St Paul’s Bay Travel Guide

Why visit St Paul's Bay?

St Paul's Bay offers some of the cheapest hotel rates on the island, making it a popular tourist destination.
While this area has had less development than other areas of Malta, there are numerous bars, restaurants, and more to enjoy in the evenings.
You can catch a ferry to the island of Gozo for a day trip, just a ten-minute walk along the seafront to the harbour. Convenient bus routes allow for day trips around the island for minimal cost.

st pauls bay 2 scaled

Go because St Paul's Bay offers great value for money in sunny Malta

Must see the scenic views of the harbour

Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton for excellent pools and restaurants

Get around by taxi or bus, we do not recommend to drive in Malta

From the airport take a taxi. Ride-sharing apps and private transfers offer reasonable rates

Spend little; Malta is one of the Med’s cheapest travel destinations

Eat seafood, St Paul's Bay has fresh seafood restaurants overlooking the sea

Visit between April-June for warm weather that isn’t too hot

Go because

Reasons to love St Paul's Bay

  • Sunny and warm year-round weather
  • Great rates of hotels
  • Lively area
  • Lots of food options
  • Low prices
  • Well-connected to the rest of Malta by bus and road

Good to know

St Paul's Bay travel tips

  • The St Paul’s Bay area lacks investment, so may look a little tired in places
  • It's not the tidiest of areas and has lots of on-road parking
  • It may feel too hot to explore Malta in July and August
  • There is a lot of traffic and aggressive driving in Malta
  • English is an official language of Malta alongside Maltease
  • Malta uses the Euro as a currency

Culture of St Paul's Bay

Known locally as San Pawl il bahar, St Paul's Bay is lively during the summer and a cheap and convenient place to stay in Malta.

The area offers plenty of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants with excellent Mediterranean cuisine and trendy modern options like sushi and bubble tea.

The locals in Malta may not always be as accommodating to tourists as in other cultures, but the small business owners of St Paul’s Bay are appreciative and always offer a warm welcome.

st pauls bay rocks scaled

Best things to do in St Paul's Bay

St Paul's Bay Harbour

St Paul’s Bay has a lovely harbour and seafront where you can pick up an ice cream or a bubble tea and enjoy the views out to sea.

There are some excellent outdoor seafood restaurants where you can enjoy the fresh catch of local seafood overlooking the bay. There are also non-seafood options like good quality Italian food.

The harbour is a great place to catch a boat to neighbouring Gozo or join one of the many boat trips departing from here. 

st pauls bay harbour scaled

Go diving

St Paul’s Bay is a great spot for diving, and with a mix of diving schools and centres, you can find your perfect underwater adventure.

Buddies Dive Cove offers PADI certification and lessons for divers of all skill levels.

buddies dive cove st pauls bay

Relax on a Spa Day

Pearl Spa in St Paul’s Bay is based at the San Antonio hotel, offering access to the hotel’s luxury spa facilities and a range of treatments from facials to massages and even Turkish Hamam. 

Pearl Spas - Escape with us

Visit Malta’s Chocolate Factory

Enjoy a cocktail and chocolate-making masterclass or learn about the history and process of chocolate creation.

The chocolate factory offers many classes and events and can cater to groups and families.

You can visit the chocolate factories for free, enjoy free samples, view the chocolatiers at work and purchase some delicious souvenirs of your visit. 

MALTA CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Bugibba) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (tripadvisor.co.uk)

chocolate wine pairing

Malta National Aquarium

See the wonders of the underwater world at the Malta National Aquarium, nestled in the scenic locale of Qawra, St Paul's Bay.

This captivating attraction features more than 40 tanks teeming with vibrant marine life from the Mediterranean and beyond, including sleek sharks and colourful fish.

The highlight? A mesmerising walk-through tunnel that gives you a shark's-eye view, making you feel part of the ocean's depths.

malta aquarium

Malta Classic Car Collection

This museum proudly displays a stunning selection of vintage cars and motorbikes, each piece beautifully restored to showcase the elegance and innovation of bygone eras.

Beyond the vehicles, the collection is enriched with memorabilia like historical photos, offering a deeper dive into automotive history.

malta classic car collection

More things to do in and around St Paul’s Bay

Explore the Blue Lagoon: A must-visit for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Visit Salina National Park: Enjoy this protected area's natural beauty and tranquillity, ideal for nature lovers.

Walk the Xemxija Heritage Trail: Discover the rich history of St Paul's Bay through this trail that highlights ancient sites and natural wonders.

Relax at Golden Bay: One of Malta's most beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.

Spend Time in Kennedy Grove: Kennedy Grove is a peaceful park for picnics and leisurely walks.

Visit Megalithic Temples: Explore the ancient temples (Buġibba temple and Tal-Qadi temple) nearby, some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.

Best beaches in St Paul's Bay

st pauls bay by the sea scaled

Mellieha Bay

Known as Malta's largest sandy beach, Mellieha Bay is located to the north of the island.

It's a popular destination, especially for families, due to its shallow surf.

The beach is well-equipped with amenities and lifeguards, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for visitors.

Bugibba Perched Beach

Created to offer a sandy beach experience in a rocky coastline area, Bugibba Perched Beach is a man-made wonder.

It's perfect for families and offers excellent facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and safe swimming zones.

The beach is within walking distance of many hotels and restaurants, making it a convenient choice for a day of sunbathing and swimming.

Best food & drink in St Paul's Bay

The food and drink in Malta offer a delightful exploration of the island's rich culinary heritage, deeply influenced by its history and position in the Mediterranean. 

Maltese cuisine reflects a fusion of flavours, borrowing from the traditions of Sicilian, British, French, and Arabic cooking


Pastizzi:
Perhaps the most iconic Maltese snacks are flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas.
Fenkata:
A traditional rabbit stew, often considered Malta's national dish, which is a testament to the importance of rabbit in Maltese cuisine.
Ġbejniet:
Small, round cheeses made from goat's or sheep's milk, often served as part of a platter or used in cooking.
Timpana:
A baked pasta dish rich with Bolognese sauce and eggs and encased in a pastry shell, showcasing the Italian influence on Maltese cooking.
Hobz biz-zejt:
A popular snack or light meal consisting of Maltese bread rubbed with ripe tomatoes and topped with olive oil, capers, onions, and anchovies or tuna.

fried white bait scaled

SOTTOZERO Gelato

The SOTTOZERO gelato factory serves 40 flavours of artisanal gelato every week, as well as cakes, crepes and coffee.

This is some of the best gelato you’ll find here, yet the prices are very reasonable at just a few euros for a good-sized tub.

malta gelato scaled

Best Restaurants in Valletta

Ocean Basket

Recommended to us by a local who lives nearby, although Ocean Basket is a chain, we enjoyed incredible fresh local fish and seafood in a modern setting with stunning views over the water. 

From prawns and calamari to fish and mussels, Ocean Basket serves fresh, tasty seafood dishes that will impress any seafood lover.

ocean basket view scaled

Trattoria 'a Lanterna cucina Ligure

Trattoria 'a Lanterna offers an authentic taste of Ligurian cuisine in St Paul's Bay. 

This hidden gem provides a unique dining experience with a wide range of dishes that capture the essence of the Ligurian culinary tradition.

From fresh seafood to homemade pasta, each dish is prepared with care, offering a taste of Italy right in the heart of Malta.

Our hosts were delightful, serving us fresh seabass, pesto pasta, cured meats, and a delicious tiramisu to finish. 

Lanterna pasta scaled

Simenta Restaurant

Simenta is a family-oriented bar and restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine with a cosy atmosphere. 

The restaurant is very popular with locals, known for its friendly service and great location, making it a perfect spot for lunch. 

Whether you're looking for a hearty meal or just a place to relax with a drink, Simenta's welcoming environment and great value food make it a must-visit.

We do recommend Simenta for lunch or a casual dinner, but it is quite an informal experience, and so you may want to consider other options for an evening may.

Insider tip: During busy periods, it's best to order and collect your food at the bar and kiosk. When quiet, while you will still need to order at the bar, a waiter will often at least serve your food.

simenta restaurant greek salad scaled

Ta' Bertu's Kitchen

Ta' Bertu's Kitchen is a highly-rated restaurant known for its exquisite homemade cuisine and warm hospitality. 

Specialising in Mediterranean dishes, this family-run establishment offers a menu that includes baked rabbit, ravioli, and ribeye, among other delicacies, promising an authentic Maltese dining experience.

ta bertus kitchen

Flights to St Paul's Bay (Malta)

Browse Hotels

Best hotels in St Paul's Bay

Cheapest

topaz hotel

Topaz Hotel


Topaz offers outstanding value for money with a large swimming pool, spa, games room and buffet meals.

The rooms are simple but comfortable, and the staff are friendly. 

For a 3-star hotel at the lowest cost we could find, Topaz offered a surprisingly good meal service and bar.


Budget

mayflower hotel

Mayflower Hotel

The Mayflower Hotel, with its balcony sea view rooms and gorgeous sun terrace with pool, makes an excellent choice.

It’s located on the seafront near the bus station and harbour.

Best

doubletree hilton

DoubleTree by Hilton

A beautiful 4-star hotel overlooking the Mediterrannean sea.

Four swimming pools, a spa, four restaurants including a buffet breakfast and steakhouse, and more make this the best hotel experience you'll have in Malta.

Luxury

seaview hotel

Seaview Hotel

Just a few minutes from the beach and sporting an authentic restaurant serving local Maltese foods, two swimming pools, and more, this incredible hotel looks over the sea and offers an unrivalled experience in the area.

Is St Paul's Bay expensive?

No. St Paul's Bay and Malta are some of the cheaper destinations in the Med.

Attraction tickets, transport tickets, and basic food costs are all very low by European standards.

Apps such as Uber, Bolt, and Ecabs make getting around the island convenient and affordable. 

Expense

Price Range

Meal at budget restaurant

€12.00-28.00

3 course mid-range meal for 2 

€50.00-100.00

Bottle of water

€1.00-2.00

Coffee

€1.80-4.00

Local beer

€1.80-5.00

Bottle of mid-range wine 

€5.00-8.00

One-way transport ticket 

€1.50-2.00

Taxi per 1km

€1.00-3.00

1 litre Petrol/Gas

€1.30-1.40

Nearby locations

Mdina

Mdina is a beautiful and historic walled and fortified city, a must-see when visiting Malta. Descendants of the noble families of Malta still live in Mdina today.

You can enter Mdina for free and wander the streets for an hour, taking in the atmosphere and admiring the unique architecture. You will also find some nice cafes and a few museums here if you want to make a day of it. It takes just 20 minutes from Valletta by car.

fontanella mdina

Valletta

Valletta has everything a usual large European city has to offer; you will see an endless selection of restaurants and all the familiar European brands.

The city has a unique feel due to its hilly streets, with pleasant locals relaxing on slanted tables in the streets and views extending down to the sea. Valletta is a must-see to understand Malta truly. 

Read Our Valletta Travel Guide

Valletta

Getting around

Unless you are a confident driver and are happy to deal with constant, heavy traffic, we do not recommend that you drive in Malta.

We highly recommend that you use taxis and the local bus network.

  • From the airport

  • Bus

  • Taxis

Getting to the town- how to get to St Paul's Bay from the Airport

A taxi from Valletta Airport to the centre of St Paul's Bay will take around 45 minutes and starts at around 30 Euro.

You can also pre-book an airport transfer, which is slightly more expensive, but your driver will greet you at the terminal with no waiting time required. 

Map of St Paul's Bay

St Paul's Bay Weather

St Paul's Bay, Malta, is a sun-soaked destination with warm temperatures throughout the year. The sunniest months are June, July, and August, with the warmest sea temperatures perfect for swimming. Be mindful of the rainiest months, October to December.

JAN

15.6°C / 60°F

7 days rain

FEB

15.7°C / 60°F

6 days rain

MAR

17.2°C / 63°F

5 days rain

APR

19.6°C / 67°F

4 days rain

MAY

23.1°C / 74°F

2 days rain

JUN

28.1°C / 83°F

1 days rain

JUL

31.1°C / 88°F

0 days rain

AUG

31.6°C / 89°F

1 days rain

SEP

28.6°C / 83°F

3 days rain

OCT

24.6°C / 76°F

5 days rain

NOV

20.8°C / 69°F

6 days rain

DEC

17.1°C / 63°F

4 days rain

Best time to visit St Paul's Bay

The best time to visit St Paul's Bay is during the late spring and early autumn months, specifically May and September. During these months, the weather is pleasantly warm, and the sea temperatures are ideal for swimming. Plus, you'll avoid the peak summer crowds, making your trip more relaxed and enjoyable.

FAQ

See the most asked questions about St Paul's Bay

Is St Paul's Bay worth visiting?

Yes, St Paul's Bay doesn't just offer some of the most affordable hotels on the island, but itself also offers great nightlife, plenty of activities through the day, authentic local restaurants and more.

Is St Paul's Bay good for nightlife?

Yes, this is often thought to be the best place to visit in Malta for nightlife, and has a thriving scene of bars, clubs, restaurants and places to meet friends and locals.

Can you swim in St Paul's Bay?

Yes, there are plenty of areas that are perfect for swimming and diving nearby. The waters are clear and host a wide variety of exotic fish. There are a number of local diving schools nearby offering lessons and certification.

How far is St Paul's Bay from Valletta?

St Paul's Bay is about 30 minutes from Valletta by car or taxi, or as little as 40 minutes by bus.

James in Pisa scaled

About the author

James and the team at Turtle Trip are seasoned travelers with experience in the travel industry. We've worked for major holiday booking sites, and have explored the world on foot for our own travels.

Our goal is to make travel accessible to everyone, by providing you with the most comprehensive and easy-to-digest guides about the destinations you’re traveling to.
We believe that planning a trip should be fun and exciting, not overwhelming, so, whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned adventurer, we’ve got you covered.

We wrote this Turtle Trip guide to give you our best tips all in one place, so thanks for reading and have a great time!


James Turtle Trip's founder

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Malta

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