8 Best Areas to Stay in Malta: A Guide for Expats

expats in malta

There is no doubt that Malta has some of the most scenic surroundings in the Mediterranean, with its beaches, walks, cliffs and the famous blue seas that surround the islands. Certain areas have long been favoured by expats, but some new locations have also recently been added as firm favourites among expats looking to settle down. We look at some of the most popular locations around Malta and Gozo and see what is on offer that makes it so special. 

1. Sliema

What is not to like about Sliema? A desirable address, central and sought-after this stalwart amongst expats and locals alike have been a firm favourite for decades.

With its cosmopolitan lifestyle, the promenade running all the way along the seafront right up to the borders of Balluta Bay in the north and Ta’ Xbiex in the south, Sliema is ideal as an expat location to live. You have shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, beaches, hospitals and clinics all on your doorstep and easy access to public transport with many bus stops along the way. Sliema has always been the number one destination for foreign buyers due to all its plusses

Apartments, townhouses, penthouses and maisonettes are firm favourites of expats looking to buy a property in Malta. This has led to fierce competition among agents whenever something new comes on the market plus the unquenchable demand for more has led to a rise in prices for most property types in the area. Below is one of the properties in Sliema, ideal for expats:

Sliema, Finished Apartment ref 013855

2. Valetta

Gone is the Valletta of yesteryear, it is now in high demand by many foreigners and seen as the place to live, work and be seen. Valletta is a World Heritage site and was also the European Capital of Culture a few short years ago, adding to the elevation of it status as a desirable location. The inner city revival of most of Valletta has seen a burgeoning restaurant scene emerge with some upmarket shops and even an art and food district. It is central, it is Malta’s capital city and then there is the majestic Grand Harbour, its Baroque Palaces and buildings and of course the fact that it is truly international with many thousands of global visitors thronging its sidewalks and cafes all year.

Due to its very location and reputation, the demand for homes of character, maisonettes and townhouses by foreign buyers have soared. Many have rumoured that countless buildings have been saved by this very international crowd of expats that have upgraded, renovated, improved and modernised many of Valletta’s once decaying but beautiful buildings. Below is one of the properties in Valletta we recommend for you:

Valletta, Finished Penthouse ref 029497

3. The Three Cities

On the other side of the Grand Harbour opposite Valletta is the Three Cities, namely VittoriosaSenglea and Cospicua. Similar to Valletta, this area has seen a revival of its narrow and ancient streets and its spectacular waterfront area. Expats have fallen in love with its history, charm and quaint buildings, plus the fact that it is within short walking distance to promenades, cafés and museums.

The Three Cities offer unrivalled views over the harbour of Valletta and it’s creeks and safe moorings play host to some of the biggest super yachts in the whole of Europe. The area is full of renovated and upgraded historic homes and old world apartments, all with their unique character and many retaining traditional quirks that were added over the years. This is what expats are after and cherish when they buy homes in the Three Cities. Here’s a furnished house of character in this area that you’ll surely love: 

Cospicua, Furnished House of Character ref 036820

4. Marsaxlokk

In the south of Malta you will find Marsaxlokk, a firm favourite of many an expat. It is more affordable and here you can buy some spectacular penthouses overlooking its famous harbour and traditional luzzo fishing boats. Marsaxlokk is known for its market that runs all along the seafront and it also has a huge variety of restaurants frequented by locals and tourists alike. Marsaxlokk is well-known for its seafood, and this is where the whole of Malta comes to get their fill. The Marsaxlokk apartment below might just be your new home here in Malta: 

Marsaxlokk, Finished Apartment ref 040697

5. St. Paul’s Bay

This is probably the most popular location for British expats in Malta. The area is scenic, there are wide promenades, beaches and countless restaurants with wonderful beaches close by. Here you will come across all the traditional British-style eateries and pubs you will find back in ol’ Blighty, so everyone feels at home.

There are hotels where you can dance the night away, casinos and dance clubs and many diving schools and water sport institutions that cater for the adventurous during the long and hot summers. Property offers good value for money and almost all types of real estate can be found here. The entire area is very close to the St. Paul’s Bay Bypass which provides easy access to the rest of Malta, the airport and the ferry at Cirkewwa that will take you to Gozo. Below is just one of the many great apartment finds you will find in this area:

St Pauls Bay, Apartment ref 036784

6. Qala

Qala is one of the jewels of Gozo and very popular with UK and South African expats. It is close to famous Hondoq Beach, one of the prettiest in all of GozoQala offers views towards Malta and the sea from many of its properties and here you will find houses of character, apartments, maisonettes and townhouses. Qala is adjacent to Mgarr, docking and departure point of the ferry and fast ferry so easily accessed via the main road. Qala has a town and church square dotted with many restaurants and it is a favourite meeting place for locals and expats alike. Check out this house of character found in the heart of Qala area:

Qala, Furnished House of Character ref 112064

7. Xlendi

Xlendi is one of Gozo’s most popular and famous villages. Originally a fishing village, it has gained fame over the years as a gastronomic and holiday destination and now has many restaurants along its seafront. Xlendi’s population can easily triple over the weekends and in the summer it is abuzz with tourists, divers and fans of every imaginable water sport. It is also the gateway to many scenic cliff walks and exiting the harbour many spectacular caves can be found. Just outside the entrance of the harbour in about 90m depth waters lies one of the best preserved Phoenician wrecks in the Mediterranean. Xlendi is popular with the French, British, German and many other EU expats and countless people have summer homes here. Xlendi offers apartments, houses of character, villas and even townhouses for sale to those who fall in love with this quaint village. 

Xlendi, Finished Villa ref 104257

8. Victoria

Victoria is the capital of Gozo and is also known as irRabat. It is the axis for shopping, tourism and everything else in Gozo. Victoria gets inundated with tourists especially in the summer and offers a lot such as historic churches, two opera houses and the walled old city, the Citadel. Very popular with British, French and German expats, the demand and competition to own a property close to the centre of town is fierce. Historic townhouses, homes of character, maisonettes and even modern apartments can be found here. When walking around the old town centre, you will come across many homes being renovated and lovingly restored by new owners. Here’s an example house of character you can have: 

Victoria, Converted House of Character ref 107287

Frank Salt Real Estate has properties for sale in all areas across Malta and Gozo in all price brackets, so no matter what your requirements are, we will have something that suits your needs. Contact us for enquiries.