• Camilla Malm

What to do in Valletta and Sliema

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Malta is a small island. Like a really small island. You can easily drive around the entire island in just one day, so it is one of the best options to rent a car and drive when and where you feel like it – but please note that in Malta, almost all of their streets are one-way streets and they drive on the left side of the road!


Since the island is so small, there’s also public busses. They can take you anywhere, which actually is my best advice. Especially around Valletta and Sliema and if you don’t feel comfortable to drive on the left side of the road, finding your way through their small one-way streets or driving at all. It will also be cheaper than renting a car. A bus ticket in Malta is only €2, or you can buy an unlimited weekly bus ass for 21€.


Notes:

  1. From June to August, most of Malta will be filled with kids from all over the world, travelling with EF Language Travel – you can spot them by their EF backpacks and staff in pink shirts.

  2. Triq means “road” in Maltese, which is why most of their road names are starts with “triq” – a good thing to know, especially if you’re driving around on your own.

  3. Malta is a rock island, making it an island without many sandy beaches, so don’t be disappointed if this is what you’re looking for. The island has many rock pools around the coast! In this post, I’ll mention a few of the sand beaches on the island.

There’s tons to see in both cities, which from my point of view is basically the same city, since they kinda fade into one. Valletta is the capital of Malta, but I prefer to stay in Sliema whenever I visit Malta, since it’s in the middle of Valletta and Paceville.

Manoel Island

Manoel Island is a small island located between Valletta and Sliema and is. The island is home to Fort Manoel, which was an important naval base during WWII. Today the island is a sanctuary for ducks and other birds, leading to the name “Duck Island”. On Manoel Island you can also find a Yacht Park, but most importantly the island is home to Luna Park! It’s a must-see! It’s an old fashioned amusement park and it will really give you that summer feeling to walk around and look at all the rollercoasters, rides and shooting stands.

Luna Park is free to enter, but if you want to try anything, you will need to buy tickets in a small stand, right after you get in. Prices range from 1-3.50€.


Note: Luna Park is only open from last weekend of May till the end of July!

Tanning from the rooftop in Sliema with a great view of Manoel Island


Old Town, Valletta

Valletta is the capital of Malta. It’s a beautiful and old city, surrounded by old stone walls. Take a stroll from Triton fountain, through the City Gates and down their main street, Republic Street (Triq Ir-Repubblika). Here’s plenty of opportunities to go shopping, go to the cinema or going cafe hopping. Explore the beautiful cathedral or Carmelite Church. The latter being one of the most iconic landmarks of Valletta skyline.


Another must-see is the Barrakka Gardens. There’s both and upper and lower, but if you only have time for one, I would pick the Upper Barrakka Gardens.  It has a beautiful view, canons and a lovely garden with a fountain.

The old canons in Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta


Scavenger Escape Room, Sliema

Okay. A confession. I am obsessed with escape rooms! And the Scavenger Escape in Sliema is still one of the best I have tried! So a big recommendation from me it to go try it out!


For the ones that doesn’t know what an escape room is: They have different rooms with different difficulties. You will choose a room that you want to try. tTen you will be locked into the room and have to find your way out within an hour. You will have to find clues and solve riddles and other fun stuff. Most escape rooms consists of multiple rooms, where you will have to make your way through all of them to find your way out before the time runs out. No need to panic, you can ask for clues if you become stuck. There’s even a panic button, if you don’t feel like being in the room anymore. All rooms has microphones and cameras, so they will look out for you the entire time.


Every time I suggest to someone that we go to an Escape Room, people always seem to be quite judgemental if they haven’t tried it before. But I can promise you that you’ll become addicted – just like the rest of us! I recommend to pick a scary room. They’re more fun and your brain works differently when the adrenaline is pumping.


Scavenger Escape is located right on the ocean road. You can even combine it with a little trip to one of Malta’s many rock beaches. Or even a shopping trip, since it’s in the middle of Sliema.

Snorkelling

Malta has the most clear water in Europe. So if you choose to do some snorkelling, you’re in for a treat! Malta has many dive shacks and clubs around the island. It’s easy to find one close to where you’re staying and book a trip with them. You can also bring or buy your own snorkelling gear and take a swim up and down their many rock beaches.


Don’t expect colourful corals and breathtaking fish. It’s Europe after all. In spite of lack of colours, it’s still beautiful, and the ocean hides many quirks. Remember to admire the visibility of the Maltese waters.

Sliema Seafront with Tigne Point Beach at the end


Tigne Beach

Around Sliema, you can find many beaches. Tigne Beach is great for jumping off the cliffs. It’s located right next to Tigne Point, with a stunning view of Valletta. If you don’t want to jump off the cliff, you can simply walk a bit further down and it’ll have a stone beach.

Qui Si Sana Beach

Qui Si Sana is probably the only beach in Sliema with shade. It’s located just by an old fort, called Fortizza. Qui Si Sana mainly has rock pools, which are great. You can also jump off the cliffs and even swim to a little cliff in the water, with many other jumping possibilities. This beach has toilets, compared to Tigne, which doesn’t.

Surfside Beach

Surfside might be my favourite beach in Sliema. I like Qui Si Sana for the shade, but in many aspects Surfside is nicer. Here you can find a man made stone beach, and a nature made stone beach. It’s great for kids, and is the only beach with a lifeguard. This beach is also ideal to watch the sunset, as is offers the perfect settings. Surfside Beach is located between Fortizza Fort and a restaurant of same name as the beach.

Beautiful sunset at Surfside Beach


Malta definitely has a special place in my heart, and will always have it. I went with EF as a student when I was 15. Now I come back every summer to work for EF. It’s a fantastic country! And I’ve never been as tanned as I am the summers I’m in Malta!

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