Where to stay in Malta - Best Areas And Hotels in 2023
A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Malta for first time visitors that want to make the most out of the holiday. Here's where to stay in Malta!
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.
The capital city, Valletta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was named European capital back in 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 laid-back islands all the more thrilling.
Stay in Valletta and 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.
You'll love your stay in Malta because this vibrant archipelago has lovely beaches, incredible cities, affordable hotels and brilliant weather. In this guide, we'll explain which is the best place to stay in Malta.
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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 Valletta, has a relaxed vibe, with plenty of wine bars, and winding streets perfect for getting lost in. Valletta is great from the perfective that most historical and cultural attractions will be within walking distance from the city centre.
For those who are in Malta for sunbathing and diving, you'll want to stay in Malta, somewhere up north in Mellieha Bay. This area provides access to some of Malta's best beaches and coastline. So let's dive in and help you find the right accommodation to book and where, so you can have the best possible holiday.
|❤️ Best Area for first-timers:||Sliema|
|? Best luxury 5* hotel:||The Phoenicia Malta|
|? Best mid-range hotel:||Hotel Juliani|
|?️ Best budget hotel:||Strand Suites by NEU Collective|
Stay in Valletta, the cultural capital
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 cafés.
There's plenty to keep you occupied for several days before even considering day trips. If you're looking for a city break where you can discover Malta's history with minimal excursions, then Valletta is a wonderful choice for accommodation and a great place to stay in Malta.
Valletta 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.
Valletta is especially suitable for mid and luxury travellers. Valletta 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.
Make sure to book your hotel well in advance. Stay in one of the gorgeous hotels in the capital city that offer sweeping views of Grand Harbor across Valletta.
Valletta is the best place to stay in Malta if you want luxury, bars, and restaurants right at your door step. Valletta is the ideal place to stay for the cosmopolitan traveller who wants to enjoy Malta in style.
Where to stay in Valletta
We've hand-picked a variety of hotels and accommodation options in Valletta to suit your budget. These hotel rooms come with great reviews and are well priced, nearby from main attractions, restaurants and great bars.
- Luxury: Hotel The Phoenicia Malta
- Mid-range: Palazzo Paolina Boutique Hotel
- Mid-range: Aparthotel Paulos Valletta
Stay in Sliema, the popular tourist location
North of Valletta 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 Valletta 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 exceptional accommodation area for you, with plenty of promenades and seaside walks to take. Sliema is a splendid place to stay in Malta because it's also rapid and easy to get to Valletta on the main ferry. This means you get to enjoy all the riches from the capital, 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. There is no direct public transport to the Blue Grotto, the Marsaxlokk fishing village in the south east coast or the popular Dingli Cliffs and Hagar Qim Temples on the east coast.
Sliema is a great place to stay in Malta as you'll be walking distance from several beaches. This is an ideal location for beach walks. From Sliema, take short trips to even better beaches to enjoy a proper sunny afternoon.
If you're wondering which is better, Valletta or Sliema, know that both locations are fantastic places to stay in Malta. Valletta is Malta's stunning, baroque capital, ideal for luxury and cosmopolitan travellers. Sliema is ideal for all round travellers for accessing bars, restaurants, and shopping.
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 stunning hub for all explorers, so you'll find yourself in a great location, perfect for a holiday.
- Luxury: Hotel AX The Palace
- Mid-range: Hotel Palazzo Violetta Boutique
- Mid-range: Hotel AX The Victoria Hotel
Stay in Gzira for quiet, local experience
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 path 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 with plenty of day trips.
Gzira is a great place to stay in Malta if you like a more relaxed holiday. Gzira is a sleepy small town with a laid back 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 laid-back Malta. We found a range of accommodations to suit your budget and expectations. Gzira is a lot more budget friendly than Valletta or Sliema, so you can save on accommodation and splurge on restaurants and bars, or epic souvenirs.
- Mid-range: Hotel Azur
- Luxury: Hotel 115 The Strand
- Mid-range: Apartments Joy
St Julian's Bay
Stay in St Julian's Bay for epic parties & nightlife
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. Moreover, 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.
Valletta 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 is a great base to stay in Malta. There's a good range of luxury to budget accommodation and plenty of choice concerning 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. Just a 15-minute walk from the centre of St Julian's Bay, you have George's bay beach.
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.
St Julian's 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 George's Bay beach, 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. It's a great place to stay in Malta if you're here for the nightlife.
- Luxury: Hotel InterContinental Hotels - Malta, an IHG Hotel
- Luxury: The Westin Dragonara Resort
- Mid-range: Hotel Corinthia
Stay in Three Cities for history & culture
This is a more unconventional choice, which makes it perfect for those looking for a unique off-the-beaten-path place to stay in Malta, with plenty to offer for tourists and travellers. Three Cities is made up of Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea and Cospicua, three areas each with their 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.
Vittoriosa 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 Valletta 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, cafés, 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 Valletta and Sliema. It's important to mention that you won't be close to nightlife, either. The Three Cities is an ideal location for a laid-back 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 hand-picked a variety of hotels to suit your budget and lifestyle, so your trip to Malta will be spectacular. Our curated accommodation comes with high recommendations and great reviews.
- Luxury: Hotel Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour
- Mid-range: Julesy's BnB
- Luxury: Hotel Casa Birmula
St Paul's Bay
Stay In St Paul's Bay, the Coastal Hub
Saint Paul's Bay is a great place to stay in Malta if you're looking to explore the northeast coast of the main island. Saint Paul's Bay is broken up into neighbourhoods like Bugibba 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 a beautiful sandy beach further up north. If you're looking to explore Comino and Gozo, then there are numerous boat tours leaving from here, 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 quiet during the off-season, but gets very busy in the summer. It's quite close to Valletta, 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. The area caters for tourism and offers easy access to the sandy beaches up 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.
Select from below the best hotel suitable for your budget and remember that this area gets very busy in the summer, so you might want to book as swiftly as you can.
- Luxury: Hotel Dolmen
- Mid-range: Hotel Gillieru Harbour
- Luxury: Salini Resort
Stay in Mellieha for the village atmosphere
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. Moreover, if you love beautiful beaches, then this is your spot because of its proximity to Mellieha Bay, which is Malta's largest and most popular 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.
Good to know: Mellieha is a little removed from the rest of Malta. If you're hoping to spend some time exploring Valletta 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 a great place to stay in Malta for the tourist who wants a simpler, more authentic Malta that comes with a great price tag. Just a short drive away, you'll enjoy the beaches of Armier Bay and Paradise bay.
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 relaxed tourist who wants to enjoy an authentic way of life.
- Luxury: Resort LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa
- Luxury: Radisson Blu Resort & Spa
- Mid-range: Hotel Solana Hotel & Spa
Stay In Gozo for a rural island paradise
Gozo island is the second-largest island in the Maltese archipelago. 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 among 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 intend to explore the main island, but there are transportation options for the occasional day trip.
From Gozo you can jump on the Comino island to see the Blue Lagoon. The Blue lagoon is an extraordinary attraction in Malta ideal for a boat excursion. Comino is also one of the beautiful parts of Malta.
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 hand-picked 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.
- Luxury: Hotel Kempinski
- Mid-range: Resort Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa
- Mid-range: Casa Gemelli
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!
Best place to stay in Malta?
We recommend Sliema as the best place to stay. It is more affordable than Valletta and has plenty of mid-range and budget accommodation options to pick from. Valletta is just a short ferry ride away.
Is Valletta or Sliema better to stay in?
It depends. Both Valletta and Sliema have plenty of hotels. Valletta is more focused on luxury, 5-star and boutique hotels while Sliema is more affordable, mid-range and budget accommodations.
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Great advice and content, thank you