I’m Jemma (Instagram , Blog), an avid traveller, blogger and teacher. I’m from a small, but famous town in England called Stratford-upon-Avon. I’ve been travelling on and off since I finished school back in 2011. So far, I’ve managed to rack up 24 countries and counting. I’ve also lived In 3 countries for periods of time and my favourite and most recent one is Malta. Currently I am working as a Teaching Assistant in a SEN school in the UK until the pandemic passes and I can go back to travelling.
The towns in Malta all join together so I’m going to give you an insight into the St Julians area (consisting of Pembroke, Swieqi, San Gillian, St Julians, Spinola Bay, Balluta Bay and Silema)
What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?
The Maltese culture is very similar to British, so if you want to grab a full English breakfast, you can find one almost everywhere. A Maltese delicacy is a pastizzi, similar to a Cornish pasty, but lighter. Many Maltese people often have these as a quick grab and go breakfast with a coffee.
One of my favourite Breakfast spots would have to be Shoreditch Bar and Kitchen, they do the best English breakfast and at a really reasonable price. Also, they have the most INSANE pancakes in the world.
If you fancy grabbing a pastizzi, there are lots of places, my personal favourite would have to be Mr.Maxims (these are dotted all across the island).
Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?
If you’re a fan of sushi, then there are loads of sushi bars in St Julians. It’s a quick and on the go snack to have, especially in the summer when it’s super hot. Zen Sushi would have to be my favourite of them all.
In Spinola Bay there is a cafe called Cuba cafe, it’s quite a popular place as it’s located on the seafront and you have a great view, but it does quick and easy bites to have for lunch. Also, the cocktails here are great too.
What is the ideal afternoon activity in Malta
There is so much to see and do in Malta, a perfect afternoon for me would be chilling out on the beach, which are rocky, however, still relaxing. Silema has the best areas to sit and chill as St Julians (St George’s Bay) tends to get very crowded. You can have a dip in the sea as well in the designated safe swimming areas.
Alternatively, if the beach isn’t your thing you could take a walk along the promenade from St Julians all the way to Valletta (the capital).
Where are the best places for dinner?
In terms of restaurants, you are spoilt for choice in the St Julians area, it is a tourist hot spot and there are plenty of restaurants. One of my personal favourites which I visited a few times would be Peppinos in Spinola Bay. The staff are lovely and friendly, the menu has loads of options, sometimes too many and the food is just divine.
Another good eating place is Crust, it’s located between St Julians and Spinola on a ramp, you can choose to eat outside on the terrace (at night it’s beautiful with all the lights) or inside in the airy, spacious restaurant. Again, there is a great choice of food and the coffee is also top notch! It’s a great place to meet friends too.
After having dinner there is a local bar named Saddles just across from the LOVE monument in Spinola, this is great for a cheeky bevvy to end the night.
In the evening, what is St Julian’s like and where do you find yourself?
St Julians is the party epicentre of Malta. Paceville is the nightlife area, there are loads of clubs, bars and grab and go food places open late into the night. You’ll likely hear people talking about Paceville (PV) on the streets as everyone meets there in the evening.
Havana is the nightclub that tends to have the biggest reputation, if you like dancing to the most up to date music and don’t mind being in a pool of sweat, then give it a go. Another option is Native, a Latin club/bar which is also pretty popular. There are loads of clubs to visit, just be aware that in the summer when all the students go over there to study English, it isn’t always easy to get up the stairs into the clubs as it’s PACKED. But it’s a great night out if you like that sort of thing and it’s something you have to experience once.
In a busy place like Malta, is there anywhere to chill?
At a beach. If you walk along the promenade from St Julians to Valletta, you’ll see lots of beach spots where you can stop and relax for a little while. Don’t forget your towel and sun cream though as it’s hot most of the year in Malta.
Another thing I loved doing on my days off was going for a walk around Pembroke during the daytime. It’s a small ‘village’ away from the business of St Julians. You can walk right along the seafront, up to Madliena Torri and onto the water park. Make sure you have a good pair of shoes on as the coastline isn’t always the smoothest. Also, you’ll find yourself walking through an old Military Base, don’ t be alarmed, it’s totally fine to walk through it, just stick to the footpaths.
What is there to do for something fun and different?
If you’re into history and culture I would recommend getting a bus to Valletta (this is really simple, all buses on the island lead to Valletta) and explore the capital, there is so much rich history there and the architecture of the buildings is beautiful.
Or if you fancy giving the Casino a try, Malta is home to a lot of gaming businesses, there are 3 big casinos in St Julians, The Dragonara and Portomaso Casino which are high end casinos and also Casino Malta which is located in Paceville.
In the summer months all of the towns in Malta have their own ‘festa’ to celebrate different religious people and days, if you get the chance to see one of these, I would recommend it, they are a lot of fun. St Julians is always the biggest one and it happens at the end of summer.
Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?
As a young traveller I would recommend the St Julians area, because you have everything you need within walking distance, and the transport around the island is regular from this area, unlike other locations in Malta. You have nightclubs, bars, restaurants, beaches, shopping, culture and history and you’ll meet loads of other travellers in this area too.
If you’re not a native English speaker there is an English Cafe where you can go to practice English and also meet new people, even if you are English and want to make some friends, this is a great way. This runs every Tuesday and Thursday, sometimes the location changes, so follow their page to keep up to date.
What season would you recommend visiting?
Malta has good weather most of the year, from around March – late October even early November you are guaranteed sunshine. So, with this in mind you can visit at any time. Of course, the summer months are amazing as the country is completely full of life, everything is open, and the weather is scorching. But I would probably recommend visiting either side of peak season, May/September time as you will still get the same experience, just with less people around.
Is Malta best for a family holiday/friends holiday or couple holiday?
Malta is a place for everyone, families, friends, couples. If you are going with friends for a ‘fun holiday’ stay in St Julians, with family I’d recommend Mellieha or even Buggiba and for a more romantic holiday with your partner Mellieha, Gozo or even St Paul’s Bay. You can get around the whole island in a day so wherever you are located transport isn’t an issue.
I’d highly recommend getting a bus card (Tallinja explore card) for your stay, one bus journey payment lasts for 2 hours. If you would rather take a taxi, then the cheapest ones are Bolt – you can download the app and register. Alternatively, if you want to use a car, you can rent one of course, or use GoTo Malta, these are electric cars which you use as and when you need them.