Luxury hotels, entertainment and high-end services are the niche of St Julians, Malta’s hospitality centre. With the Hilton, Corinthia, Intercontinental, and Westin Dragonara hotels all located within walking distance of each other, St Julians caters for the wealthier business traveller and those seeking a little luxury.
The oldest part of town is the Spinola Bay area – home to the town’s original church and Spinola Palace. It’s a charming little area, full of sea-front cafes and some beautifully renovated old fishermen’s houses, now restaurants and cafes serving this popular spot’s many visitors. The redeveloped quayside walkway is a great place to sit, relax, and take in the atmosphere overlooking Spinola’s small fishing bay with its traditional Maltese boats. There are restaurants lining spinola hill which leads up into central St Julians and the Portomasso area. By day, they serve food and drinks, and by night, they also act as bars and popular areas for the more relaxed end of St Julians’ nightlife character.
Central St Julians is home to the Spinola Palace gardens – a small well maintained garden which acts as a good landmark for the centre of town. Close by, the Portomasso marina is a man made, beautifully designed yacht marina complete with cafes and restaurants. A walk through the marina leads to St Julians’ small rocky beach to the left and round towards the Spinola Quayside walkway if you head right. The Hilton hotel is in the heart of the Portomasso area, next to the Portomasso Tower (hard to miss) and the cafe located just under it. There are a few shops in this area, but it’s mostly reserved for high-end apartments, as well as the cafes and restaurants in the marina.
Perhaps the most well-known and most visited area of St Julians is known as Paceville. It’s the nightlife capital of Malta with bars and clubs open all night year-round, although it’s during the summer months when it’s at its most hectic. It’s a mass of lights, music and people pouring out of the clubs and bars into the streets as locals and the swell of summertime visitors all flock here to dance and party the nights away. There’s a lot of people and it’s designed for young adults rather than families, with an often rowdy atmosphere as the parties go on well into the early hours of each morning.
To the side of Paceville, the area known as Bay Steet is home to Malta’s largest cinema complex, a bowling alley, the Bay Street shopping centre, and a small man-made sandy beach known as St George’s Bay. There are a couple of restaurants here too, as well as cafes in the Bay Street shopping centre along with various fashion outlets.
Overall, St Julians is definitely designed for visitors, hospitality and entertainment and is one of the most visited towns in Malta. It’s linked to Sliema via a seafront promenade which starts at ‘The Love Sign’ – a sculpture in Spinola Bay, and leads all the way to Sliema and beyond. The promenade’s popular with both locals and visitors who jog and walk its length regularly, enjoying the cafes, restaurants and views along the way.