Living in St Julian's - What's it like?

Living in St Julian's - What's it like?
Updated on
March 2, 2023

Overview of St Julian's.

As a lively and dynamic destination all year round, St Julian's is one of the most sought-after regions in Malta for both tourists, ex-pats, and locals alike. Known as San Giljan locally, it is a vibrant and popular town with a real community spirit. Living in St Julian's offers many perks for its residents and visitors as it is a very vibrant town full of activities.Sitting in a prime location on the coast, the region has grown from just 600 residents in 1854 to an impressive 8,000 today, who create an amazing sense of community spirit and breathes life into the town. The colourful Maltese luzzus are traditional boats unique to Malta, with painted eyes that supposedly ward off evil spirits and bring luck to the local fishermen. The town has been revived with the introduction of modern boutiques, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops along the seafront. A lively nightlife and thriving tourism industry has made the town a hotspot in Malta, offering something for everyone from retired couples, families with young children, and people looking to start afresh in a thriving and inclusive community.

The History of the Town

Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the town has managed to retain its peaceful idyllic quality that originates from its time as a fishing village. Breifly occupied by the French in 1798, the region is hailed for its abundance of ancient Latin architecture. An example being the stunning Spinola Palace that was built in 1688. For history and architecture lovers, the town offers some stunning locations allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture and history of the area.

Popular Areas to Live in St Julian's

Deciding where to live in the town depends on what you are looking for. It is magnificently multi-faceted, all knitting together perfectly to create a sought-after destination. Whether you are a property mogul, investor, or landlord, or if you just wish to rent or buy your own property to relocate, there are penthouses, apartments, residential houses and even hotels, really offering something for everyone. As well as traditional buildings, there are new developments available, so you can choose to really immerse yourself in the history of the region or buy into something more modern.The main areas of St Julian's are as follows:


As a relatively modern addition to the region, Paceville dates back to around the 1920's when the development of seaside locations occurred. British servicemen were housed alongside Maltese residents during the two World Wars, resulting in development and expansion of the area. During the 1960's further development and investments has resulted in Paceville being known widely for its abundance of bars, restaurants, casinos and thriving nightlife.Properties are available to buy or rent in Paceville, with it being an ideal location for investors looking to buy apartments for holiday lets.


One of the main new developments in Malta, Portomaso is a luxurious region that attracts the rich and famous from around the world. With its luxurious residential accommodations overlooking the marina, Portomaso boasts a leisure centre, exclusive beach club, a Hilton hotel and conference centre. The region boasts the only skyscraper in the area, the Portomaso Business Tower, which measures an impressive 98 meters in height. There is even an exclusive club on level twenty-two offering stunning views over the marina.

Pender Gardens

Another popular development is Pender Gardens. Offering lifestyle benefits such as a fitness centre and pool with carpark, Pender Gardens is a highly sought-after location for both investors and residents looking to buy or rent apartments in Malta.


Located close enough to Paceville to be able to take full advantage of the amenities and events on offer, Swieqi is a peaceful idyllic location that offers a more relaxed pace of life. It is an incredibly desirable location, and as a result properties and investments can be hard to find and rarely come available.Public transport links Swieqi to many of the larger, livelier destinations, and the maisonettes, apartments and terraced houses are connected to other regions by a well established, reliable park and ride scheme.


Another highly desirable destination, Madliena is just a stones throw from Swieqi. The quiet village is enjoying a surge in investment and development with a number of luxury apartments and high-end properties being developed in Madliena Ridge. The village is rumoured to be the place where Mary Magdalene was shipwrecked. Due to the recent growth and development of the region, Madliena is rapidly turning into one of the most sought-after areas to live within Malta.

Spinola Bay

Spinola Bay offers residents and tourists a more traditional area, where they can immerse themselves in the culture of the region. The traditional, quiet bay is occupied by fishermen with their luzzos. The area does have a number of bars, cafes and restaurants, but it offers a much more relaxed pace of life, ideal for retirees or couples looking to relax with a bottle of wine whilst watching the sun sink over the horizon. If you want traditional Maltese properties and the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful existence, then Spinola Bay is the place for you.

Transportation in St Julian's

The development of St Julian's has resulted in improved and efficient infrastructure for public transport. There are regular buses completing routes around Paceville, Sliema and Valletta that stop at all the most popular destinations, linking the villages to all areas of the region. As St Julian's is a popular tourist destination, the buses run much more frequently throughout the peak tourist season, with a lighter schedule throughout the winter months. Night buses run at the weekend to allow residents and tourists to return home following a night out in one of the more lively areas. There is a regular bus schedule to and from the airport, allowing tourists and visitors to easily reach their final destination without having to rely on airport transfers. There are plentiful taxi companies, but these can be expensive, especially during peak months. The new park and ride in Swieqi provides the opportunity to get into town without the worry of parking or traffic.

Education in St Julian's

The Sacred Heart Foundation is the most popular school in St Julian's, offering a seamless transition from primary through to senior school. Lessons are primarily in English, with a good mix of both ex-pat and local children.The St Vincent School on St Julian's hill, as well as some public schools scatter the area.There are numerous English speaking schools including:

  • Maltalingua Language School
  • EF International School of English
  • Berlitz Language Centre
  • EC Malta
  • Elaguest Language School
  • Executive Training Institute
  • Magister Academy
  • English Plus Language Centre.

These all offer ex-pat children the opportunity to receive a full education in St Julian's, often alongside their ex-pat peers. The mix of English and Maltese children within the school encourages integration and allows the children to learn about local cultures.

Local Amenities

St Julian's has a host of things to do, with something to suit everyone. Breathtaking views and a serene environment can be found at The Spinola Place Gardens, suitable for relaxing and taking time out of the hustle and bustle. Portomaso marina not only offers a stunning beach, the marina is full of luxury yachts, high-end restaurants, and bars. The area is a peak destination for tourists in the summer.Bay Street offers shopping malls that can provide everything from household goods to clothing. There is also a large cinema and bowling alley, with it being one of the more lively areas of the region.There are supermarkets close to the Hilton Hotel, and an abundance of local greengrocers and butchers that are often fresher and cheaper than buying from the supermarket. There are many local food shops similar to what you would expect in England, allowing you to pop out and pick up essentials. There is even a Lidl in San Gwann, not far from St Julian's bay.For anyone looking for somewhere to relocate to enjoy a more serene and relaxed life whilst still having the opportunity to enjoy resturants, bars, and cinemas, living in St Julian's is ideal.

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