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Sliema, St Julian’s & Paceville

Malta's cool crowd flocks here to eat, drink, shop and party, and if you're looking for a base that mingles cosmopolitan sparkle with quiet backstreets, this is the perfect choice. Connected by a lovely seafront promenade, with shimmering Mediterranean views, this collection of districts merge into one another, and are packed with shops, restaurants and bars.

St Julian's was once a pretty fishing village, but now five-star hotels and apartment complexes dominate its scenic bays. It adjoins the small nightlife enclave of Paceville, which springs to life at night after a couple of shots. This is also where many of Malta's English-language schools are located.

More exclusive-feeling Sliema has long been associated with the Maltese upper classes, and makes an enticingly peaceful base, just far enough from the action. Gracious townhouses sit along backstreets, while burgeoning apartment blocks line the seafront, which is blessed by rocky beaches and swimming spots.

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