The 6 Best Places To Live In Malta

Are you trying to figure out the best places to live in Malta?

Malta is easily one of the best places in Europe to live, thanks to its blissful weather, laid-back vibe, and low cost of living. Moreover, because of the taxing system, Malta is a desirable base for digital nomads working for overseas companies. 

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Despite its small size, the towns in Malta all have a unique character, and the type of lifestyle you’ll enjoy here will depend on where you choose to live.

So if you’re considering living and working in this Mediterranean paradise, either short or long-term, read on to discover the best places to live in Malta.

malta with horse carriage waiting for passangers

St Julian’s & Sliema

St Julian’s and Sliema are two of the most sought-after and best cities to live in Malta for expats. The resort towns are located on the island’s east coast in the Northern Harbor district. 

Both towns offer beautiful seafront scenery with stunning beaches. They are connected by a long seaside promenade which, after St Julians, continues to the next small village, Paceville.

While St Julian’s and Sliema have a nice balance of residential and commercial buildings, Paceville is known as Malta’s central bar district, boosting the best nightlife on the island.

St Julian’s and Sliema are the most urban and modernized parts of Malta, with shopping malls, movie theaters, and plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs. As a result, these two towns are hugely popular with expats and tourists, resulting in a large international community. 

Traveling between Sliema, St. Julian’s, and Paceville is easy; there is a regular bus schedule and water taxis. However, as it gets busy with tourists and is a very built-up area, the towns often get congested during the summer. 

The monthly rental on a one-bedroom apartment here typically costs between €700 and €900. Furthermore, the towns are safe, especially Sliema, as it is located the furthest away from the nightlife.  

Malta st julian bay

St. Paul’s Bay & Mellieha

Another of the best places to live in Malta is in the north of the island. The two seaside villages, St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha have large international communities and offer a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle. 

Expats and digital nomads flock here for the gorgeous sandy beaches and wide array of modern amenities. However, as they are quieter than the nearby resort towns of Bugibba and Qawra, they are also popular with families.

Mellieha is an incredibly picturesque village located at the top of a hill.

The views here are splendid, and there is a lovely beach about half a mile down the mountain. There are also many restaurants, cafes, and bars. 

Regular buses run up and down the hill, connecting Mellieha to St. Paul’s Bay and the other nearby villages. Another pro of this hilltop village is that it has one of the most “local” ambiances in this region of Malta, so it is ideal for those who want to experience the Maltese way of life. 

St. Paul’s Bay is the largest town in the northern region and is ideal for expats who want to be close to the seaside. The village has a few sandy beaches and many pebbled bays.

It was initially a fisherman’s village, and even though it gets busier during the summer months, it never feels crowded. 

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mellieha costs between €600 and €800, and St. Paul’s Bay is a bit cheaper. Therefore, these northern towns are a slightly more affordable option than St Julian’s and Sliema on the east coast.

Malta st paul bay

Bugibba & Qawra 

Just north of St. Paul’s Bay, you’ll find the small but bustling area of Bugibba and Qawra with a totally different feel to the relatively peaceful St. Paul’s Bay. Bugibba and Qawra are where you will find the best nightlife in the north of the island. 

In Bugibba, most of the life is found in and around the palm-lined Bugibba Square, with many pubs, sports bars, and pizzerias. 

Qawra has a broader range of entertainment options, such as a casino, cinema, bingo hall, and karaoke bars. You’ll also find more nightclubs in Qawra, giving Bugibba a slightly more relaxed feel.

These resort towns have a holiday vibe, so you’ll find more resorts than residential buildings. Thus, many expats choose to live next door in St. Paul’s Bay and travel here for the vibrant nightlife.

Still, for party-loving digital nomads staying a few months on the island, Bugibba and Qawra are undoubtedly two of the best cities in Malta.

Monthly rent in Bugibba and Qawra costs between $600 and $750 for a one-bedroom apartment, but the prices do tend to go up in the summer months. 

boats in bugibba bay

Valletta

Valletta is Malta’s capital city and a significant European cultural hub. Although it is the capital, it is not a big bustling city.

Compared to other European capital cities, Valletta is tiny and quiet, with less than 7000 people residing here.

The entire walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one reason why Valletta lacks much nightlife. Still, there are plenty of cultural venues like museums, art galleries, and medieval relics like the great Fort St Elmo.

In the evening, you’ll find entertainment amongst the theaters and wine bars. 

Unlike most other parts of Malta, Valletta is highly walkable. Plus, because the city sits between two harbors, it boasts breathtaking views on either side.

Valletta is a good choice for bankers and financial advisors. This is because it is the financial capital of Malta and home to the headquarters of many banks and financial institutions.

In addition, jobs in the law sector are abundant, with several courts and big law firms based in the capital.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Valletta is between €800 and €1000, so it is one of the most expensive parts of the island.

valletta

Swieqi & Pembroke

Swieqi and Pembroke are two towns just north of St Julian’s and another fab option for expats living and working in Malta. They are particularly popular with families as many top international schools are here, and the University of Malta is nearby. 

Pembroke was created in the 1990s and is Malta’s newest town. It is situated on the coast, close to lively Paceville, but Pembroke itself is quiet and residential. 

Pembroke is still relatively undeveloped and rocky, but you’ll find some excellent coastal hiking paths. Therefore, the town is a good choice for outdoor lovers who enjoy peace and quiet but still want to be close to the action.

Swieqi is an inland town, so it lacks Pembroke’s oceanfront scenery. Still, it has all the necessary amenities and facilities and boasts a highly peaceful feel.

Plus, it is within walking distance to Paceville and St. Julian, so it doesn’t feel at all isolated. 

The downside is that these towns, especially Swieqi, are among the most expensive areas in Malta. Monthly rental on a one-bedroom apartment costs between €850 and $1050.

trees in front of bulfing in pembroke malta

Mosta

Mosta is a small but densely populated town in the island’s center, with around 19,200 inhabitants. It is also continually developing, with new buildings always being built.

The city has a rich culture with fascinating monuments like the Mosta Rotunda, a neoclassical church with a famous dome, and the Ta’ Bistra Catacombs. There are plenty of commercial spaces too, including restaurants, bars, and shops.

Although Mosta is not situated by the coast, the city is one of the cheapest places in Malta to live. Monthly rent on a one-bedroom apartment costs between €600 and €700.

What’s more, job opportunities are plentiful, including highly skilled jobs like engineers and IT specialists and entry-level positions in sales and admin.

aerial view of mosta

Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Live In Malta

When choosing where to live in Malta, consider your personal requirements and preferences. Each of these best places to live in Malta has a unique vibe, but they share a few things in common.

In all of these Maltese cities, you’ll enjoy the idyllic Mediterranean climate and lifestyle for a lower price than in many nearby European countries.

Not sure if Malta is the right place for you? Read one of the following guides:

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