When planning a trip to the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta, choosing the best town or village to stay in can truly make your holiday ten times better. Naturally, you’ll want to choose a destination that is well-connected to the areas you want to explore, with lots of activities you can enjoy in the vicinity. Even for a small island like Malta – where travel times from one town to the next can be as short as five minutes – you’d be surprised how much your experience can differ depending on which area of the island you’re staying in! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the central town of St Julian’s (or San Ġiljan, as the locals call it) to help you decide whether it’s the right base for your Malta holiday.
Nowadays, St Julian’s is renowned to be the island’s hotspot for all things entertainment; restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hotels – you name it. Home to the Paceville district, many travellers enjoy dancing the night away at one of the many clubs in this area. The town also boasts the island’s largest cinema complex, a bowling alley, shopping centre and beaches. But apart from endless entertainment options, the authentic charm of St Julian’s lies in its historical roots.
Originally a fisherman’s town, St Julian’s is situated along the northern coast of Malta and is connected to the town of Sliema by a picturesque seaside promenade. The town underwent rapid development during the 20th century and is now one of the most modernised areas of the island with several high-rise buildings situated here. Nonetheless, the old Mediterranean charm is still easily recognisable, particularly around the Spinola Bay area, where traditional fishing boats known as ‘Luzzu’ can still be seen in the water.
With hot summers and mild winters, the weather in St Julian’s makes it a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. You can head down to one of the rocky beaches along the St Julian’s to Sliema promenade or make your way to the sandy St George’s Bay instead. Alternatively, check out one of the pools in the area, such as the Hotel Juliani rooftop pool.
St Julian’s is a highly diverse town, one which changes quite significantly from day to night. You’ll also find different types of crowds in St Julian’s. An early morning stroll along the promenade and a stop at one of the delightful coffee shops or juice bars is a great way to start your day on a peaceful note among fellow early risers. As evening comes, you can enjoy a cocktail or two at one of the many bars in the area, followed by an excellent dinner at a Michelin-guide restaurant! Younger crowds also tend to head to Paceville for late-night dancing. Although the area can get quite busy, you can still find quieter corners to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner throughout the week.
Wherever you’re staying, travelling on foot is one of the best ways to explore a new town. In St Julian’s you’ll find that most restaurants and bars are concentrated in the central areas so getting around on foot is the obvious choice.
Since St Julian’s is a central town, it is well connected to most parts of the island by bus. You can easily travel to Sliema, Valletta, Mdina and even Gozo and Comino by bus for as little as €1.50 in winter and €2 in summer. To get to the sister islands, you’ll also need to catch a ferry.
St Julian’s is just a 30-minute drive from the Malta International Airport and you can pre-book a private taxi transfer or catch an Uber or Bolt directly to and from the airport. The average cost of a taxi is €20 but this may vary depending on the time of day. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can use the direct TD2 bus that goes directly to St Julian’s and the airport, taking approximately 26 minutes. The X1 and X2 bus routes also take you to the airport, although these may take up to an hour in travel time due to traffic.
There are lots of places to stay in St Julian’s including a range of hostels, 5-star hotels and boutique hotels. The Hotel Juliani boutique hotel is located just next to Spinola Bay, offering a luxurious retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Guests can enjoy spectacular rooftop views from the hotel pool, as well as many other facilities available for their comfort.
Discover Hotel Juliani today and experience the variety that St Julian’s Malta has to offer.