How To Choose The Best Place To Stay In Malta

Nestled between Sicily and the North African coast is where you will find Malta.  A tiny, yet beautiful archipelago surrounded by endless blues of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Exploring the islands,  you’ll stumble upon narrow winding streets, baroque architecture, ancient fortified medieval cities. Oh and a colourful history.  All which could seem as if they read straight out of pages of a fairytale. 

So if you’re here I guess you’ve finally decided to visit Malta? I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I do. 

First thing first: is making sure you choose the best place to stay right?  

Rest assured there’s a hotel, resort for all budgets and types of travellers in all areas of the island.  

So, this complete guide will help you choose the best place to stay in Malta based on your needs.  

Oh, but before I begin.

Have you heard the latest? 

So as if holiday here isn’t amazing enough!

In a drive to revive tourism, Malta Travel Authority are giving tourists €200 spending money… (well as good as)

To qualify you will need to book your stay directly through the website of participating hotels.

Once you arrive and check in, you will receive the “money” by way of vouchers to spend in the hotel i.e. food, drink and extras.

The initiative is similar to voucher schemes offered in many European countries, last summer and tourists will be “paid” as follows:

*€100 per person on every 5* hotel booking

*€75 per person on every 4* hotel booking

*€50 per person on every 3* hotel booking

 If you stay in a hotel participating on Gozo, you will get an extra 10% on the values shown above.

Wondering where’s the catch?

Well…

You have to stay in the hotel for at least three days. But, considering the untold amount of places to see and things to do in Malta

I’m sure you’d agree it’s hardly a catch right.

Just be sure to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best value for your holiday. (Also check the cancellation policy).

*Tourism reopens 1st June 2021

Where’s the best place to stay in Malta?

Before you run off and book, ask yourself this… 

What type of traveller are you?  

Your answer will guarantee you have an unforgettable trip. Who knows… you may even end up moving here! (Ha) 

Are you a nature lover or a slow (mindful) traveller and like to immerse yourself in local culture?

Then the best places to stay for you are: Rabat, Mdina, Mgarr, Mellieha, Valletta Marsaxlokk and Gozo. 

Perhaps you’re not fussed in the least bit about learning the local culture and are heading to Malta for a good time.

A cheap holiday involving lots of partying, untold fun and a great central base to get around? (I’ve been there!)

The ideal spots for you are places such as St Julians and Sliema.

Here for a short trip such as travelling to Malta in December? Or without a car? Your best options are The Three Cities, Sliema or Valletta.

Couples looking for a tranquil romantic break and those seeking beach holidays should consider staying in Mellieha or even sister island Gozo. 

Bugibba, Qawra and St Pauls is the best place to stay in Malta for Budget Travellers. Staying here will allow you to explore the North of the island. And it is perfect for those travelling with families. 


Stay in Mellieha for the Best Beaches in Malta

My love affair with Malta and specifically Mellieha began with a search for a holiday in Europe.

It was after the summer holidays, so I was looking for somewhere that was still hot.  

Google returned with Portugal (where I had recently visited) and a place called Malta. 

So I booked a flight. 

Before deciding on the best place to stay in Malta, my next search was: “where are the best beaches in Malta?”

If you are looking for the best beaches in Malta, and want to stay close. 

That’s an easy one… just head North! 

Mellieha is an idyllic village in the most northern part of Malta renowned for its sandy beaches. 

The largest sandy beach in Malta, Mellieha Beach or Ghadira Bay (as it is also known)  located in Mellieha. 

Perched atop a hilltop the village mesmerises everyone with its breathtaking views. Mellieha becomes the choice for most couples seeking a romantic break away.

And those seeking a beach holiday. Mellieha is a fantastic host and offers a variety of dining options and bars.   

Mellieha is the Best Place to Stay in Malta For… 

  • A romantic trip for couples 
  • Family Friendly 
  • Relaxation 
  • Travellers looking for peace 
  • Slow Travellers 
  • Nature Walks/ Hiking
  • Great base for travel to Gozo & Comino
  • Beach Holiday

Where to Stay in Mellieha?

Luxury Hotels in Mellieha 

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Malta (Located on Golden Sands). Looking for a quiet and private but luxury setting near the beach to stay with your family? Then, Radisson Blu & Spa is your ideal resort to be. Its comfortable rooms give not only seaside views but also countryside views. Kids will have a separate pool for them to enjoy safely. Rate: US$188 per night.

Mid-Range Hotels in Mellieha 

Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa

This grand hotel is located on the main street of Mellieha and is only 1km from the beach. Maritim Antonine Hotel has panoramic (and rooftop) views of both the sea and countryside. Rooms are elegant and spacious and overlook the city, sea or garden. The hotel has 3 pools: one is indoor and thus heated. The other is on the roof. Rate: US$112 per night.

Solana Hotel 

Refurbished in 2018, Solana Hotel has 180 rooms on-site ranging from double rooms to one-bed apartments. Some of the rooms even come with a kitchenette making it perfect for couples and even families. Located in the heart of Mellieha Village, Solana Hotel is the perfect base. From here you can experience the village’s many restaurants. check out points of interest including of course, Malta’s largest sandy beach! Rate $47 per night

LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa

Overlooking Marfa Bay, this hotel is in a prime seafront location. The hotel includes 2 seawater pools. LABRANDA designer rooms have balconies or terraces. Rate: US$37 per night.

Family Friendly in Mellieha 

Mellieha Holiday Centre 

Known locally as Danish Village, Mellieha Holiday Centre located next door to the Ghadira Nature Reserve. The complex houses 150 self-contained bungalows (each with private courtyards). And is the best place to stay in Malta for families. The beautiful landscaped gardens provide the perfect tranquil settings. There is an on-site restaurant, supermarket for your added convenience. Not to mention three pools – one of which is ideal for babies and young children. Rate: $200 (per bungalow) for 2 nights

More hotels in Mellieha and reviews 

What you need to know before you book Mellieha

As I mentioned Mellieha sits atop a hill, so it may not be the best place to stay in Malta for those with mobility issues.

That said, you can easily get around by car.  Mellieha is also well served by public transport. So you can take a bus to the best best beaches in Malta. 

But, you will need to bear in mind, Mellieha is popular with locals too. So it gets busier on Sundays (and public holidays)!  

Another thing to consider is: Mellieha is a seaside village. Though there are pubs and bars, it is not a spot for buzzing nightlife! You will need to head to St Julians, Sliema or other neighbouring areas for a good old boogie. 

Check out this post for things to do in Mellieha

St Julian’s Best Place to Stay For Living Yo’ Best Life! 

St. Julians is a cacophony of restaurants, bars, diners and nightlife. Be it casinos or even gentleman’s clubs (no judgement).

You’ll also find trendy rooftop bars with breathtaking views. St Julians is one of Malta’s busiest hubs. And it is renowned for its many language schools.

This has given the town an international student vibe. You would think St Julians is the best place to stay in Malta for young people and solo travellers right?   

Did you know St Julians has the most five-star hotels than any other region on the island?

So it’s not only for youngsters and party animals. 

St Julians is  also perfect for those wanting a bit of luxury in a central hub.

A few of these luxurious hotels have private beaches too. Making it possible to escape the hustle and bustle.

St Julians has a range of accommodation types that includes hostels and guesthouses.

And thus suitable choice for budget/solo travellers – up for a party!

Every country in the world has that touristy clubbing strip. And Paceville is Malta’s main nightlife spot.

If you are wondering what are the best places in Malta for a party…

then this is it! As raucous as it can get there. Don’t worry, it’s confined to that spot.

St Julians is the best place to stay in Malta For…

  • Solo Travellers 
  • Budget Travellers 
  • Travellers without a car
  • Travellers seeking nightlife/parties
  • Foodies 
  • Travellers seeking a central base 
  • Travelling during December i.e. Christmas, New Years. 

Where to Stay in St Julians? 

Luxury Hotels In St Julians 

The Westin Dragonara Resort

The hotel has 2 private beaches overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Guests are offered top-notch services including a Bayview sun terrace to relax.

Here you’ll also find hot tubs as well as outdoor and indoor swimming pools and spa facilities. Rate: US$170 per night.

Value Hotels in St Julians 

HOTEL. be.

This hotel is modern, colourful and located a mere 200m away from St. George’s sandy beach. What’s best about this hotel though is the 11th-floor pool offering panoramic views of St Julians. Rate: US$67 per night.  

Couple Friendly in St Julians 

H Hotel (Adults Only)

Being located just 200m from the city heart H Hotel too acts as a perfect nightlife area in St. Julians. Couples can enjoy a romantic getaway here. And it’s hot tub and elegant balconies provide breathtaking views of the city. Rate: US$120 per night. 

More hotels and reviews in St Julians 

What you need to know before you book a stay in St Julians. 

St Julians is the fun and central town in Malta.  If you’re looking for a great time without any real cultural value – then this is your jam. Many buses serve St Julians, making it a great base to explore the islands.  100% more of a bustling summer town though. And is dead during the winter months

Sliema Best Place to Stay for Central Location

Sliema has natural swimming pools and a dramatic rugged coastline

To look at metropolitan looking town Sliema, you probably wouldn’t believe this now thriving town was once a sleepy fishing village. Meaning “peace” or “comfort’ Sliema is the best place to stay in Malta if you are a budget traveller. You will find convenient (cheap) public transportation and plentiful budget stay options. You even have the choice to get to Valletta by ferry or boat. This popular town is locally known for shopping, a large promenade, and the busy coastline. 

Sliema is the Best Place to Stay In Malta For…

  • Budget Travellers 
  • Solo Travellers 
  • Boat Trips i.e. Valletta, The Three Cities, Gozo & Comino
  • Travellers seeking a central base 
  • Travellers without a car
  • Couples 
  • Shopping 
  • Foodies
  • Travellers to Malta during December i.e. Christmas, New Years.  

Luxury Hotels in Sliema  

AX The Palace. AX

The Palace is a 5-star hotel standing in the heart of the town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It offers all the modern facilities with an infinity pool, rooftop bar, spacious rooms and high-quality food. Rate: US$131 per night.

Value Hotels in Sliema 

Two Pillows Boutique Hostel

An eye-catching hotel which is conveniently located in Sliema’s city centre. Each of its modern-styled rooms has a terrace with city and sea views. Rate: US$28 per night.

Couple Friendly in Sliema 

Sunshine Court Sliema

This is a brand-new apartment located on the ground floor of a 400 years old house with a traditional Maltese vibe. Rate: US$91 per night.

Best For Winter Travel

The Preluna Hotel

Wondering where to stay in December at an affordable rate? The Preluna Hotel is your ideal spot. Along with the seaside views, I suggest you book a room on the upper floors. Rate: US$68 per night.

Beach Hotel in Sliema 

The Waterfront Hotel

It doesn’t become the choice of those who seek silence and quietness because of its location. But its newly added higher floors have arranged a chance for their guests to enjoy the lovely sea views with plenty of ferries sailing nearby. Rate: US$73 per night. 

Check for More hotels and reviews in Sliema

What you need to know before you book a stay in Sliema

Similarly to St Julians (which merges into Sliema) is a busy town littered with restaurants and expats! Don’t expect to gain any real local cultural value – except perhaps through the old townhouses! Instead Sliema has evolved into a mash-up of multiculturalism with many newcomers basing themselves here. Many businesses are located hereThough Sliema has a beautifully rugged coastline, you won’t find any sandy beaches ’round here. 

It’s super central, but that adds to the traffic in the region, making parking difficult and being stuck in a jam or two the norm!

Tip: Make sure if you stay anywhere in this area that it includes parking! 

Rabat & Mdina Best Place to Stay For History & Culture Lovers

Rabat & Mdina is the best place to stay in Malta if you are a history/culture lover. You’ll be in a prime location to explore beyond the fortified walls of the medieval silent city, Mdina. Staying here offers you the chance to immerse yourself with the locals. Learn everything there is to know about Malta’s history, traditions and culture. And… get a pastizzi from the best place on the island – Crystal Palace! 

Furthermore, the backdrop here is pretty rural and almost quiet. Drawing you in where you will fall in love with the surroundings instantly. This area is not considered “touristy” thus tends to be on the higher side (pricewise) than in other areas of Malta.

Rabat & Mdina is the Best Place to Stay in Malta For…

  • History/Culture lovers 
  • Travellers for a quick city break 
  • Slow Travellers 
  • Couples 
  • Travellers seeking quiet
  • Hiking/Nature Walks 
  • Travel to Malta during the winter months 

Luxury Hotel

Casa Azzopardi Guesthouse

Located 250m from the city centre. Rooms are beautiful and spacious with private balconies offering countryside views. The jacuzzi on the terrace is a bonus. Rate: US$164 per night.

Mid-Range Hotel

MYN in Rabat

A guest house, inspired by Maltese tradition and you’ll find this gem 5 mins away from the main bus stop. Rooms are stylish and newly refurbished. Rate: US$98 per night

Spa Hotels

Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

A hotel that holds a luxury backdrop with a mini-golf area and three swimming pools. The spa and the wellness centre offer a range of body and beauty treatments including a sauna and hammam. Rate: US$243 per night.

Check for more hotels in Rabat & Mdina and reviews 

What you need to know before booking Rabat & Mdina

Staying close to a 7000-year-old medieval city, with a colourful history sure does have its appeal. But you should know this region is rural and completely coastal. Therefore if you want to reach the best beaches or the best beaches… you will have to travel to get there.  

Marsaxlokk

Looking for another spot considered the best place to stay in Malta for peace and tranquillity is Marsaxlokk. Okay…except Sundays, when the island descends to score a bargain at the fish market.

Located South of the island, Marsaxlokk is most famous for being a vibrant colourful fishing village in Malta.

There’s plenty to do here such as admiring the views of the harbour. Visiting the fishing market. Or how about enjoying the delicious seafood dishes?

What’s more if you’re looking for a unique experience then take a boat ride on an iconic Luzzu. From here you can explore nearby hidden bays.

Marsaxlokk is the Best Place to Stay in Malta For…

  • Slow Travellers 
  • Older Couples 
  • Budget Travellers
  • Foodies (fish)
  • History/Cultural lovers

Luxury Hotel in Marsaxlokk

Seagull Penthouse Marsaxlokk

Consider the location of this hotel a bonus.  You get views of both seaside and countryside from one place. Also, you can take a dip in the hot tub all whilst catching amazing views of the harbour. Rate: US$340 per night.

Value Hotels in Marsaxlokk

Fisherman’s Cove Guesthouse

A guest house located within 250m from the city centre boasts a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and also a terrace with a sea view. Rate: US$91 per night.

Beach Hotel in Marsaxlokk

Quayside

A hotel raised in a 19th-century building on a seafront in Marsaxlokk. It also acts as self-catering accommodation and has spectacular Mediterranean Sea views. Rate: US$273 per 3 nights.

Check for more Marsaxlokk hotels and reviews 

What you need to know before you book Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is the best place to stay in Malta for those of you wanting to live amongst the locals. It is one of the last remaining fishing villages on the island. A stay here though devoid of nightlife will immerse you in the Maltese culture. Few buses run here, serving Valletta and the airport. Therefore without a car, staying here can leave you isolated from the rest of the island. 

Valletta is the Best Place to Stay Without a Car

Talking of cars… Malta’s 400-year-old capital city draws high interest from visitors. Yet in spite of the citys concentration of “open air museums” Valletta is no Piccadilly Circus. In fact, the absence of the usual busyness of a capital city is a point of surprise about Valletta. 

The main bus terminal is right here making Valletta the best place to stay in Malta without a car. Although Valletta lacks nearby beaches, almost all the resorts have amazing pools to hang out and unwind. 

Valletta is the Best Place to Stay in Malta For…

  • History/Culture lovers 
  • Solo Travellers
  • Travellers who enjoy walking
  • Travellers for a quick city break 
  • Foodies
  • Shopping 
  • Boat Trips i.e. The Three Cities, Sliema
  • Couples 
  • Travellers without a car 
  • Travel to Malta during December i.e. Christmas & New Years.

Where to Stay in Valletta

Luxury Hotel in Valletta

Casa Ellul Small Luxury Hotels of the World

A unique-styled accommodation. One with Maltese floor tiles in a 19th-century building. Each room possesses terraces with fantastic views. Rate: US$153 per night. 

Family-friendly in Valletta

Grand Hotel Excelsior

A seafront hotel with a historic entrance. Rooms are a mixture of classical and modern styles. The private beach, landscaped gardens and poolside bar with panoramic sea views are reason enough to choose this resort. Rate: US$116 per night.

Value Hotels in Valletta

Hotel Castille

Walk 5 mins to reach Hotel Castille from Valletta’s main square. Rooftop is a restaurant offering Valletta’s city views and harbour views whereas the basement is a pizzeria. Every floor has reading lounges. Rate: US$55 per night.

Winter Hotels:

The Phoenicia

Another answer to your question: “where’s best to stay in December?” is Valletta. You will be closer to the Christmas markets and other festivities. Add The Phoenicia to your Christmas List. It’s a 5 star 1920-style hotel next to Valletta bus station and the Triton Fountain. Winters are fabulous with the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the harbour. Rooms are elegant and spacious with modern furniture. Rate: US$158 per night.

Check for more Valletta hotels and reviews 

What you need to know before you book Valletta

Though surrounded by the sea in Valletta there aren’t any beaches as such. So not ideal for those seeking a beach holiday.

In fact, you will need to travel at least an hour by bus to reach the best beaches in Malta

And another thing to consider is navigating those rollercoaster streets of Valletta. Those with mobility issues may find it difficult to wander the streets. As may families with small children/prams. 

As is given with any capital city in the world, hotel prices tends to be on the higher side, so less suited for budget travellers.

Family Friendly St. Pauls Bay, Qawra, Buġibba 

Are you wondering what are the best places to stay for families in Malta?  Then read on!

St. Pauls Bay, Qawra and Buġibba are three entangled towns located on the Northern coastline. This region is a super family-friendly area and compared to the other places on the island… cheap, even during high season.

St Pauls Bay – the biggest of the three towns, is quieter and popular with British Expats.

Bit of Malta history for you now…

St Pauls Bay was named after The Apostle St Pauls and according to the Bible (Acts 28) he was shipwrecked on the Maltese Islands. (Referred to by it’s then name of Melite) He stayed in Malta or three (3) months using the opportunity to bring Christianity to the Maltese Islands. Today…over 90% of the population identify as Catholic.

Soooo, where were we?

Ah yes.

The other towns and in particular Buġibba are busier. Given they are cheaper spots and the cost of living is significantly cheaper, the area is popular with both expats and tourists alike.

There are enough bars and restaurants to guarantee a good night. Okay, not in the same way as St Julian’s… but a good night nonetheless.

In this region you will find several budget hotels, making it the best place to stay for those on a budget. Theres’s plenty to do here too, such as Malta’s National Aquarium. You’ll find different types of beaches here too including Buġibba‘s artificial sandy beaches as well as Qawra’s rocky beaches. 

St Pauls, Qawra, Bugibba: Best Place to Stay in Malta For… 

  • Families 
  • Budget Travellers 
  • Solo Travellers 
  • Travellers seeking some nightlife 
  • Great base for sightseeing

Luxury(ish)Travel in Buġibba

Salini Resort

A 4-star hotel with two outdoor pools located on a gentle slope that overlooks Salina Bay. The spacious rooms with terraces and balconies have both sea views and countryside views. Rate: US$104 per night.  

Value Hotel in Buġibba

Dolmen Hotel

Dolmen Hotel has free access to a private beach. This picturesque hotel boasts 6 swimming pools with a well-equipped spa. Rate: US$46 per night.

Family-friendly: 

AX Seashells Resort at Suncrest

A hotel sitting on St. Paul’s Bay in Qawra. The separate area for the daily entertainment activities of children and adults are top reasons for its family friendliness. Rate: US$44 per night.

Check for More hotels in St Pauls, Qawra, Buġibba and reviews

What you need to know before you book St Pauls, Qawra & Buġibba

It can get extremely busy here during in the summer months here and the although the beaches are nice they’re no match for the best beaches in Malta. That said, you’re only a bus ride away from Mellieha. Talking of buses, you are well connected with many buses serving the area and taking you all over the island.

Gozo Best For Nature Lovers

Gozo is the sister island of Malta and it’s the second biggest island of the Maltese Islands. You can travel there by ferry as part of a day trip whilst you are in Malta but… It’s best enjoyed with an overnight trip. (Slow travellers delight). 

Gozo has many things for you to see and do making it one of the best places to stay in Malta. 

Start by spending a day at its pristine beaches. Go diving and explore caves or the befallen Azure Window. You can even visit attractions like the Citadel, , Victoria City, Dwejra Bay etc. 

Gozo is the Best Place to Stay (in Malta) For…

  • Nature Walks/Hiking 
  • Beach Holidays
  • Families 
  • Budget Travellers 
  • Couples 
  • Slow Travellers
  • History/Culture Lovers 

Luxury Hotel in Gozo

Viewpoint Boutique Living

This hotel is located in an area that is popular for cycling and snorkelling as its backdrop. Xlendi Bay is 1.3km far from the hotel. It also has super comfortable rooms, a sun terrace and an outdoor swimming pool. Rate: US$243 per 2 nights.

Value Hotels in Gozo

Lantern Guest House

It’s a guest house run by a family located few steps closer to the beach. Although on a budget, you can enjoy top-notch services here.  From uniquely decorated rooms to delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Rate: US$42 per night.

Beach Hotels in Gozo

Hotel Calypso

This beach hotel sits a stone throw away from the hypnotic Mediterranean Sea. The picturesque seaside views enhance the comfortability of the hotel making it a superb spot for an ultimate island vacation. Rate: US$103 per night.

Spa Hotels in Gozo

Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa

An impressive 5-star hotel located on the highest place of Gozo overlooking cliffs, with a private beach, swimming pool and a tennis court. Rate: US$126 per night.

Family-friendly in Gozo

St. Patrick’s Hotel

Based in Xlendi is also a beachfront hotel with a rooftop terrace equipped with sun loungers and a sea-view terrace. Rate: US$93 per night.

Check for more Gozo hotels and reviews

What you need to know before you book Gozo 

Gozo’s population of 30,000 people is about 1/10th of sister island of Malta -making it a far more tranquil place. Gozo is less developed than Malta but what sets it apart is its scenery. 

Gozo is a natural beauty and you will appreciate the island’s breathtaking scenery. Not to mention the islands many hidden gems. Talking of gems…Gozo has plenty of them.  But, they’re dotted all over the island, meaning you may need a car to get around and explore everything. 

That said, Gozo is well served by buses. Though there are bars around the island, don’t expect buzzy nightlife here.  Honestly… it’s not that type of party.  

Tip: If it’s not too hot (or cold) consider hiring a quad bike to get around the island. 

Final Tip

The Maltese archipelago is 316 km2 and each town/village has it’s own personal brand of charm, but it’s easy to get around.

Ultimately, you won’t go wrong where you choose.


By booking your trip based on what’s important to you, will guarantee a magical time.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments and if you found this guide useful…

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