The 10 Best Bars In Valletta, Malta

City of Valletta Malta at Sunset captured from Silema Bay
City of Valletta Malta at Sunset captured from Silema Bay | © Gaborturcsi/Shutterstock
Andrew Ricca

Only ten years ago, early closing times for shops also meant the end of the day for Malta‘s capital city. Valletta has come a long way though, and it’s finally able to claim some real nightlife. We list the 10 best spots to enjoy a drink in this historic city.

1. Django Jazz Bar

Pub, Bar, Beer, Wine, Pub Grub

Django Jazz Bar is a vibrant live music venue situated on south street. Do not let the sign reading “Borg’s Bakers” above the door deceive you; it has to stay on out of heritage preservation concerns. Indoors, another piece of history – this time in the form of a 16th century vaulted basement – serves as a stage for classical artists, up-and-coming Jazz, Blues and Rock musicians. Cocktails, food, and from time to time even some Belgian beer, is available.

2. Bridge Bar

Bar, Pub, European

Every other day of the week, Bridge Bar is an ordinary pub. Come Friday evening however, the atmosphere is unmatched. Adhering to tradition, from May till the end of October jazz musicians play live sessions on the same bridge (giving the bar its name) as audiences sit opposite, on the wide candlelit steps, just above Valletta’s mighty Victoria Gate. Drinks are reasonably priced, and with the impressive views of the Grand Harbor afforded from this spot, it is hard to wish for anything more.

3. The Pub

Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub

The succinctly named The Pub is one of the few English-style bars anywhere on the island. Inside, you’ll be quick to notice Union Jacks and Royal Navy flags hanging around. What will probably take even less time to sink in is the sheer number of pictures and dedications, verging on a shrine, to British film star Oliver Reed. This is the venue where the larger than life actor enjoyed his final drinking session in 1999 before passing away mid-way through filming Gladiator. The walls on the upper floor are covered with graffiti left by sailors and other patrons; you are free to leave your own mark too.

4. Loop Bar

Bar, Wine, Beer, Italian, American, British

Loop Bar‘s original 1950s red walls and art-deco designed interior have been brought back to their former glory, and the original logo together with some other vintage design pieces have also been placed on display by its current owners. Beyond drinks, guests can enjoy a number of tasty dishes indoors or al fresco here.

5. Maori

Bar, Wine, Beer

Bars in Valletta range from classy wine bars to the casual; well beyond the very casual, there is Maori. At sea level, below the city bastions of the western side and adjacent to makeshift boathouses, lies a rectangular blue building, covered in a mural of one-eyed octopus. The front terrace is only meters away from the sea side with hammocks for guests to use. Complete with books, a guitar, assorted mismatched furniture and even a cat, Maori feels more like a living room than a bar. So if you’re getting a little tired of your hotel’s 5* sleek and faceless façade, sink into the sofas of Maori with a cat on your lap and you’ll feel right at home.

6. Ġugar

Restaurant, Wine, Beer, Mediterranean

At the lower end of Republic Street lies Ġugar, a small laid-back hangout and restaurant frequented by a younger cohort of the island’s locals. From time to time it hosts chess matches and the occasional intimate music gig. True to its mission of promoting alternative living, it is furnished with a colorful mix of upcycled materials, serves wholesome food and refreshing smoothies, and offers a good selection of left-of-center book titles to read.

7. Trabuxu Wine Bar

Wine Bar, Wine, Beer

Trabuxu started out as a humble wine bar more than a decade ago, boasting the status of being the first of its kind in the country. The wine bar is housed in an intimate 400 year old stone vaulted cellar, popular with a cultured clientèle often attending after a theatrical or musical performance. Beyond an extensive wine list, this venue serves platters, fondue and selections of dips for shared nibbles.

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