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Located on the northeast coast of Malta, the bustling resort of Sliema is a lively centre for shopping, dining and nightlife. Once a quiet fishing village, the modern city is now a busy commercial centre attracting many holidaymakers from around the globe each year.
For a big and bustling city, Sliema is extremely attractive. Just wandering around its streets soaking up the atmosphere is a fantastic way to get acquainted with the Maltese culture. Join the locals for an evening stroll along the wide promenade and enjoy the stunning views across the Grand Harbour to Valletta on one side and the open sea on the other. For anyone who likes to keep active, the promenade is the perfect spot for jogging. If that's a little too energetic for you, the street is lined with cafes or lovely shops to while away the time browsing.
Although the view of Valletta from Sliema is truly stunning, visitors would be well advised not just to look at it from a distance but to pay the city a visit. Valletta can be reached by local bus or boat trip and this is where you will discover the heart of Malta. The 'Fortress City' is comprised of lots of interconnected narrow streets which beg to be explored.
Spend some time wandering around the churches, palaces and shop fronts and marvel at some of the island's most impressive architecture. Valletta has something for everyone, from international clothing brands and boutiques to tiny local cafes, elaborate fountains and fascinating museums.
No visit to Malta is complete without spending some time in the azure Mediterranean waters. A boat trip around the Maltese islands can easily be arranged in a day, or why not try a night cruise and enjoy the experience of sitting aboard a sailboat with a star-filled sky above.
Swimming in the warm water around Sliema is also a delight, although you will find rocky outcrops rather than sandy beaches. These offer plenty of opportunities to dive straight into the refreshing water or paddle in one of the many bathing pools carved into the rock along the coast.
Thanks to its popularity with local and international visitors alike, Sliema boasts an impressive range of accommodation options. The gorgeous Victoria Hotel in the heart of town is a charming boutique hotel and ideal for those looking for a little luxury during their visit to Malta.
Guests are treated to good old fashioned style and hospitality which each of the rooms is tastefully decorated and furnished. Another popular choice is the Waterfront Hotel, which offers incredible views across the harbour to Valletta. The Park Hotel offers excellent value for money and Bayview Apartments are ideal for self caterers. Even backpackers are catered for in Sliema with a choice of hostels, such as the popular Martin's Hostel centrally situated right by the waterfront.
The action doesn't stop in Sliema when the sun goes down and visitors will be delighted by the range of evening entertainment available within the city. It is possible to enjoy everything from a relaxing stroll along the seafront to a wild night on the dance floor - and everything inbetween.
The restaurants in Sliema are excellent and varied, with a wide selection of dining options offering international and local flavours. Be sure to sample some traditional Maltese cuisine during your visit, such as one of the mouth-watering fresh fish dishes available. Ristorante Fumia on High Street is widely regarded as one of the best in the city and offers a fantastic selection of seafood dishes.
For a laid back drink with friend, Ta' Bajri Wine Bar on Tower Road is popular with locals and a good spot to begin an evening out. During the summer this is a pleasant spot to sit outside and enjoy the long evenings with a cold drink and some great conversation.
With its unique location right on the beach, Exiles Bar is another great choice for an evening drink although it is open all day. For some of the best nightclubs in the area, many locals and visitors alike head to the nearby areas of St Julians or Paceville. Popular clubs include Chequers and Escape but check with a local to find out what's best on the nights you are there.
Sliema is a lively and modern introduction to the Maltese way of life and a great base for anyone who likes to be in the heart of the action.