The best place to stay in Malta – Island comparison guide

So, you’ve decided to book a holiday to Malta? Great choice – we love the island! It’s a compact collection of history, culture and year-round warm weather. Prices are very reasonable, and the choice of accommodation is plentiful. Read on for our top recommendations on the best place to stay in Malta and the finest Malta hotels for every budget.

St Julian’s

St Julian’s is our personal choice for the best place to stay in Malta. Although it can be a little more expensive than other areas (staying just outside is a little cheaper), its central location to the east of Malta is perfect for exploring the whole island! A drive almost anywhere will take less than half an hour and St Julian’s has plenty to offer.

It has a vibrant nightlife scene, a pretty marina surrounded by high quality bars and restaurants, a long promenade, and small beach with live entertainment and facilities. It’s also home to a large shopping mall and multiple casinos. In terms of where to stay, it has some of the best hotels, particularly on the luxury scale. Stay in the luxurious Dragonara Resort, Hilton or Hotel Valentina, or opt for a suave but cheap boutique. The hotels here are some of the best in Malta.

St Julian’s does tend to have a young crowd and prices are higher than elsewhere, so keep that in mind. However, the location could not be better!

A note on Paceville

Paceville is a long strip of bars located in the centre of St Julian’s. It attracts a young party crowd and bars range from live music pubs, shisha bars and dance bars, to lively late-night clubs. It’s loud, colourful and crazy at times. The area also has a lot of gentleman’s bars.

If you love late-night partying, Paceville is perfect, however the area is confined so you can have an excellent holiday in St Julian’s if you’re not into the party scene.

Where to stay in Malta - St Julian's Marina Malta


  • Excellent location
  • Large variety of top-rated hotels
  • The best nightlife scene in Malta


  • A little expensive
  • There are better beaches elsewhere
  • Can be crowded, particularly in the summer

Best for: Couples, singles and those that like luxury holidays.

Hotel recommendations

Luxury: 5-star

Hilton Malta – View on

The five-star Hilton is one of the best hotels in Malta. It has excellent views of St Julian’s and an array of luxurious facilities.

Luxury: 4-star

The Westin Dragonara Resort Malta – View on

A sprawling complex with a large pool, private beach, multiple top-rated restaurants and nearby casino. One of the best-located and prestigious hotels in St Julian’s and surprisingly good value.

Mid-range: 3-star

Hotel Valentina – View on

A stylish boutique hotel located right next to St Julian’s Marina. It’s an ideal location for the nightlife of Paceville and more relaxing beach area. This hotel is good if you want to be in the centre of the action and prices are sub-£100 per night.

Budget: 3-star

Spinola Hotel – View on

This modern boutique hotel has a rooftop terrace with excellent views of the marina. It’s small but well located and it has excellent reviews.


Sliema is one of the most popular places to stay in Malta. Situated between St Julian’s and Valletta, its location couldn’t be better for exploring the east coast and although the area itself is a quiet, there is plenty to see and do nearby. It is centred on a long promenade of restaurants, shops and yachts and its home to the impressive 18th-century Fort Tigne. You can also catch a boat trip to tour the famous Valletta harbourside to get the best views of the city, or a longer boat trip to the must-see islands of Comino and Gozo.

Sliema has a variety of budget accommodations, making it an ideal place to base yourself if you’re looking for a cheap week away or want to spend more of your time and money exploring the nearby towns and coastline. This also makes it an affordable place for families, however the only nearby beach is of the rocky variety and you’ll need to travel further afield for golden sands.

We’d recommend choosing Sliema if you want a lower cost place to stay, but in a good location with plenty of shopping and dining/nightlife opportunities. It remains the best place to stay in Malta for many visitors!

The Best place to stay in Malta - Shows Sliema harbour


  • Well located, with decent transport links (both road and boat trips)
  • Plenty of restaurants, shops and pubs and a nice promenade to explore
  • Several budget accommodation options


  • Fewer mid-range to luxury accommodation options
  • Lack of sandy beaches
  • Quite tourist centred and congested, with a lack of culture and history

Best for: Friends, couples and budget holiday seekers

Hotel recommendations

Luxury: 5-star

AX The Palace – View on

In our opinion this is the best hotel in Sliema due to its amazing rooftop pool and trendy modern interior. It also has plenty of facilities, perfectly catering to those that love staying in a luxury hotel on holiday. See the reviews for yourself to see just how cool this modern hotel is.

Mid-range: 3-star

Pebbles Boutique Aparthotel – View on

The Pebbles Boutique is another modern hotel that has spacious apartments for rooms, meaning you have plenty of space to relax and can cook your own meals if you wish. It’s nicely furnished and has good views of the harbour-side. Did we mention the rooftop hot tub?


Time Flies B&B – View on TripAdvisor

A beautifully decorated guesthouse on the west-side of Sliema, Time Flies B&B couldn’t be a better place to stay for those looking for cheaper but excellent accommodation in Sliema. You’ll have plenty of space in their bright, spacious rooms and the reviews are excellent.


The country’s historic capital is no doubt a must-see for any visit. The iconic Valletta harbourside is best captured by boat and you’ll find everything from fortresses and cannon batteries to the visually stunning St John’s Cathedral in the city centre. The entire area is surrounded by castle walls and terraces; even entering Valletta through the main gate, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step into the past. Unlike the holiday resorts we’ve mentioned, a stay in Valletta is about sightseeing and enjoying the excellent food and historic attractions this city has to offer. It’s the best place to stay in Malta for a short, cultural city break.

Being a capital city, the hotels on offer tend to be luxurious and boutique in style, meaning you’ll pay more to stay here than you would elsewhere. There are plenty of good quality restaurants and bars, where you’ll eat some of the best food on offer in Malta.

Its south-east location means you can easily venture out of the city and explore the other nearby beaches and towns with ease, and the public transport links are particularly good.

We recommend a stay in Valletta for those that love history and want to explore the most culture rich area of the island and can be combined with another area of Malta for a mixed experience of what the country has to offer.


  • The most cultural and historic place to stay, with plenty to see and do
  • Excellent accommodation options – perfect for those that love luxury travel (places are limited)
  • High-quality bars and restaurants offering some of the best food you’ll find


  • A less relaxing holiday experience and no access to beaches
  • A more expensive place to stay than nearby locations
  • The nightlife scene in Valletta consists of restaurants and bars, compared to the vibrant party nightlife of St Julian’s

Best for: Couples of all ages, culture and history lovers

Hotel recommendations

Luxury: 5-star

The Phoenicia Malta – View on

If infinity pool views of the historic harbourside and grand dining halls and gardens is more your style, The Phoenicia is the best. Its charming mansion exterior fits in perfectly with the architecture of the city. It’s located right next to the city gate/entrance, so you can easily access other areas of Malta.

Luxury: 4.5-star

Casa Ellul – View on

Everything from the dining experiences to the rooftop hot hub and grand room décor is luxurious at the Casa Ellul. You’re within walking distance of all the main sites in this top-rated boutique hotel.

Mid-range: 2-star

Grand Harbour Hotel – View on

A slightly aged but grand hotel with a traditional feel, the Grand Harbour Hotel provides excellent views of Valletta’s iconic waterfront. Reasonably priced and in a good location. Be sure to ask for a sea-view balcony!

Mid-range: 3-star

Osborne Hotel – View on

Another hotel that lives and breathes the historic architecture of Valletta is the Osborne. It’s located within the narrow city streets, giving you a great base to explore the key attractions. Enjoy the sun by the rooftop pool or cosy drinks in a spacious bar area.

Bugibba / St Paul’s Bay

Bugibba may be a small village to the north-east, but it’s been a popular holiday resort for many years and has plenty to do. It has a man-made sandy beach, plenty of bars and restaurants and it’s in a good location to explore the north of Malta. You can also reach the capital of Valletta within a 30-minute drive or 40-minute bus trip.

One of the best things about Bugibba is the easy access to some of the best attractions that Malta has to offer. Board one of the many tour boats in the marina and set sail for the islands of Comino and Gozo in the north. You’ll get to explore coves, caves and turquoise lagoons or the history of Gozo’s capital – Victoria. The nearby beaches and bay of St Paul’s are also very good. Nightlife here isn’t the party scene you’d find in St Julian’s, however there are some good pubs and karaoke bars with a typical holiday resort atmosphere.

Accommodation choice is a little limited here due to the small size, however there are still some excellent places to stay. Prices are cheaper than elsewhere in Malta, even in the busier summer months.

The wider area of St Pauls Bay offers you a selection of nice hotels and some excellent coves and rocky beaches to explore, with Bugibba being the centre all the action.

Where to stay in Malta - Bugibba


  • Good for boat trips and scuba diving tours
  • Variety of shops, bars and restaurants
  • Good value, cheaper accommodation – ideal for families


  • You’ll have to drive south to see many of the key sites (Mdina, Valletta, etc)
  • A ‘holiday resort’ vibe, providing a less cultural experience of Malta
  • The beach of Bugibba is mediocre and there isn’t a lot of space to sunbathe

Best for: Families, couples and traditional beach holiday seekers


Hotel recommendations

Shamrock Apartments

For families and groups on a budget, the Shamrock Apartments are ideal. They’re spacious but basic and a short walk from the beach. For the price, you couldn’t find better accommodation and there’s plenty to see and do nearby.


Sunseeker Holiday Complex – View on

Currently one of the top-rated accommodations in Bugibba town, these traditionally decorated and spacious apartments are well located and have facilities to cook your own meals. No frills but perfect for families and reasonably priced.

Mid-range: 4-star

Salini Resort – View on

Located just across the bay from Bugibba town, we love the design of the modern, 4-star Salini Resort hotel. It has a spectacular infinity pool with views of the ocean and spacious, stylish rooms. It’s slightly secluded so you’ll need a car.


Shamrock Apartments – View on

For families and groups on a budget, the Shamrock Apartments are ideal. They’re spacious but basic and a short walk from the beach. For the price, you couldn’t find better accommodation and there’s plenty to see and do nearby.


Mellieħa has the longest sandy beach on the island and this far north seaside area is a more secluded place to enjoy a traditional beach holiday. See how the locals live in the Maltese village, which has lots of natural coves and landscapes to explore. It’s also close to the excellent beaches of the west coast, including Golden Bay (our favourite beach in Malta).

It offers a relaxing holiday atmosphere in a traditional Maltese town and although you’ll find a handful of restaurants and bars to check out, nightlife is quiet, and it caters best to families and those that want a relaxing holiday. As with most of Malta, you can reach the key attractions elsewhere on the island, so don’t let the secluded location put you off, however you will need a car.

Accommodation is on the cheaper side and there are plenty of 3 and 4-star hotels, however you won’t find true budget resorts. Expect the area to get busy in summer, whilst off-season you’ll have the place to yourself.

Did we mention that the famous Popeye village is located here? The original 1980 Popeye movie was filmed in Mellieħa and you can explore the quirky village set today. It’s a great family attraction.

Where to stay in Malta - Mellieha


  • An insight into Maltese village life, with pretty towns and landscapes
  • One of the best areas in Malta for beaches, featuring the longest sandy beach
  • A good selection of 3 and 4-star hotels, perfect for a family holiday


  • A more secluded area of Malta. You’ll need a car to explore the key attractions
  • Can get very busy in the summer months and prices rise significantly
  • A lack of nightlife and limited selection of bars and restaurants

Best for: Families, couples of all ages and traditional beach holiday seekers

Hotel recommendations

Luxury: 5-star

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa – View on

No doubt the best hotel in Mellieħa and the top-rated on Tripadvisor, the 5-star Radisson Blue is packed with facilities and caters to all audiences, whether you’re visiting for a family holiday or romantic couples’ retreat. It’s perfectly located for the beach and has multiple swimming pools.

Luxury: 4-star

DB Seabank Resort and Spa – View on

This giant hotel complex is designed around every holiday need. It has an enormous swimming pool, kid’s club and play area, spa, nightly entertainment and multiple dining options. The perfect place to stay for a family holiday.

Mid-range: 4-star

Ramla Bay Resort – View on

A 4-star hotel to the far north Ramla Beach area of Mellieħa, this secluded but feature-packed hotel is great for couples that want a quiet holiday. Enjoy romantic views of the bay in the balcony restaurant, relax on the private beach or wander the immaculate grounds of this large hotel. You can easily catch a ferry to Gozo from here.

Mid-range: 4-star

Pergola Hotel & Spa – View on

The Pergola Hotel can be surpassingly cheap for a 4-star hotel, depending on when you visit. It’s a long-standing resort located within Mellieħa town, providing excellent views of this quiet fishing village. There are plenty of facilities both at the hotel and the town itself. The cave setting of the bar and restaurant is particularly impressive.


A visit to Malta is not complete without a visit to the culture-rich island of Gozo to the north. It has thousands of years of occupation history from inhabitants ranging from the Phoenicians and Romans, to more recent French and British colonial influence. Key things to see on Gozo include the capital of Victoria and its stunning Citadel castle, wineries, churches and the intricate coastline of caves, turquoise waters and diving spots.

Many people get the ferry to Gozo for a busy day of sightseeing, however it’s well worth staying here for at least a few nights to get a true feel to the island. It’s much quieter than Malta and has plenty of historic sites for those looking for a cultural experience. You’ll spend your time here sightseeing in the towns and retreating to the coast for a dip into the refreshing turquoise waters.

Gozo may be a quiet island in terms of nightlife and congestion, however it’s still home to roughly 31,000 people and attracts many tourists, particularly in peak summer months. Accommodation consists of many boutique hotels and guesthouses rather than the many resorts of Malta’s mainland, and prices are generally cheaper than Malta.

We recommend a visit to Gozo for anyone, however couples and those wanting a quiet, cultural holiday are best using the island as their base. Why not spend a few days in Gozo and the rest of your holiday in Malta for a mixed holiday experience?


  • An authentic and cultural holiday destination
  • Quiet and relaxing
  • Cheaper than mainland Malta, with plenty of nice accommodation options


  • A secluded island with less attractions than Malta if staying for an extended period
  • Can only be reached by ferry, which involves a drive from the airport and then a connecting ferry
  • A lack of nightlife

Best for: Culture and history lovers. Couples and older groups looking for a quiet holiday.

Hotel recommendations

Luxury: 5-star

Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz – View on

A large, luxurious hotel, located north-west of Victoria. The secluded location of this impressive hotel is ideal for those that love to relax in nice surroundings, with a huge pool. We love the décor!


The Duke Boutique Hotel – View on

Perfect for exploring the historic Gozo capital of Victoria, this small but trendy hotel is everything you’d expect from a 4-star boutique. The highlight is a balcony hot tub with views of the city. It’s within walking distance of all the main sites.

Mid-range: 3-star

San Andrea Hotel – View on

The popular Xlendi Promenade is one of the must-sees of the island. This intricate cove has a quiet bay where you can swim or go for romantic walks along the promenade on an evening. The San Andrea Hotel overlooks the bay, with superb views from the room balconies. The on-site restaurant is also very good.

Need help deciding on where to stay in Malta? Let us know your interests and what you want from your holiday in the comments section below or email us. We’re happy to help.

We hope we’ve helped you pick the best place to stay in Malta for your holiday. You’re going to love the island!


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