Best areas to live while working in Sliema


I may have a job opportunity in Sliema next year.... I don't want to spend best part of my day commuting in and out of town as I currently do in London. Sooooo my question would be, which areas should I be looking at to rent? I'm hoping this is going to be a long term move so I'd like somewhere that I can settle and make new friends and quality cosy accommodation is important to me too, somewhere I can call home and not a bleak apartment to just crash after work. My budget is around £650 a month...

Thank you 😊


Sliema is the most expensive part of the island - if you're willing to share with others I'm sure you'll find something for 650. If you're ok with moving outside a bit will you have a car? If not the buses are really good and reliable and if suggest looking into Msida as there are buses all the time from there running down to Sliema

You could also consider Valetta and get the ferry to work!

Hello and thanks for your reply. We are coming over as a married couple with two cats in tow, so we would definitely need our own accommodation, not a shared one.  I did think Sliema seemed very expensive, I've been looking online and I haven't found anything nice below approx £1000 a month and that's more than we'd be renting out our own house in the UK.  I'd be happy to move further afield as long as we don't have to spend hours travelling to and from the office, in fact if I thought travelling from Gozo to Sliema was viable I'd live there... Gozo looks amazing. I like the idea of a water taxi from Valletta though, so will widen my search to the surrounding areas. I haven't done so before as I've read so many negative comments about public transport in Malta. We will most likely get a car but again, the feedback on lack of parking and crazy drivers is a bit off-putting. Hmmm lots to think about.


Hello! Yes Sliema is super expensive. We did the same as you and rent out our house in London and we decided Sliema was too much. In terms of driving, we live in Attard and my husband drives to work every day, it takes about 20 min though he does have the occasional day where he gets stuck in traffic a bit longer. The driving is not as crazy as everyone makes out but parking is a challenge. Buses are fine, it's all in proportion. I can tell you it's a heck of a lot better than commuting around London

Oh you are from London too 😊. I'm a Londoner but house prices drove me out to Kent.
It's such a huge decision and this work opportunity has come out of the blue. We have always said that we want to move away from the UK and have been trying for years to get that break, just for a better quality of life as we are too exhausted to even talk to each other by the time we finish work. BUT we have spent a small fortune and literally just turned our modest little house into the dream home that we have been planning for years. We only got rid of the builder last month! I'm looking at the garden now... It's in full bloom and looking all lush, but the sky is grey and the decking is swimming in rain water which is typical of a British summer.  If we give up all we have worked hard for over the past two years it has to be worth it and pretty permanent, unless of course we end up moving again to a pretty Greek island (now THATS my ultimate dream) Oh my poor brain hurts 😖

Also I suppose the transport situation all depends on your perspective. We get the coach from Kent to London everyday and at least 3 days out of 5 something breaks down in the Blackwall Tunnel and everything comes to a standstill for hours and you're bowing and scraping your apologies to the boss when you finally rock up at 9.30am. And then there's the Northern Line 😱. So Malta can't be as bad as that...

Looking as Msida.... That's much more reasonable. Feeling a bit better now! Thanks for your help 😊

BrightBug do you like living in Attard? We're moving over on Sunday from Scotland and will be looking for a property in Attard or Balzan area. They looked to us to have more of a small town/village atmosphere than some of the costal areas that are busier and more built up. Is that how you find it?

Are there direct buses from Attard to Sliema? We won't have that commute (working in B'kara), but would imagine we'd want to go to shops/restaurants there on occasion.

We'll be keeping driving to a minimum hopefully :)

Mellieh I totally know where you're coming from on coming to a decision! We just bought our house last year and did it up and then the job offer came up! Had to do a lot of soul searching... But ultimately decided we had to give it a go for the chance for a better standard of living.

Hi Mellieh

You will find it more difficult to find a proper place since you also have 2 cats - A LOT of places refuse pets. It may be easier with cats, but with a dog it's much harder, that's from personal experience. So your choice might acutally be narrowed quite a bit, especially if you are looking for modern/new furniture place.
I would recommend San Gwann - much lower rents than Sliema, but still very central. You wont be that close to the sea though. We lived there for more than a year, but we do have a car.


Oh regarding Msida.. we were looking at places there at one point. There look to be some great apartments but, depending what you're looking for, there might be some considerations to make. This is just based on what ive read online and been told by a colleague at my new job though, I haven't experienced it myself. I'm sure others on the forum could give better advice if that's where you decide to look.

Anyway, the first thing is that the university is nearby so you get a lot of students staying in some particular areas. That includes students only there for short periods of time for summer courses etc. We're looking for quiet and peaceful so personally I wouldn't want to be in an area with lots of students and high turnaround of tenants.

Secondly, some areas of Msida can flood quite badly when it rains. Although I think there are quite a few areas in Malta like this, my colleague said there are some especially bad bits in Msida.

I did think that some parts looked good though and liked the thought of living near the water- these would just have been the considerations I would make due to personal preference :)

felinefine81 :

Are there direct buses from Attard to Sliema? We won't have that commute (working in B'kara), but would imagine we'd want to go to shops/restaurants there on occasion.

202 goes direct through Attard to Sliema

Alternatively there are a few in the 50's that go through Attard to Valletta and you can change in Msida to go to Sliema

There are properties available for under 1000 Euro in Sliema, you need to look and be firm with agents on budgets.

We had a friend (who has just left) living in a two bedroom, part of a townhouse converted into apartments for 750 Euro. This had no aircon though.

I think if I was working in sliema and no parking at work I'd consider Msida a very good option as the buses are great or you can even probably walk to Sliema if it's not too hot. Three cities in my opinion would also be good. Attard and Balzan are lovely , you do have the village feel and we are very happy here but my husband works in Hamrun and drives. There's one bus every hour that's direct to Sliema or there are several buses that go via Msida and you then change at Msida. I've never waited more than about ten mins at Msida for the connecting bus and the Tallinja phone app helps you track buses too so you know if they're on time. It's doable from Attard and you'll find it more pleasant than commuting from Kent to London for sure but it's still a bit of a commute, maybe 30-40 minutes.

Also Sam gwann as someone else said superb option. And Sweiqui too is a very nice suburb just outside sliema a bit cheaper than sliema itself and definitely a nice option. Lovely cafes, shops, delis etc

I think a 40 minute commute in Malta sounds bliss compared to what we currently do.  We are just waiting to see what the salary offer would be now, as seems although renting in Malta might be cheaper than renting in Central London, it's not really cheaper then here in Kent. We'd be paying more to rent 2 bed apartment than we'd be receiving in rent for our 3 bed house, and we'd have to pay for storage for a lot of our belongings here too, so we couldn't really afford to take a large decrease in salary inline with what I believe is average for Malta. I have seen a few nice places the areas being suggested here, Balzan and Attard, but the nice ones state no pets. We currently have two very lazy cats, one isnt very well, but he's outlived the vets prediction by 18 months.... :)

Hi Brightbug, I'll have a look at your suggestions, thank you.

I know everyone is different and it will all be a lot clearer when we come out to visit Malta, but do you think the general lifestyle out there makes up for giving up a nice home in the UK? All the appartments look so clinical and impersonal, I much prefer the 'house of character' style.  What is the work / life balance like there? Are you expected to donate your soul like you seem to be in London - we would be working as IT and admin support. The I ask is even London looks beautiful on a sunny day, I work next to the Tower of London beside the Thames,  but after a couple of months you stop seeing the beauty of it and end up resenting it as you feel so tired all the time....

What attracts me to Malta is a slightly more relaxed pace of life, village living, outdoor lifestyle in a sunny climate, and making a new circle of friends that we don't live 50 miles away from and aren't too exhausted to socialise with them!

Sorry, so many questions.....

As you may have read on other posts, the properties that look available on the property agents websites are not actually available. They advertise all properties all the time it seems. You have to book temporary accommodation and wait until you arrive to find out what is actually available.

If you have an option for choosing the time of year that you move, I can recommend not doing it in the summer as there isn't as much available. Just really hope we get somewhere when we arrive!

Remember to run your salary offer through the tax calculator, as you get more of your pay to take home due to lower tax. Just google malta salary calculator. Also there is no council tax in Malta so that helps.

I accepted a salary offer around 25% less than what I'd get in the UK but by the time you take the tax into consideration it wasn't too horrendous. Worth it for the new lifestyle we'll have!

I didn't realise there was no council tax, and from what I've heard about the driving, I think we'd sell our cars and buy a cheap Flintstone-mobile when we get there ;) so that's another expense less.  I think we'd be okay with a 25% decrease.
Now just to convince the landlords that our cats aren't terrors.... They just sleep, especially in the heat!

Good luck with your move... You must be very excited!

I am! And terrified!

I've been keeping a blog about my decision and planning and will keep it up to date once we get there with any useful info.

If it's any use/interest feel free to read! And if I can find anything out for you once I'm there I'll happily help.

Ah brilliant, I will definitely have a read and I  would really be interested in seeing what happens next, I'm sure a lot of people teetering on the edge of decision would find it really useful too.. x

Mellieh :

and buy a cheap Flintstone-mobile when we get there ;)
Good luck with your move... You must be very excited!

That would be just a Flinstone-mobile in that case, cars are anything but cheap in Malta :)

Oh no... We sold our own little Flintstone-mobile to the breakers yard last week... Kind of regretting that now!! Haha

Face deodorant and breezy shoes!!! I can't stop chuckling.... 😄   I too have Monica hair, but very fine blonde, turns into one big frizzy dreadlock at the first hint of humidity or fog.

As an update, I have indeed found face deodorant! I haven't tried it yet tho. Breezy shoes have been more challenging... 😀

I'm dreading being a hot sweaty mess when I have to appear professional!

Hello, gosh it's all so personal depending on your circumstances. Our story is we have been working in London for over ten years in fantastic jobs, high alaraies and as you say selling your soul!! With absolutely no work life balance to speak of. When our baby came along we promised we would change things and looked into all sorts of European countries to move to. We also considered doing what you do and going out to the country to do the grand design and commute into London. However that uk option wasn't for us as we felt it would be too much time commuting and not enough family time. Malta was my husband's idea due to the good weather, good economy and English language. Our lifestyle in my opinion is a hundred times better!! Yes the house costs are similar to uk for a nice place BUT the houses are far bigger. We pay exactly the same as we did in London but our flat here is a dream house compRed to poky two bed flat in London. My husband generally gets home from work around 6 as opposed to 7 or 8 in London, and it's the perfect time to go to the beach, go for a walk, go out to park etc. So yes I I think you have a better quality of life if that what you're looking for. As for living costs - some things are cheaper and some more expensive. Generally to buy anything - clothes, toys, household goods, furniture, it's all more expensive and there's less choice. Food I tend to find is more expensive or about the same but much better quality (fresh meat and fruit/veg etc). Cars are more expensive but insurance maybe cheaper. Bills are cheaper -thoughbwe haven't had our electric bill since we had aircon !!! Services like cleaning, hairdresser, beauty etc are cheaper but you need to find the right places as can be hit and miss standards. You also do need to factor in travel back to the uk - will you have enough holiday days and budget to cover the amount of days you want to go back.

I guess you can always try it and give it a year and see how you go!😃

Can't tell you how good it is to hear positive stories about moving, it calms my nerves somewhat ☺

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