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St Julian's, or San Giljan as it's known in Maltese, is a popular town with a vibrant community and is one of the more sought after destinations in Malta by tourists, expats and locals alike. As Malta is an all year round holiday destination, St Julian's is a town that is just as alive and dynamic in the winter as it is in summer.
Despite being such a popular district, St Julian's still retains a peaceful quality which harks back to its historical origins as a fishing village known primarily for the abundance of Latin architecture, such as the magnificent Spinola Palace which was built in 1688. The town was briefly occupied by the French in 1798.
Today St Julian's sits snugly on the coast with the colourful Maltese luzzus giving a hint as to the traditional focus of the town. The painted eyes on the sides of the luzzus are supposedly to ward off evil spirits and to bring luck on the seas and most are still in use by the fishermen. A walk along the seafront will determine the modern revival of St Julian's, that of tourism with souvenir shops and boutiques. Although locals have also benefited from the renewed interest in St Julian's. In 1854 there were just 600 residents of the town whereas today that figure is almost 8,000, creating a strong sense of community and breathing life back into this sleepy idyll.
St Julian's may now harbour a great many restaurants, bars and nightclubs, but it also manages to offer a safe retreat for residents who live and work in this area. From families to retired couples, St Julian's really does have something for everyone.
Where to live in St Julian's
St Julian's is a multi-faceted town which manages to fit together quite nicely. Deciding where you want to live in St Julian's all depends on what you are looking for.
From new developments and penthouses to residential houses and apartments, there's a location to suit, regardless of whether you wish to rent, buy or let a property in Malta. This makes St Julian's a particularly lucrative area for fledgling landlords and experienced property moguls looking to invest.
Here's a brief summary of the main areas in St Julian's:
Paceville is a fairly modern addition to St Julian's, dating back to around the 1920s when a few seaside residences were built. During the two world wars, these residences were extended and let out to British servicemen as well as the local Maltese. Modern developments began back in the 1960s and today Paceville is more widely known for its nightlife due to the prevalence of bars, casinos and clubs in this area.
Paceville offers great opportunities for investors who want to buy apartments for holiday lets as well as young couples and professionals who either want to rent or buy property in Paceville.
Portomaso is one of the main new developments in Malta which offers luxurious residential accommodation overlooking the marina and which also provides a leisure centre, a beach club, shops, a Hilton hotel and a conference centre. It is here where you will find the only skyscraper, Portomaso Business Tower. Measuring 98 metres high, it even houses a club on level Twenty Two.
Pender Gardens is another popular lifestyle development in St Julian's, which offers a wide variety of residential and commerical property. With access to a fitness centre, pool and car park, apartments in Pender Gardens are highly sought after by both investors and residents looking to rent, buy or sale property in Malta.
Swieqi is close enough to Paceville to take advantage of the many amenities and events on offer, but far enough away to offer a quiet, peaceful residential environment. However as a result of its desirable location, properties for sale in Swieqi can be hard to find.
Public transport into Valletta and other parts of Malta is excellent and one of the park and ride schemes is located here. Properties in Swieqi include maisonettes, apartments and terraced homes.
Madliena is another desirable area near Swieqi and rumoured to be the place where Mary Magdalene was shipwrecked. Madliena is undergoing development with Madliena Village, a number of luxury apartments offering superb sea views are being developed nearby, along with high-end properties in Madliena Ridge. Such interest is turning this quiet village into one of the most sought after areas to live in Malta.
Spinola Bay lies on the other side of St Julian's and encompasses the traditional quiet bay with its luzzos and fishermen. There are still plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants, but the pace of life here is quieter and more conducive to those who wish to dine al fresco with a bottle of wine watching the sun sink over the horizon. This is the place where retirees find their escape and there are more traditional Maltese properties to be found in this region.
Transport in St Julian's
Buses are plentiful in this district going to Sliema, Valletta and Paceville and stopping at various locations along the way, although they might operate a lighter schedule in the winter. There are also night buses on at the weekends and buses which run to the airport.
The new park and ride in Swieqi is also a handy way to get into town without worrying about parking. There are plentiful taxi companies too, but these can be expensive.
Schools in St Julian's
The most popular school in St Julian's is the Sacred Heart Foundation which runs both a primary school and a senior school. There is a good mix of local and expatriate children here and lessons are primarily in English.
There is also the St Vincent School on St Julian's Hill and a few public schools as well as a huge scattering of English language schools including:
- Maltalingua Language School
- EF International School of English
- Berlitz Language Centre
- EC Malta
- Elanguest Language School
- Executive Training Institute (ETI Malta)
- Magister Academy
- English Plus Language Centre
Local Amenities in St Julian's
You are never short of things to do in St Julian's. The Spinola Palace Gardens offer a quiet retreat during the day with breathtaking views. Portomaso marina is full of luxury yachts, restaurants and bars and from here you can get to the beach which is packed in summer with sunbathers and swimmers.
For shops you need to head to Bay Street which also offers large cinemas and a bowling alley. It was the closest Malta had to a shopping complex before The Point in Sliema, and you can get most things here from household goods to clothing.
For supermarkets there is an Arkadia supermarket close to the Hilton Hotel. However most of the local butchers and grocers often have cheaper deals and can be fresher and there are no shortages of local food shops. There is also a Lidl in San Gwann not far from St Julian's Bay.
Why not take a look at some of the property for sale in St Julian's right now?