St Julian’s and Sliema are two of Malta’s most popular towns. Located side-by-side along the island’s northwest coast they were once sleepy fishing villages where very little happened. Today all that has changed, and St Julian’s and Sliema are considered two of the busiest destinations anywhere in the country.
The best way to get to know these spots is by exploring the promenade that connects them – you can follow the coast all along from the Radisson Blu Resort, St. Julian’s to Sliema, and even beyond to Gzira and Ta’ Xbiex.
Start in St George’s Bay, stopping for a quick dip at this sandy beach if you fancy it. Carry on to Spinola Bay, where you’ll find lots of cafés, restaurants and bars for a drink or bite to eat. There’s a handy Costa Coffee right by the bay, if you’re into coffee as much as we are!
This is where the promenade starts in earnest, and you can watch (or join!) the joggers and cyclists, or meander more slowly at a walking pace, taking in the views or stopping on one of the benches to read or take snaps of the open sea in front of you.
Spinola Bay leads to Balluta Bay, another inlet on the promenade. Here you’ll spot Balluta Buildings, one of the only historic architectural treasures in the area, and can see the tiny sandy beach here, reached down a steep flight of stairs.
It is here that St Julian’s seamlessly morphs into Sliema. As you walk on, take the stairs down to Independence Gardens, one of the largest parks in Sliema, and a lovely spot to stop or for children to enjoy playing on the swings and slides. As you join the promenade at the top again, you’ll walk past De Rodin Tower, one of the historic watchtowers built by the Knights of St John to protect the island, and which you can still see dotted along the Maltese coast.
Finally, after another 20 minutes or so, you’ll find yourself in Sliema – Malta’s centre for highstreet and boutique shopping.
A number of ‘gabanas’ (kiosks) are located on the wide pavements, providing more spots for a drink or snack. Alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for a gelateria (ice-cream shop) where you’re likely to find hundreds of flavours to choose from, before heading back towards St Julian’s. After all, an ice-cream is always the perfect partner for a walk along the prom!
Looking for something to do after? Check out our article on Nightlife in Malta!