Gay Malta Guide
Gay Malta is a sun-kissed archipelago located in the centre of the Mediterranean. The island nation is one of the most gay-friendly in Europe, giving equal constitutional rights to the LGBTQ community. Add in Malta’s golden beaches, dramatic coastline and rich history, and you have all the ingredients for an idyllic island escape..
Valletta, the capital of Malta – picture perfect!
Malta consists of three island: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The weather is sunny almost year-round. In fact Malta clocks up more than 300 days of sunshine a year. It can easily be T-shirt weather even in November or March.
Malta is the smallest country in the European Union with a population of just over 400,000. The gay scene is small, but the island is very gay-friendly and several gay events and festivals take place throughout the year. The annual gay pride event in September brings the entire city out for one amazing end of Summer party.
From the charming capital Valletta to the relaxed vibe and blue seas at Gozo, discover our guide to the best bars, restaurants, clubs and places to stay in Gay Malta.
St Julians is where you will find great beaches, bars and clubs.
If you want to be in the heart of gay Malta, then we suggest staying in Valletta. If you are looking for something a little bit more “beachy” then visit St.Julians, just a short journey from the capital. Many visitors combine a stay in both Valletta and St.Julian’s.
For a taste of local Maltese life head to Sliema, with its charming hotels and laid back atmosphere. Mdina, Rabat and Gozo are more secluded and less touristy.
No matter where you choose to stay, you can easily travel to other places of interest, as Malta is only 27 km long and 14 km wide at its furthest point
Hotels in Valletta
5 Star: located in a 17th century building with great views and an outdoor pool offering skyline views. Rooms are spacious and executive rooms have a private sauna and rain shower.
4 Star: located in the heart of Valletta with stunning views over the city. Superior rooms have a private rooftop terrace. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes, slippers and toiletries.
3 Star: Offering stylish accommodation with free WiFi, Hotel Pjazza Merkanti Suites is set in Valletta 600 m from Barrakka Gardens in the heart of the historic district of the city.
Hotels in St Julians
The town of St. Julian’s is located alongside the Northern coastline of Malta, next to Sliema and a few miles to the West of the capital city Valletta.
Paceville (pronounced patch-a-ville) is St.Julians party zone, home to some of the most well known clubs on the Island.
5 Star: Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in St Julian’s, The Westin Dragonara Resort offers 2 private beaches, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and 3 restaurants. Reception is open 24 hours a day.
4 Star: Adults only hotel with free WiFi throughout and air-conditioned rooms. The property is 400 m from the city heart. The rooftop pool offers stunning beach views.
3 Star: The District Hotel offers accommodation in St Julian’s, just a 5-minute walk from the Golden Mile Beach. Rooms are elegant with 24 hour front desk and airport pick up.
Gay Map of Malta
Malta Gay Bars
Malta’s Gay Scene
Most of Malta’s gay bars and clubs are located in the capital, Valletta. The city is tiny, with just over 6,000 locals calling it home. Yet despite its size, the city’s gay scene is thriving with pop-up parties, cute cafes and gay-friendly restaurants.
Malta’s Gay Bars
- The Birdcage Lounge – Located in Rabat, 15k from Valletta. Great karaoke and amazing drag shows.
- The Thirsty Barber – Gay friendly bar in the heart of Valletta with superb cocktails and one off drag shows.
- Michelangelo – St. Julian’s, The official gay club of Malta open nighty 10pm. Popular on weekends. Hosts several theme-nights and circuit DJs throughout the year.
- Lollipop – Monthly gay parties , self-described as “Saturday Night Hyper Trashy Pop Discotheque”. Lollipop plays the campest, bubblegum pop with a mix of disco and house and has taken the gay clubbing scene in Malta by storm. Check their Facebook page for the party schedule.
- S2S events organises famous gay parties throughout the year in Malta, including the Easter Eve Party and the Bordello Foam Party. The post-parade party is the perfect end to a fun pride.
Gay Friendly Clubs
- The north of the island is well known for its scenic seascapes, and Café del Mar is the ideal setting if you want to take in stunning views of St. Paul’s island. Café del Mar is especially popular during the summer on Sundays from 3pm onwards, where you can enjoy DJ sessions in a buzzing atmosphere.
- Uno Village, a sultry, open-air dance club that can accommodate up to 4,000 clubbers. There’s no better place to be on a balmy, Mediterranean night.
Malta Gay Pride
As the summer season ends in Europe and North America, Malta gets ready to celebrate Pride. Its a great excuse to keep that Summer feeling alive just that little bit longer.
Malta Pride has grown to become one of the most important events on the Island.
Taking place in mid-September every year, Malta Pride is a week-long event and includes pool parties, concerts, street parties and many cultural exhibitions. The highlight of the event is the Pride parade which is loud and colourful.
TIP! For the perfect stay, book your hotel early. 66 St Paul’s is a boutique hotel right in the heart of the city, with marble and parquet floors, high-beamed ceilings, views over either Saint Paul’s Street or the harbour, and private balconies, plus there’s a rare rooftop pool!
Gay Friendly Restaurants in Malta
The strongest influence on Maltese cuisine is Sicilian, though the popularity of grilled chops, roasts and three veg reveals a strong partiality to all things British. Local specialties include pastizzi (savoury cheese pastries), timpana (a macaroni, cheese and egg pie), fenek (rabbit), which is usually fried or baked in a casserole or pie, and bragioli( spicy beef rolls).
Coffee, Breakfast, Tapas
- Legligin – Rustic wine bar with delicious tapas menu.
- Kantina Café – Alfresco seating on St John’s Square. This is perhaps Valletta’s best people-watching spot.
- Café Cordina – Housed in an old palazzo in the bustling streets of Valletta, a grand café with frescos on the ceiling and ornate chandeliers. The perfect setting for breakfast, lunch, or an indulgent snack.
- Two Buoys – Eclectic menu featuring everything from fresh seafood to burgers to Maltese specialties; a welcoming staff, and a beautiful harbor-side setting
- Fifty Nine Republic – Situated just steps away from the Grandmasters Palace Square, focusing on fresh seasonal produce. A fine dining experience in a casual chic atmosphere. Mediterranean, European, Fusion, International
- Medina Restaurant. Located in an original Norman building, the ambiance at Medina exudes old-world charm, with golden stone walls and a vine-laced courtyard setting the scene.
- Ta’ Kris is an institution with locals and tourists. The welcoming bistro is warm and rustic, the kind of place where it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon lingering over lunch and a bottle of wine.
- Barracuda Restaurant – Dine in a lovingly restored 18th century villa, just over the water`s edge in St. Julians. The restaurant overlooks the spectacular view of Balluta and Spinola bay.
- Harbour Club Restaurant – A former warehouse built by the 64th Grand Master of the Order of Malta in 1712, this restaurant is one of the most popular in Valletta.
TIP! Take time to see the Is-Suq Tal-Belt, the iron-framed Victorian market with a fresh array of food stalls, cafés and restaurants – it’s a great snapshot of the island’s food scene.
Gay Beaches in Malta
There are no official gay beaches in Malta however some of the more secluded ones are popular with nudists and gay guys.
- Pembroke Beach – North of St Julian’s, the beach is rocky but the views are beautiful. The gay beach can be found just behind the Madliena tower.
- Riviera Beach, also known as Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, has a smaller secluded beach located to the left of the main cove. At the beach cafe you can hire sun beds and umbrellas. (Find the gay sunbathers about 200m down at the very end of the beach.)
- Ras il-Qarraba is a rocky outlook nestled between Gnejna Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay. The rocks provide privacy for nude sunbathing
Things to see and do in Malta.
Tour the city of Valletta
- Explore the historical streets of Valletta. An elegant capital, the city’s 16th-century walled city and harbour have UNESCO World Heritage status. The maze of cobbled streets overflows with architectural treasures.
- Pay a visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral, a baroque masterpiece that showcases one of Caravaggio’s most spectacular paintings, ‘The Beheading of St John.’
- Other interesting points include the Renzo Piano designed City Gate, Parliament Building and Opera House.
- For some fresh air and a sense of perspective, the Upper & Lower Barrakka Gardens make excellent look-out posts over the sparkling sweep of the Grand Harbour and its to-and-fro boats. If you visit at midday or 4pm you will witness the firing of the cannons from the Saluting Battery in the Lower Barrakka Gardens.
- Visit Fort St.Elmo and enjoy some stunning views across the harbour. Explore the history of the Knights and view the original George Cross.
- Valetta has many steps and steep streets. We recommend you rent a smart scooter. They are 100 percent electric and are great for exploring, especially during the warmer months.
Visit Mdina, the old capital of Malta, with its picture perfect location perched on a hill in the centre of the island. Mdina is known as ‘The Silent City’ due to its noise restrictions and sleepy atmosphere. Here you’ll find some of Malta’s top restaurants hidden in Mdina’s charming, Bougainville-laden streets.
Mdina was used for the filming of Game of Thrones. You can take the filming location tour and imagine yourself in “Kings Landing”.
Discover the Three Cities
Hop on one of the traditional dgħajsa, the painted boats that date back to Phoenician times and sail across the Grand Harbour to the Three Cities : Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea. Birgu has a stunning restored fort. Explore the museums and discover medieval Malta. The narrow streets are lined with cosy wine bars and great restaurants.
A cool way of exploring the area is by Rolling Geek, a self-drive electric car with a pre-programmed GPS, which will roll you around the Maritime Museum, Malta at War Museum and the Inquisitor’s Palace. For a different view of the cities, take a harbour cruise and you will see Valetta from a different angle.
Visit the Maltese village of Dingli
Head for the Dingli Cliffs to watch the sun set over the hills with breath taking views. Take the Segway tour and explore the Buskett Gardens and the Verdala Palace.
Experience Comino and the Blue Lagoon
A small island between Gozo and Malta, Comino is famous for its Blue Lagoon. The crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming or snorkelling. Take a private charter boat and avoid the crowds. The nearby Santa Maria caves are also perfect for that Instagram moment.
Go to Gozo
Take a day trip to Malta’s second Island, Gozo with beautiful beach resorts and the famous Azure Window. While there, take in the views from the fortified citadel in Victoria town with sweeping views of the whole island.
Be a film extra at The Popeye Village
Home to the original movie set, Malta’s Popeye Village is still standing today. Wander among the wooden buildings, take in a show and get some amazing pictures in this unique attraction.
Getting Around Malta
The small size of the Maltese Islands makes getting around easy and hassle-free. The public bus service on Malta is a good way to get around. Buses serve the major tourist areas, go practically everywhere and are inexpensive and efficient.
Renting a car is a good option if you want to get to the farther reaches of the island. All the road signs are in English and driving is on the left.
When to visit?
May – September are the best months if you’re looking to spend most days by the beach, dining out, clubbing, and celebrating Pride. Spring and autumn are the best to relax, unwind and visit cultural sites.
Newly built St. Julian’s apartment. Unique & luxurious. This light & stylish 1 bedroom apartment with sea views is set in a prime area in Malta’s most popular entertainment area Paceville St. Julian’s, with lots of restaurants & bars
This seafront apartment has unobstructed views of Spinola Bay from a south facing terrace in the heart of St. Julians. With sliding wall to wall balcony doors, you can truly get to experience the Mediterranean outdoor living.
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