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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!