Most clubs and discos have free entrances if there is not an organized event (DJ’s mainly).
Clubs and discos are open until 4:00 and alcohol is sold inside the primacies. Smoking is banned although you could find places that does not adhere to the law and smoke.
Nightlife in Malta is also famous for its open air parties that happen specially in the well-known big clubs like Gianpula and Numero Uno, each with a capacity of 4,000 people, mostly young tourists and locals. If you are really into clubbing these are the places to visit.
Gianpula is one of Malta’s biggest open air clubs, situated an isolated rural area near the old cities of Mdina and Rabat, Eastern Malta. This giant of Malta’s nightlife is where some of the most famous editions of the Ministry of Sound Festivals were held since 2009 by this London-based nightclub, record label and world-renowned music brand. Gianpula is actually a large complex with five different venues (The Gianpula Main room, Molecule, Groove gardens, Marrakech and Gianpula Fields). The club has beautiful gardens, a swimming pool, eleven bars, elevated VIP areas, champagne huts, seating areas, Parking facilities, restaurants and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. There are two music areas in the club: trance/club and R&B/Hip-hop. The atmosphere in Gianpula is great and friendly. The club is open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm.
Numero Uno in another well-known club of Malta’s nightlife. Numero Uno claims to have the largest outdoor dance floor in Malta. The club is situated in the fields right in the middle of Ta Qali’s crafts village, Central Malta. This venue is impressively huge. It has a main area (with four large bars) where commercial music and R&B is played and a smaller independent chill out part for alternative rock (only on Saturdays). Numero Uno is open only in the extended Malta summer, since it is all open air.
Paceville is one small part of St. Julians, a very loud part, where the pubs and clubs are concentrated. There is one main street, a steep hill of a pedestrian precinct, and most of the bars and clubs are on that street, and from one end to the other is just 150 meters. Depending on who you talk to, they will either love it or hate it, or avoid it. Paceville is an odd mix of rich and poor, posh and rough, gay and drugs, tattoo parlours and expensive restaurants, all within a very small area.
As you walk down the main street, you will pass posh clubs, posh bars and expensive restaurants, yet in between them or opposite sit clubs and bars that offer a completely different crowd – there is something for everyone.
There are 2 parts to Silema, Silema Promenade and Silema Strand. During the day, Sliema promenade is a great place to take a long walk with sea views, do some shopping, stop in a café and stare at the ocean. At night, you will see just a few joggers. As you get towards the shops, life does start to appear.
Surfside is a restaurant, a great view of the ocean through huge glass windows, but it is also a bar, and even a club at the height of the season. In the summer it opens it’s roof and basement, and they become clubs and bars, often booked for private parties. They do a good pizza, a varied menu.
Fortizza, the old fire station that was an old castle, and looks like an old castle, is a good place for a meal and a sophisticated drink, but no dancing, or bands playing. Opposite it and down a bit is the Europa Hotel, which has a small bar that changes hands every year, and is sometimes great and packed, often empty. You could walk past and have a look.
Further down, towards the shops, is Time Square. Open all day and late into the night, it operates like a traditional British pub, and on a Friday/Saturday the local Maltese often have something of a disco going on one side of the bar.
Silema Strand is very different, and always busy. During the day it offers a long strip of quality cafes and bars, and the cafes near the shops are where the beautiful people hang out. Coffee here can be expensive as you ‘people watch’. There are many restaurants open at night, and in the middle of The Strand is a group of bars/clubs. Many of Malta’s ‘pretty people’ hang out here. If you have looks and money, this is the spot for you.
The group of bars starts with Black Gold Bar, which is more down to earth and British in style. There is often a band, and Friday / Saturday it is busy all year round, to eat or to just drink. People do dance, but there is no real area set aside as a dance floor. Many UK ex-pats hang around the bar, but not pensioners. Often a good rock band doing a session.
Bugibba, Qwara & St. Pauls
“Boo-gee-bar” is often called Little Britain. All year round it hosts thousands of British pensioners, and in the summer it hosts even more British tourists. There are a few nightclubs, pubs, restaurants (Indian) that are mostly seasonal. If you are visiting off-season, there is (or was) one club left, in Qwara, called Fuegos. It tends to have private parties most Friday/Saturday nights off-season, till about midnight, then it is open to the public.
Qwara is pronounced “ow-ra”. It is the south side of the headland that becomes Bugibba, the back of the headland and the harbour is St. Paul’s Bay. Qwara is the haunt of British pensioners, and there are a great many small bars, some with entertainment, many restaurants.
If you are not a pensioner, and visiting off-season, there are plenty of bars and cafes, but you won’t find any place that is ‘buzzing’.
Fat Harry’s and Saloon around the main Bugibba Square is worth a visit, a good pubs, often a band.
The center of Valletta falls very quiet when the last office workers and shopkeepers leave for the evening, and the only regular nightlife to speak of are events at the Manoel Theatre and the St James Centre plus a handful of bars. However, a buzzing new scene has recently opened on the Valletta Waterfront by the cruise passenger terminal just below the city walls. Here warehouses and facades have been artfully renovated and are now home to fashionable bars, restaurants, two clubs and shops. Large outdoor seating areas face onto the harbor. The Valletta Waterfront caters for the younger generation and for those young at heart with a diverse option of bars, clubs and wine bars. Prominent resident DJs offer diverse music ranging from Rock to R&B, from Latin to Pop, from Jazz, Blues and Soul to World Music to cater for all audiences.