Where to Stay in Malta: 9 Best Areas and Hotel Recommendations


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If Malta is on your itinerary, chances are you already know why you’re headed to this island. Whether it’s for its azure sea, ancient history, laid-back atmosphere, or almost summer-like weather in winter or early spring, there’s plenty to draw you in.

Now, it’s time to decide where to stay and unwind.

In March of this year, my family traveled to Malta — an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Since accommodation is half the success of any trip, I dedicated a significant amount of time to preparing for our journey.

I’ll share the best areas, villages, and cities in Malta with examples of hotels and brief descriptions. Where you should stay depends on the purpose of your trip and your preferences for relaxation.

Best Areas in Malta for Leisure and Travel

When we talk about Malta, we mainly refer to three islands: Malta, Gozo, and the sparsely inhabited Comino. Besides them, Malta also has several uninhabited rocky islets.

If you’re flying to Malta, your travel goals likely include exploring historical landmarks in ancient cities, experiencing architecture, indulging in Mediterranean cuisine, and beach relaxation—or perhaps all three.

Malta is a tiny state, but there’s plenty to see and the choice of accommodation can pose quite a challenge, especially if it’s your first time and you’re unsure where to stay to meet your goals.

Malta, where to stay
Malta, where to stay

Below are 9 main areas where tourists stay in Malta. I’ll briefly outline the advantages and disadvantages of each and share what I would choose depending on the purpose of the trip, personal desires, and budget.

  • Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), Malta
  • Sliema, Malta
  • Valletta, Malta
  • St Julian’s, Malta
  • St. Pauls Bay, Bugibba, and Qawra, Malta
  • Three Cities, Malta
  • Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala, Malta
  • Mdina, Malta
  • Gozo Island

Mellieħa (Għadira Beach) – Tranquil Beach Getaway

Mellieħa is a picturesque coastal town near the most famous Maltese beach—Għadira (or Għadira in Maltese). Here, you’ll find an excellent stretch of sandy beach, crystal-clear water, and a relaxing atmosphere.

This place is perfect for family vacations with children if your priorities are nature, sea, and beaches, and if you plan to rent a car.

Il-Mellieha, Malta
Il-Mellieha, Malta – Skyline view of the famous Popeye Village at Anchor Bay at sunset with traditional Luzzu boats, amazing colorful clouds and sky

Pros of staying in Mellieħa:

  • Excellent Għadira Bay beach nearby, Paradise Beach, and the Coral Lagoon
  • 5 minutes’ drive to the village of Popeye—now a tourist attraction, formerly a film set.

Cons of staying in Mellieħa:

  • Far from Valletta and the airport
  • Isolated area, far from tourist life
  • Relatively difficult to reach by public transport, roads are congested

Hotels in Mellieħa Bay that I recommend:

  • Hotel Viu57 – A fantastic atmospheric hotel that won’t break the bank, with great views, food, and rooms! 15 minutes’ walk to the beach, 5 minutes’ walk to the bus stop.
  • Lure Hotel & Spa – Adults Only 4* – Luxurious accommodation plus spa treatments, highly recommended. Located in the heart of the city. Hotel highlight: rooftop pool and jacuzzi with a view of the city center.
  • Gest – A modern budget hotel, double rooms, all modern and clean. Best value for money, rooms from 40 euros per night. A find for budget travelers.

Sliema – The Best Place for Exploring Malta

According to many independent travelers, if you want to explore the island, it’s worth choosing a hotel or apartment in Sliema. Sliema is a popular tourist town that borders St Julian’s and is located opposite Valletta.

The city is situated on the seafront, boasting an excellent promenade and numerous bars and restaurants of all levels.

Malta, Sliema
Malta, Sliema

Pros of staying in Sliema:

  • Several beaches nearby
  • Excellent view of Valletta
  • Public transport and water taxis to Valletta, which is only 15 minutes away
  • Plenty of cafes and restaurants
  • Playground on the promenade
  • Beach clubs

Cons of staying in Sliema:

  • Even in March, it can be quite crowded here
  • Difficulties with parking for cars due to the influx of tourists
  • Slightly more expensive than other areas of Malta

Hotels and apartments in Sliema that I recommend:

  • 1926 Le Soleil Hotel & Spa – One of the best hotels in Sliema, offering breakfast, a rooftop pool with sea views, and excellent rooms!
  • Waterfront – A luxurious 4-star hotel with sea views, a pool, breakfast, and many pleasant amenities. Located on the seafront promenade of Sliema.
  • D Townhouse Boutique Suites – This hotel is housed in a building dating back to 1890 but is excellently equipped. It features a rooftop terrace, spacious suite rooms, a mini-kitchen, microwave, and coffee machine. My family stayed at this hotel during our trip to Malta in March. The promenade with a view of Valletta and the ferry to Valletta are nearby. The only downside is weak internet in the rooms, with good connectivity only in the lobby. Highly recommended for its value, quality, and comfort.
  • Galileo Rooms – Perhaps the best budget option for accommodation in Sliema. This guesthouse offers clean, well-equipped rooms with city views, just steps away from the promenade and the ferry to Valletta.


Valletta is the capital of Malta. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of the most popular places to stay due to the abundance of architectural landmarks and convenient location.

Valletta, Malta
Valletta, Malta – Aerial view of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, St.Paul’s Cathedral and Manoel Island at sunrise

Pros of staying in Valletta:

  • The main city of the country and the center of tourism
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Plenty of entertainment and attractions
  • Most attractions and beautiful spots are within walking distance
  • Proximity to the port for ferries and day trips
  • Easy public transportation access
  • Many accommodation options

Cons of staying in Valletta:

  • Accommodation and dining prices are higher than in other places
  • Very crowded
  • Parking difficulties and heavy traffic

Hotels and guesthouses I recommend:

  • The Gomerino Hotel – A 4-star hotel in the heart of Valletta, offering cleanliness, balconies, views, and easy access to most attractions. Super-friendly staff who cater to every need. The rooftop features a pool and jacuzzi, and an excellent continental breakfast is included in the room rate. Overall, highly recommended.
  • The Embassy Valletta Hotel – A 4-star hotel in the center of Valletta with an incredible city view from the rooftop. The rooftop also boasts a restaurant and a pool. Quality English breakfast is included in the rate. Top-level service.
  • Vallettastay Old Lodge Apartment 4 – Relatively budget-friendly apartments for Valletta, with a kitchen, located in the heart of the old town. Easy check-in and friendly staff.

St. Julian’s – The Center of Nightlife

St. Julian’s is a city bordering Sliema, known for its lively nightlife. In addition, there are sandy beaches and water activities.

St. Julian’s is suitable if you’re a young couple looking for parties, entertainment, and vibrant nightlife in Malta.

St. Julians bay. Malta
View of St. Julians Bay, Spinola Harbour, Malta

Pros of staying in St. Julian’s:

  • Excellent area with many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
  • Several sandy beaches nearby
  • Nightlife options (casinos, bars)
  • Great shopping opportunities

Cons of staying in St. Julian’s:

  • Noisy and bustling in the evenings

Hotels I recommend:

  • Inhawi Boutique Hostel – The best budget option in St. Julian’s, offering both dormitory and private double rooms, with prices starting from 50 euros per night, which is very budget-friendly for Malta. Includes internet, continental breakfast, air conditioning. Supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and beaches are within walking distance.
  • The Westin Dragonara Resort 4* – A classic seaside resort with a pool, panoramic windows, and sea views. A very high-quality hotel with top-notch service. The best option for a seaside vacation for the whole family or a couple.

Saint Paul’s Bay (San Pawl il-Baħar), Bugibba, and Qawra

Saint Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, and Qawra are three cities that don’t have clear boundaries between them, smoothly transitioning into one another. They are located on the same eastern coast of Malta as Sliema and Valletta, with a distance of 15 km to the capital.

Essentially, these are three tourist areas with their own characteristics.

Saint Paul’s Bay is a fishing village with a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful beaches.

Bugibba is livelier, with more nightlife, making it a favorite among partygoers. Additionally, Bugibba boasts many restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine.

The town of Qawra is situated between Saint Paul’s Bay and Bugibba. It’s more suitable for family pairs. Nearby are shallow beaches, perfect for families with young children.

Bugibba, Malta
The modern tourist hotels and residential buildings at the shore of St Paul’s bay with the fishing harbour on the foreground, Bugibba, Malta


  • Beach relaxation within walking distance
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Prices are lower than in other places
  • Boat trips to Gozo or the Blue Lagoon are available


  • Public transportation isn’t great; long waits are possible. Renting a car is recommended.

Hotels I recommend:

  • Mayflower Hotel Malta – One of the best hotels in Malta in terms of value for money, with top-notch prices. A pool on the 9th floor with sea views, breakfast included, balcony in the room, cozy lobby, daily room cleaning. Highly recommended.
  • Seaview Hotel – Adults Only 16 Plus – Great location, spacious rooms, sea view, balcony, complimentary hotel treats. One of the best places to stay in Malta.
  • Seaside Luxury Apartment – Despite the “luxury” in the name, these apartments are mid-budget by Maltese standards, around 100 euros per night. The apartments feature a kitchen with everything you need, located in a quiet area near the sea, very comfortable overall.

Three Cities (Cottonera)

Opposite Valletta, on the eastern side of the Grand Harbor, lies a district known as the Three Cities.

The Three Cities of Malta—Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua—are renowned for their outstanding architecture. There are fewer tourists here, but plenty of accommodation options. Accommodations range from traditional guesthouses to boutique hotels overlooking the harbor.

Birgu town, Malta
Boats in a harbor of Birgu town, Malta


  • Surrounded by many historical buildings
  • Plenty of restaurants and bars
  • Quieter than Valletta or Sliema
  • Easily accessible to Valletta by water taxi or boat
  • Great views of the harbor and Valletta


  • Slightly remote from other tourist areas of Malta
  • Few swimming beaches available

Hotels I recommend:

  • Casa Cara – Apartments in Birgu, offering the best location and value for money against the backdrop of magnificent historic architecture.
  • BOCO Boutique Hotel – Amazing rooftop views of the city, close to the ferry to Valletta, surrounded by many attractions and historical sites. One of the best value-for-money options.
  • Cugo Gran Macina Malta 5* – Relatively expensive, luxurious, impeccable, and beautiful in every way, with prices around 300 euros per night.

Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala

Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala are the most vibrant areas in Malta, located on the southeast coast of the island.

Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala are two fishing villages. Marsaxlokk hosts the only fish market in Malta on Sundays, organized by local fishermen. Here, there’s less hustle and bustle, with many colorful boats, views of the harbor and sea, boat tours, and hiking trails.

Marsaxlokk, Malta
Marsaxlokk, Malta

Pros of staying in Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala:

  • Tranquil and quiet fishing villages
  • Market squares along the promenade
  • Cafes and restaurants by the sea
  • Nature and hiking trails with views of the rocky coastline

Cons of staying in Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala:

  • Own transportation is needed as it’s a bit far from other areas of Malta
  • Lack of nightlife (although many see this as a plus)

Hotels and guesthouses I recommend:

  • Port View Guesthouse: If you’re staying in a fishing village, it makes sense to stay near the harbor and promenade. This guesthouse offers spacious rooms and a terrace. Polite and responsive staff, as in most places in Malta. Pleasant pricing.
  • Dun Gorg Guest House: Good price for a beautiful guesthouse in a beautiful location. Parking available, breakfast included, and many fish restaurants nearby, offering a guaranteed immersion in Maltese life.

Mdina: The Historic Capital of Malta

Mdina is the ancient capital of Malta. It’s known for its peaceful atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle, earning it the nickname “the Silent City.”

If you’re looking for a place for secluded romantic relaxation amidst ancient history, confidently book a couple of nights here. The most famous landmarks include the Mdina Cathedral and the Palazzo Falzon.

Mdina, Malta
Mdina, Malta

Pros of staying in Mdina:

  • Quiet town
  • Nearby, within walking distance, is another beautiful town, Rabat
  • Many historical buildings
  • Many attractions within walking distance
  • 30 minutes by bus to Valletta
  • No cars

Cons of staying in Mdina:

  • No sea and beaches; you need to take a bus or drive to the coast
  • Limited parking

Where to stay in Mdina:

  • Point De Vue Guesthouse: Just a hundred meters from the gates of the old city, one of the best budget-friendly places to stay and explore Mdina, with breakfast included. Comfort, price, quality – top.
  • MYN in Rabat: A cool mid-budget hotel in Rabat. Rabat, the neighbor of Mdina, seemed even more interesting to us. Located in a residential area, spacious rooms, and a hospitable host.

Gozo Island

Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago. Gozo is often called the garden of Malta because of its abundant agriculture and natural beauty. If you want to live close to nature away from tourist crowds, understand the traditional Maltese way of life, and be near many historical landmarks, Gozo is the place for you.

Gozo, Malta
Gozo, Malta

Pros of staying on Gozo Island:

  • Opportunities for hiking, diving, and swimming in the sea
  • Option to bring your car to the island via ferry from the main island of Malta and explore further
  • Numerous beaches, cafes, and restaurants
  • Abundance of natural attractions such as the inland sea, the blue hole, temples, and the Ramla Bay beach
  • Proximity to the islands of Comino and the Blue Lagoon

Cons of staying on Gozo Island:

  • Farther away from the main island of Malta
  • Challenging without a rented car

Where to stay on Gozo Island:

  • Quaint Boutique Hotel: Spacious rooms, located near the central square of Nadur (Gozo), outdoor hydro-massage bath, high guest ratings due to included breakfast.
  • Viewpoint Boutique Living: A small cozy hotel surrounded by beautiful nature. The hotel’s highlight is a pool with an incredible view. Recommended, with a pleasant price range of around 140–160 euros per night depending on the day of the week and season.

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