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10 days and counting...your advice?

Augusta, Georgia
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104 posts
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10 days and counting...your advice?

We leave for Malta in about 10 days. We have picked the Radission SAS Bay Point. We are curious about fun stuff to do during the day just incase the weather is not that great. We know there is an indoor pool at the hotel so that is an option. But I am wondering if Paceville is just for the night life or also fun for shopping and lunching? We are also interested in the bar scene. From what I have read on TA it looks like Paceville is the right place for that too. Is the Bay Steet shopping area any good? We are not really sure what we are in the market to buy...probably just tourist stuff.

We are planning on packing light pants and probably no shorts. Also mostly short sleeve shirts. Looks like it will be around 20 degrees while we are there. And maybe even a little chilly in the evening.

If we decide we want a little bit of culture do you recommend Valletta? I love the look of the island and would love to get some really nice pictures of old churches and buildings.

Is it fairly easy and not too far to walk from our hotel to:

Bay Street Shopping area?

Paceville?

Valletta? (looks pretty far away)

Anything you guys think are things to 'not be missed?'

Thanks in advance for ANY information you can give.

Newcastle
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for Malta, Island of Malta
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1. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

Hi

I will try to help. First of all you are within walking distance of Bay Street Shopping Centre and Paceville. At Bay Street you will find a few shops but it is not a big shopping centre. If you want more shops catch the bus to Sliema or Valletta. Plenty of touristy shops all around, even in Paceville. Paceville is for nightlife and also plenty of eateries in the area, or head further along the coast to St Julians (all walking distance)

Valletta is not within walking distance, you will need to catch a bus, ask at the hotel, they might even bus you to St Julians where you can catch the bus from. Valletta is a must visit, lots of things to see and do. Check out St John's Co Cathedral, Upper Barrakka gardens have amazing views over the Grand Harbour, just stroll around and soak up the atmosphere, sit at an open air cafe and watch the world go by. Lots of shops in Valletta, also plenty of museums if you want to visit any.

You should visit Mdina, the old capital of Malta, it is a walled, silent city, cars aren't allowed in except for resident's cars.

Weatherwise, yes can be lovely and warm during the day when the sun is shining but it will be chillier at night so you might need a light jacket for the evening.

Any more questions just ask. Enjoy your holiday

Mansfield, United...
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2. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

depending on what type of bar scene you are into will determine whether paceville is right for you both.

it is a bit quiet in the day time but comes alive at night but in the hub of it is mainly for young teens to early 20s.

if you like live jazz and blues music there is a little bar near the draggonara casino called smooth jazz inc. its very nice for a relaxing drink and to listen to the artists.they have a nice small courtyard at the back as well.

its only small and if there is 15 people in there it looks full but it adds to the charm.

you must try the quarterdeck bar at the hilton hotel as well, it overlooks the marina at portomaso and is also very chilled out.

both these places are within walking distance from your hotel, just follow the coast road.

if you look out from your hotels pool over the bay you will see the casino on a peninsular and you cant miss the hilton tower so you can see what general direction you will need to go.

Malta
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3. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

As someone already told you, Paceville is for the teens to early tweenies. Go out after midnight to meet people your age. Baystreet is worth a visit but don't expect to be spending a whole day there. Pack some jeans and a jacket, cause it's windy at the moment and has been for some days.

The radisson is within 10 mins walking distance from baystreet. You'll have no problem getting there by foot.

Paceville is most active during the weekends, but walk farther towards Sliema. Sliema used to be the seaside resort of the wealthy residents of Valletta and the Cottonera area from the 1800s to the early 1900s. Now it's full of seafront apartments, and an interesting modern town which still has a lot of beautiful townhouses - so it has more character than the stereotypical mediterranean seaside resort. It has a lovely promenade and many restaurants there you can visit. Whilst in Sliema ( 'Sliem' meaning Peace, and 'Sliema' being the first word used in the Hail Mary prayer), you might want to take a bus and go to Gzira, a town near Sliema, and have some pasta or a light snack at Cafe Jubilee in the evening. In Sliema, try Ta' Kolina Restaurant for some authentic Maltese food. It's on the Sliema Seafront. Or Ta' Kris which has good food in a restaurant that used to be a bakery in old times. The alley it's in is a little grotty but don't be put off - it's a trendy eat. It's in the alley next to Pizza Hut in Sliema. You'll pass through St. Julians before getting to Sliema - have a look at the area called Portomaso and maybe have lunch at one of the restaurants there if you're feeling a little poshy.

At the moment, Wine Bars are very 'in' and a very good alternative to eating in a restaurant in the evening. That should definitely not be missed. A winebar is usually housed in a building that has a lot of charm and warmth - maybe a nice townhouse or some other building. It's usually dimly lit, they usually use candles and period furniture to create a very period feel. You sit, choose wine, and order a platter of nibbles - usually a cheese platter, cured meat platter or a combo of both. Then, Maltese platters have traditional Maltese nibbles like pickled onions, a bean dip, sundried tomatoes, the list goes on. Of course, there are more items to choose from. Bread is provided for various dips and you wash it down with wine and enjoy the evening. The number of these places has exploded and can be found over the island - some of the absolutely gorgeous but i doubt you'd find them - thus go to Castille Vaults in Valletta under the Malta Stock Exchange building at 9pm-ish, or go to the city of Birgu at a winebar called 'Del Borgo'. Balzan is a beautiful (and very 'in') village (towards the inner island) and has a beautiful wine bar directly next to the Tuscan Style church - in a townhouse where they also display art. It's called Fra Giuseppe. Visit www.fragiuseppe.com for an idea, and read the history of the place which is charming.

Go to Mdina (not your typical african medina) - a walled city that was previously Malta's Capital city. It's stunning and has beautiful houses and palaces - Mdina is the seat of Malta's nobility and places there cost hundreds of thousands to a few million euro. The Xara Palace Hotel will set you back a few hundred euro per night but it's trattoria downstairs (called 1515) is affordable and I recommend it for dinner. I also recommend that you visit Mdina in the evening, when all the buildings are lit from the pavement. From Mdina you can see half of Malta if you overlook the Bastions. In the afternoon, have a coffee at Fontanella Tea Gardens (overlooking..well..malta) and make sure to order a Bacio Cake and a Chocolate Cake, which are well known in Malta. Also visit the Mdina Cathedral and Palazzo Falson, an example of a Mdina Palazzo full of period furniture, art and other treasures in period european style. For dinner near Mdina, have a chinese set-menu at Jerry's Chopsticks - yes, it sounds like a dirty chicago chinese take-away but it's actually a fine place with a reasonable price and good food.

Valletta, the capital city has so many treasures it's impossible to appreciate it fully without booking an organised tour with a tourist guide and all that. Don't just walk up and down republic street like all the other cheapskates do. Book a tour.

To go to mdina you need to take the bus to valletta first and then take the bus to Mdina. On the way to mdina,I suggest you stop at the village called Balzan. Ask locals to find the parish churches of these three villages: Attard, Balzan and Lija. these three villages are known as 'the three villages' and are not backwaters, but a popular residence for the upper middle class which offers urban conservation - the old houses can't be pulled down and developed. you'll see many nice buildings on the way and see more of the true Malta of past times. In Balzan, go to San Anton Gardens, which are public gardens next to the President's palace and the 5 star Corinthia Palace Hotel. In the vicinity is the residence of the American ambassador - give it a look from the outside. In Lija, ask to see the Belveder, a small tower in Transiguration Avenue (which used to be the massive garden of a larger house a few centuries back - now lined with traditional villas) which leads to the Lija church. In Attard, have a coffee at Papillon Cafe. Or eat at the Melita restaurant next to San Anton Gardens - it has a restaurant, a cafeteria and a wine bar (sort of). This 'tour' is not a main attraction - don't expect tourists in the vicinity.

When in Valletta, you can take an open-air double decker bus around the island, like those in London. I never went, but im sure you can see a lot.

There's MUCH more to see - the three cities, the neolithic temples, Gozo, various Churches, Marsaxlokk, but im tired of writing :). Beware of Taxis, they're very expensive. In Gozo expect to be shortchanged. And expect everyone to tell you how holy this nation is. Don't believe a word they say.

malta
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4. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

Ta`Kris has very good pasta and Maltese food. I`ve had better steaks.

You can get ho/ho buses from Sliema Strand too.

Don`t miss a harbour cruise from Sliema Strand.

The Radisson has courtesy buses that take you to nearby stops.

Augusta, Georgia
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5. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

I have heard the Radisson has buses but they are more expensive than just taking the bus. The last person to review the Radisson was not very please.

We are looking in to the Malta 360 Hera II cruise for the Sunday we are there. It includes swimming and snorkeling...but I am worried it will be too cold to swim or snorkel.

Thanks you for the advice on the wine bars and I think some one mentioned a jazz bar....we are just about out of our 20's so maybe it is time we started to party with the adults :)

We have been looking at the information our travel company gave us and we have researched the Mosta. This looks beautiful. I think we might do this too. We thought we were going to have almost a full four day in Malta but the deal the travel agency gave us (good price) means we fly in late on the first day and leave around 1500 on the fourth day...so we really only have two full days there. We are thinking of getting up on our first full day and heading straight to the Mosta.

Is it open on Saturdays? Does it have specific hours?

Then we are thinking we might hit up some other small stuff on the way back to the hotel from the Mosta. Possible just walk around and take everything in. Then the 2nd day (Sunday) we will do the boat cruise for most of the day and then dinner when we return. We could possibly get up early and visit Valetta the last day before we fly...we have several hours before we need to be at the airport.

Newcastle
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6. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

Definitely too cold to swim and snorkel unless you do it in wetsuits. I wouldn't normally swim until at least the end of May and even then it's cold.

deepest essex
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7. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

i 110% agree with bobthestag sji`smooth jazzing is great if you like jazz ,my wife and i found it by accident and were glad we did the hosts and owners peter and shirley are great and peter sings mean jazz .

Augusta, Georgia
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8. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

I am bummed with the forecast. I really thought it would be warmer. I don't know if the boat cruise will be a good idea since it will be so chilly. I hope it is still sunny and kind of warm. 5 days and counting....I cannot wait!! I just wish the wish the weather was better.

deepest essex
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9. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

two weeks ago we were there in 65 to 70f and i`m told it`s getting warmer so don`nt worry

sydney australia
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10. Re: 10 days and counting...your advice?

IMO forget the snorkel/swim cruise better to take a short cruise around the harbour, spend a day in Valletta if into history (lots to see & do), Mdina, Rabat & Mosta can be done in 4 hrs if just looking thru, your problem more is getting around in quick time - buses are cheap but take longer to get to Mdina or Mosta suggest getting cab there & bus back or if confident in driving hiring a car for the day to get to Mosta, Mdina & Rabat & other places, you do not need a car for Valletta as it is mostly pedestrians only & parking would be a pain. You can drive a car to mdina but not into it (very short walk in). Look thru past posters re taxis (cab service) such as Wembleys or kevins as they are more popular than hailing a white cab & always negotiate the price before hand.

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