valletta city

Where to stay in Malta – Valletta or Sliema? 

  • Aug 28, 2021

Tourists who have just booked their flight to Malta often ask whether they should stay in Valletta or Sliema. 

Valletta and Sliema are known for very different things. Valletta is Malta’s Baroque capital, brimming with the tangible remnants of centuries of history. On the other hand, Sliema is a multicultural hub known for its promenade, nightlife and shopping districts. 

If you’re interested in our take on this much-debated question, we suggest that you keep reading. 


Malta’s capital is only 1km by 600m – but its 16th-century charm makes it one of the Mediterranean’s most fascinating capitals. As you set foot in the city, you’ll be greeted by the Tritons of the Tritons’ fountain – one of Malta’s most important Modernist landmarks, the Renzo Piano-designed City Gate, the parliament and the open-air opera house. Republic Street, the city’s main street, is brimming with cafes, shops, museums, hotels, restaurants, gelaterias and interesting characters. 

We highly recommend visiting landmarks such as the Upper Barrakka Garden at noon, St John’s Co-Cathedral, the Manoel Theatre, the National Museum of Archeology and the Grandmaster’s Palace. Valletta is also blessed with some of the best restaurants on the islands – as certified by the Michelin Guide. Reserve a table at Aaron’s Kitchen, Noni or Guzé Bistro, and we promise that you won’t be disappointed!


Sliema means peace in Maltese – however, this commercial and social hub is anything but. It’s Malta’s very own Manhattan – with designer boutiques, high street shops, chic bars, hotels and hostels aplenty. Its 2km seaside promenade is a popular spot for jogging, sightseeing and people watching. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, start walking down Sir Adrian Dingli Street and allow yourself to get lost in the quaint network of traditional Maltese backstreets. Stop at a local cafe for espresso or a cup of tea and a chat with the locals. If you want to explore Sliema’s coastline, you can also book a boat or ferry for a half-day cruise by popping down to the promenade and talking to one of the ferry operators there.

So, Valletta or Sliema?

Valletta! Malta’s capital city is the perfect base for your stay as it’s well-connected to the rest of the islands. You can take a ferry to Sliema, Gozo or the Three Cities, and there’s also an extensive bus network operating right from Valletta’s main bus terminal. You can also book a cab, and it will literally show up in minutes. Plus – staying in Valletta means that you’re within walking distance of all of the city’s main attractions.

If you’re thinking about booking a flight to Malta, there’s no better hotel to stay at than Casa Ellul. This luxury hotel is known for its exclusive suites, hospitable staff and excellent service. Best of all, it’s located on a quiet street that’s mere minutes away from cultural landmarks, cafes, shops, museums and restaurants. What more could you possibly ask for?