where to stay in malta
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Where to Stay in Malta: Best Hotels, Resorts, and More 2023

So, you’re heading to Malta and wondering where to rest your head? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered like a warm blanket on a chilly night. Let’s dive into a quick guide on the top places to stay in Malta.

First off, we’ve got the big three: Sliema/St. Julians/Gzira, Bugibba/St. Pauls Bay/Qawra, and Valletta/Floriana. If you’re looking for some lively nightlife, Sliema is your go-to. But if you’re more of a beach bum, Mellieha and St. Pauls Bay are popular tourist resorts with plenty of activities to keep you busy. And of course, Valletta is the capital city, so it’s perfect for those who want to be in the center of it all.

No matter where you decide to stay, rest assured that all areas in Malta are safe for tourists. So go ahead and take a chance on a lesser-known neighborhood – who knows, it might just be your new favorite spot on the island!

Scroll on to read my top recommendations on staying in Malta: best hotels, resorts, and more.

Malta Tourist Information

Weather: The weather is hot most of the year in Malta, though it does get a little cooler in the winter months. In peak summer months, it can regularly hit 35 degrees celsius in the day, and around 25C at night.

What to pack: A couple of pairs of shorts, a couple of tees, a vest, flip flops, trainers, coconut oil (or sunblock), sunglasses, one week of underwear, a towel.

For a complete guide on everything you need to pack for Malta, here’s my Ultimate Malta Packing List

Where to Stay in Malta: Best Hotels, Resorts, and More 2023 1

Airport: Malta International Airport Luqa (MLA) is the airprot that serves the Maltese islands. Airport taxis charge a flat rate of €20 for a single fare, however they may charge extra for waiting. It’s highly recommended to book in advance here

Car rental: You can hire a car from any of the major tourist spots like Sliema, Qawra, Bugibba and St. Paul’s Bay, as well as from the airport. People drive on the left hand side in Malta (just like in the UK).

Good to know:
As soon as you land in the airport, get yourself a 7-Day Tallinja Explore Card. It costs €21 and gives you unlimited travel on the buses all over Malta (including night services).

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    Top Places to Stay in Malta: Best Hotels, Resorts, and More 2023

    Quick Guide: Where to Stay in Malta

    Here’s a quick guide to help you decide on the best area to stay based on your interests:

    • If you’re a first-timer to Malta, Sliema is the best area for you to stay in. It’s a great location for beach walks and offers easy access to some of Malta’s best beaches and coastline.
    • On a budget? Bugibba is your best bet, as it’s one of the most popular tourist resorts and has plenty of affordable accommodation options.
    • Looking for the best area for nightlife? Sliema or St. Julians are your top choices, as they offer plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained.
    • If you’re a history buff, Valletta or Birgu are the best areas to stay in, as they offer plenty of historical sites to explore.
    • For families, Gozo is the best neighborhood, as it offers plenty of family-friendly activities and attractions.

    📍Best Budget Spot in Malta: Porto Azzurro Aparthotel (Bugibba) $

    📍Best Mid-Range Spot in Malta: Hyatt Regency Malta (5-star hotel, St. Julians) $$

    📍Best Luxury Spot in Malta The Phoenicia (5-star hotel, Valletta) $$$

    Mdina/Rabat – Where to Stay in Malta for Couples

    If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway in Malta, then Mdina/Rabat is the place for you. Offering historical baroque-style experiences, these beautiful towns will transport you back in time and have you feeling like a fairytale couple in no time.

    And, if you want to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning coffee with your significant other, head to Howard Gardens, located just outside of Mdina. The peaceful and quiet atmosphere is perfect for some quality alone time together.

    📍$ Budget Option:

    D’Ambrogio Guest House

    Book your stay here

    Type: Standard double room & private bathroom
    Rating: 8.5 Very good

    dambrogio guesthouse
    Photo © D’Ambrogio

    📍$$ Mid Range Option:

    Casa Azzopardi Guest House

    Book your stay here

    Type: Suite with a view & hot tub
    Rating: 9.4 Superb

    casa azzopardi
    Photo © Casa Azzopardi

    📍$$$ Luxury Option:

    The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux

    Book your stay here

    Type: Duplex suite with panoramic view
    Rating: 9.0 Superb

    Xara Palace
    Photo © Xara Place

    Here are a few pros and cons of Mdina/Rabat:


    • Mdina is a beautifully preserved medieval walled city with a mix of baroque and medieval architecture. It offers a unique glimpse into Malta’s past.
    • Rabat is also rich in history and culture, offering visitors a chance to explore centuries-old buildings and attractions.
    • Mdina is often referred to as “The Silent City” due to its relaxed nights, making it a perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.


    • Mdina and Rabat are very touristy destinations, which can make them crowded during peak seasons.
    • Rabat can be a bit less atmospheric and less well-preserved than Mdina, as it has been more heavily developed over time.
    • It can be a bit of a challenge to navigate through the narrow streets of Mdina, especially if you’re not used to walking uphill or on uneven surfaces.

    Mellieha – Where to Stay in Malta for the Best Beaches

    If you’re a beach bum who loves nothing more than soaking up some sun and diving into the crystal-clear waters, then Mellieha might just be the perfect spot for you. This charming town is surrounded by picturesque valleys and boasts some of the best beaches in Malta.

    In fact, Mellieha Beach or Ghadira Bay, as the locals call it, is the largest sandy beach in Malta and is an absolute must-visit if you’re in town. It’s like a golden carpet that stretches out into the shimmering blues, and it offers every water sport imaginable. So, if you’re into kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, or swimming, you’re going to feel like you’ve hit the jackpot here.

    When it comes to where to stay in Mellieha, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals to choose from. If you’re looking for something luxurious, then the Radisson Blu Resort and Spa in Malta Golden Sands might be just the ticket. It’s not technically located in Mellieha, but it’s in the wider area, which means you can still enjoy all the perks of the town while staying in a more secluded and serene spot.

    📍$ Budget Option:

    City Center Apartments Mellieha

    Book your stay here

    Type: 1-Bed apartment with balcony
    Rating: 9.3 Superb

    city center apartments
    Photo © City Center Apartments

    📍$$ Mid Range Option:

    Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa

    Book your stay here

    Type: Deluxe double room with balcony
    Rating: 8.4 Very good

    Maritim antonin hotel
    Photo © Maritim Antonine Hotel

    📍$$$ Luxury Option:

    Radisson Blu Resort & Spa

    Book your stay here

    Type: Premium suite with sea view
    Rating: 9.0 Superb

    radisson blu malta
    Photo © Radisson Blu

    Here are some pros and cons about Mellieha to keep in mind:


    • Mellieha boasts some of Malta’s most beautiful beaches, including Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay.
    • Mellieha is a peaceful town that offers a more relaxing environment than other tourist hotspots like Paceville, Bugibba, and St. Julians.
    • Lcated close to the sister islands of Gozo and Comino, which offer plenty of opportunities for day trips and exploring.


    • Mellieha has a much quieter nightlife compared to other areas in Malta, with only a few bars and pubs available.
    • While there are some great restaurants in Mellieha, there are fewer options compared to other tourist areas in Malta.
    • Mellieha is not well-served by public transportation, so it may be challenging to get around the island if you don’t have access to a car.

    Related post: here’s my guide to Popeye Village: Malta’s most popular tourist attraction

    Gozo – Where to Stay in Malta for Families

    If you’re looking for the perfect spot to take the kiddos in Malta, Gozo is where it’s at! This place is an absolute hidden gem that’s often overlooked by tourists. But don’t be fooled by its small size, because Gozo packs a punch in the family-friendly department.

    First off, let’s talk about where to stay. If you’re rolling with the fam, you’ll want to steer clear of the party scene in St. Julian’s and opt for a more chilled-out vibe. That’s where Gozo comes in – it’s got all the charm of a small island, without feeling like you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of family-friendly accommodations to choose from, whether you’re looking for a hotel, villa, or farmhouse (yes, farmhouse!)

    📍$ Budget Option:

    Farmhouse Stay with Cozy Yard

    Book your stay here

    Type: Double room with private bathroom
    Rating: 8.3 Very good

    farmhouse stay
    Photo © Farmhouse Stay

    📍$$ Mid Range Option:

    Beachfront High End Apartment

    Book your stay here

    Type: 2-Bedroom apartment with private bathroom
    Rating: 9.5 Exceptional

    beachfront apartment
    Photo © Beachfront Apartment

    📍$$$ Luxury Option:

    Santa Lucia Boutique Hotel

    Book your stay here

    Type: Deluxe junior suite with en-suite
    Rating: 9.4 Superb

    santa lucia boutique
    Photo © Santa Lucia Boutique Hotel

    Pros and cons of staying in Gozo:


    • Relatively affordable cost of living, with low healthcare costs and reasonably priced dining options.
    • Beautiful beaches, with Ramla Bay being one of the most stunning in the Maltese islands.
    • A quieter, more relaxed pace of life compared to the main island of Malta.


    • Limited nightlife options compared to the main island of Malta, although there are still some bars and restaurants to choose from.
    • Limited transportation options, with buses being the most common mode of public transportation.
    • Limited shopping options and variety compared to the main island of Malta, although there are still some small supermarkets and local shops.

    Related post: read this Malta size comparison guide to see just how big the country is compared to places like Cyprus, Bali, Singapore, and New York.

    St. Julian’s & Sliema – Where to Stay in Malta for Nightlife

    Ah, St. Julian’s and Sliema – the places to be in Malta for buzzing nightlife! If you’re looking for a place to stay where the party never stops, look no further.

    St. Julian’s, once a quaint fishing village, is now a bustling hub of five-star hotels, high-end apartments, and a wild nightlife scene that will leave you feeling alive. Located right next to the lively Paceville area, you’ll find plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to keep you entertained until the wee hours of the morning.

    Sliema is another great option for those seeking a lively nightlife scene. You’ll find plenty of trendy bars, rooftop lounges, and nightclubs that cater to both locals and tourists. And if you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a ferry and head over to Valletta for even more nightlife options.

    📍$ Budget Option:

    Dhara Guest House Malta

    Book your stay here

    Type: Quadruple room with balcony
    Rating: 8.6 Fabulous

    dhara guesthouse
    Photo © Dhara Guest House

    📍$$ Mid Range Option:

    IKYK Hotel – IK Collection

    Book your stay here

    Type: Economy double room with private bathroom
    Rating: 8.4 Very good

    ikyk hotel
    Photo © IKYK Hotel

    📍$$$ Luxury Option:

    The Hyatt Regency Malta

    Book your stay here

    Type: King room high floor with balcony
    Rating: 9.1 Superb

    hyatt regency
    Photo © Hyatt Regency

    Now for the pros and cons of staying in St. Julian’s and Sliema:


    • Both areas are situated on the coast, offering easy access to beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Whether you’re looking for a budget hostel or a luxury hotel, St. Julian’s and Sliema have plenty of choices to suit every budget and preference.
    • Both areas are well-connected to other parts of Malta, so it’s easy to explore the island from here. Plus, the airport is only a short drive away.


    • St. Julian’s and Sliema are both very popular with tourists, so they can get quite crowded during peak season.
    • Due to their popularity, prices for accommodation and food can be on the higher side in these areas.
    • If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, you may want to consider staying in a quieter part of the island.

    Tip: While you’re in Sliema or St. Julian’s, be sure to get a ferry to nearby Comino Island and discover Malta’s hottest attraction: The Blue Lagoon

    Valletta – Where to Stay in Malta Without a Car

    The capital city of Malta, Valletta is the perfect place to stay if you’re not planning on renting a car during your trip to this beautiful island. From historic landmarks to stunning views of the Mediterranean, Valletta has plenty to offer.

    So if you’re looking for a vibrant, walkable city packed with plenty of history, culture, and culinary delights, Valletta is the place for you. So why not pack your bags, leave your car at home, and come explore this gem of the Mediterranean?

    📍$ Budget Option:

    Valletta Ajkla Mansion

    Book your stay here

    Type: Basic studio with courtyard view
    Rating: 7.3 Good

    valletta ajkla mansion
    Photo © Valletta Ajkla Mansion

    📍$$ Mid Range Option:

    Palazzo Jean Parisot Boutique Suites

    Book your stay here

    Type: Deluxe suite
    Rating: 9.3 Superb

    palazzo jean parisot
    Photo © Palazzo Jean Parisot

    📍$$$ Luxury Option:

    The Phoenicia Malta

    Book your stay here

    Type: Deluxe double room with sea view
    Rating: 9.1 Superb

    Photo © The Phoenicia Malta

    Pros and cons of staying in Valletta:


    • The city is located in the center of Malta, making it easy to travel to other parts of the island by bus or ferry.
    • Valletta is a small city that is easy to explore on foot, with many attractions, shops, and restaurants within walking distance.
    • Valletta is known for its cultural events, such as the Valletta International Baroque Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival, which draw visitors from all over the world.


    • Valletta can be crowded with tourists during peak season, making it difficult to fully appreciate the city’s charm.
    • Valletta is built on a steep hill, which can make walking around the city challenging for some visitors.
    • Compared to other areas on the island, Valletta has limited nightlife options, which may not be suitable for those looking for a vibrant nightlife scene.

    Where to Stay in Malta Map

    blue markers = budget spots

    yellow markers = mid-range options

    red markers = luxury hotels

    Best Things to Do in Malta

    Wondering what are the best things to do in Malta? Worry not as I’ve got you covered with some of the most popular activities to do on this magnificent island.

    Be sure to explore the walled city of Valletta, and then you can head over to the iconic Blue Lagoon on Comino Island for a dip in crystal clear waters and the perfect Insta-worthy photo, and while you’re on this island, try diving or snorkeling, or visit the ancient temple ruins in Ħaġar Qim.

    Whatever you do, no trip to Malta is complete without trying the local delicacies like pastizzi, rabbit stew, and ġbejniet cheese. Bon appétit!

    The Malta Experience Private Tour

    Get a comprehensive overview of Malta on this 5-star rated, full-day tour of the island’s best natural and cultural landmarks, ticking off all the top sights. Comes with a round-trip transfer ensuring a hassle-free trip.
    Book your tickets here

    Blue Grotto Malta
    best things to do in malta

    The Original Valletta Walking Tour

    With rave reviews this is the best walking tour of Malta’s UNESCO capital Valletta:
    Book your tickets here

    Gozo Day Jeep Tour including Ggantija Temples & Private Boat Ride

    Another 5-star reviewed tour package, don’t miss out on the full Gozo island experience with a Jeep tour of the UNESCO Ggantija Temples, Victoria, and Qala Belvedere, covering the hidden corners of Gozo that normal vehicles can’t reach.
    Book your tickets here

    best things to do in malta

    Private Boat tour of Blue Lagoon & Crystal Lagoon, Gozo & Malta Highlights

    Get your hands on this best-selling private boat charter package that covers the most popular spots around Malta, Gozo and Comino. After all, one of the best ways to explore Malta is to get out into its world-class crystal-clear waters.
    Book your tickets here

    best things to do in malta

    Head over my Malta Scuba Diving guide for all the best dive spots and dive centers in Malta – there’s excursions for all levels – whether you have zero experience or are a pro.

    Conclusion: Staying in Malta

    So there you have it – my top recommendations on the best places to stay in Malta.

    Whether you’re a first-timer, a budget traveler, a history buff, a nightlife enthusiast, or a family on vacation, there’s a place in Malta that’s perfect for you. Just do your research and take into account the recommendations from my sources cited above.

    And remember, when it comes to finding the perfect place to stay, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! You could do what I did and stay in two or more places during your trip – on my last visit in 2018, I spent half my trip in Valletta and the other half in Mellieha.

    Staying in Malta FAQs:

    If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in Malta, don’t fret! There are plenty of options in this post to help you find the perfect spot for your budget and preferences. Don’t be afraid to do some research and ask for recommendations – after all, you don’t want to end up in the wrong neck of the woods!

    Is it better to stay in Valletta or Sliema?

    Valletta is the capital city of Malta and has a rich history with plenty of cultural attractions to visit. Sliema, on the other hand, is a modern seaside resort town and has a larger selection of hotels, including resorts with better and more modern amenities.
    Valletta is better for those who appreciate historic charm and easy access to cultural attractions, while Sliema is better for those who want more modern amenities, lively nightlife, and a larger selection of hotels.

    Which part of Malta is the best to stay?

    Here are the best places to stay in Malta:
    Valletta: As the capital city of Malta, Valletta is steeped in history, with stunning architecture, museums, and plenty of restaurants and cafes. It’s also a central location for exploring other parts of Malta, and has good transport connections.
    Sliema/St. Julian’s: Popular for its coastal location, promenade, beaches, and nightlife. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the area, and it’s well-connected to other parts of Malta.
    Mellieha: If you’re looking for a more relaxed and quiet location, Mellieha might be a good option. It’s a coastal town with a few beaches, and it’s close to the ferry to Gozo.
    Bugibba/Qawra: Popular with families and retirees, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. They’re also close to the sea, with a promenade and a few small beaches.

    Where is the best place to base yourself in Malta?

    Sliema is a great place to stay in Malta due to its proximity to several beaches, making it an ideal location for beach walks and short trips to even better beaches. Sliema is also well-connected in terms of public transportation, with most buses passing through the city, and it is a stone’s throw away from the historical capital of Malta, Valletta.

    What is the prettiest part of Malta?

    One of the prettiest parts of Malta is Valletta. It is the capital city of Malta and is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Valletta has colorful streets and buildings, and visitors can admire some of the most colorful doors and windows in the less busy streets. Sliema is another beautiful area in Malta with several beaches that are within walking distance. It is considered one of the best places to stay in Malta and is well-connected in terms of public transport.

    How many days in Malta is enough?

    The recommended duration of stay varies from 4 days to 10 days, depending on how much time visitors have and what they want to experience. If one wants to explore the majority of the island and visit several tours, and heritage sites, then 7 to 10 days are recommended.

    What is the most beautiful part of Malta?

    The Blue Grotto is a popular and breathtakingly beautiful spot with sea caverns and stunning coastal views. Another highly recommended location is the island of Comino and its Blue Lagoon, known for its crystal clear waters ideal for snorkeling or diving. Finally, Gozo Island is considered one of the most beautiful and tranquil places in Malta, with plenty of cultural attractions such as the fortified medieval city of Victoria, the lively seaside resort of Marsalforn, and the Ggantija Temples.

    What are places I should avoid in Malta?

    It is recommended tourists avoid the Paceville area, which is known for its nightlife but has a higher crime rate than the national average. However, Paceville, along with the localities of Gżira and Sliema, are not areas of significant concern for tourists and are generally safe.
    Moreover, the outskirts of the harbor-side village of Marsa are not commonly visited by tourists, and crimes there are rare.

    How many days do you need in Malta?

    It is recommended to spend at least 3-5 days in Malta to be able to explore and enjoy the main attractions the island has to offer. Some suggested itineraries recommend basing oneself in Valletta, the capital city, for 3-4 days and using it as a base to explore the surrounding areas, including nearby towns like Birgu, and taking a boat tour of the Gran Harbour. Alternatively, one could spend 4-5 days in Malta and explore more of the country, including other towns and attractions like the Blue Lagoon in Comino and the island of Gozo.

    What is the best month to visit Malta?

    March to May and September to October are considered the best times for active adventures and sporting events due to moderate visitor numbers and warm temperatures, allowing for a swim after outdoor activities.
    For those who want a mix of warm temperatures and fewer crowds, the months of May, September, and October are recommended. On the other hand, the summer months of June, July, and August are considered the best time to visit Malta if you want to enjoy peak temperatures, which range from 70ºF to 80ºF (21ºC to 26ºC) and can reach 90ºF (32ºC).

    Don’t forget to book travel insurance

    It goes without saying really that when you travel the world, travel insurance is super important.

    I never always bothered though. For years I travelled without insurance as I thought, “what could happen?”

    Well, I once got my bag stolen in Vietnam and I had an electric shock in a hostel bathroom in Mexico. What if you’re hiking up a mountain and your appendix suddenly bursts, leaving you in excruciating pain and requiring emergency treatment? Anything could happen.

    I use SafetyWing for comprehensive cover and convenience at great prices on all my travels, and I never set out without it.

    Traveling to Malta soon?

    Book Your Trip: Top Tips

    🏨 Accommodation: I recommend booking.com
    ✈️ Flights: for the cheapest flights, I use Skyscanner
    🚗 Rental Car: I always rely on Discover Cars
    🛡️ Travel Insurance: for reliable and trusted cover, I use SafetyWing
    🗺️ For all my best travel tips & advice, head over to my Travel Tools

    I hope you enjoyed reading my post: Where to Stay in Malta, and feel inspired to visit one day.

    Let me know what you thought in the comments, thank you!

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