St Julians is one of the most popular tourist and expat destinations in Malta. It has the highest concentration of bars and restaurants, the highest rent and the streets are always packed. Everyone hates it. It has become so expensive and so busy that the local council can’t (or can’t be bothered to) keep up with the pace, so the streets are often dirty, bins over flowing, buildings and roads falling into disrepair. I’ve lived in St Julians for over 3 years now and this summer, I fell back in love with it.
My first tip for falling in love with St Julians, is to avoid Paceville where you can. Unless sweaty drunk tourists, packed out bars and more strip clubs than the country needs as a whole, are your thing, it’s best to keep away. There are a few places worth visiting near Paceville such as Thirsty Barber, but on the whole, the best places in St Julians are located more around Spinola and Balluta bays.
Spinola Bay is beautiful. In the day the multitude of boats add colour and charm to the marina and in the night the lights from the restaurants make it incredibly romantic. Enjoy restaurants like Kuya, Lore & Fitch, Meet and Two Bouys right on the waterfront.
Balluta Bay is nice for swimming. Much quieter than other bays, mostly due to the inconvenient steps that don’t make sunbathing easy, it’s a nice place for a quick dip. The water is crystal clear and calm. Stop for a drink afterwards at the little coffee kiosk and enjoy it on a bench facing the sea. Have breakfast at Ubistrot or Naar. Grab a delicious fresh pastry from Frensh bakery.
Sailing into St Julians
Boat trips should be a main activity during summer in Malta. If you’re lucky enough to own one, or have a friend who does, then make the most of it. But if not, charters are very affordable, so grab some friends and some food and enjoy a day exploring the nearby bays and beaches. But make sure to time your arrival back to St Julian with the sunset and you’ll witness one of the most spectacular displays you’ll ever see.