Most visitors come to Malta to explore its rich heritage and culture which form the heart and soul of our precious island. Part of this culture includes our deep love for food as well as the majestic Meditteranean sea that surrounds us.
These characteristics are especially what makes up the areas of Sliema and St Julian’s which are connected by what is famously known as the Sliema Promenade.
Numerous tourists, as well as locals, frequent these areas due to eateries that can be found along their coasts. And there’s no better to relish in all that they have to offer than by taking a leisurely walk down the promenade where the 1926 Hotel & Spa is situated.
Whether you’re passing by during the early hours of the morning, on a sunny afternoon or late at night, the Sliema Promenade is booming with activities for all the family to enjoy. It’s the place where diversity comes alive and makes space for anyone exploring the area to feel welcomed and tended to.
Here’s our list of things you should definitely look out as you explore the Sliema Promenade;
Good food, good vibes
There’s no way you’ll go hungry while exploring the Sliema Promenade with the wide range of establishments that you’ll find to soothe your taste buds at any time of the day.
Cafes on the Sliema Promenade
Start your morning on the right foot with a well-needed cup of coffee or tea, and maybe even a pastizz or two on the side, at a cafe before a day of exploration. There are so many for you to choose from.
You’ll immediately notice some familiar names such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks. So if you’re a tourist who can’t go a day without a sugary kick to start the day, don’t worry, you definitely won’t be deprived of it here! These places are especially ideal for anyone who needs to answer some emails, carry out personal work or meet up with a colleague to catch up on an exciting project they’ve been working on.
However, there are cafes of all sorts and sizes here from which you can get an authentic Italian espresso, a fresh French croissant or even some Japanese baked goodies! If you’re someone who follows certain dietary restrictions you’ll even come across multiple places that offer vegan options to suit your requirements.
Restaurants on the Sliema Promenade
This degree of variety in cuisines and menus is also identifiable in the range of restaurants available on the Sliema Promenade. Whatever it is you’re craving at a certain point in time, you’ll surely find something to satisfy it – the only problem you’ll face here is deciding which place to choose!
While there are some notable chain restaurants and fast-food joints, there are a lot of establishments that offer a unique, authentic experience of the cuisine they serve.
Get a taste of Malta’s most common delicacies at one of the Maltese restaurants that serve traditional dishes made from the freshest local ingredients. If Asian dishes is more in line with your palette, there’s more than enough to choose from, be it Thai, Chinese, Japanese or even Indian. The list goes on and on with Mediterranean family restaurants and gut-busting American eateries littered across the promenade.
One place we surely recommend for you to visit however is our very own 1926 Beach Club and Restaurant located right at the water’s edge. Here you will get to experience a truly Mediterranean lunch or dining experience as you enjoy a satiating meal of your preferred cuisine. You can even dip your feet in our infinity pool as you sip on your favourite cocktail.
Bars on the Sliema Promenade
Speaking of drinking, bars and pubs are surely not a rare sight across the Sliema Promenade. You’ll find one at almost every corner of the promenade, each with its own character be it a rowdy Irish pub or a classy cocktail bar making it the perfect route for a late-night bar-hopping experience with your friends.
Once you arrive at the end of the Sliema Promenade and get to the heart of the St Julian’s area, the number and variety of bars become even more noticeable as you get closer and closer to Malta’s nightlife hub – Paceville.
Blue seas and picturesque bays
Of course, one cannot help but mention the vast Mediterranean sea that the Sliema Promenade overlooks. Many enjoy the view whilst sitting on the metal or wooden benches that are set up across the entire promenade as they take a break from their rendezvous and bask in the afternoon sun.
However, there’s no better way to enjoy this majestic scenery than by walking on the bays and beaches that can be found on the perimeter.
The two most noticeable bays you will find when you look up the map of the Sliema Promenade are the two inlets right in the middle of St Julian’s – Balluta Bay and Spinola Bay.
Balluta Bay can be found right across the magnificent neo-gothic Carmelite Parish Church and the art nouveau Balluta Buildings, as well as numerous cafes and restaurants.
This is the most famous sandy beach in St. Julian’s as sand is quite a rare occurrence for this area. In fact, the sand here is different from that of other Maltese beaches and its soft texture makes for the ideal sunbathing spot as you gaze across the traditional Maltese boats that are sometimes docked here. We personally recommend buying a nice meal, drink or cup of coffee from an adjacent establishment and sitting on the cascading staircase that leads to the bay itself which is quite a common practice among those who frequent the area.
Spinola Bay is then not really part of the Sliema Promenade per se, rather it marks the end of the road. It is characterised by the grandiose LOVE sign that sits at street level which stands as a symbol of the romanticism this area embodies. It’s the perfect place to take your partner and seal your promise of everlasting love with a locket as many others loving couples have done. You’ll always find someone taking a picture here to share with friends or family back home.
Yet, the most striking characteristic of the area is the picturesque surroundings that take shape of a fishing village, paying homage to our heritage with age-old boat docks and traditional Luzzus lining the bay. This all makes for a breathtaking setting as you have lunch or dine at any of the restaurants that can be found right above the bay itself.
Other remarkable spots you can enjoy the sea as you make your way across the Sliema Promenade include Exiles beach where a colourful, verdant garden may also be found, as well as Surfside beach which is famous for its natural pools.
Bonus: From sunrise and sunset
Even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, you should really consider having an early start to your day if you wish to truly make the most out of your time walking along the Sliema Promenade.
Hurry to the promenade at the crack of dawn to relish in the beauty that is the Maltese sunrise as it emerges from the horizon making for the perfect backdrop for a peaceful morning coffee. At this time you’ll even get the chance to see some traditional fishermen patiently waiting for the catch of the day so they make the most of this moment of calm before sunbathers flood the beaches in the afternoon. People who live in the area take this opportunity to put in their daily exercise, taking a leisurely jog across the Sliema Promenade or do some morning yoga with their friends.
Similarly, after a long, busy day the Sliema Promenade is an ideal spot where to watch the sunset as the night crawls in whilst enjoying a drink or a meal with friends and bask in the nightlife that this area invites.
While the sights and establishments we have outlined in this article bring the Sliema Promenade to life, it is this sense of community that they create that truly signifies its beauty.
So, spend your holiday or stay with 1926 Hotel & Spa right and take a walk down this path where you’ll not only find the best that Malta has to offer but also get an authentic experience of the diverse and ever-changing local community.