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Advice needed for good Malta base

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Belfast, United...
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130 posts
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Advice needed for good Malta base

Despite living in different parts of the world, my best friend and I still manage to meet up for a girls' trip every other year. This year, we'd love to meet up in Malta for about 4 days in early June and would really appreciate advice on where we should base ourselves.

We love a bit of sightseeing (architecture, culture), window shopping, people-watching, nice outdoor restaurants for a spot of dinner and a glass of wine at night and a pool or beach for catching up on a bit of sunshine.

I imagine either Valletta itself or Sliema might make good urban bases for us (we are not planning to hire a car so will be dependent on public transport)? I also used to have a pen-pal in Mellieha years ago who sent me the most amazing pictures of the town so I wonder if that would be another option? Any other possibilities?

Any advice would be most appreciated!

Cambridgeshire
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1. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

Would recommend St Julian’s as the best base, Sliema as second option, there are plenty of restaurants in St Julian’s and both areas are a good starting point for excursions. Valletta I think you will find too quiet and Mellieha is far too remote and a bit quiet.

East Anglia, England
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2. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

Hi !

Probably Sliema is best for shopping and peoplewatching but St Juliens has lovely hotels for catching the rays before going on to some night life. Valletta cannot be beaten for the culture etc and you would find most shops there but it seems to be very quiet in the evening. Mellieha has the best beach and a super hotel overlooking it and right by a bus stop to rest of the island.The town at the top of the hill also has superb restaurants .For me it is too long a bus journey if you don't want to spend most of your precious time riding the buses. I would agree that either St Juliens or Sliema would make a good base for a short stay.Look out for one of the hotels with a decent spa to get a bit of girlie pampering during your stay! Have a brilliant time wherever you go!

Dundalk, Ireland
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3. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

You should visit qawra

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

Thank you so much to all of you for all the excellent advice!

We are in our early 40s and our idea of great night-life is a few decent outdoor restaurants to choose from for dinner, a glass of wine and a good people-watching session rather than dancing the night away in a night-club! So I take it from that point of view, Valletta would actually be a good option...

Does St. Julian have a nice old town centre or is it mainly hotel/tourism orientated (I hate nothing more than "strips" of neon-lit bars and theme-pubs that could be anywhere and don't give you any flavour of how local people actually spend their evenings!)? Plus, having grown up in Vienna, we both love old churches, fountains, atmospheric old squares etc. etc!

In terms of excursions, I think Mdina and Quawra are probably a must... is it worth doing a day-trip to Gozo or should we just concentrate on Malta itself given that four days are not terribly much time?

And if you had to recommend a pretty, easily accessible beach, where would it be?

Many thanks!!!

5. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

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Sussex
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6. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

As people have said, somewhere in Sliema or St Julians would be what you are looking for. Certainly no lack of places to eat, drink wine and watch people!

Qawra would not be high on my list of places to go sightseeing, not a huge amount to see there as it's mostly hotels and residential areas. It's probably one of the more touristy areas of the island.

Mdina is worth a visit, plenty of churches ( as with most of the rest of Malta), great views and plenty to keep you occupied for a day or so. St Pauls Catacombs in Rabat (an easy 5 to 10 minute walk from the gate of Mdina) is a nice place to visit on a hot day :o)

Valetta is a great place to explore and could keep you wandering for many days if you wanted. Plenty of the churches and squares you like - and a huge fountain at the entrance to the city which you can appreciate much more now that it's not in the middle of a bus drivers racetrack ;o)

It's entirely your descision if you take a trip to Gozo but you will not be short of things to do in Malta for 4 days, we're heading back for our 8th holiday in June and haven't run out of things to do yet!

As Malta is quite a small island, it doesn't take too long to get from anywhere to anywhere (now that I believe the new bus system is settling down) so don't think that places are far from one another.

And so far I haven't found any of those nasty neon strips of theme bars you described so I reckon you'll be OK there too. You should definately be able to get a flavour of the local culture, just pop into any bar you see local people in - I've not had a bad experience of this yet.

7. Re: Advice needed for good Malta base

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