Malta Nightlife

Malta nightlife is vibrant and easy to find on both Gozo Island and Malta Island. You will find everything from night clubs in Malta to discos and open air venues. There are even casinos on both islands. Do note that the open air venues are seasonal, and generally operate only from late spring until about October.

On the larger island, virtually all of the Malta nightlife is found on the eastern coast around Valletta in the south up to Mellieha in the north. In between, the most happening spots are in St Julians and its neighborhood of Paceville—this area is known as the capital of nightlife in the country.

It is the nightlife in Paceville that is the most intense and most famous. Although there are a number of hotels and clubs in Valetta, the majority of the beach resorts are Paceville hotels, and nightlife in Paceville can be found in many of them. It was the redevelopment of this area with the establishment of 5 star luxury hotels such as the Hilton and Sheraton in the 1960s that began the area's fame as a destination for vacations. Today, one of these luxury hotels (the Westin) also has a popular independently operated casino—the Dragonara Palace Casino. The Dragonara is the former palace residence of a wealthy banker, and was built in 1870. It is set far out on a point guarding the bay, and looks a bit like a citadel. There is nightly entertainment here as well as traditional casino games. There is also an excellent restaurant with gourmet dining. Other nightlife in Paceville includes a large number of music bars and discos offering every kind of music from rave and trance to hip hop and heavy metal.

Part of the St Julians Malta nightlife includes another casino located on the point just south of the Dragonara. But much of the nightlife outside of the Paceville neighborhood is more subdued, with smaller pubs and a few music bars versus large rave night clubs.

One of the oldest and most famous night clubs in Malta is rather surprisingly located in city of Rabat, on the east side of the island where there are very few hotels and where few tourists spend more than a night. The Gianpula is the largest dance club in the country, and is set beneath the historic medieval walled city of Mdina in an old farmhouse with extensive grounds. It's been providing great music and dancing for residents and visitors alike since 1980. With seven bars and lounges, a large open-air venue, state of the art sound system, and a capacity of 4,000 party goers, it is similar to the famous clubs of Ibiza. In fact many of the world's top disc jockeys have both the Gianpula and Ibiza clubs on their tour itineraries. You don't have to worry about drinking and driving, as there is extra early morning bus transportation from the various clubs to hotels all over the island, and taxis are happy to accommodate small groups sharing the cost.

Malta nightlife on Gozo Island is much more subdued. However, this island is becoming more and more popular and there are a couple discos here. These are primarily concentrated around the town of Marsalforn and the capital city of Victoria (also known as Rabat). La Grotta is one of the open air night clubs in Malta and is located in the lovely Xlendi Valley outside of Victoria. It provides a stunning natural backdrop for the light shows during evening parties. Look also for the higher end Gozo hotels for some evening entertainment, as many of these will offer live music in their lounges.

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