Last Updated on August 20, 2023
Located approximately 7km from Valletta, Malta’s capital, is the town of St Julian’s (also known as San Giljan). It has a reputation of having the best nightlife in Malta, with a large amount of bars, nightclubs and casinos in the Paceville area. But as someone that has no interest in the ‘clubbing’ scene, here’s a guide for things to do in St Julians Malta, away from the nightlife.
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Things To Do In St Julians Malta
My favourite thing to do in St Julians was to spend time in Spinola Bay. This is a little bay area surrounded by waterfront restaurants and places to eat. It also has several benches along the water, perfect for people watching.
There are also several Luzzus that are moored up in Spinola Bay. These are the traditional brightly coloured Maltese fishing boats that are commonly seen nowadays in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. If you look closely, they have the ‘eyes of Osaris’ painted on the front, said to ‘protect’ the fishermen while out at sea.
On the seawall there is a monument of a fisherman feeding a cat. Another cool sculpture says ‘LOVE‘ and when the sun is in just the right place, its shadow spells LOVE on the floor too.
From the traditional boats in Spinola Bay, if you head round the corner to the Portomaso Marina, you’ll find large modern yachts. This area is more residential, with very expensive apartments, but during the day time, the marina can be accessed via the Spanish Steps. There are a couple of places to eat here too, such as the Blue Elephant Thai restaurant.
Located next to the marina is the Portomaso Business Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Malta. It is mostly used for offices, but has some shops on the lower level and a nightclub on the top floor.
Gnien Spinola is a little garden area between Portomaso and Spinola bay. There are plenty of benches to sit in the shade as well as a selection of free outdoor gym equipment.
Another one of my favourite things to do in St Julians, was to walk along the Sliema Promenade. I actually ended up walking almost the whole way from St Julians to Valletta along it (catching the Sliema ferry for the last stretch)!
Bay Street Shopping Complex
The Bay Street Shopping Complex is open Monday to Sunday from 10am until 10pm. There are a range of different shops and places to eat, including large chain restaurants such as the Rainforest Cafe, McDonalds and Planet Hollywood. On the upper level is Multimaxx which has laser tag and VR experiences.
The shopping complex is in the heart of the Paceville district, this is where most of the bars and clubs are located (Spinola Bay feels a little more civilised and relaxed!).
Beaches in St Julians
There are 3 main beaches in St Julians: St George’s Bay, Westin Rock Beach and Balluta Bay. The largest being St George’s Bay, close to the Bay Street Shopping Complex. This is a sandy beach where it’s safe to swim. You’ll also find a couple of water sport rental companies that hire boats, paddle boards and kayaks.
Where To Eat In St Julians
I wrote a whole guide on restaurants in St Julians which you can find here: 5 Unique Budget Friendly Restaurants In St Julians. There is a wide range of different places to eat from water front seafood restaurants in Spinola Bay or large chain restaurants in the Bay Street Complex. Some of my personal favourites were:
- The Blue Elephant Thai Restaurant (it has an indoor waterfall and stream with koi carp!)
- Shoreditch Bar & Kitchen (for giant pancakes)
- The Crafty Cat Pub (for an Alice in Wonderland themed pub with craft beer and great food)
- Forty Fishes (for budget friendly seafood)
- The Dubliner (for good music and food)
Where To Stay In St Julians Malta
St Julians has a range of different accommodation options for various budgets. I stayed at the Hilton Malta which partly overlooks the Portomaso Marina. It was down its own little road, so was in a very quiet location, away from general foot and vehicle traffic.
KING DELUXE ROOM
I was staying in a King Deluxe room with a garden view (I could also see the sea from my room!) on the ground floor (which is actually considered the 3rd!). It had a sofa and an armchair, along with a desk and chair, a TV, tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and a wardrobe with a safe, ironing board, hair drier, robes and complimentary slippers and even an umbrella!
The Hilton is trying hard to become more eco conscious. It has a bin with sectioned off recycling compartments, toiletries are in refillable bottles (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion and hand soap) and there’s even a separate tap in the bathroom that provides unlimited fresh drinking water.
The Hilton Malta has 4 outdoor pools (not heated) and an indoor pool. The indoor pool is heated and has a whirlpool area as well as a sauna and a steam room. After 7pm children are not allowed in the pool area, so this is a great time to go as it empties out a little.
The gym and spa area is amazing. There is a full exercise studio, a spin class room, squash courts, table tennis, a MASSIVE gym with every piece of equipment you can think of, along with all the massage treatments etc that are available.
I went to the pool and spa most evenings after dinner, instead of checking out the nightlife in St Julians! It’s open until quite late, so it was a nice way to wind down after a day of exploring.
Breakfast at Hilton Malta
I was staying on a bed & breakfast basis so had the buffet breakfast included. My highlights were the made to order omelette station, the fresh smoothies, the fancy honey straight from a block of honeycomb and the ‘fill your own’ croissants. There was plenty of choice for both hot and cold food options.
St Julians Malta FAQ
In St Julians, I really liked Spinola Bay and the harbour area, which is quite photogenic. For a little more luxury, the Portomaso Marina has a completely different vibe, with expensive yachts and fancy cars parked outside the Portomaso casino!
Yes. The main beach in St Julians Malta is St George’s Bay. It is sandy and a good place to swim.
St Julians has a reputation of having the best nightlife in Malta, with a large amount of bars, nightclubs and casinos in the Paceville area.
Speaking from my own experience, I didn’t really go out much after dark and tried to avoid the Paceville area at night. However during the day time I felt safe in St Julians, especially in the Spinola Bay area. I also felt very safe staying at the Hilton Malta.