What I did and saw:
Spinola Bay and waterfront-
The island of Malta has some beautiful coastline to walk along. I walked along the water from St. Julian’s to Sliema, and the views were beautiful. There are also some nice places to sit and take in the views with a cup of coffee as well. I also stopped along the way to check out Saint Julian’s Tower, which was built in 1658 and has now been converted into a restaurant.
Victorian bathing pools-
Along the Sliema coast there are some small pools that have been cut into the rock coastline. It would be a nice place to go for a dip, but it was unfortunately too cold when I was there. Still, it is a great place to sit and relax even if you don’t go for a swim.
Where I ate and drank:
Pastizzi are light and flaky Maltese pastries that are typically filled with either mashed peas or ricotta cheese. Champs is a nice place to try them, and they are open all day and night.
Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters-
In addition to their spot in Valletta, Lot Sixty One also has a location in St. Julian’s. There are a handful of interesting restaurants in the same building, and there is also a nice outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the beautiful Maltese weather. They served me the best coffee I had while in the area.
Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro-
At Manouche there are a handful of healthy food options and a large amount of tasty (but not so healthy) options. It is located close to Lot Sixty One in case you want a great coffee before or after your meal.
Pure Living is an excellent cafe. It is set in a basement with a layout than can be conducive to working or to relaxing. In addition to a number of delicious, healthy food and drink, they also sell a number of other products like Dr. Bronner’s soap and bamboo combs.
Coffee Circus Tigne-
Coffee Circus Tigne is a small, cozy little place that serves espresso drinks as well as filter drinks. While I was there I was able to get an Aeropress to go and take it to go enjoy more of the Maltese coastline.
Like their location in Valletta, Cafe Jubilee is a nice place to grab a bite to eat or a drink. They serve good food at good prices. While I was there I was able to try the Fenek Imtektek Bil-Hwawar U L-Laring, which was rabbit that is slow-cooked in spices and orange zest. I also was able to try a bit of their Nanna’s (Grandma’s) Ravioli.
Where I stayed:
Overall, Luma Residence was a nice place to stay. They do not have a 24 hour check in desk, but they can leave your key in a lock box if you are set to arrive at a late hour. The rooms were clean and comfortable, but there would be some noise late at night from the surrounding bars. It was a good jumping off point for day trips to places like Mdina and Valletta.
How I got around:
Due to its small size, Malta does not really have a train system. However, also due to its small size, many places in Malta are relatively easy to reach by bus or ferry. They offer a “tallinja” card that gives 12 rides for 15 euros, but if you travel at certain hours or on certain routes it will count as two rides. I was able to use the bus system to get to and from the airport, Mdina, and Valletta.
My favorite thing:
Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters is an excellent spot to get coffee and Pure Living is an excellent cafe with some great options. My favorite thing in Sliema, Gzira, and St. Julian’s was the walk along the beautiful Maltese coastline.
My least favorite thing:
St. Julian’s is a big party destination for many European tourists, and which turns some areas of town into dirtier places that stay loud into the morning. That being said, it really wasn’t that bad while I was there.
For next time:
Next time in Malta I would like to go to the Plaza shopping center and see the craft beer selection they have for sale there. I would also like to visit some beaches and see much more of the island including St. Paul’s Bay and Gozo, among others.
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