Located up the eastern coast from Sliema and Valletta, St Julians is the Maltese district of choice for those seeking vitality and vibrancy from their excursions. The area is not only a cluster of casinos and bars but a town of exquisite shopping and, more than anything else, of prestige – this is a place to be seen in.
What’s in St Julians
Arriving at the international airport, Malta airport taxis only have to travel 8 or 9 kilometres to reach St Julians. Tourists can go straight to their hotel – of which there are many and of stunning quality. Westin Hotel at the beautifully named Dragonara is one. But the luckiest will stay at the Hilton, a bona fide 5 star experience with the name recognition.
The Hilton is located in the upmarket area of Portomaso. Although relatively new, Portomaso is full of high-end designer shopping and a marina of beautiful boats to gaze at. It’s a neighbourhood that sings with success and gravitas.
St Julians is the town for swagger and high rollers - and Paceville is the place where they go when everywhere else closes, where you can relax and party until dawn. It is for the hardcore patrons committed to their revelry - think Mediterranean Gatsby and you’re basically there.
The Dragonara casino is housed in a beautiful nineteenth-century palace, built by an old Marquis. You can play and game and win surrounded by vaunting ornate interiors and rest between bouts with refreshing veranda views that overlook the lapping sea. With hundreds of slot machines and 18 live tables that play host to all the card classics, everyone is sure to find what they are seeking.
The Portomaso casino is famous for its hosting of international card events and its 24/7 gaming makes it one of the princes of European casinos, possessing all the favourites – Blackjack, Ultimate Hold’em, Roulette. Dress sharp though because the Portomaso could change your life.
The town is stuffed with great drinking locations and cocktail paradises, but three stand out above all the others. The Quarterdeck is attached to the Hilton Hotel and appropriately haute couture. Whether you’re after rich platters, cheeses, local Maltese specialties or just a favourite cocktail, everything is looked after.
The Villa is a bit further away to the south (although everywhere in St Julians is well within walking distance), with a more relaxed ambience. It boasts a fine selection of wine and à la carte dining in the restaurant opposite.
Twenty-Two is the real draw however. Located on level 22 of the Portomaso Business Tower, this stylish bar has great views of the surrounding area, and hosts the cream of Maltese culture along with whichever business people and international celebrities happen to be passing through. With a strict dress code, exemplary table service and attendance a massive boon for social status, Twenty-Two is a must-go for champagne popping – make sure you book a seat in advance however because its currency is exclusivity.
How to get there
You can reach Malta International (MLA) directly from Heathrow and Gatwick with Air Malta and British Airways. Choose a service that will pre-book Malta airport taxis for you so that you spend less time balancing logistics and more time indulging.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Malta airport taxis Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.