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Top 10 bars to be seen in Malta

In recent years, Malta’s nightlife has seen a welcome revival as scores of stylish, new bars have sprung up in and around the ancient capital.

Explore myriad haunts within Valetta’s ancient walls, in Birgu right behind Grand Harbour Marina and St. Julian’s – the birthplace of the island’s party scene.

  1. Charles Grech Cafe & Cocktail Bar

Republic Street, Valetta

After 130 years of housing an exclusive sampling bar in the heart of Valletta, Charles Grech reopened as a chic café-bar in 2012.

Ideally located at the top of Valletta’s main street, this chic, Belle Epoque-style establishment is certainly one of the city’s highlights. A great place to go for a light lunch in the day, and the perfect place to be for the locals’ lively post-work drinks. It boasts an impressive wine, cocktail and spirit menu, with a strong emphasis on fine whiskeys. No wonder, really, since it’s long been one of Malta’s main spirit importers. Beneath the bar, there’s also a wine shop and private dining space.

  1. The Harbour Club

Barriera Wharf, Valletta

Opening just last year, this restaurant-turned-late-night-hotspot has already made a big impression on the city.

Chris Briffa, Malta’s most famous architect, has transformed this run-down fort into a contemporary three-tiered establishment, while retaining all of its original charm. It includes a bar, al fresco terrace, a dining room, and a subterranean jazz bar. Relax with a Belgian beer on the terrace and enjoy its magnificent views over the Grand Harbour.

  1. Tico Tico

Strait Street, Valletta

Since its reinvention in 2012, this characterful, upbeat little bar has been a huge hit – especially on summer weekends when it’s positively thronging with revellers.

Tico Tico has a classic style laced with sumptuous features, like pink velvet chaise longues and a few quirky trappings from the bar’s former, more notorious days. Come along to one of its live jazz nights, or simply visit for an entertaining drink and some tapas.

  1. StrEat Whisky & Bistro

Strait Street, Valetta

Buzzing and vibrant, StrEat will satisfy the most discerning whiskey lovers’ palate – and entertain anyone else simply looking for a good time.

Step down into its cave-like interior to discover a whiskey menu that’s unrivalled on the island, an enticing selection of creative and expertly executed cocktails – and excellent food on the doorstep outside. Expect a lively night – especially on Sundays when the bar draws in a younger crowd. This establishment knows how to get the party going.

  1. Electro Lobster Project

Balluta Bay, St. Julian’s

Nestled within the beautifully historic Ballutta Buildings, newly opened Electro Lobster Project (ELP) really is the place to Eat, Listen and Play.

Upstairs you’ll find a small, yet excellent menu paired with fine wine chosen for you by their knowledgeable sommelier. Downstairs is the party vibe and freely flowing home-infused spirits. Already, Electro Lobster Project has established itself as the go-to place for live music.

  1. The Quarterdeck Bar

Portomaso, St. Julians

With its distinctive nautical theme and dark leather furniture, The Quarterdeck Bar at the Hilton Malta exudes charm and sophistication.

Sip pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace looking out over the marina. Enjoy a light snack and a glass of wine from their extensive list. Or listen to live piano music and take in the gorgeous harbour views. The Quarterdeck Bar is a great place to visit before Club Twenty Two.

Tiffany’s Bar

Portomaso, St. Julians

This glamorous champagne bar and cigar room is the first of its kind in Malta. It’s the place to indulge in the finer things in life.

It’s a decadent whirl of expertly crafted cocktails and art, world-class cigars and champagne, Venchi Chocolates and Silver Tiffany platters, all topped off with a professional sommelier service and splendid terrace. Come for Friday’s Sax and Champagne jazz performance and Saturday’s Party in Red. Another good bar to visit pre-Club Twenty Two.

  1. Twenty Two

Portomaso, St. Julians

Recently refurbished, Twenty Two offers a lively atmosphere and an unbeatable bird’s eye view across the whole island.

Situated right at the top, on the 22nd floor of the Portomaso Business Tower within the marina, it’s the best place for late-night parting and finely tuned cocktails within a contemporary, stylish wine lounge setting.

  1. Del Borgo

St Dominic Street, Birgu

A stone’s throw from our Grand Harbour Marina, you’ll find this cosy wine bar nestling in the cellar of a beautiful old palace.

Once the servant’s quarters, now a stylishly refurbished chamber of dining rooms, Del Borgo’s interior still boasts all of its charming, ancient features. Expect a typically Maltese experience of fine local wines and simple yet perfectly crafted cuisine. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy an intimate drink and a delicious sharing platter for two.

  1. Il-Forn Art Gallery and Wine Bar

Triq it-Tramuntana, Birgu

This characterful, trendy wine bar doubles up as an art gallery, offering plenty to amuse the eye and palate.

You’ll soon discover that Austrian artist, owner and chef, Clemens Hasengschwandtner, does things a little differently at Il-Forn. For starters, he considers the building itself as ‘as an ongoing art project’. Each table is hand-painted with bold and quirky designs. The walls are bursting with colour as every opportunity to show of a piece of striking art is taken. And nights are lively with themed events and menus. Look forward to an extensive wine list, and an Austrian-inspired menu.

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