The town of Sliema is located in the North East part of the Maltese Island and only a few minutes’ drive from the capital city of Malta, Valletta. It is one of the most bustling towns of Malta as it comprises all the major elements of business, entertainment, nightlife, and tourism. It has become an exciting location for holiday makers as it provides a traditional town feel, with a big city appeal. The interesting thing about Sliema is this dual personality, with tall modern buildings comprising of offices, apartments and hotels as opposed to the quaint traditional elements of the old buildings, fort and churches.
Sliema was once a small fishing village, as were most of the Maltese coastal towns in antiquity, and constituted a crucial role in Malta’s history. During the Great Siege of 1565, Sliema was known as ‘il-Qortin’ and was used as a camp for the Turkish troops led by Dragut. Dragut was eventually killed by a bombardment from Fort St. Elmo on the other side of Marsamxett Harbour, where Sliema stands. Then Fort Tigne was developed by the Knights of St. John in the late 18th century and further developed by the British in later years. Currently, a huge restoration and development plan is underway to restore the fort (one of many scattered along the Maltese coast) as well as to built ultra-modern apartments, a piazza, and a brand new shopping centre.
Sliema is one of the major business centres in Malta, particularly with regards to retail; and is today a major centre for shopping and café life. It comprises of a few jam-packed shopping high-streets, together with one of Malta’s most established shopping malls, with all the major brands one can think of, from popular street names like Accessorise, M&S and Topshop, to designer brands like Maxmara and Furla. Wedged between the shops are numerous cafés of all varieties, always bustling with people sipping their wine or coffee.
Sliema Hotels and Restaurants
Tourism is another key element here for many reasons. First off, Sliema boasts a long coastline that allows for long walks, beaches, and easy accessibility. In fact, the numerous bus stops along the coast make it easy for anyone to get to and from any part of the island, in the famous, traditional Maltese yellow buses. The beautiful coast is also home to resorts, the public beaches, and various dive sites. The warmth of the Mediterranean Sea thus makes Sliema a unique town in both the summer and winter months. Sliema also accounts for a large share of Malta Accommodation, where one can find two 5* hotels one of which the new deluxe boutique hotel ‘The Palace’; seven 4* hotels including ‘The Victoria Hotel’, twelve 3* hotels, nine 2* hotels and eight guesthouses!
In the evening, one can choose between some 40 top Malta restaurants, which will definitely ensure the perfect dining experience every time. These range from upscale cafés, wine bars, and take-aways to award-winning Mediterranean or Oriental cuisine. During the warmer months, tables spill onto the street, allowing diners to enjoy the sea views and gentle breeze. Ice-cream vendors then begin to appear, scattered along the main streets and coast. With regards to entertainment and night-life, there are over 50 bars spread throughout the town, and ‘St. Julians’ – the neighboring town – it’s well within walking distance. This town is Malta’s major entertainment centre and comprises of clubs, bars, cinemas and restaurants.
Whether you are shopping, sunbathing, swimming, diving, dining or sipping your coffee or beer in the sun, Sliema has something for everyone. So, when visiting Malta, we would highly recommend that you include this unique town on your itinerary!
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