Accommodation in Malta

Updated 2023-01-29 11:53

Tas-Sliema, more typically known as just Sliema, is a popular tourist and expat region located on the northeastern coast of Malta. In recent years, the population of this small, former fishing village has grown exponentially, making it one of the most densely populated areas of Malta. If you are looking for accommodation in Sliema, this article will give you useful information and tips. 

Sliema: A lively and convenient place to find accommodation in Malta

Sliema is a dynamic town where life is good, and it is not without reason that the great families of Valletta have made it their favorite holiday resort since the 19th century!

Tas-Sliema is a town on the northwest coast of Malta, 5 km north of the capital, Valletta. It is the residential and commercial center of the island and attracts both Maltese and expatriates.

With a population of just over 19,000 in 2022, Sliema is the 2nd most popular town in Malta for shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, flats, luxury villas and clubs. Once a fishing village, it is now a modern town with eclectic architecture. Many expatriates from different countries have chosen to make it their home, giving it a special cosmopolitan charm.

Quieter in winter, Sliema is a bustling tourist destination that has grown steadily over the past 50 years, but the atmosphere is always relaxed, even during busy times. Sliema being a starting point for cruises around the island, there is no shortage of water activities.

As well as being a great place to shop (it has the largest shopping center on the island, The Point), Sliema's long seafront promenade is particularly popular with walkers and joggers. It is also a meeting point for locals and a perfect place to watch the sunset or take a romantic moonlit stroll hand in hand.

Sliema has all that you might need for your expat experience: varied cuisine, shops and boutiques, vibrant nightlife, water sports and swimming areas, and a variety of international companies based in the area.

The area along the coast from Sliema to Saint Julian's is trendy for its high concentration of international inhabitants, visitors, and businesses.

As a result, the rental market has grown, and prices continue to rise with such competition. Construction is a staple of life here, but being able to walk to amenities and work is a crucial factor for many expats who want to avoid the notorious Maltese traffic jams while commuting.

Living in Sliema

Sliema is a highly dynamic area boasting modern amenities and quality infrastructure to attract foreigners.

This Maltese city is particularly popular with singles and young couples for its shopping, vibrancy and vibrant nightlife. In Sliema, you can go swimming, work, shop, dine out, and drink a local beer or a "Kinnie" (a typical drink with a unique taste) in a chic bar, all on the same day, and all within walking distance!

Sliema is a hub for boutique shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls, as well as a wide range of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. People living in Sliema are spoilt for choices to run errands. There are well-known supermarkets in Malta like SPAR, Welbee's or Lidl. Sliema being cosmopolitan, you can also find groceries specialized in Asian, Swedish and other food from all over the world.

The Sliema Waterfront stretches over several kilometers and provides a beautiful view over Marsamxett Harbour of the iconic Valletta skyline. You can enjoy the rocky coastline, where sunbathers and swimmers indulge in water activities. Walking along this promenade is a favorite activity for locals and tourists alike.

International and local schools are available throughout the Sliema area, including primary schools, independent and private nursery schools and childcare centers, kindergartens, pre-schools and junior schools, as well as language, music, and dance schools.

Sliema also hosts the St James Hospital, leisure centers, churches, a post office, banks, gyms, a police station, and many other facilities.

Public transport in Sliema

As the main road for public transport, several bus lines also traverse Sliema on the way to/from Valletta. A night-bus service links neighboring cities, making it easy to enjoy this entire region of Malta.

Valletta is now reached by car or bus in 15 minutes, and St Julian's is 10 minutes away. The transport company is Malta Public Transport, which allows you to travel from 5.30 am to 11 pm in new and well-maintained vehicles. It is also possible to get to Valletta by boat in 10 minutes for about 2 euros.

If you have a car, try to find accommodation with private parking. Indeed, parking is often difficult as many residents come to Sliema to shop and parking spaces are quite scarce.

There is also a ferry running regularly between the Sliema Waterfront and Valletta, which is a popular option for quick access to the capital. Ferries leave every half an hour on both sides.

Types of accommodation in Sliema

There are different types of accommodation in Sliema: flats, penthouses, townhouses, villas, and shared accommodation. Choose the best for you according to your needs, budget and your household members. For more details about the different types of accommodation you can find in Sliema and in Malta in general, see our article “Accommodation in Malta”.

Having a beachfront flat would obviously be ideal, but they are particularly coveted and are not affordable for all. Beautiful traditional townhouses offer modern comforts in elegant surroundings for a more reasonable rent, but be warned, Sliema is one of the most expensive places on the island, along with St Julian's and Valletta. If you are looking for luxury, Sliema is known for having some luxury flats. Some are located in the recent buildings of Tigné Point, where the mall The Point can be found.

In Sliema, you can find a lot of flats to rent, from studios to spacious flats with several bedrooms. As the construction sector is booming in Sliema, there are a lot of new buildings. This is a good thing because accommodation in new buildings is modern, comfortable and benefits from better isolation. Besides, some of the flats and penthouses located in older buildings have been refurbished, offering more comfort.

Because of the rent prices, some expats opt for shared accommodation in Sliema. Those expats are often coming to Malta alone. Thus, having flatmates is a good way to meet people and make friends.

The best places to find accommodation in Sliema

Sliema is small, measuring only 1.3 km2, but you will still need to choose which area you want to live in. Sliema has a long seafront, so flats facing the sea are popular among expats. It is true that the view is amazing, but there are two drawbacks to living on the seafront. First, flats are more expensive than in the rest of Sliema, whether you are renting accommodation or buying a property. Second, the seafront is noisier than the rest of Sliema because it attracts tourists and locals coming to enjoy the sea and meet friends. Many bars and restaurants are also located on the seafront, making it quite busy. However, the noise might be less if you choose a flat or penthouse located on the upper floors.

The north side of Sliema is quieter than the south. It is a good place to find accommodation in Sliema. In fact, there are more bars and restaurants on the south side of Sliema. If you are a partygoer, don't worry: bars and restaurants are still reachable easily on foot. A short 10-minute walk will take you to your favorite bar in Sliema or even to Saint Julian's.

You can also buy or rent a townhouse in the heart of Sliema. They are often located in the small streets of Sliema, offering a more peaceful environment than the seaside. If you love the sea, you can still reach it in a few minutes' walk.

Finally, if you are looking for better value for money, consider finding accommodation in the immediate vicinity. Gżira is located south of Sliema. Its name means “island” in Maltese because it has a small island: Manoel Island. This island is linked to the rest of Malta by a small bridge. Manoel Island is known for its Fort Manoel. Expats and Maltese like to go there to practice sports, swim with a breathtaking view of Valletta, or just relax. Apart from this small island, Gżira has all the amenities you might need: groceries, buses and even restaurants. A nice walk on the seafront will bring you to Sliema in a short time.

Alternatively, find accommodation in Msida. This city is located in the immediate vicinity of Sliema. It is well-known for the University of Malta. So if you or a member of your household is planning to study in Malta, living in Msida would be the best choice. Like Sliema and Gżira, Msida has all the amenities. Rents are cheaper than in Sliema, and the neighborhood is quieter.

Finding accommodation in Sliema

To find the right accommodation in Sliema, you can go through a real estate agent who will facilitate your search and help you with the formalities, or you can browse through the classifieds on websites and in local newspapers. There are a lot of real estate agencies in Malta you can contact, for example, Quicklets, Frank Salt, RE/MAX, Real Estate, Simon Mamo Real Estate, Alliance Real Estate, Dhalia and Belair Property.

You can also go by word of mouth. The Maltese are very friendly and hospitable, especially towards expatriates, and they will try to help you.

During your housing search in Sliema, as with everywhere else in Malta, feel free to check out offers online. Just know that the prices and current availability will likely differ. It's best to contact real estate agencies or homeowners directly by phone once in Malta so you can view currently available flats in Sliema. However, finding accommodation online is the best method to rent directly from the owner. This will let you save money, as you will not need to pay for agent fees (which are usually equal to half a month's rent to be paid by the tenant, plus the same amount at the landlord's expense).

Check the Maltapark website, the most popular online marketplace in Malta. It has a good accommodation listing. Also, do not forget Facebook, which is one of the best ways to find accommodation in Malta. Go to the Facebook marketplace and choose Sliema in the filters. Look for groups dedicated to accommodation in Malta, using keywords such as “accommodation in Malta” or “rent a flat in Malta”. However, be careful because there might be some scams, especially if you are renting from abroad.

If you are looking for shared accommodation, check Facebook (especially groups dedicated to flatshare) and specialized websites such as Flatmate.

Don't forget that you can negotiate lease terms with a landlord, from paying several months in advance to negotiating the lease length and renewal terms.

Good to know:

Don't forget to do your internet searches in English. Type "long-term rental Sliema Malta" in the search bar.

Rent prices in Sliema

Given Sliema's popularity, prices for flats have risen quite rapidly in the area. This is now considered to be one of the most expensive areas of Malta. That's not to say you shouldn't look there.

As Sliema is a popular tourist destination, landlords are usually looking to rent out their properties on a short-term basis, but it is quite possible to find suitable accommodation if you give yourself enough time.

For a small flat, you can expect to pay 700-900 euros per month; for a nice four-roomed apartment, around 1,500 euros or more; and for a luxury flat, prices soar to 8,000 euros or more.

Buying a property in Sliema

If you are planning to settle down in Malta for a long time, you may think about buying a property in Sliema. Alternatively, you could make a great buy-to-let investment. Consider the different types of property available for sale and speak to a real estate agent. As Sliema is a popular place, prices are quite high. You can find flats for sale from €300,000 to €1,200,000 and more.

Useful links:

Sliema Local Council

Times of Malta - Housing offers

Yellow Pages - Real estate agencies in Sliema



Malta Public Transport

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