St Julian’s is the party centre of the Maltese Islands, boasting some of the best clubs, bars and casinos in the southern Mediterranean. Situated just up the coast from Sliema, visitors flock to this coastal town all year round, but the summer months – when the nights are hot and filled with excitement – are inevitably busiest.
The activities here not as beach-focused as in other areas of the island. Instead, visitors and locals enjoy the vibrant bars, restaurants and shops that litter the busy streets. Two of the most vibrant areas of town are Portomaso and Paceville, whose casinos, bars and clubs are enjoyed by business people and students alike. Whatever your reason for visiting St Julian’s and wherever you stay, there is always food and drink to be found nearby.
St Julian’s has two famous casinos: Portomaso and Dragonara. Both are legendary in Maltese folklore and play host to international players from all over the world.
Situated in the Portomaso development just past Spinola Bay, this glamourous playhouse is open 24/7 for lovers of dice, cards and good times. All of your favourite table games are here, including blackjack, roulette and punto banco. However, what draws players to this casino more than anything is its international reputation for holding poker events. If you get bored of Texas Hold’em or if your luck runs out, there are a number of fabulous high-class restaurants, hotels and a glamorous marina nearby.
As the old lady of Maltese gambling, this casino is set in the luxurious surroundings of a nineteenth-century summer palace. Converted to a betting house in 1964, this is a place with serious history and reputation. Guests enjoy the latest slot machines and a wide range of games, which are available on 18 live tables. Always remember that this casino is one of the most exclusive areas of town and regardless of whether you show up at 3pm or 4am, dress to impress and the tables will be kind.
You are never far from a cocktail and a dance in St Julian’s. For some of the swankiest and coolest bars to meet like-minded people, try any of these three destinations on your next visit:
This lounge bar and nightclub is the most exclusive spot in Malta. Located on floor 22 of the Portomaso Business Tower, this stylish club offers 360-degree views over St Julian’s and much of Malta and beyond. The crowd here is young and successful, and private events often attract celebrities from across the region. To maximise your enjoyment of this bar, reserve a table and bring enough credit cards for the extensive wine list.
Inside the Hilton Hotel you’ll find the classy Quarterdeck cocktail and wine bar. The best plan here is to bring a few friends along and savour an aperitif alongside a platter of nibbles, such as French and Italian Cheeses on special Maltese crackers.
Situated in the Balluta Bay area, with views over one of the island’s most popular and exciting pieces of coastline, this cocktail and lounge bar is one of the coolest places to meet people in St Julian’s. Nothing impresses a date like drinking cocktails on The Villa’s nineteenth-century terrace, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. The charm of this bar is undeniable and the soft ambient music gets everybody in the mood.
Where to Stay
The Westin Dragonara Resort – Overlooking the sea, this hotel is next door to the famous Dragonara Casino. The excellent facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as three restaurants serving authentic Maltese cuisine. The air-conditioned rooms each come with a balcony, which offer views of the sea. Rooms with a spa bath and access to the Executive Club lounge are also available.
InterContinental Malta – InterContinental Malta is a minute’s walk from its private beach area and offers beautiful gardens, an indoor and outdoor pool, and squash courts for relaxing. The six restaurants and bars serve every type of Mediterranean cuisine you could desire, but place a special emphasis on Italian dishes. With top quality rooms and exceptional room service, comfort is assured at the InterContinental.
Radisson Blu Resort, Malta St. Julians – Located in the St George’s Bay area, this hotel has one indoor and two outdoor pools with plenty of space to soak up the sun. In the bars and restaurants, guests enjoy premium service of international food and a vast array of drinks and cocktails.
How to Get There
A direct flight to Malta Airport (MLA) is the quickest and most affordable way to travel to St Julian’s from the UK. Flights take around three hours with Air Malta flying directly from Heathrow. Alternatively, British Airways and easyJet fly from Gatwick Airport for most of the year.
From Malta Airport, the journey to St Julian’s can take as little as 15 minutes. Maltese public transport is not the best and can be a hassle, so it’s wise to book a speedy airport transfer beforehand. If you book with Shuttle Direct before you leave, you will be guaranteed a comfortable ride and a fixed price, so no unwelcome charges once you are out there.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is an international airport transfer company operating in Europe and North Africa. By using local, professional drivers, the service is able to offer unparalleled efficiency and service to its customers. If you are going on a golfing holiday, let Shuttle Direct know in advance and they will transfer all of your equipment for no extra fee.