The expat's complete guide to living in Sliema, Malta

The expat's complete guide to living in Sliema, Malta
Updated on
February 15, 2023

One of the liveliest parts of the Maltese islands, the city of Sliema boasts a population of 15,000. You’ll never find yourself feeling bored living in Sliema, as here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, cafes and hotels. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this is the shopping capital of the country, and attracts thousands of visitors on a daily basis.

Of course, living and going on holiday are completely different. If you’re considering living in Sliema, you’ll want to know about the amenities that you’ll need. Luckily, Sliema is a bustling area with schools, pharmacies, supermarkets and churches. Geographically, Sliema measures just 1.3 square kilometres, so you’ll easily be able to walk to any of these local establishments.

In terms of schools, you’ll find plenty of choice here: there are seven kindergartens, five primary and four secondary schools, with options including government, church and independent. The University of Malta is just 15 minutes away by car, and if you’re not a driver, it is also well-served by public transport.

Many residents of Sliema don’t drive. There are plenty of buses running regularly throughout the day. Be careful: you will almost certainly have to wait, as the buses are extremely popular. But that’s a minor price to pay for such a great location. Valletta is just 15 minutes away, and it’s 10 minutes to St Julian’s. If you’re travelling further afield, then the airport is a 25-minute drive away.

It can be difficult to find a parking space in Sliema, as it is so popular with shoppers, commuters and holiday-makers. However, there are a few large parking garages. If you’re planning to live there, check if your apartment has its own garage or parking space, which will make your life a lot easier.

When it comes to choosing a property, you’ll find apartments offering gorgeous sea views, traditional town houses, and luxury options. Tigne Point and Fort Cambridge are the most exclusive parts of town, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, there’s a host of alternatives on offer.

Central and well-connected, Sliema is a popular destination for young adults who want great nightlife right on their doorstep. There are bars, restaurants and clubs just a short walk away, ensuring that it’s easy to get home at the end of the night. But it’s not just for party-goers. Retirees also love Sliema, as they can go for a dip in the Mediterranean, walk along the seafront, or dine in style. Anyone who wants to enjoy plenty of options for activities and entertainment, without the hassle of organising transport, will find something to suit them in Sliema.

Many people believe that Sliema is an expensive area, but that’s not necessarily true. Bear in mind the fact that you probably won’t need a car, and you’ll have much lower transport costs than someone living in a more rural part of the island. If you make your price comparison with that information in mind, then you’ll find that Sliema is actually very comparable with other, similar cosmopolitan destinations. What’s more, it’s easy to find work in the area. There’s a lively community of expats, as a number of Sliema-based companies are regularly hiring.

You can expect your neighbours to be from all over Europe and beyond: as well as the Maltese, Sliema is home to British, Swedish, Germans, Scandinavians, Eastern Europeans and Americans.

If you’ve decided that you want to really commit to Sliema, and would like to buy your own property, then you’ll need to consider all the options. What would you prefer: an apartment, maisonette, townhouse or penthouse? In recent years, the construction industry has boomed, so there are plenty of New Builds which would make a great buy-to-let investment or second home. Speak to a Maltese estate agent. You’ll find one easily enough, as there are a number of them on the Sliema seafront, where they are generally extremely reputable and helpful.

So why live in Sliema? It’s the perfect neighbourhood for enjoying modern shopping and nightlife while also having the best parts of life on a Mediterranean island – the sea is right at your doorstep, and you’ll struggle to choose between a day at the shops or a long walk along the seafront on a Saturday!

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Facilitating a move to Malta is seamless when you rely on the Welcome Center Malta. Established in 2016 with the sole objective of helping people make an effortless move to the island, Welcome Center Malta aims to reduce the challenges involved in settling, moving and establishing local contacts.