Sliema is in Malta.
Sliema and St Julian's are Malta's most modern and most built up areas and where most tourists stay. It is where one will find the most hotels, rental apartments, restaurants, bars, shops and clubs.
Sliema and St Julian's form a near continuous town spread over two adjacent peninsulas with St Julian's to the north (about 20 minutes walk) and Valetta and a third peninsula to the south (about 20 minutes drive).
Malta is a very Catholic country and its people are some of the friendliest and most embracing of tourists in Europe. It is important to note though that certain behavior is strongly frowned upon (such as excessive drunken raucous behavior) and other behavior is illegal (such as topless sunbathing) despite this town being a common tourist area.
Street names in Malta are written first in Maltese then in English, it becomes helpful to learn both since some people only use one or the other when giving directions and some maps only give the Maltese (on the assumption that the reader will be able to translate).
The area is well signposted from Valetta and the international airport and is about 20 minutes drive from Valletta and 1 hour from the airport.
The bus service is now run by Arriva (www.arriva.com.mt), most buses are air conditioned (a great benefit over the old buses!). A Day ticket costs €2.60 & can be used as often as you wish on any route during the day of purchase.
Buses for Sliema leave the Valletta terminus regularly. Be warned that the Valletta - Sliema/St.Julians routes can get quite crowded in the summer months. A number 12, 13 or 14 will take you to Sliema & St Julians.
The bus routes are very much concentric to Valletta, such that if you wish to travel from Sliema to another part of the Island (in any direction) it will often be necessary first to travel into Valletta then back out again.
A ferry regularly (each half hour between 8am and 6pm and later on special occasions such as Notto Bianco) crosses the harbour between Sliema and Valletta. A one-way ticket for the five-minute journey costs about €1.20; there are also two or three water taxis plying the same route. Whichever you use, be aware that on the Valletta side there is quite a climb up to the centre of the city.
The town is a mostly residential area and as such tourists would tend to travel outside of Sliema during holiday.
However, there are a number of excellent restaurants in and around Howard Street and a tiny supermarket just off Stella Maris Street.
The sea front is well developed and offers shaded seating areas often with free wireless internet, an array of cafes, bars and restaurants and some stone beaches with safe and clean swimming areas.
Sliema is one of the largest and most modern shopping centres in Malta : see 'Buy' below.
Scuba diving is the biggest attraction in Sliema. Diving in Sliema is easy, fun, and you can see ship wrecks, stingrays, barracudas, lots of small fish, and explore tunnels and swim through s at the Fortizza dive site.
PADI dive centres and resorts
- Malta Blue Diving (To the left of the Fortizza Restaurant located in the Preluna Beach Resort), ☎ +356 79497237, e-mail: email@example.com. 9am to 6pm every day. Small family-run dive shop with new equipment, flexible diving schedules and friendly staff. They teach PADI diving courses in small groups in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and plan diving to customers requirements and diving preferences.
Several of Malta's English language schools are located here.
This is Malta's largest and most modern shopping district. You'll find several streets packed full of shops, including international favourites like Zara, Top Shop and Mango, as well as a variety of many designer labels. Malta's prices aren't anything to be excited about, but if you're looking for something trendy, possibly from a store that's more uncommon outside Europe, this is where you'll find it. There is also a small Marks and Spencers, but this one does not have a deli section.
The latest addition to Sliema shopping is The Point mall at Point Tigne, a three-level, air conditioned mall with a supermarket, cafes & many designer outlets.
- Offshore. A small coffee shop on the Strand with the best cakes and coffee in Sliema.
- Ta' Kris. Tucked away in a little alley off Bisazza Street, the main shopping thoroughfare, this is one of the best places on the island for Maltese cuisine.
Baracuda in Baluta Bay has some of best food around. Fish is what they do best, fresh out of the sea.
- Hibernia House Gateway Hostel. Depiro Street, tel. +356-21-333859. Cheap and friendly HI-affiliated hostel, just don't expect too many frills. Dorm rooms have basic cooking facilities. Good location a few blocks from the beach.
- McDonald Sliema Homestay, Borg Olivier St (Very close to the sea), ☎ +356-27-012825. Single room: €70-140/week; Double room: €80-165/week.
- Imperial Hotel, Rudolph Street, ☎ +356 21 344093. Guestrooms are all equipped with air-conditioning,satellite TV, telephone and coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant/bar, business center, swimming pool, sauna and room service. From €52.
- Ta' Cettina Hotel, ☎ +356-27-343788. Baker Street. Expensive but luxurious. Ta Cettina hotel provides one with some of the best hospitality that Malta has to offer, with spectacular panoramic views of the Sliema Beach Front.
Being the busiest tourist area petty crime associated with it is most rife here. That said there is still relatively little crime compared to many other mediterannean tourist destinations.