St. Julian’s: A Complete Guide to Malta’s Hotspot of Fun

St. Julian's Malta

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St. Julian’s – or San Giljan, as the locals would say, is a buzzing coastal town, north of Valletta. This place is a hive of activity, packed with hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. It’s a great place to choose as your holiday base. There are many accommodation choices and easy public transport access.

I live in St. Julians and I know this lively town well. So, you’re in the right place to discover more about it.

This travel guide is full of insider tips for St. Julians so you can explore it like a local. It includes places to see, things to do in St. Julian’s and restaurants to try. I also added a map marking each location. Plus, I shared my favourite spots for food and drinks.

Interesting Facts about St. Julian’s

St. Julian’s flag looks like Belgium’s:

St. Julian’s, named after the hunters’ patron saint, Saint Julian, has a flag like Belgium’s. Why, you ask? Well, some say Saint Julian himself was Belgian.

Watch ‘ġostra’ – a thrilling pole run above the sea:

A game called ‘ġostra’ is only played during local feasts around Malta, including St. Julian’s feast. Brave men run up a slick, greasy pole over the sea to grab one of three flags hanging from the end. It’s a phenomenal game.

‘Musketterija’ – a blast from the past:

Then there’s ‘Musketterija’, another fascinating tradition during the feast. It’s all about firing blank cartridges filled with black powder from the church’s roof when they bring out the patron saint statue. Locals believe this tradition harks back to the area’s history as a hunting ground for the Knights of Malta.

Are you looking for a luxury stay in Malta? St. Julian’s has many excellent 5-star hotels. Take a look at my guide for the top luxury hotels in Malta and Gozo.

Is St. Julian’s Worth Visiting?

You should check out St. Julian’s when you travel to Malta! This vibrant town is surrounded by the sea, and it offers lively nightlife and delicious food. It’s a place where history blends with contemporary vibes.

This town wakes up to stunning sunrises and parties all night. Whatever you do, St. Julian’s offers an unforgettable experience. Is it worth visiting? Without a doubt.

Aerial view of Spinola Bay in St. Julians, Malta, with boats floating on clear blue waters surrounded by buildings and cars along the waterfront.
Areal View of Spinola Bay in St. Julians, Malta
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St. Julian’s Malta: Map

Below is a map of St. Julian’s with all the top spots. Each location has a pin to Google Maps for easy navigation. Blue pins show St. Julian’s attractions. Red pins mark dining spots.

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android

Places to Visit in St. Julians

Below is a list of attractions worth visiting in St. Julian’s.


There are many hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs in Paceville, the entertainment hub of St. Julian’s.

Spinola Bay

At Spinola Bay, these vibrant Maltese Luzzu fishing boats bobble around, creating an Instagram-worthy seascape. Just grab a bench and chill, soaking in the pulse of life around you.

Luzzu boats docked in Spinola Bay, with colorful buildings and boats reflected in the calm, turquoise water.
Luzzu Fishing Boat, in Spinola Bay at St. Julian’s

In Spinola Bay, you will also see a “LOVE” sign. It is a popular landmark located on the promenade. The sculpture spells out “LOVE” in large letters. It has become a favourite spot for tourists and locals to take photos. They especially like the scenic backdrop of the bay.

A blue boat anchored in calm waters at Spinola Bay, St. Julians, Malta, with buildings lining the waterfront in the background.
Spinola Bay in the Morning

Balluta Bay

Balluta Bay is popular among visitors for its neo-gothic Knisja tal-Karmnu church and the impeccable Balluta Buildings built in the art nouveau style. There is also a small sandy beach there.

Spinola Palace

Spinola Palace is an architectural marvel dating back to the 17th century, built by the Knights of St. John. It has a unique Baroque clock at the back. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public.

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Is St. Julian’s a Good Place to Stay During Your Holidays?

St. Julian’s is a great place to stay on holiday. Due to its central location on the island, it’s easy to get to many places. From here, you can explore everything Malta has to offer.

No matter what you’re doing, from visiting Valletta and the Three Cities to taking a ferry to Gozo and Comino, St. Julian’s central location makes it easy to get anywhere. Moreover, St. Julian’s is well connected by bus if you’re planning to travel using public transport.

A wide range of accommodation is available in the town. There’s something for every traveller’s budget and style, from beachfront resorts to charming boutique hotels, and modern serviced apartments to budget-friendly hostels. 

If you want a luxury holiday, check out my guide to top 5-star hotels.

Malta in 4 days

Places to Stay in St. Julian’s

AC Hotel by Marriott: Newly opened with an outdoor pool and fitness centre. Book here.

Typical Maltese Maisonette: Spacious and fully-equipped holiday apartment close to the sea. Book here.

Hotel Valentina: Boutique hotel offering a rooftop pool, bar, and grill. Stylish and comfortable. Book here.

After a day filled with sightseeing, St. Julian’s comes alive with an exciting nightlife scene. In the town, you can find a variety of restaurants serving international and local cuisine, trendy bars, and vibrant nightclubs.

If you’re travelling with kids or want peace, St. Julian’s might not be the right place. The town can be noisy, especially in the evenings. It’s better to try quieter towns such as Mellieha or Marsaskala.

Does St. Julian’s Have a Beach?

In St. Julians, you can swim almost everywhere. You will see ladders in the water for getting in and out.

A couple of tiny rocky beaches are popular here. They have buoys to shield swimmers from boats. One is at Spinola Bay (location is here), the other is across the on George Borg Olivier Street (click here for location). 

People swimming in the crystal-clear waters of St. Julians, Malta, with one person diving off a ladder into the sea.
Swimming in St. Julians

The beaches include St. George’s Bay and Balluta Bay Beach. St. George’s Bay, in Paceville, always has crowds. Due to its popularity, especially with after-party drinkers, it’s sometimes less than pristine in cleanliness.

A small city beach on Sliema’s border, Balluta Bay, offers a different vibe. Since the water is shallow, it’s suitable for families.

People enjoying a sunny day at Balluta Bay in St. Julian's, Malta, with swimmers and sunbathers by the beach and a prominent church in the background.
Balluta Bay, St. Julians

If you’re looking for more space to sunbathe and swim, you might check out the rocky beaches of Sliema, just 20 minutes from St. Julian’s. Check out my post to learn more about them.

What is the Nightlife like in St. Julian’s?

You can’t get wrong with St. Julian’s, particularly Paceville, if you want vibrant nightlife on your holiday. Known for its high-energy clubs, pulsating parties, and endless dancing nights, Paceville is Malta’s nightlife epicentre.

Tourists and locals flock to Paceville, which has the highest concentration of clubs and bars on the island.

There aren’t only onshore parties in Malta; there are also boat parties out to sea. There’s nothing like dancing under the stars on a boat or watching the sunset with the Maltese islands as the backdrop.

As with any nightlife area, keep an eye on your belongings and avoid confrontations to have an enjoyable time.

Boats docked at St. Julian's waterfront illuminated by city lights reflecting on the calm waters at night.
Night Views

Insider Tips on Things to Do

Check out these insider tips to make your trip to St. Julian’s unforgettable:

Stroll along St. Julian’s promenade: Take a stroll along St. Julian’s promenade and take in the breathtaking sea views.

Indulge in delicious food: St. Julian’s has tons of restaurants serving traditional and international food. Get a taste of local flavours with Maltese rabbit stew or seafood pasta. Don’t miss the famous pastizzerias where you can try local fast food.

Enjoy swimming: St. Julian’s is right on the Mediterranean Sea, so swimming is a must. You can go to Sliema if you want rocky beaches. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Try parasailing: In St. Julian’s, you can go beyond swimming. Parasailing is a real thrill. It’s like being a bird soaring over the sea. And don’t worry, it’s safe, but remember to follow your guide’s advice. Book your parasailing trip below!

Jump on a jet ski: You’re not stuck on land in St. Julian’s. It’s a fun ride and a cool way to see the sea.  Ready to ride the waves? Book your jet ski session below now!

Experience nightlife in Paceville: Get a taste of Paceville, Malta’s most famous nightlife district. Various clubs, bars, and restaurants cater for all tastes.

Discover Spinola Bay: You can start your day with a visit to Spinola Bay, a picturesque bay filled with traditional and colourful fishing boats. Sunrise is awesome if you get there early.

My Top Three Recommendations for Food and Drink in St. Julian’s

Salumeria Gardens: Their pizzas are authentic, and their beers are fresh. You can enjoy your meal in their peaceful garden, which enhances the dining experience. The bar also has a wide selection of craft beers, including local ones.

Two Buoys: It’s an Aussie eatery with an excellent selection of food, including brunch food, and a spectacular view of Spinola Bay.

Club Sushi: Those craving Asian cuisine should head to Club Sushi, which serves sushi and Korean dishes. Although the restaurant is small, takeout is available. 

Bianco’s: A pizza place in Spinola which also offers pasta, burgers, and fish. Their truffle calzone is a standout dish in Malta.

Taco Bar: Taco Bar: Authentic Mexican cuisine prepared by a Mexican chef. You can try traditional dishes like tacos, enchiladas, or beef-stuffed peppers. The restaurant also offers tequila and mezcal-based cocktails, as well as classic margaritas and Corona beer.

A plate with octopus tacos served on a soft corn tortilla, garnished with crispy kale and accompanied by a lime wedge.
Octopus tacos at Taco Bar, St. Julian’s

Blue Elephant: An upscale Thai restaurant that offers authentic dishes and a jungle-like atmosphere. It has a fountain and beautiful koi fish. While the prices are higher, the quality of the food makes it worth every penny. I tried fish curry and pad thai with shrimps. Both dishes were amazing.

A table set with various Thai dishes at the Blue Elephant restaurant in St. Julians Portomaso. The dishes include stir-fried vegetables, rice, and other Thai delicacies.
Thai cuisine at the Blue Elephant restaurant in St. Julians Portomaso

St. Julians, Malta: FAQ

What to do in St. Julians?

St. Julian’s is a hub of activity. You can enjoy swimming and a long walk on the promenade to Sliema, Gzira, or Msida. You can also shop, including at Paceville which has a bowling alley and cinema. In St. Julians, you can find a diverse range of bars, English-style pubs and nightclubs. Many restaurants serve local and international dishes.

What is St. Julian’s in Malta like?

St. Julian’s is a vibrant coastal town. It blends old charm with new fun. It’s known for its nightlife. But, it’s also a shopping destination with two malls. One is at Mercury Tower and the other at Baystreet.

What are the things to do in St. Julian’s at night?

In St. Julian’s, nightlife is diverse and engaging. You’ve got English pubs and lively nightclubs playing anything from dance music to Latino tunes. Paceville is vibrant and full of energy. On the flip side, Spinola Bay provides a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s perfect if you prefer a quieter night out. And, there are plenty of food and drink options to choose from.

Where is St. Julian’s in Malta?

St. Julian’s is located on the northeast coast of Malta, north of Valletta. It is centrally located and well-connected by public transport.

How far is St. Julian’s from Valletta?

St. Julian’s is about 8 kilometres from Valletta. Buses run frequently, every 10 minutes or less. You can also walk to Sliema. From there, you can catch a ferry to Valletta. But, it’s not the quickest option.

Is St. Julians safe?

St. Julians is considered safe for visitors, but staying vigilant in crowded places and at night is always a good practice.

How to get to Gozo from St. Julian’s?

From St. Julian’s, take a bus or drive to Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal. Catch a ferry to Gozo there. Alternatively, use the ferry from Valletta for foot passengers.

Is St. Julian’s Malta worth visiting?

Definitely! St. Julian’s is a versatile destination. It offers lively nightlife, scenic seaside walks, delicious food, and culture. This makes it a must-visit spot in Malta.

Is St. Julian’s Malta expensive?

St. Julian’s can be on the pricier side, especially in tourist hotspots. However, a range of options exists to fit various budgets for both accommodation and dining.

How do you spend a day in St Julians Malta?

A perfect day in St Julians might include a slow walk on the promenade. You can explore Balluta Square and have a local lunch. After that, you can shop, swim in the sea, and end with an evening out in Paceville.

Is it better to stay in St Julians or Valletta?

Choosing between St Julians and Valletta depends on your preferences. St. Julian’s is for nightlife and leisure, while Valletta is for culture and history. Both offer easy access to other parts of Malta.

Where is the best place to base yourself in Malta?

Your ideal base in Malta depends on your interests. St. Julians is for nightlife, Valletta for history, and Mellieha and the northern areas for beaches.

How far is St Julians from the airport?

St. Julian’s is about 11 kilometres from Malta International Airport. It takes 20-30 minutes by car or taxi, or 40-50 minutes by bus, depending on traffic.

A serene morning scene at St. Julian's Bay, with boats peacefully floating on calm waters against a backdrop of buildings and a silhouette of a street lamp.
Morning Views, at St. Julian’s

St. Julian’s in Malta offers a memorable experience for everyone, with its lively energy and culinary delights. But exploration doesn’t have to stop here. Malta’s archipelago is filled with fascinating towns, each with its own unique charm.

If you enjoyed this guide, I invite you to learn more about the Maltese islands. Check out my other posts about Gozo, Comino, the gorgeous capital city of Valletta, and other towns – Sliema, Three Cities, Ta’Xbiex, Msida and Gzira. I’ve got insider tips, recommendations, and knowledge to help you get the most out of your visit.

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