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Malta Travel Guide – Shopping, Beaches, Restaurants, Cocktails & More!

  • Jun 21, 2017

Why Valletta Is The Perfect Basepoint For All The Island Has To Offer ... some Malta travel advice!

With Malta’s great climate throughout May to October, when visiting for a holiday, being close to the beach might seem the wisest option.  However with the amount of tourists visiting the island, especially during the summer months, these popular beaches, particularly the northern beaches like Mellieha Bay, can get very busy and in peak times you’ll likely find yourself lying down on crammed sun beds or with towels overlapping that of other bathers.

Whilst it’s good to take in the atmosphere on the busy beaches for just a day (or a couple of days, if your stay in Malta is a long one) – it might be somewhat a better idea if you had to spend most of your holiday somewhere more central, like that you can travel to and from quieter parts of Malta, and take in the sights of thousands of years of history.  This will certainly make a better balanced holiday.

Valletta is an ideal basepoint for accommodation in Malta. It’s perfectly situated to allow easy travel around the island.  In fact Valletta is home to a major bus hub, with practically routes to all over the island.  Valletta being Malta’s capital city, offers numerous key attractions, plenty of restaurants and shops, plus the Grand Harbour is a launch pad for daily island hopping boat trips.


Valletta City has a lot to offer, with shops on Republic Street and Merchant Street for short stays, but for a longer visit to Malta you could also explore the shops in Sliema.

Nightlife & Cocktails

If you would want to stay in Valletta, there are plenty of bars to choose from – we recommend Bridge Bar, Café Society, Django Jazz Bar & Streat.

Otherwise you can go to Sliema to enjoy the view of the Grand Harbour from the other side, or you can enjoy a livelier nightlife especially around St. Julians area.  Juuls Bar is recommended for cocktails, Hole in the Wall is an option if you prefer to stay indoors, then there is City Of London for a casual drink, and Thirsty Barber or Electrolobster for more tempting cocktails.  These are all options for a somewhat older crowd, 26 & over.  For the young at heart Paceville is the place to go to.

Bus Cards & Transport

If travelling by bus is how you prefer to get around, you can opt for an ExplorePlus card with 7 days of unlimited travel which also includes specific trips to Gozo and Comino.  It’s easy to travel by taxi, however – the Ecabs service is probably the cheapest on the island. Agree the cost of your journey before you take off. Or if you prefer you can hire your own car, which will give you more freedom.

Boat Tours & Beaches

For a more scenic route across and around the islands, consider taking a boat tour. Malta has twelve blue flag beaches, so there are plenty of sandy spaces to explore and if you prefer a secluded spot try San Blas in Gozo, Riviera close to Mgarr or Armier Bay in Mellieha.  And to experience the uniqueness of a red beach, visit Gozo’s Ramla l-Ħamra – simply beautiful.

You can also head to Marsaxlokk for a great day out – perhaps starting with shore diving at Delimara Point or a swim at St.Peter’s Pool, followed by a fish platter at La Reggia or La Nostra Padrona in Marsaxlokk.

Best Restaurants

You really will be spoilt for choice for restaurants in Malta, however Valletta is home to very many highly recommended traditional eateries such as the stunning and romantic Rampila, and alternatives Guzé, Legligin, Rubino, Trattoria Romana Zero Sei and Trabuxu Bistro. So not only is Valletta a great place to stay for exploring, but it’s perfect to be able to enjoy a starlight stroll to your hotel after dinner.

In case on one of your nights you would want to enjoy a dinner around St. Julians area, we recommend you visit the moonlit Balluta Bay – either the celebrity frequented Barracuda Restaurant or Wigi’s Kitchen, and perhaps pay a trip to the casino after that, why not :)!