Since we arrived in Malta we’ve been staying in the St Julian’s area, though honestly the island is very small and you can walk just about anywhere given enough time. We wanted to get settled in the area though, so we’ve been wandering around a lot. There is a lot going on here as it’s one of the biggest tourist spots on the island. The hotel we are staying in is right above Paceville, which is a district of St Julians known for its bars and restaurants. It’s been very noisy to put it lightly, and the locals say it only gets more so as the tourist season starts. But we’ve been having a blast visiting the local area and took some pictures and have some suggestions of places to go and see if you’re in the area. I’m not going to list too many places in depth, since I’d like to treat each one to it’s own posts but here are some highlights.
Paceville: As I mentioned already this is a sub-district of St Julian’s, and is the nightlife capital of the island. Locals and tourists alike come here for the street filled with bars and restaurants (and some gentleman’s clubs if you’re so inclined). There are a ton of hotels as well, so if you live elsewhere on the island you can always stay in one of those for a fairly cheap nightly price. It’s been amusing watching the different promoters trying to get people to choose their bar, pub or club over all of the others packed into the tiny strip, always shouting out the latest deals and trying to get the many ladies to enter. You know where there’s girls, the guys go. It’s a beacon of fun, so definitely check it out if you are in the area.
There are a slew of bars which are all great in their own way in here. I’m really looking forward to the relaunch of Footloose, as it opens in a couple of weeks. It’s pretty quiet right now and consists mostly of locals, but we’re being told it’ll get really busy really soon and so packed you can’t even wade through the crowd on weekends. On the corner nearest our hotel is a bar/club called Plush, it’s currently in the middle of a refurbishment and looks like it might be really nice when done. They also have a shisha area outside which is surprisingly well kept. What isn’t so great is the loud base that pours out of this club until about 3am-4am on Sunday night. Having to work Monday morning, I wasn’t too fond of it. But it sounds like they have a really good party.
We stumbled across a bar which I HAD to take a picture of called Club Anonymous, I was greatly amused by the usage of a Guy Fawkes mask in the logo. Brilliant. Didn’t go inside yet, but will definitely do a review when we do.
Other than the obvious bars, pubs and clubs, we had amazing sushi at Hugo’s in Paceville, which I will write a further post about. It was very fresh and we loved how quick it came out. Definite props for that.
If you’re staying in one of the apartments, working for a hotel, or working in any of the English Language Schools in the area, you may also want to stock your fridge. There are several different shops which you can buy bits from, but the most variety IN Paceville (though there are bigger/better selections available a 5 minute bus ride away) is the More Supermarket, which is underneath the Subway restaurant in the middle of the strip of bars in Paceville. So if you need to get some food and don’t want to pay a lot for it, this is the place to go. Most of the hotels have small kitchenettes so don’t be shy about feeding yourself for cheaper and saving the money for other outings!
Spinola Bay: If you’re looking to get away from the boisterous nightlife, all you have to do is walk down the street a little bit. Here you’ll find your way into Spinola Bay, which is filled with nice restaurants and absolutely breathtaking views of the bay. I always personally thought that photos were edited to achieve that bright blue you always see in tourist photos of the Mediterranean. But I can tell you that it isn’t doctored. If you walk into the bay area you’ll find some common staple restaurants, like McDonalds, KFC and even Pizza Hut. However, I’d suggest taking your dinner at one of the many great restaurants in the area. There are pubs like Ryan’s and the Dubliner if you’re feeling like some pub grub, but there are also amazing restaurants like MEAT, Peppino’s, Sardinella, and Bianco’s to name a few. These are all within eye shot of the bay, so make sure you get a good seat!
I know that I sound overly praise filled for Spinola, but it feels like a place out of time. The brilliant blue skies, the waters and the fishermans boats in the bay, with the old architecture just give you a place to sit down and let the world pass you by. I loved it here. Which seems appropriate for a place with a LOVE piece of art overlooking the bay, and even it’s own love locks in the style of Paris.
Balutta Bay: A little bit further down from Spinola Bay is another bay with a view anyone recognizes from photos of Malta. The steps into the ocean, the sand and the water can be seen from the bend in the path towards the Church of St Julian, or the Old Parish Church. It is absolutely stunning and is regularly cleaned. I wish I could say we got lucky with the photos we got, but it really does look that gorgeous every day and I’m not sure the photos do it justice. I’m really looking forward to the festa that is going to happen so we can see it all decked out. I especially love the lights that surround the exterior of all the big churches in Malta. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere. And the love for their religion definitely permiates everywhere in the country. There are even little alcoves in the side of buildings and homes with shrines to the Virgin Mary. I feel like I stepped back in time. It’s amazing.