Sliema was once a small fishing town that has developed into a thriving tourist destination. There are no sandy beaches in the resort but there are plenty of Lidos to be found on the seafront which provide sunbeds, umbrellas and refreshments.
If you enjoy shopping then make sure that you visit the shops in Sliema, with its cosmopolitan air and its wide range of bars it is an excellent location for adults who are looking for a lively holiday. The flat rocky beaches which boast a small strip of golden sand is a haven for sun worshippers who can be seen diving from the flat rock into the blue sea. Transfer time from the airport is approximately 20 minutes.
Sliema sits on a peninsula flanked by St Julians Bay, the Mediterranean Sea and the Marsamxett Harbour. The promenade runs around most of the resort and the 'beaches' are comprised of large flat rocks, perfect for sunbathing on and taking a dip into the clear blue waters. The waters are great for swimming and snorkelling but if you prefer a pool, there are a couple of Lidos too. Needless to say, there is also a choice of diving centres offering trips and courses.
Things to Do
Boat trips from Sliema are readily available; you can take a simple ferry crossing across the harbour to Valletta; go on a fascinating harbour cruise or join a boat trip to the neighbouring islands of Gozo and the picturesque Blue Lagoon at Comino.
If you walk along the waterfront to Gzira you will come to the Gzira Gardens and the Yacht Marina. There is also a footbridge to the uninhabited Manoel Island which sits in the Marsamxett Harbour and is home to the 18th century, star shaped Fort Manoel and the somewhat quirky 'Duck Village'.
On the other side of the resort, facing St Julians Bay, the Independence Gardens are a pretty place to sit and relax and there is also a play area for children.
Out and About
There are endless cafes, bars and restaurants in Sliema, mainly along the waterfront, offering a laidback atmosphere by day and a warm cosmopolitan vibe in the evenings with beautifully lit views to Valletta.
Sliema is a great place to shop too; you can find many locally produced items as well as designer boutiques and high street brands. The main shopping centres are the Plaza Shopping Centre (near the ferries) on the Strand and Tigne Point, near to the 18th century Tigne Fort, at the entrance to the harbour.
You can walk along the seafront into the neighbouring resort of St Julians and spend some time at the small and sandy Balluta Beach. Or, just a short bus or taxi ride away is the lively resort of Paceville (2.5km) where you can party well into the early hours.
Sliema is located on the bus route and has stops all along the promenade, providing easy access to Valletta and other coastal resorts. There are endless historic and archaeological sights to see around the island as well as museums and educational visitor attractions, particularly in Valletta.
The big red hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus passes through Sliema, en-route from Bugibba to Valletta (the green line) and, from Valletta, you could jump on the blue line bus to the ancient towns of Mdina, Rabat, Mosta and Attard.
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