Where to stay in Malta - 2021 Guide for First Time Visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Malta for first time visitors that want to make the most out of the holiday

Where to stay in Malta - views of the crystal clear seas and gorgeous rugged terrain

Excited about finding out where to stay in Malta? You should be because Malta is an incredible destination, perfect for a sunny, warm holiday.

Nestled between Sicily and North Africa, Malta is made up of three beautiful historic islands with a craggy coastline, rock-cut salt pools, and honey-coloured stone streets to wander. Malta has often been described as an open-air museum for the sheer volume of historic sites on offer. Its capital city Valetta is a UNESCO World Heritage city and was named European capital 2018. Interestingly, it’s still off the radar in terms of mass tourism when compared to other historic cities, such as Rome or Athens, which makes exploring these laidback islands all the more thrilling.

Valetta is a place where you can spend the day visiting some of the oldest buildings ever created, enjoy ancient temples, then lounge by the beach eating local street food such as kebabs and pastizzis. There really is something for everyone on this small but vibrant archipelago so all you need to do is select which part of Malta to stay in.

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Where to Stay in Malta

Picking where to stay in Malta is one of the biggest decisions when visiting this beautiful archipelago, and can have a real impact on the kind of holiday you have. Malta is very much broken up into areas rather than clearly defined cities, and each of those areas blends into the next so you’re not entirely sure where one ends and the other begins.

Then there’s the choice of which island to base yourself on – with many choosing the outstandingly beautiful Gozo island, a place that offers a real slice of a more traditional Malta. This is definitely one of those holiday destinations where you can escape modernity and travel back to a charming time before chaotic city life was the norm. Even the main city of Valetta, often tourists first thought and one of the busiest areas, has a relaxed vibe, with plenty of wine bars, and winding streets perfect for getting lost in.

For those who are in Malta for sunbathing and diving being based up north in Mellieha provides access to some of Malta’s best beaches and coastline. So let's dive in and help you which accommodation to book and where so you can have the best possible holiday.

Where to stay in Malta guide

Valetta – Stay in the cultural capital

Why stay in Valetta

Surrounded by Baroque architecture, this is the main cultural hub of Malta where you’ll find no shortage of museums to visit and historic palaces to explore. Stay here if you want to be within walking distance of some of Malta’s best restaurants, wine bars, and cafes. There’s plenty to keep you occupied for several days before even considering day trips so if you’re looking for a city break where you can discover Malta’s history with minimal excursions then Valetta is a wonderful choice for accommodation.

Valetta is also a great hub as it has excellent transport facilities including the bus terminus and ferry facilities to Sliema, The Three Cities, and even Sicily.

Valetta is especially suitable for mid and luxury travellers. Valetta is full of boutique hotels and luxury 5-star resorts and can even be short of those during peak season so booking early is key - this is a base for those looking to splurge. So make sure to book your hotel well in advance.

Stay in Valetta if you want luxury, bars and restaurants and don't mind not being close to the beach or having explosive nightlife. This is ideal for the laidback, cosmopolitan traveller that wants to enjoy Malta in style.

Where to stay in Valletta

We've handpicked a variety of hotels and accommodation options in Valetta to suit your budget. These hotel rooms come with great reviews and are well priced, withing walking distance from main attractions, restaurants and great bars.

Where to stay in Malta  - beautiful hotel room in Valletta with blue decor and elegant furnishing
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Hotel Phoenicia Malta

Stay in this 1920s-style hotel that welcomes you with live piano music in the lobby. Set in 7 acres of gardens, it is next to the Triton Fountain in Valletta's City Gate Square so you know you'll be staying just outside the ancient city walls. It's well located next to the Valetta bus station so it's ideal for those who want to travel around. 

The hotel is a 10-minute walk from both the ferry terminal to Sliema and Barakka Lift, which links to the Valletta Waterfront ferry terminal and promenade.  Best yet? This accommodation offers you free shuttle service to a sandy beach in the north is available during summer. Prices start at £200 per night.

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Palazzo Paolina Boutique Hotel

This has to be one of our top picks in Valletta because the hotel is just 5-minute walk from the St John Cathedral. Arriving late? No worries, because this accommodation has an on-site bar as well. The rooms are all en-suite, elegantly decorated with air-conditioning and toiletries for your comfort. Great hotel rooms which start at £150 per night.

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Paulos Valletta

Looking for a more modestly priced accommodation in Valetta? Paulos Valletta offers self-catering accommodation just 350 yards from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Casa Rocca Piccola is a 5-minute walk away from your hotel. After your travels around the city, come back to this luxury apartment which also offers a fabulous breakfast included in the price. Prices start from £110 per night.

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Sliema – Stay here if you want an exploration hub

Why stay in Sliema

North of Valetta you can stay in Sliema which is the more affordable area that caters to every type of traveller and tourist. You’ll find plenty of budget and mid-range hotels here. It’s also got excellent transport links, much like Valetta but with the added bonus of boat trips to Comino and Gozo.

If you’d like to be near the coastline for your trip, then Sliema is an excellent accommodation area for you with plenty of promenades and seaside walks to take. It’s also very quick and easy to get to Valetta on the main ferry meaning you can enjoy all of the cultures there is on offer there but at the hotel prices of Sliema. There are plenty of restaurants and good shopping in Sliema so you will never be short on things to do.

Sliema is a popular tourist destination and it does very much cater to its visitors. Stay here if you're visiting Malta for the first time and want excellent infrastructure to other sides of the archipelago. However, do bear in mind that Sliema can get quite congested so it might not be ideal if you want to rent a car.

Sliema is a great place to stay if you want beach walks, but thanks to its great location, you can travel to sandier beaches, where sunbathers can have a proper sunny afternoon.

Where to stay in Sliema

We've curated the best hotels to suit a range of budgets so you can truly pick the best place to stay in Sliema. Sliema is a fantastic hub for all explorers so you'll find yourself in a great location, perfect for a holiday.

Where to stay in Malta - Sliema hotel room with elegant furnishing and wonderful comfort
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AX The Palace

The Palace is a 5-star hotel with a rooftop spa and an infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This hotel is ideal for explorers, located just 550 yards from Sliema's bus terminus and Valletta Ferry. Most rooms have a balcony with views of Valletta and the harbour. Prices at this luxury hotel start at £180 per night.

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Palazzo Violetta

Offering a year-round outdoor pool and terrace, Palazzo Violetta is located in Sliema, less than a 10-minute walk from the sea. You'll have free parking, free WiFi and modern studios with a balcony and air conditioning. 

Are you a tourist who likes to cook with local ingredients? Studios at the Violetta come with a kitchenette. Prices start at £108 per night.

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AX The Victoria Hotel

Offering a rooftop terrace with a pool, The Victoria Hotel - AX Hotels is a 4-star boutique hotel in Sliema centre, 0.6 miles from the Point Shopping Mall and just a 5-minute walk from the seaside promenade. You have shopping options at your doorstep. When you return from your fun day out, relax at the hotel's luxury spa. Prices at this 4-star hotel start at £150 per night.

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Gzira – Stay here for a quiet, local experience

Why stay in Gzira

Gzira is for travellers looking for a far more local experience but still want to be close to all the benefits of Sliema since it’s a short walk or bus ride away. There are still some local amenities in terms of restaurants and bars and a pretty waterfront to walk along in the evenings.

Stay here for easy access to Manoel Island with the remains of a Fort and a duck farm meaning you get off the beaten track a bit while still being very close to the popular parts of Malta. The congestion is also far better here if you’re looking to rent a car, so you can enjoy a quieter holiday.

Stay in Gzira if you like a more relaxed Malta because this is a sleepy area with a laidback local vibe that largely serves as a quieter budget area to stay. We especially recommend this area for people who want a more local experience, a bit further from the beaten path. Don't worry though, you can still have easy access to all the tourist attractions, islands and cities.

Where to stay in Gzira

Gzira is ideal for people who want a laidback Malta. We found a range of accommodations to suit your budget and expectations. Gzira is a lot more budget-friendly than Valetta or Sliema, so you can save on accommodation and splurge on restaurants and bars, or epic souvenirs.

Where to stay in Malta - hotel room that's more modestly prices in Gzira
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Azur Hotel by ST Hotels

Azur Hotel by ST Hotels in Il-Gżira is located just 1.6 miles from the University of Malta, so if you fancy a quick cultural trip, you've got it. The hotel has a lounge and a bar where you can rest after a day out exploring. Don't fancy going out to a restaurant? No worries, as the property has one on-site. Prices start at £91 per night.

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115 The Strand Hotel and Suites

115 The Strand Hotel and Suites offers self-catering apartments and hotel rooms. You will be at the waterfront at Marsamxett harbour, with spectacular views of Valletta. You have a regular bus service to Valletta and other landmarks just outside the hotel. The ferry stop is also nearby. Prices start at £82 per night.

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Joy Apartments Gzira

Set in Il-Gżira, Joy Apartments Gzira offers accommodation with a balcony, so you can have a peaceful view of Malta. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bath for optimum relaxation during your holiday. Prices start at £136 per night.

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St Julian's Bay – Stay here for epic parties

Why stay in St Julian's Bay

West of Sliema, St Julian's Bay is a great area to stay in if you’re looking for a winter escape with plenty of resorts on offer. Also, those into the clubbing scene will be happy here as it’s very close to the buzzing nightlife of Paceville but away from the noise which generally puts people off staying there. Valetta is only a bus ride from here for some Maltese history and culture and Sliema is a quick ferry ride away to enjoy all the amenities there so this a great base for travelling from. There’s a good range of luxury to budget accommodation and plenty of choice in terms of restaurants and bars.

St Julian's Bay is ideal for people looking to enjoy a fun party and unwind. You will have clubs and casinos at your doorstep. If you want culture and a local way of life, you will need to grab a car or public transport to a nearby location to explore historical aspects of Malta.

This is clearly the best tourist location for those who come to life when the night comes. There's only one beach here that's notable and that's St George’s Bay which is maintained but can be overcrowded.

Where to stay in St Julian's Bay

Calling all party tourists who want to stay in nice and quiet accommodation during the day and explore at night. You'll be nearby clubs and casinos, but we're also featuring chains you are familiar with in case you want an all-in-one experience in Malta.

Where to stay in Malta - classy hotel room in St Julian's Bay
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InterContinental Malta

Set in the heart of St Julians, InterContinental Malta is 200 yards from its own free private beach on St. George's Bay. This is great for beach bums that want to rest in the sunshine during the day and go party at night. The rooms are spacious and elegant. Upgrade your room for a sunny balcony or terrace with city views. Prices start at £197 per night.

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The Westin Dragonara Resort

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in St Julian's, The Westin Dragonara Resort offers 2 private beaches, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and 3 restaurants. Reception is open 24 hours a day.

The spacious, air-conditioned accommodation features a terrace with views of the sea. Each room comes with a minibar, tea/coffee maker, and LCD TV with satellite channels. Prices start at £213 per night.

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Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay

Right on the waterfront of St. George's Bay, the Corinthia is a 5-star hotel with an on-site spa and 5 swimming pools set on luxurious sea-view terraces. Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay features spacious, air-conditioned rooms with a large balcony, most overlooking the sea. You'll be close to all amenities as well as the beach. Prices start at £182 per night.

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Three Cities - Stay here for history and culture

Why stay in Three Cities

This is a more unconventional choice, which makes it perfect for those looking for a unique off-the-beaten-path place to stay, with plenty to offer for tourists and travellers. Three Cities is made up of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua, three areas each with their own attractions, so you'll never be short on things to do.

Visit all three within a day so whichever part you choose to base your accommodation in, you’ll be able to walk to the other two parts easily. Birgu is the old capital of Malta so there’s plenty of history to explore in Three Cities but if you need more cultural spots then Valetta is only a bus- or ferry ride away. There are plenty of opportunities to experience traditional Maltese life around the Grand Harbour and the choice of restaurants, cafes, and street food is excellent. This is the place for people looking for an authentic, cultural getaway.

We recommend renting a car if you decide to stay in Three Cities because this area is on the opposite side of Valetta and Sliema. It's worth mentioning that you won't be close to nightlife either, so this is an ideal location for a laidback traveller who wants to stay in a historical place but is willing to go out and explore by car or public transport.

Where to stay in Three Cities

You love history and you want to be in Malta's old capital. We understand because this is a gorgeous area, easy to reach by car and public transport. We handpicked a variety of hotels to suit your budget and lifestyle so your trip to Malta will be awesome. Our curated accommodation comes with high recommendations and great reviews.

Where to stay in Malta - quaint and unique hotel room in Three Cities
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Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour

Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour has rooms in Senglea and the hotel has a nice outdoor pool. Ask the staff to help with airport transfers if needed. You will be in a great location and can ask for a room with a terrace. Prices start at £331 per night.

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Julesy's BnB

Julesy's BnB is located in the Maltese harbour city of Cospicua. This hotel is set in a white stone-walled building from 1895. Not just historical, but gorgeous too. Suites are spacious and include a flat-screen TV with cable and satellite channels, a seating area and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a bath or a shower. Prices start at £179 per night.

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Casa Birmula Hotel

Stay at the Casa Birmula Hote and enjoy the year-round outdoor pool and sun terrace. The hotel is located in Cospicua. There is an on-site bar, and rooms feature free WiFi and a satellite flat-screen TV.

Rooms at the Casa Birmula are air-conditioned and decorated in an elegant, eclectic style. Each comes with a modern private bathroom with soft slippers and free toiletries. Some rooms have a balcony or terrace. Prices start at £113 per night.

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St Paul's Bay – Stay in a coastal hub

Why stay in St Paul's Bay

If you’re looking to explore the northeast coast of Malta than this is one of your best options. St Paul’s Bay is broken up into neighbourhoods like Buġibba and Qawra and provides a good base for exploring from. There’s plenty of mid-range and budget accommodation to choose from and it’s an excellent transport hub as there’s a bus station with access to the whole island. You’re also in a perfect location to access the beautiful sandy beaches and swimming further up north. If you’re looking to explore Comino and Gozo then there are lots of boat tours leaving so it’s a very convenient place to be for further exploration. It's really a great place to stay in Malta for the all-rounder traveller.

St Paul's Bay is very quiet during the off-season but gets very busy during the summer. It's quite close to Valetta, but it may take just over an hour to reach the city because of traffic.

There’s not much in the way of history, authentic culture, or local cuisine and the area. This area is largely catered to the vast amount of tourism this part of the island gets. This a great point to access the beaches of the north.

Where to stay in St Paul's Bay

You want to be close to the beaches in the north of Malta and have a great hub for coastal exploration. We've selected a handful of hotels that come with great reviews so your travels can be as comfortable and wonderful as possible. You will want to select the best hotel suitable for your budget and remember that this area gets very busy in the summer, so you might want to book asap.

Where to stay in Malta  - elegant hotel room in St Paul's Bay
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Dolmen Hotel Malta

Set on the seafront at St. Paul's Bay, Dolmen Hotel Malta offers panoramic sea views, a free private beach and 6 swimming pools. Its spa includes a hot tub, sauna and fitness centre. WiFi is free throughout. This is a great hotel year-round thanks to access to its own beach. Most rooms here have a balcony or terrace overlooking the sea. Prices start at £135 per night.

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Gillieru Harbour Hotel

The Gillieru Harbour Hotel is on the seafront in St. Paul’s Bay. It offers free Wi-Fi, a pool, and air-conditioned rooms with balcony, TV and private bathroom. Hotel Gillieru Harbour is a 5-minute walk from the shops, restaurants and bars of Bugibba. The casino is 10 minutes away on foot. Prices start at £135 per night.

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Salini Resort

Set on a gentle slope overlooking the Salina Bay and the Mediterranean Sea, the 4-star Salini Resort offers 2 outdoor pools. The spacious and stylish rooms come with either sea or countryside views, so you get to pick your favourite.

All rooms and suites are air-conditioned and include a balcony or terrace. The en-suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Prices start at £300 per night.

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Mellieha – Stay here for a village atmosphere

Why stay in Mellieha

This is a great alternative for people who want to stay in the north but would like a less tourist-focused option than St Paul’s Bay. Also, if you love beaches then this is your spot because of its close proximity to Mellieħa Bay, which is Malta’s largest sandy beach, and its short distance to Gozo and Comino. There is a lovely village atmosphere and some spectacular views to be had here with the parish church being one of the highlights. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the main road and a range of budget to mid-range accommodation options to choose from.

Know that Mellieha is a little removed from the rest of Malta, meaning if you’re hoping to spend some time exploring Valetta and the other big sights and don’t have a car, you may find yourself spending a lot of time on public transport. While there are lots of accommodation options, there are fewer luxury stays due to its local vibe. Mellieha is ideal for a tourist who wants a simpler, more authentic Malta that comes with a great price tag.

Where to stay in Mellieha

Enjoy the quaint village feel Mellieha has to offer and stay in one of our curated hotels in the area. Be close to a large sandy beach and perhaps rent a car to explore the rest of Malta. It's a wonderful choice for a laidback tourist who wants to enjoy an authentic way of life.

Where to stay in Malta - comfortable and nice hotel room in Mellieha
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LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa

LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa overlooks Marfa Bay and boasts 2 seawater outdoor pools, Thalasso Spa and fitness centre, as well as 4 restaurants and 4 bars. It also has its own private beach so you can enjoy some lovely time in a desirable location in Malta. All designer rooms have a balcony or terrace, and free WiFi is available throughout.

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Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands

Set into the rocky coast of Malta's Golden Bay, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa includes a large swimming pool, a lagoon pool and a children's pool. It also offers a private beach and a spa. Rooms are large and serene.

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands enjoys a quiet, private setting, with peaceful views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. It is a 10-minute drive from the harbour where ferries leave for Gozo.

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Solana Hotel & Spa

Solana Hotel offers modern rooms and studios with free Wi-Fi access, a 10-minute walk from the beach on Mellieha Bay. The rooftop terrace with pool is a real highlight.

In your room or studio you will find satellite TV, air conditioning, and a tea and coffee maker. Studios come with a small kitchenette. Prices start at £82 per night.

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Gozo – Stay here for a rural island paradise

Why stay in Gozo

The second-largest of Malta’s islands with Comino (home of The Blue Lagoon) being the third, Gozo provides a more rural and authentic vibe than the main island. Victoria is technically the centre but there’s no particular area that’s better due to the island’s relatively small size and convenience. The island is full of history and one of the must-see attractions is the Citadella, a fortified citadel nestled amongst the winding streets and alleys. The island is largely untouched and offers beautiful beaches and diving, the rock formation of the Azure Window is perfect for underwater exploration. It’s also very pleasurable to drive around if you’re thinking of renting a car. Gozo is ideal if you want to escape and have a quiet holiday.

Gozo is the best place to stay in Malta if you want a more rural escape type trip. Remember that it may not be convenient if you want to explore the main island, but there are transportation options for the occasional day trip. Many people stay on Gozo for a couple of nights and then base themselves on the main island for the best of both worlds. Although Gozo is very popular, it doesn’t have a particularly wide range of accommodation options so it’s best to book early, especially during peak seasons.

Where to stay in Gozo

Stay in Gozo in some of our handpicked accommodation, so you can enjoy a proper rural escape. Gozo is a sunny and wonderful island where you can truly escape the hassle and bustle of everyday life.

Where to stay in Malta - beautiful and elegant hotel room in Gozo island
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Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz

Surrounded by impressive and vast gardens, Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz features free parking and non-smoking-only, air-conditioned rooms on Gozo Island. This hotel on the westernmost area of Gozo in the small village of San Lawrenz has an on-site spa offering luxury treatments. Prices start at £131 per night.

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Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa

Swimming pools, tennis courts, a private beach, and an excellent choice of cuisine for lunch and dinner; are just a few reasons to choose Hotel Ta' Cenc.

This five-star hotel boasts an impressive list of sports and leisure facilities, all on the highest point of Gozo, overlooking the cliffs. Prices start at £164 per night.

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Downtown Hotel

Downtown Hotel boasts a central location in the heart of Victoria, the main town on the island of Gozo. It features a rooftop pool and an excellent restaurant.

Most of the guest rooms come with a private balcony where you can relax after a busy day exploring Victoria. You are close to the bus station and the main shopping street. The historic Citadel and the gardens of Villa Rundle are also nearby. Prices start at £50 per night.

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Great, you now know exactly where to stay in Malta. We hope our comprehensive hotel and area guide helped you pick the best accommodation for your trip to Malta. As mentioned, Malta is a wonderful destination so you will have an amazing time. Remember to check all the cool things to do in Malta so you are fully ready for your holiday. Happy travels!