As an Expat, exploring Malta is a wonderful experience but once you decide to live here you need to have as much information as you can get.
To start your research ,here is a detailed overview of the most popular expat locations in Malta to live: from urban to rural, to quiet retreats.

Malta is one of those countries where the traditional and the modern are side by side. There is definitely a more contemporary feel in the north and central areas than in the south.

The northern part of the island is more metropolitan and populated, while many southern parts have a distinctly agricultural, rural feel to them.

For those seeking peace and quiet the rural calmness of the south is a drawcard as the majority of the population are living  in the northern and central regions.

There are many locations in Malta already favoured by expats; start by deciding what suits you best, be it a lively vibrant city, a beautiful beach destination, or a truly quiet and peaceful old little fishing village.

So, let us introduce the best places to live in Malta:


Valletta is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe and is also the southernmost European capital.

Only the capital, Valletta can be classed as a city as Malta is a country of towns and villages. Valletta is known as Il-Belt (the City) in Maltese.

Despite being a capital city, Valletta is pretty quiet and tranquil. It’s one of the best places to live in Malta if you value culture and heritage.

Valletta is a living city. It is the nerve centre of the Maltese political, administrative and business sphere as well as a major tourist attraction.Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valletta’s 320 monuments, all within an area of 55 ha, make it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. But the city still feels quite bohemian and is certainly culturally rich – it was named the European Capital of Culture in 2018.

Manoel Theatre, Royal Opera House, National Museum of Archeology, National Fine Arts Museum, etc., all these and other cultural sites are available in Valletta.

Although the capital, Valletta has superb choice of property, from small modest one-bed apartments in one of the older apartment blocks to opulent and luxurious converted palazzos.

2. Harbour Area

The Grand Harbour or Greater Valletta is one of the most fabulous natural harbours in the world. Here is where you will find a more active social life.

Malta’s most sought-after areas are there: St Julian’s and Sliema and the three cities off the Grand Harbour: Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua.These areas top the list for best places to live in Malta if you are looking for a more contemporary lifestyle.

It is a very lively and cosmopolitan place to live, full of shops, bars and cafes. It is built up, often congested with traffic, and busy all year round. Also, the seafront has outstanding nightlife.

A property’s proximity to the seafront has a great impact on its price, with the northern side of the Grand Harbour being more fashionable and expensive in comparison to the southern side of the Grand Harbour.

If you are looking for a laid back and quieter place to retire maybe look elsewhere as this area is favoured by tourists and young people alike.

A regular ferry from Valletta goes both to the north and south of the Grand Harbour. Ferries are pretty reliable, frequent and a fun form of public transit in Malta.

3. Swieqi & Pembroke

Lying inland, west of St. Julian’s is the little town of Swieqi. It is a quiet residential area just 15 minutes by bus from Sliema and within a walking distance of Paceville and St. Julian’s.

Due to its location and having all necessary amenities and facilities, this more peaceful area is very popular with the local upper-middle class.

To the north of Swieqi lies the coastal town of Pembroke. It is conveniently close to Paceville, too, allowing the residents of Pembroke to enjoy the facilities of both neighbouring towns.

The coastline of Pembroke is relatively undeveloped and rocky, and numerous hiking paths are available along the coast. There are also trails leading to the historical Madliena watchtower.

Pembroke used to be a British military base lined with a set of barracks and buildings constructed for officers.

To the south and east, a small residential area has sprung up, with large the main property type of terraced houses, villas and maisonettes and more recently apartments dominating the scene.


4. Mellieha, St Paul’s Bay & Buġibba

Mellieha, St Paul’s Bay and Buġibba (pronounced ‘boojibber’), all towns in the north of the island, also attract a lot of expats.

Mellieha is one of our best places to live in Malta, it’s very popular with retirees and is famous for its beaches and picturesque scenery, which epitomises old-style Malta. Mellieha is the closest town to the ferry connection with the Malta’s sister island of Gozo.

St Paul’s Bay is to east of Mellieha in the Northern Region of Malta, sixteen kilometres northwest of the capital Valletta. It is the town between Mellieha and Bigibba. Buġibba is a busy and vibrant place which offers a lot of nighttime entertainment and very popular with British tourists, while Mellieha and St Paul’s Bay are quieter towns.

You will find more reasonably priced property in these areas.

All three locations offer a good choice of various properties, both older houses and new developments, suited to various tastes and budgets. That said, Buġibba and St Paul’s Bay are generally a bit cheaper than Mellieha.

5. Madliena

Madliena is situated east of Malta, close to St Pauls Bay and St Julians and  is situated at a high elevation and has fabulous views of the northern bays.

The town of Madliena owes its origin to the 15th century Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. The Victoria Lines, Madliena Fort and The Batteria San Giovanni are considered to be local attractions.

Madliena is mainly a villa residential area where you will find detached villas, semi-detached villas, and bungalows.

There are also luxury apartment developments, as well as maisonettes, available in the area. Some of the views from these properties are stunning and go as far as St. Paul’s Bay.

6. Ta Xbiex

The town is a very sought-after place to live, popular with both locals and expats, and one of the most expensive places in terms of property in Malta.

Ta Xbiex is home to some unique villas worth millions of euros and is favoured by yacht owners because of its modern marina.

Ta Xbiex Marina has a convenient central location and shelter from the prevailing north-westerly winds. It is also naturally protected from other wind directions, while the breakwater protects against a north-easterly swell.

The town offers all the facilities and amenities necessary for a comfortable modern life. It also hosts several law and insurance companies, along with accountancy firms.

Great restaurants and cafes along the coast take advantage of the location and offer spectacular harbour views.

7. Marsaxlokk

Head further down the coast to  the south eastern region of Malta to the pretty fishing village of Marsaxlokk, where some of the best seafood restaurants on the island can be found. Marsaxlokk is a small, traditional fishing village which has a harbour, and is a tourist attraction known for its views, fishermen and history.

Marsaxlokk is famous for its big Sunday fish market and many decorative “eyed” painted boats called Luzzus.

This is one of the best places to live in Malta if you seek a respite from tourists. Tourists don’t usually flock here except for the Sunday fish market, because of the nearby shipyards and the power station. Malta’s main power station is located there, and Oiltanking Malta Ltd. also operates from Marsaxlokk.

Marsaxlokk has a small sandy beach on the east side. There is also the amazing St. Peter’s Pool located at Delimara, within a 20-minute walk. The pool is framed with smooth, weathered limestone ledges, which make good sunbathing spots.

The waters of St. Paul’s bay are perfect for diving, snorkelling and cliff jumping.

8. Marsascala (or Marsaskala)

This is a seaside town in the South Eastern Region of Malta which has grown around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long, narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek

Originally Marsascala was an ancient fishing village. Today it’s a little town stretching on both sides of the bay.

Marsaskala is a seaside resort more popular with locals than tourists (no major hotels in the area) and so has kept a bit more of a genuine feel to it. Good fish restaurants, some popular diving and swimming spots, and a busy seafront promenade all make it a worthwhile excursion.

Marsascala’s bay has an amazing promenade that continues to St Thomas Bay with views of low shelving rocks, colourful fishing boats and saltpans. The local expat community uses the promenade as their favourite meeting place.

Plenty Maltese set out to find an authentic Maltese restaurant in Marsascala.  The cuisine is excellent.

Marsacala is an affordable town where plenty of Maltese live permanently.  Since it is still somewhat under-developed there are still opportunities to purchase well priced homes

9. Siggiewi and Qrendi

If you are after a quieter life, then Siggiewi in the southern region of Malta and Qrendi can be the best places to live in Malta.

Siggiewi is a favourite local village with a unique L-shaped church square, typical narrow village streets and lots of character with locals mingling in the many bars around the square. Also has its must-see attractions such as Ghar Lapsi (cave and natural sea pool) and The Limestone Heritage Park & Gardens

Siggiewi is a little village just 12 km away from Valetta.

A famous spot, Ghar Lapsi, a little rocky inlet below a stretch of Dingli Cliffs, is a popular beauty spot used by divers and rock climbers. It is also a natural swimming pool that attracts numerous snorkelling enthusiasts, divers and tourists. This natural cove offers extraordinary blue-green waters safe for a sheltered swim.

Qrendi is a small southern village famous for two well-known Neolithic temples, a number of lovely traditional Maltese houses “with a character”, a few old towers in and around the village, and numerous chapels.

The village, although small, is popular with new settlers, and there are modern suburban developments being built to offer a choice of properties for potential buyers.

Both places have a small, primarily British expat community.

10. Gozo

Gozo is Malta’s sister island just north of Malta, accessible via regular ferries. Ferries run every 30 minutes between Mġarr on Gozo and Ċirkewwa on Malta. It takes approximately 20 minutes to cross to the other side.

The island is definitely one of the best places to live in Malta if you value a quiet and reflective life.

Gozo is full of charm and natural beauty, with baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dotting the countryside.

The island features rugged landscapes, spectacular coastlines, and some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites.

Gozo offers clean air and a traditional rustic way of life. Popular areas of Gozo include Marsalforn, Xlendi and the historic capital Victoria.

Gozo is very quiet, and life there has a slow, rural feel to it. Gozo is rather popular with retired people; it has all the amenities one would normally need for everyday life. The road network on Gozo has recently been improved to a high standard, and there are regular ferries to Malta.