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A day trip to the charming capital of Valletta is an essential component on any good itinerary for Malta. It makes for one of the best summer city breaks in Europe, and if you’re staying in the popular town of St Julians then you’ll be pleased to know you are perfectly placed to sample the city! Ironically, a day trip to Valletta is one of the best things to do in St Julians, and there’s no need to book onto any organised tour of Valletta from St Julians, because it’s easy enough to do yourself! So if you’re wondering how to get from St Julians to Valletta, so here are the 4 absolute best options…
1. St Julians to Valletta by ferry
(the best option)
The best way to get from St Julians to Valletta is by boat. The ferry to Valletta actually departs from the adjacent town of Sliema, which is a stone’s throw from St Julians. In order to get to Sliema ferry terminal, I would suggest walking if you can. Depending on where you are staying, the walk from St Julians to Sliema will take you by some notable sights, like past the colourful Luzzu fishing boats bobbing in Spinola Bay and the Carmelite Church clinging to the edge of Balluta Bay.
The walking distance from St Julians to Sliema ferry terminal varies depending on where you are staying, but here are approximates of how far Sliema ferry port is from some popular areas of St Julians by foot:
|St Georges Bay to Sliema ferry landing||~3.0km or ~1.9 miles|
|Paceville to Sliema ferry terminal||~2.7km or ~1.7 miles|
|Spinola Bay to Sliema ferry kiosk||~2.5km or ~1.5 miles|
|Balluta Bay to Sliema ferry port||~1.5km or ~0.9 miles|
Tip: If walking is not an option for you but still want to get the ferry, the quickest way to get from St Julians to Sliema is by taxi (see below section St Julians to Valletta by taxi or car for information on which taxi service to use).
The service that operates ferries from Sliema to Valletta and vice versa is Valletta Ferry Services. You can find the ticket kiosk located on Sliema Promenade (Triq Ix – Xatt). This is clearly identifiable by a gazebo which says Sliema Valletta Ferry. But if you’re unsure, just open up Google Maps and type in Sliema Ferry to see the exact location. There are different schedules for summer and winter, and you can find exact times at their website. Currently, the cost of an adult day single is €1.50 and an adult day return is €2.80.
Tip: There are fare reductions for those aged 60+, blue badge holders, and for children. You can also buy passes for the week, and for 3, 6 and 12 months on request! The prices for night service day tickets are a little more expensive than daytime tickets (but not much). (note: this is correct at the time of writing – check the website for up to date information).
The ferry only takes around 5-10 minutes to reach Valletta, and from the top deck you will be blessed with stunning views of Valletta’s skyline and Fort Manoel. You will arrive at Marsamxett Harbour (which is also where you will depart for your return ferry from Valletta to Sliema, to get back to St Julians), and this is a short walk to the city centre. Valletta can be quite hilly, but there are signs to denote where the city centre is, and it’s fun to explore the narrow back streets and lanes by foot!
2. St Julians to Valletta by taxi or car
If you don’t fancy the idea of walking to Sliema and catching the ferry across to Valletta, then getting a taxi from St Julians to Valletta is another option. Whilst in Malta, I used eCabs to get from the airport to St Julians, and would recommend them if you want to get a taxi to Valletta (you could also use them to get from St Julians to Sliema ferry terminal). eCabs is like the Uber of Malta, and offers an easy way to request a ride from A to B. Before you go, download the app so you can easily request a ride when in Malta.
The driving distance from St Julians to Sliema ferry port varies depending on where you are staying, but here are approximates of how far Sliema ferry terminal is from some popular areas of St Julians by road:
|St Georges Bay to Sliema ferry landing||~3.9km or ~2.4 miles|
|Paceville to Sliema ferry terminal||~2.8km or ~1.7 miles|
|Spinola Bay to Sliema ferry kiosk||~2.0km or ~1.2 miles|
|Balluta Bay to Sliema ferry port||~1.6km or ~1.0 mile|
If you’re renting a car in Malta you could drive from St Julians to Valletta. I did not have any experience of this, but from a little bit of digging I can see that parking within the city can be difficult as it is a pretty small place. You might be better to park somewhere outside of Valletta and walk in. Take a look at Malta Uncovered for some information on where to park in Valletta, and driving tips for the city.
The driving distance from St Julians to Valletta varies depending on where you are staying, but here are approximates of how far Valletta is from some popular areas of St Julians by road:
|St Georges Bay to Valletta||~9.8km or ~6.1 miles|
|Paceville to Valletta||~10.0km or ~6.2 miles|
|Spinola Bay to Valletta||~9.1km or ~5.7 miles|
|Balluta Bay to Valletta||~9.0km or ~5.6 miles|
3. Walk from St Julians to Valletta
You might be wondering whether you can walk from St Julians to Valletta. Unless you fancy a long old wander, then you’ll probably want to avoid this option. Because of the inlet of Marsamxett Harbour, there is no direct route straight across from St Julians – Sliema – Valletta, and you will need to follow the curves of the coastline around. Therefore, the distance from the centre of St Julians to the centre of Valletta by foot is ~6.3km (~3.9 miles) which will take approximately 1 hour 20 mins (according to Google Maps).
4. St Julians to Valletta by bus
This is another option I did not have any experience with, but after doing just a little bit of research I can see that there are buses from St Julians to Valletta. There are various routes which you could use, and the journey time seems to range from 20 to 25 minutes. Because there are various buses that cover this route, the best way to find a bus from St Julians to Malta is to use the official Malta Public Transport website which has a journey planner.