- 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.
Django Jazz Bar
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.
211 Republic Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 99907249
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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.
258, Saint Ursula Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 79474227
3 days in a row I have spent time in Valletta!!! More and more I want to come back here again. Every single time you can find a very nice and interesting place to visit. And every single time all the same things look differently. Different emotions, smells, people even you. Today's motto: no matter how hard it is, find yourself in pleasant moments. 🌷🌸🌺 #girl#malta#valletta#me#love#city#world#adventure#life#dreams#motto#quote#instagood#travel#photography#nature#words#minds#people#human
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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.
136, Archbishop Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 79052522
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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.
Address: Loop Bar, Strait Street Valletta, Malta. +356 99339931
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Once home to the capital city’s red-light district, Strait Street suffered decades of desertion before a concerted effort was put in place to help regenerate the area. Tico Tico has been one of the front-runners of this project, opening its doors to its refurbished venue in 2012. This is the place for an occasional jazz night, drinks and tapas, served by bartenders in sailor suits, amid walls hung with pin-ups.
Address: 61, Strait Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 9949 0456
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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.
Address: Maori, Triq il-Fossa, Valletta, Malta. +79951289
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.
, 89A Republic Street, Valletta, Malta, +356 27032837
Stop by at Gugar Bar for a refreshing drink or maybe a lunch. On the main street in Valletta, going in the direction of the fort. 😊👍🏻🆒🌮🍲🍺😊👍🏻🆒🌮🍲🍺 ESPAÑOL – no os perdeis este barcito donde podeis parar a tomar algo refrescante o tambien almorzar. Se encuentra en la calle principal de Valletta, yendo hacia el fuerte. 😊👍🏻🆒🌮🍲🍺😊👍🏻🆒🌮🍲🍺 #malta #island #isla #travel #adventure #wanderlust #welltravelled #chicasdeviaje #travelgram #justgoshoot #instagoodmyphoto #traveldeeper #travelphotography #livefolk #itgirl #travelblogger #travelekspert #polishgirl #polskadziewczyna #liveauthentic #earthvisuals #wearetravelgirls #valletta #passionpassport #visualsoflife #livelife #klubpolek #awesomeearth @ig_malta_ @visitmalta @lovemalta @wearetravelgirls
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Café Society only opened its doors earlier in 2015, but is already a favorite venue for the island’s artists, musicians, writers and creatives. It is situated on the steps of the sloped St. Johns Street, breathing new life into a beautiful, if small, building, with its hip tunes and late night dancing. The cocktails are innovative, with a touch of fresh herbs, and the ciabattas they serve are made with authentic ingredients. Conversation never suffers in the company of Tom, the host, and the amiable atmosphere here.
13, St Johns Street,Valletta, Malta. +356 27137491
Trabuxu Wine Bar
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.
Trabuxu Wine Bar, 2 Strait Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 2122 3036
One of the nicest platters we've ever had with 5 different kinds of cheeses and cured meats, fruit, salad and bread. Washed down with a lovely bottle of Rioja and my night was perfect #malta #maltalife #birthdaygirl #birthdaydinner #foodplatter #winebar #valletta #straitstreet #trabuxu #romanticrestaurants
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Lovers of whiskies should look no further than this; the whisky menu at StrEat is probably the most extensive anywhere on the island. Housed in a vaulted rustic interior at the lower end of fashionable Strait Street, this venue also serves an enticing selection of cocktails and meat-heavy dishes, and entertains guests with a resident acoustic live duo for Friday evening aperitivo.
StrEat, Strait Street, Valletta, Malta. +356 77 787328
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