Sliema, Malta is located just over the harbour from the capital Valletta. With a more modern feel than many of the towns on the island, it’s known as Malta’s commercial district, as well as for its shops and swimming spots. While we were staying in St. Paul’s Bay, we decided to take a short bus ride to explore the town for the day. It didn’t charm me the way some of the other places I saw on Malta did, but it’s the place to go when you want swimming and a little bit of luxury. Here’s some ideas of things to do in Sliema.
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Seaside Promenade Walk From Sliema to St. Julian’s
Arriving in Sliema from St Paul’s Bay, we got off the bus in St. Julian’s at the start of the Seaside Promenade, which stretches 2 kilometre with gorgeous views of the coastline. Generally this is an easy, flat walk with plenty of places to rest and enjoy the view. However, I don’t recommend it if you spent the day before SUP boarding against the wind for a few kilometres until your arms and legs turn to jelly. But I’m just speaking from experience.
If you are into your nightlife, start at the opposite end in Sliema and work your way back through the day. Then end in St. Julian’s after night fall. This area is most known for its bars and clubs. It isn’t what we did as I pressed the stop button on the bus as we approached the scene below as it was pretty and the sea views were calling my name. And our jelly legs wouldn’t have been up for dancing.
You won’t be able to ignore the turquoise sea flanked by little bays, a few sandy spots and rocky outcrops begging you to put on your swimsuit and jump into the calm, warm sea. Which brings me to one of the best things to do.
Sliema is lacking in large sandy beaches but certainly not lacking in great swimming spots. This includes spots in the sea reachable by ladder and roped off by red and yellow buoys along the promenade. As you walk along, you’ll come across the strange Roman baths, pool cut into the rocks by the sea with ladders (although they are estimated to date from the Victorian Age, not the Roman). These pools are popular for sitting, swimming and relaxing in, sheltered from the main sea.
Sliema is also home to some of Malta’s best shopping. This includes the largest shopping mall, the Point. We had a walk around although admittedly didn’t find much that we couldn’t find back home. The majority of shops are the same as most UK malls. But there are a lot of shops over 4 levels if you are in need of some retail therapy, because what’s a holiday without a bit of shopping?
There’s no time more spectacular to check out the view of Valletta across the harbour than sunset. We watched part of the sunset from the Point, admiring the pinkish hued sky.
After you’ve had enough of the shops head out to the point itself. This little viewpoint is located around the corner from the Point shopping centre with great views out towards Valletta and Fort Manoel.
Bars and restaurants
As night started to fall, we walked along the waterfront looking for somewhere to eat. The mild evening meant it was perfect for sitting outside. We stopped at a restaurant along the water to watch the rest of the sunset with a cold Cisk beer in hand and some pasta.
I’d say you don’t need more than a day to see Sliema itself, but as it’s easily connected to the rest of the island with tons of accommodation, it can be a great choice as a base while in Malta.
Getting to Sliema
Sliema is easy to reach from the rest of Malta. Here’s how to get there from other major spots in Malta:
- Valletta – Take the 13, 14, 15, 16 or 21 bus from Valletta’s main bus station or take the ferry (you can find ferry schedule here).
- St Paul’s Bay – Take the 222 bus
- Gozo – Take the ferry to Cirkewwa and then the 222 bus
- Airport – Take the X2 bus
- Mdina – Take the 202 bus
- Marsaxlokk – take the 81 or 85 bus to Valletta then switch to one of the buses in Valletta mentioned above
Where to Stay in Sliema
Sliema has a lot of accommodation and is a popular place to stay in Malta. Find accommodation in Sliema here.