Sliema is a coastal town situated on the northeast of Malta, adjacent to St. Julians. Once the home of Malta's aristocracy; it has now become a major commercial area, very popular for shopping, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels. Sliema acquired its name from a chapel dedicated to The Our Lady of The Sea (or Stella Maris) built in 1855, which served as a reference point to the fishermen who inhabited the area. The name is linked to the opening words of the Hail Mary prayer, which in Maltese are "Sliem Għalik Marija". Sliem is the Maltese word meaning peace or serenity. Sliema is quite a large residential town with a population of around 15,000 locals; housing also a significant number of expatriates that reside there temporarily.
Sliema was once a quiet fishing village, a minor summer resort that hosted the wealthier Valletta residents. The 19th century, however, saw the development of Sliema; it quickly grew into a residential area, adjoining to neighbouring St. Julians. Elegant villas and town houses, as well as many Victorian buildings were built by the British along the promenade overlooking the rocky coastline. Soon, the people of Sliema understood the tourism potential of the area, and so they began a building boom that changed the whole landscape. Sliema became the first tourist resort in Malta, and its importance still remains. Nowadays, only a few Victorian and art nouveau houses remain, the rest have been replaced by modern apartment blocks, establishments and hotels.
From one side, the Sliema promontory offers spectacular views across to Valletta, and from the other side, there are breathtaking open sea views. The promenade that stretches for a couple of kilometres is ideal for long walks or runs, while the various benches provide a place for the locals to relax and socialize during warm summer evenings. Sliema coastline also boasts the Independence Garden completed with a children’s playground, as well as two fortifications: a De Redin tower built in the 17th century to protect the islands against sea attacks; and another tower that was built by the British in a neo-gothic style in the 1880s.
Things to see and do:
Shopping: There a number of shopping opportunities in Sliema
Dine & Wine: Sliema is full of bars and restaurants, offering a wide variety of cuisines and atmospheres.
Take a walk at the promenade: To the right, the promenade leads you all the way to Gzira, Ta’ Xbiex and Msida marina, while to the left, there’s a walkway towards St. Julians, Paceville and St. George’s Bay.
Bus numbers 13, 14, 17 from Valletta