast to the north of Malta’s capital city, Valletta. Nowadays, St. Julian’s is mostly known for being a hub for all things fun-related, a centre for a touch of eating, drinking, strolling and dancing. However, the town originally started off as a small fishing port spanning the two bays of Balluta and Spinola. Surrounded by greenery and the Maltese countryside, it was a peaceful hamlet growing up and around the Spinola Palace, a piece of Latin architecture and copious gardens built by Grandmaster Spinola in 1688 and overlooking Spinola bay.
St. Julian’s is known for many things but unfortunately beaches are not one of them. That said, Balluta Bay in St. Julian’s is a worthy alternative to the beaches further afield. The shoreline along Balluta Bay is rocky and therefore not to everyone’s taste, but the closer to Sliema one gets the flatter and more suitable for sunbathing the coast becomes. However, the water itself in Balluta Bay and all along the St. Julian’s and Sliema coast is what the Maltese waters are all about: clear blue sea and excellent opportunities for snorkelling. Therefore, for visitors staying in St. Julian’s during their time in Malta, the St. Julian’s and Sliema coast allow for a refreshing dip into the Mediterranean without having to travel to the more popular beaches in Malta.
Perhaps the real magnet for both locals and visitors to Malta is the nightlife that St. Julian’s has on offer. The area around Spinola Bay is the town’s gastronomic heart, with numerous restaurants offering both local and international cuisine. Overlooking a stretch of coast that still accommodates traditional fishing boats in boathouses just below the restaurants, open-air dining in Spinola allows one to take in balmy summer evenings with a tasty treat and a glass of chilled wine to boot. The restaurants and lounges overlooking Spinola Bay are also a fantastic viewpoint from which to take in the display of fireworks and other goings-on around the time of the feast of the parish of St. Julian’s at the end of August.
Pubs and wine bars are scattered across St. Julian’s, particularly along the coast. Those with a thirst for late night partying and Maltese clubbing should head to Paceville, a district to the west of St. Julian’s behind the Spinola Palace. Starting off life as a small collection of seaside residences in the 1920s, Paceville was an area of mostly farmland until after the Second World War but slowly grew into the tourist centre it is today after the development of large resort hotels in the area in the 1960s. Paceville is now a hub of vices for the young and the young at heart. Several bars, clubs, an upmarket casino and late night fast food eateries are all packed into the few streets that form this reinvented neighbourhood.
St. Julian’s is full of places to stay, from smaller boutique hotels in Spinola Bay to larger resort hotels along the St. Julian’s coast and on the Paceville periphery. The residential development and marina of Portomaso includes a five-star hotel, luxury apartments, a beach club and a small selection of fine dining and shopping establishments.
Find out more about the Hotels in St Julians, Malta:
St Georges Park Hotel, Cavalieri Hotel, Le Meridien Hotel & Spa, The Westin Dragonara Resort Hotel, Hilton Malta