baby and child friendly holidays - Sliema, Malta

Here's a parent's eye review of

Baby Girl in the sunshine looking at leavesSliema Malta from Sarah_A, September 2009

Holiday Type: Beach holiday – sun, sea and sand
From: Sarah_A 

Your overall rating as a holiday suitable for children: 4 stars

Was it good for the kids?:

The Maltese are all about family life and it was great to go somewhere where children were welcome everywhere. Even the nicest restaurant had high chairs, and at 8 or 9pm there were still plenty of children around.

What was your accommodation?

Type: Stayed with friends/family
Name: n/a

How was the accommodation for the children?:

Accommodation suitability for children rating: n/a

Did you eat out in Silema, Malta with your children and how was it?

Eating out for children rating: 5 stars

There are loads of restaurants in Sliema and all are very welcoming for children – in Malta it is much more common to eat out as a family in the evening.

Just head for Tower Road, which is the long promenade around the coast, full of restaurants and hotels, you are spoilt for choice.

If you are going slightly further south, towards Msida, then Busy Bee is a great cafe to visit – the food is delicious and very reasonably priced. I had a huge portion of baked rice for about 6 euros and they have some lovely homemade cakes and pastries. Our toddler was fascinated with the selection under the bright lights, and the staff were more than happy to show them to him.

If you travel further afield (relatively speaking – Malta is such a small island nothing is very far away!) to St Pauls Bay then sottoZero makes the BEST ice cream on the island (and I’m not just saying that because my husband’s cousin runs it!) – poor Tom fell over on the pavement and a scoop of the Bacci ice cream stopped his tears faster than anything else could have.

Are there things to do for the children in Sliema, Malta?

Activities for children rating: 4 stars

At the north end of the Promenade the sea side is dotted with loads of children’s play areas, which our 2 year old loved but would be equally interesting for older children. Some areas even have free wi-fi access.

The south end of the road is the harbour, and Tom certainly knew what a boat was by the time we left! Lots of boat trips go from here, including the ferry to Valletta. This is the easiest way to get to the capital from Sliema – no busy buses to negotiate or car to try and park.

Valletta is mainly about history and shopping, but again there are plenty of family friendly places to eat.

A quick visit to Upper Barrakka Gardens gives toddlers a chance to run around in a safe environment, and the views are pretty spectacular.

There is no beach in Sliema, only a rather rocky area that can be used for sunbathing and for jumping straight into deep water. Although this is great fun for adults, it is not really suitable for kids. If you stay in Sliema I would definitely recommend a hotel with a swimming pool. There are beaches further north of the island, about a 20 minute drive from Sliema at either Mellieha (our favorite) or Golden Sands. Buses are regular if you fancy an adventure, but not very comfortable or air conditioned. We had rented a car, so were able to load up and spend 4 full days at the beach in Mellieha.

Any other things you think parents should know about this resort?

Everything in Malta is expensive, because it has to be imported. There are plenty of supermarkets to buy baby food, nappies and milk, but expect to pay more than normal. You are also more likely to find Italian brands than British ones.

The other thing is, apart from the promenade, the streets in Sliema (and Malta in general) are fairly narrow – this means so are the pavements. We managed with a single buggy fairly well, but had to walk in single file most of the time.

As any holiday in this region it is HOT in the summer months – even in September it was around 25 degrees most of the time (including at night) – air conditioning is an absolute must in your accommodation.

Renting a car is a great way to see more of the island but just be aware that the driving style is more Italian than English – politeness won’t get you anywhere! Bring your parallel parking skills too.

Family Holidays in Malta from Thomson:

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