How to spend a day in Valletta, Sliema & St Julians
Most people would spend a minimum of one day in the city of Valletta. The city is beautiful and has so much to offer. Earlier, we already wrote an article with all the practical information and the sights Valletta has to offer.
If you haven’t that much time though, you can decide to visit the places Valletta, Sliema and St Julians in one day. In my opinion the cities are all easy to reach, because the cities run into each other. You can easily go from Sliema to St Julians by foot, so that’s also the reason why these three places are pretty good to visit in one day. Although Valletta probably would be the most impressive city, your trip isn’t complete without paying a visit to the tourist places St Julians.
During my trip to Malta, I’ve visited Valletta, Sliema and St Julians in one day and I’ve seen much during this day. In this article I would like to share with you how I spend one day in the three places.
From Paola to Valletta by bus
Before we travelled to Malta, we already heard from people it isn’t easy to park your rental car in or around Valletta. Because of the fact we wanted to rent a car, this wasn’t a place to book an accommodation. That’s also the reason why we booked our accommodation in Paola, a town located just under Valletta. Paola is definitely the perfect starting point for visiting Valletta, but also Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk.
Close to our accommodation we found a bus stop. The bus is a very popular transportation on Malta and is used a lot by tourists as well as by locals. We decided to travel to Valletta by bus, due to the small amount of parking places in the city itself. With the bus we arrived close to the Valletta City Gate, from where we walked through the main street towards the War Museum (Fort St Elmo) at the waterfront.
War Museum – For St Elmo
The War Museum represents the important role Malta and its people played during World War II as well as Malta’s important military role after 1800 under British rule. The museum also displays items from the First World War and from the two years of French occupation. I personally always find museums about World War II impressive, so if it’s your interest as well, this museum definitely is worth a visit.
The museum is opened all year round from Monday until Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. In summer time (from the 1st of April until the 30th of September) the museum is opened one hour longer, until 6 p.m. The entrance fee for adults is € 10,-. For youths (12-17 years), students and senior citizens (60+) it costs € 7,50. Children (6-11 years) pay € 5,50 and infants can enter the museum for free.
War Siege Memorial & Monument to Sir Alexander Ball
After our visit to the War Museum, we decided to walk further across the waterfront, where we ended up at the War Siege Memorial. This World War II memorial features simple, yet symbolic, design underlining a link between generations of Malta defenders. It’s very impressive to walk around and to have a look at the War Siege Memorial, but also at the Siege Bell War Memorial, which is just in front of it.
Close to the War Siege Memorial, you can find the Monument to Sir Alexander Ball. This monument is located in the Lower Barrakka Gardens of Valletta and was built in 1810 as a memorial to Alexander Ball, a British admiral who was the first Civil Commissioner of Malta.
Lunch in the city center
After our visit to the monuments, we decided to walk through the city centre back to the main street, where we ate some lunch at one of the many, cosy, terraces. It tasted very well, but I have to say it was also quite crowded. I wouldn’t expect anything else though in the main street of Valletta.
The ferry from Valletta to Sliema
Somewhere at the North side of Valletta, you can find the ferry terminal from where you can go to Sliema. The ferry has a great connection between Valletta and Sliema, because in this way you don’t have to go by bus all around the outside of Valletta. Going by ferry is way shorter!
A boat trip by ferry takes around 15 minutes and the ferry is leaving every half an hour. Depending on the season and day, the ferry goes more hours on the day or less hours on the day. A ticket for the ferry costs € 1,50 for an adult. If you would like to buy a return ticket, this costs € 2,80 per person. Children and seniors will get a discount. For all the exact information you can take a look on the official website.
A quick look into town and walking along the coast line
Arrived in Sliema, we bought ourselves an ice cream somewhere at the waterfront and walked through town to explore some more. Unfortunately, Sliema isn’t (in my opinion) a very beautiful town, compared to Valletta. There are many high buildings and there aren’t many historical sights. You have some shops, a boulevard and some cafes and restaurants, but much more isn’t there. So we walked through town a little and afterwards we decided to walk along the coast line (the boulevard) all the way to St Julians. In our opinion, this was the nicest way to explore Sliema, but of course that’s very personal.
Spinola Bay in St Julians
We ended up at Spinola Bay, located in St Julians. This was the place where we decided to stop our walk, because it was a really nice bay where the atmosphere was really good! There were many restaurants and cafes where you could sit down and eat or drink something. We decided to take a delicious beer on one of the terraces. Although we didn’t like St Julians as much as Valletta either, I think this is a better place to visit comparing to Sliema. I really liked Spinola Bay (especially when I wasn’t paying attention to the high buildings, haha!).
By bus back to Valletta and having dinner
After our drink, we went to the nearest bus station and went by bus back to the city centre of Valletta. Somewhere in a little street, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, which was very nice. We walked a little more around the city and came across a beautiful church in the middle of the centre. I definitely loved Valletta and wouldn’t mind going back here someday for a city trip!
Back to Paola
We walked slowly back to the bus station of Valletta, where we went back to Paola by bus. Although not all busses are always on time, it’s a great way to explore some more of Malta if you’re not able or don’t want to rent a car. Busses drive all over the island.
Are you curious to more about Malta? Read about Malta in one of our other articles by clicking here!