The Maltese archipelago is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean. It comprises of three major islands (Malta, the largest, Gozo and Comino).  
The main island of Malta covers just 95 square miles (246 sq km) and is a popular holiday destination because of its secluded bays washed by unpolluted clear blue waters. Set against the backdrop of the island's scenery and its honey-coloured stone buildings, Malta is alluring and fascinating.
It has been said that the Maltese islands are the 'open air museum of the Mediterranean', offering 7,000 years or more of history to explore with numerous cultural, historical sites. They boast prehistoric ruins older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt, and are steeped in the legacy of the medieval order of the Knights of St John, who used the island as their stronghold for defending Christendom.
The islanders enjoy life to the full, and the calendar is filled with summertime fiestas with fireworks and revelry in every little parish in honour of the village patron saints, as well as the major carnival in early spring every year. The capital, Valletta, besides offering some awesome Baroque buildings and fortifications as its main sightseeing attractions, is bustling with restaurants and cafes. The island's compact size is also a plus for visitors; it takes no more than an hour to drive between any two points on the main island.
The island’s stunning beaches are a huge draw for tourists. The town of Mellieha is very popular as it falls steeply down to Mellieha Bay, one of Malta’s finest and longest beaches.
The main coastal resort areas are Sliema and St Julian’s on the East coast. They are bustling areas catering for holiday makers with hosts of shops, restaurants, cafes and nightlife. One the north east cost lies the large resorts of St Paul’s Bay and Bugibba.
Malta converted to the Euro in January 2008. Most hotels, restaurants and many shops will accept major credit cards including American Express, MasterCard and Visa. If you want to change money, banks are your best bet as they almost always offer a significantly better rate than hotels or restaurants.




Bugibba is on the north east coast of Malta and is the largest tourist development and holiday complex. It is package holiday heaven, and though not Malta's most beautiful or inspiring place, it's certainly the busiest.

Bugibba has an abundance of bars, restaurants and clubs. During the busy summer months, Bugibba's nightlife is buzzing and the place truly comes alive after dark. Apart from this there is not a great deal to do in Bugibba other than lie around in the sun, float in one of the many lido's lining the sea front, or be towed around the bay on a selection of inflatables.

Bugibba's main street, Islet Promenade, skirts the rocky coastline (there is no sand anywhere) and passes the town's most popular bathing spot. The nearest large sandy beaches are about 8km away at Mellieha Bay and further afield in Golden Bay.  

It is a great location from which to explore the rest of the island. It's a convenient spot, and being such a massive tourist area, it's very easy to get in to and out of. Buses run frequently to most of the islands attractions.

See & Do

There is very little to do in Bugibba other than swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and sun bathing.

Sites within the town are few and far between but St Francis of Assisi Church is worth a look. Other than that you could always take a trip out to visit Qawra, Salina Bay or a boat trip to explore the Blue Grotto at Camino.


Bugibba is not the shopping capital of Malta.

Although you will find the basic holiday essentials and tourist souvenirs, if it is quality shopping that you are after, a trip to Valletta or Sliema is required.

Food & Drink

Bugibba has a wide range of restaurants and cafes serving everything from traditional English dishes to Maltese specialities. Here are a few you might like to try:

  • Chez Gaetane

  • China White

  • Venus Restaurant



Bugibba is a hive of activity after dark with a multitude of bars, karaoke bars, night clubs and discos. If you are looking for a quieter evening, then one of its many restaurants is your best bet.  

The main night time entertainment centre is Bugibba Square and its surrounding streets. The best and noisiest nightlife can be found at Paceville, Malta's nightlife capital. Night buses run to Paceville on weekends only during the winter and nightly during the summer.

There is also a cinema, bingo hall and casino and some of the hotels in this area have their own nightclubs and special nights of entertainment.


If you want to explore more of what Malta has to offer during your stay, here are a few suggestions for places to visit:


  • Qawra

  • St Paul’s Bay

  • Blue Grotto, Camino

  • Salina Bay

  • Sliema

  • Mellieha Beach

  • Valletta

Health & Safety

There are adequate medical and dental facilities. The water is slightly mineral-laden but drinkable. Take along all prescription medicine needed for the trip.

The sun can be very strong, especially if you are not used to it so use sunscreen liberally, wear a hat and drink plenty of water.



Gozo is the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago that consists of three islands known as Gozo, Comino and mainland Malta. As an island it is very rural and simple and life moves at a leisurely pace. Its culture and way of life is firmly rooted in fishing and agriculture. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, melons, grapes, figs, oranges, and tangerines are the island’s prime agricultural produce. 

The island is known for having some of the Mediterranean’s best snorkelling and scuba diving sites, but it is also a place of myth and legend, believed to be the Calypso isle of Homer’s Odyssey.

The countryside of the island is dotted with old farmhouses, baroque temples, prehistoric temples and other historic sites. Its commercial centre is Victoria which, despite its status, has a sleepy 17th century feel. Most of the historical buildings are inside the Citadel, the ancient fortified part of the town.

You can reach Gozo from Malta’s Grand Harbour by ferry in about 20 minutes. A bridge that was to connect Gozo and Malta was not completed due to the protests of Gozo’s inhabitants who are fiercely protective over their identity.

See & Do

The tiny fishing village of Marsalforn on the north coast of Gozo has become the island's most popular summer resort. It offers various spots for swimming and water sports, and is well supplied with restaurants, bars and accommodation establishments.

Other areas of interest to visit are:

  • Caves of Xaghra (Calypso Cave)

  • Dwejra

  • Ggantija Temples

  • Museum of Archeology

  • St Georges’ Basilica

  • Santwarju tal-Madonna ta’Pinu Sanctuary

  • Ramla Bay

  • Fungas rock (a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling)

  • Cathedral Museum

  • Citadel Armory

  • Folklore Museum

  • Galleria Gaulos


Although a small island, there is a reasonable about of shopping to be done.

In Victoria there is a large shopping mall, Arcadia Commercial Centre as well as other smaller shops. In the other villages on the island you will find various small outlets selling traditional Gozo products.

The best buys are honey, lace, glass, jackets/jumpers and pottery.


Food & Drink

The island is well served by restaurants, where the eating is good and varied. 

Apart from restaurants and cafes offering local dishes as well as continental menus, you can also find Chinese and Indian.

A particular local dish is rabbit stewed in wine.  Octopus stew with spaghetti is also very typical.  A quick lunch with local cheeselets, olives, tomatoes, olive-oil and fresh bread washed down with a glass of wine is a real treat.   

A few restaurants you can try are:

  • Stone Crab Restaurant, Xlendi

  • Paradise Bar and Restaurant, Xlendi

  • Il-Panzier, Triq il-karita

  • The Moby Dick Complex, Xlendi


Gozo is not a major hot spot for clubs and bars. Much of the entertainment comes from sitting in restaurants and watching the world go by. However there are a few clubs and bars in the capital Victoria and Xlendi.
One of the most famous entertainment spots is La Grotta, an outdoor club in Xlendi.
Gozo is such a small island you can easily manage to explore it all during your stay. There are plenty of opportunities for sun bathing, swimming, snorkelling, sailing and fishing. It is a walker’s paradise where you can take in the stunning scenery and intoxicating culture.
However, if you want to spread your wings you can always hop on the ferry and within 20 minutes you’ll be on Malta and ready to explore the many sights and wonders of the main island.
Health & Safety
The tap water is perfectly safe to drink on Gozo.
There is no fear in walking about at night and Gozo projects a tangible sense of safety and security.  The people of this island take pride in the absolute absence of muggings and the almost non-existence of theft.   
Mellieha is a large village in the north-western part of Malta. The village has approximately 7,500 inhabitants is a popular resort town in the summer.
Like the rest of the island, Mellieha too enjoys a warm climate with ample sunshine throughout the year.  It is sheltered by a long range of hills and a large part of its population still leads a rural life with hunting and fishing being their main occupation.
Mellieha is one of Malta's most picturesque tourist destinations. The town centre boasts of its splendid hotels, fine restaurants and traditional shops and is dominated by a stunning Baroque church. The church is built on the edge of Mellieha Ridge giving stunning views down to Mellieha Bay.
Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest beach. It is long and narrow with sand and clean shallow water making in ideal for young children. There are many water sports facilities here along with numerous bars.
The town’s main festival season occurs in the first two weeks of September and reaches its climax on the 8th September. During these days various cultural events are held, such as musical concerts, fireworks, folk singing, art exhibitions and the traditional religious procession. The town's people are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. Those who visit us, no matter where they hail from, do not merely enjoy themselves but feel at home.
See & Do
Exploring Mellieha is a must. You can lose yourself completely in its network of narrow streets full of small shops, restaurants, cafes and locals. No trip would be complete without visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha. This stunning Baroque church dominates the town.
The main swimming and beach location is Mellieha Bay with its long sandy beach, stunning clear waters, water sports facilities and restaurants.
Just a few minutes outside the town is Popeye Village (Sweethaven) which was built as a set for the Popeye film. Today it houses a museum displaying many of the props used and offers puppet shows and fairs.
The Feast of Our Lady of Victories runs from 30th August until 8th September and is marked by fireworks, concerts, art exhibitions, folk singing and a religious procession.
Another close by attraction worth visiting is the Ghadira Nature Reserve.
Mellieha doesn’t off much in the way of a shopping experience. As you would expect it has various small traditional shops, mini markets, souvenir shops and coffee shops.
If you are looking for more serious retail therapy then it’s best to take a trip out to St Paul’s Bay or further to Valletta.
Food & Drink
There are a range of restaurants, takeaways and fast food shops in Mellieha. Here are a few that you might like to try:
  • L’amigo – pizza and Maltese specialities
  • Ta Randi – local food
  • Ta Peter – fish is a speciality
  • Seaview Bar
  • Giuseppe’s
  • Café Latino Punta Rena – texmex
  • La Rampa – restaurant and pizzeria
  • Le Mar – grill house and pizzeria
  • Ix-Xatba – fresh seafood
Nightlife in Mellieha is non-existent. It is very much a place to relax in the evening eating, drinking and soaking up the local atmosphere.
The main entertainment (other than the water sports etc in Mellieha Bay) is at the Popeye Village Fun Park. Since its days as the Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production "Popeye", it has evolved into a home for a number of fun activities for all those young at heart.  You can meet famous cartoon characters, grownups can be part of a filming experience with the animation crew, and there are a number of attractions such as Santa's toy town, boat rides, (water trampolines, sun bathing decks, beach lido), food outlets and a winery offering free wine tasting. There is also Malta's largest jump around and a small fun park with rides for kids.
Mellieha is perfectly placed to be a base for your exploration of Malta. Once you have had enough sun and sand you can opt to travel further afield to:
  • Gozo
  • Blue Grotto, Camino
  • Valletta
  • St Julian’s
  • Sliema
  • Bugibba
  • St Peter’s Bay
Health & Safety
The tap water is perfectly safe to drink here. Being a quiet resort, Mellieha is a safe place to be day and night. Of course, you would be wise to take the normal precautions with your valuables.
Sliema and the coastline up to neighbouring St Julian's constitute Malta's main coastal resort. It is a busy town located on a peninsula with views of Valletta and Floriana on one side and the open sea on the other.
Located fairly centrally on the eastern side of Malta, Sliema is a great place to shop, enjoy the café culture and eat out. It is also the place to catch the ferry to Valletta, buses to many places and also boat trips round the harbours and round the island.
Within walking distance of St Julian’s and Paceville you will have easy access to the best nightlife of the island, more restaurants and other places of entertainment.    
Sliema has no sand beaches. On Tower Road, in front of the Preluna Hotel, a broad expanse of large smooth sandstone rock slabs bordering the sea becomes a summer ‘beach' with metal handrails (set into the rocks) giving safe access for bathers. Alternative swimming and sunbathing is offered by a number of seafront lidos, both on Tower Road and on the point of the peninsula, known as Qui-Si-Sana.  
See & Do
The Sliema promontory offers on one side stunning views across to Valletta and on the other, open sea views.
The promenade, which runs for several kilometres from Gzira just south of Sliema to St Julian's, is ideal for walkers and joggers or those who just want to sit down amidst stunning views and watch the world go by.
The coastline also has two tower fortifications: a De Redin watch tower built in the 17th century; the other was built by the British in neo-gothic style in the 1880s.
Here are a few examples of what you can do in Sliema:
  • Enjoy the lidos
  • Visit Manoel Island
  • Church of the Sacred Heart
  • Marsamxett harbour
  • Nazzarenu Church
  • Visit Mediterraneo Marine Park
  • See Spinola Bay
The island of Malta isn’t exactly an internationally renowned shopping paradise, but Sliema does have a reasonable selection of shops.
Most of them are in malls on and around Bisazza Street and The Strand. The island's most interesting shopping is to be found just across the water, at Valletta. Here there are many independent shops along Merchant's Street and St Paul's Street selling shoes, leather, silver and gold filigree.
The Valletta Sunday market (St James Ditch, outside City Gate), a mix of flea market and regular goods, is a draw to tourists and locals across the island. Many of the same items reappear at Valletta's daily market on Merchant's Street though it lacks the atmosphere and crowds of the Sunday meeting.
Food & Drink
Both Sliema waterfronts are lined with cafés, bars, the occasional English-style pub and inexpensive to mid-range restaurants. International, Italian and Maltese food can be found within the resort. Here are a few places you might like to try:
  • Busy Bee
  • TGIF
  • Tex Mex
  • Mammia Mia Restaurant
  • Giorgio Café
  • Anni Venti
  • Teksen’s Turkish Diner
  • Argyll
  • Vino Veritas
  • Ta’Kolina
In Sliema the passegiata, or promenade, is a nightly ritual indulged by hundreds of locals strolling along the Tower Road seafront. As the tourists join in with this local tradition the beachside cafes soon become full. In summer musicians and singers add to the festive atmosphere.
There is a lively café scene down at Sliema Ferries and watching the sun go down on Valletta from beside the Fortina Spa Resort hotel (Tigné Seafront, ‘The Strand'), is a holiday highlight. Popular bars are Ta’Bajri Wine Bar, Lady Di Bar and Rawhide.
The Crowne Plaza hotel (Tigné Street), hosts the popular Frenchies nightclub. But those in search of some serious nightlife make the short journey (some 3-4km/ 2-2.5 miles) along Tower Road, around the bay to St Julian's and Paceville.
Malta is a very small island and it's possible to visit anywhere quite comfortably within a day from Sliema.
Places of interest are Valletta, Mdina, the Hypogeum (a fascinating prehistoric underground temple) and the neighbouring island of Gozo.
Other possibilities for you to explore are:
  • Mediterraneo Marine Park and Splash & Fun Water Park
  • Open top bus trip to explore the island
  • Harbour cruises
  • A visit to Fort Rinella
  • The Maltese Experience Show, Valletta
  • Blue Grotto
Health and Safety
The tap water is perfectly safe to drink here.
Sliema is a safe area but you should take the normal precautions with your valuables.
St Julian’s
St Julian's is spread around the bay of the same name on the north coast of Malta. Its neighbour to the south is Sliema. It is the biggest and liveliest holiday area in Malta.
St. Julian's has grown from a sleepy fishing village and is an ideal base for soaking up the sun along with the islands heritage and stunning scenery. Located around two curving bays, its centre retains much of its original village charm and has some quality restaurants where you can sample traditional Maltese delights.
St Julian's Bay includes the smaller bays of Balluta Bay and Spinola Bay, the new marina of Portomaso and the quieter district of St George's Bay. This is where the best swimming area is, mostly from the rocks but there is a narrow sandy beach. There are also 2 summer lidos at Dragonara Point and another in St George’s Bay.
An aquatic sports centre may also tempt you to take up scuba-diving or water-skiing. For those who enjoy an active nightlife, the hub of activity lies up the hill at Paceville.
See & Do
Other than water sports, horse riding and bowling, St Julian’s doesn’t have a wealth of activities for the tourist. Mainly it is a resort for those who like to take it easy during the day and live it up at night. However there are a few places of interest that you might like to explore:
  • IMAX cinema
  • Eden Superbowl
  • Grand Harbour cruises
  • Spinola Bay
  • National Gallery
  • Balluta Square
  • Cermelite Church
Bay Street (St George's Bay) is a modern shopping mall, aimed mainly at young shoppers, which includes various places to eat.
Malta's most characteristic shopping is to be found just across the water, at Valletta, in the many independent shops along Merchant's Street and St Paul's Street, most selling shoes, leather, silver and gold filigree.
If you prefer to get a real feel for the Maltese way of life, the Valletta Sunday market (St James Ditch, outside City Gate), a mix of flea market and regular goods, is the place to go. It is a major event attracting holidaymakers and locals from all over the island. Many of the same items reappear at Valletta's daily market on Merchant's Street though it lacks the atmosphere and crowds of the Sunday meeting.
Food & Drink
St Julian’s offers a wealth of different cuisines. The restaurants around Spinola Bay have a beautiful bay-side setting and there are also some good places to eat around Balluta Bay. Several of the area's hotels also offer a good range of dining options. Those in the Juliani (Spinola Bay) and The Hilton (Portomaso Marina) are particularly good.
Here are a few other places you might like to try:
  • Ristorante San Giuliano
  • Caffe Raffael
  • Girasole
  • Pagoda Chinese Restaurant
  • Paparazzi Restaurant
  • Bouzouki Restaurant
  • Peppino’s Restaurant
  • La Maltija
Paceville is Malta's nightlife capital and the buzzing centre of St Julian's.
If you're between 18 and 25, or just young at heart, Paceville will probably be your holiday paradise. There is a vast array of music bars warming up for the main late-night action which is the clubs and discos. Some names to look out for are:
  • Bedouin Bar
  • 7 Rooms
  • Axis
  • Coconut Grove
  • Cube
  • Havana
  • Memories Bar
For the more mature clientele there is BJs (Ball Street) which offers live jazz every night. Also outside Paceville, around Spinola Bay are several more music bars catering.
For something a bit different there is always the Dragonara Palace Casino (Westin Dragonara Resort).
Once you have exhausted the water sports facilities and had enough of sun and swimming, St Julian’s is ideally placed to explore the rest of Malta.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • Valletta
  • Hypogeum (prehistoric underground temple)
  • Comino
  • Gozo
  • Mdina
  • Mediterraneo Marine Park and Splash & Fun Water Park
Health & Safety
You can safely drink the tap water in St Julian’s. It is a safe resort however you should take the usual precautions with valuables.
St Paul’s Bay
St Paul's Bay is on the north west of the island. It is one of the most idyllic and beautiful natural bays in Malta where you can be sure of sunshine, sandy beaches and a warm welcome from the locals.  It is named after Saint Paul who is believed to have been shipwrecked here.  
There is a small beach at the head of St Paul's Bay and there are plenty of Malta's famed flat rocks for sunbathing with good access points to the crystal clear waters; plus lidos and beach clubs.  
The bay stretches for 5km around Qawra Point and into Salina Bay. It encompasses four different areas: Xemxija, Bugibba, Qawra and the Old Town. Bugibba, Xemxija and Qawra are popular resorts in the area and have a great choice of cafes, bars, restaurants and nightlife.
St Paul's Bay still retains a traditional atmosphere with a picture postcard harbour complete with brightly coloured sailing boats and quaint old town. The bus service here is excellent and links up with towns and resorts all over the island.
The beaches close to St Paul's Bay are Mellieha Bay which is the most popular and largest sandy beach on the island – great for children with shallow blue waters and lifeguards on duty. Golden Bay has slightly red sands and lots of water sports. And finally, there is Armier Bay.
When you venture down to one of these beaches it is best to wear beach shoes when going into the water from the rocks. They can, at times, be home to black sea urchins.
See & Do
As well as swimming and snorkelling in the cool, clear waters off St Paul’s Bay, there is also a scuba diving centre, caves to explore and many local shops and restaurants.
You can also walk along the promenade (or take a local bus) to the neighbouring resorts of Qawra, Bugibba and Xemxija to enjoy their beaches and local sights such as Bugibba’s ancient military battery, old watch tower and temple ruins. Valletta is also close at hand.
For more sun and sand you can head for the local beaches of Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay (lots of water sports) and Armier Bay.
You may also be interested in paying a visit to:
·         The Wall of Apiaries
·         St Paul’s shipwreck church and its underground grotto
·         Famous World War II shelters
St Paul’s Bay doesn’t offer a huge amount in the way of shopping. You can, of course, find all the usual tourist shops for souvenirs; however the main shopping area in the Bay is in Bugibba.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated shopping experience then head for Valletta or Sliema. A regular bus service operates to both of these towns.
Food & Drink
This is probably one of the best places in the world to eat fish. Enjoy a relaxing meal at one of the harbour front restaurants which often cook the 'fresh catch of the day'.
With British and Italian influences, dining out in Malta should keep everyone happy. Eating out in St Paul's Bay, you will find Italian restaurants, seafood restaurants local cuisine, cafes, pizza and burgers. You can also find upmarket restaurants in Qawra and a large choice of restaurants and cafes in Bugibba.
Here are a few placed you might like to try:
  • Ristorante Da Rosi
  • Antonio Staggers
  • Nostalgia Restaurant
  • Ta’Fra Ben
  • Shaukiwan Chinese Bar & Restaurant
  • Venus
  • Damiano’s
  • Tarragon
Although St Paul’s Bay isn’t full of clubs and bars in which to spend your evenings, there is a good choice throughout the whole area with a good range of bars, clubs and British pubs.
Bugibba is probably the liveliest part with a casino and a cinema; all the areas are easily reached by bus or taxi. For serious clubbers, jump on the bus to Paceville renowned as Malta's part capital.
If you want a quieter evening, head for the old town of St Paul’s Bay which is fantastic for a delicious meal or a quiet drink in beautiful surroundings. Some of the hotels in St Paul's Bay also have their own entertainment programmes and nightclubs.
As well as exploring the old town of St Paul’s and its beaches, you can venture further afield to sample what else Malta has to offer:
  • Gozo
  • Comino & the Blue Grotto
  • Qawra
  • Bugibba
  • Xemxija
  • Valletta
  • Sliema
  • Mellieha Beach
  • St Julian’s
Health & Safety
You can safely drink the tap water in St Paul’s Bay. It is a safe resort however you should take the usual precautions with valuables.
Valletta is the capital city of Malta. It is one the Sciberras Peninsula (200ft/ 60 m) on Malta's northeast coast, surrounded by what are surely the mightiest fortifications in the world.
The peninsula extends between the country's two largest and economically most important harbours, Marsamxett Harbour and Grand Harbour.
As cities go, Valletta is tiny measuring less than 1 sq km (0.4 sq miles) and you can walk across its widest point in less than 20 minutes. However within that space is a wealth of atmospheric alleyways that link grand squares and glorious baroque palazzi that sit alongside bars and shop fronts that have hardly changed in over a century.

It is one of the best preserved fortified cities in the world. It was built by the Knights of St John immediately after the Great Siege of 1565, during which the vastly outnumbered knights turned back the might of the up till then invincible Ottoman Empire and thus arguably saved Western Europe.
Good walking shoes are a must when visiting Valletta as there are hundreds of steps and the only real way to get around is on foot. The city occupies a promontory, is enclosed by mighty bastions and curtain walls, and boasts magnificent sea views.

In direct contrast to the tiny city, Grand Harbour, home to the British Navy until 1979, is the biggest and arguably the most impressive harbour in all the Mediterranean.
Valetta is home to many museums such as the National Museum of Archaeology, which displays centuries-old architectural discoveries, and the National Museum of Fine Arts, which has a collection of art and sculpture spanning several eras.
See & Do
One of the prime attractions of Valletta is a tour of the old fortified city.
There is a wealth of architectural treasures for you to discover including St John’s Co-Cathedral with its painted vaulted ceilings and marble tombs, the Palace of the Grandmaster which used to serve as a royal residence (now an administrative seat for Malta) and the Cassa Rocca Piccola which still serves as a royal residence (parts of the palace are open for public viewing).
Other ideas include:
  • Fort St Elmo
  • The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
  • The Malta Experience
  • Grand Harbour boat trip
  • National War Museum
  • Underground Lascaris War Rooms
  • National Museum of Archaeology
  • National Museum of Fine Arts
  • Upper Barracca Gardens
  • Church of St Paul the shipwrecked
  • Auberge de Castile de Leon
Shopping in Valletta, as in Malta in general, is a modest affair.
However in the last year or two, an influx of arty-crafty and boutique shops have opened in renovated premises around the city. The island's biggest shopping event is the weekly Sunday morning market at St James Ditch, held immediately outside the city walls. Coach loads of visitors (and many islanders too) come from all over to marvel at the range of everyday clothing, replica football kits and pirated brand-name clothing, the antique flea market, old books, bits of car engines, sweets, live birds and whatever else is deemed to be saleable. It's a lot of fun, although may not satisfy the needs of ‘serious’ shoppers.

Valletta does have a number of independent family-owned shops. Some of these specialise in gold and silver filigree jewellery, making pieces on the premises. The Silversmith's Shop, 218 Republic Street, is a good example where you can watch the proprietor at work.
Leather items, particularly Italian-styled shoes are also good value, and are on sale throughout Valletta.
If you after designer names, head for the Waterfront where you’ll find a shops (pottery and glass) and the Forni Shopping Complex, home to a host of designer names.
Food & Drink
There is a wealth of cuisines available in Valletta catering for every taste and budget. Here are a few that you might like to try:
  • Ambrosia
  • The Carriage
  • Giannini
  • Rubino
  • Chez Cyrille, Cordia Restaurant
  • Da Daniele Restaurant
Valletta is a city of quiet bars and restaurants. Although lively during the day, the city relaxes at night. The only regular nightlife to speak of are events at the Manoel Theatre and the St James Centre plus a handful of bars.
Valletta Waterfront however is becoming a livelier place after dark. Here warehouses and facades have been renovated and are now home to fashionable bars, restaurants, two clubs and shops.
Here are a few venues you might like to check out in Valletta:
  • Trabuxu (underground wine bar)
  • Maestro e Fresco
  • Café Jubilee
  • Sacha’s Bar & Bistro
  • Q Bar (on the Waterfront)
  • V5 (on the Waterfront)
If you are looking for something noisier you should head for St Julian’s where Paceville is the island's nightlife hub.
One of the great things about Malta is that it is so small it’s easy to make day excursions to anywhere on the island from Valletta.
One must is Mdina, the island's original capital and one of Europe's finest medieval walled cities. Its 'suburb', Rabat, is immediately outside the city walls and boasts several interesting historical sights of its own.
The island is home to some of the world’s oldest prehistoric temples: Hypogeum, Tarxien Temples, the Mnajdra temple and Hgar Qim.

Other possibilities are:
  • Gozo
  • Mellieha Bay
  • Blue Grotto, Comino
  • Sliema
Health & Safety
Valletta has a low violent crime rate however tourists are strongly advised to protect their valuables and be aware of pickpockets in the city.

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