A Guide To Malta's Shopping Districts
You don't always have to go for the obvious
With parking in Malta's go-to shopping district, Valletta, being a bit of a bitch (especially these next two days), it's always good to remember other places in Malta where you can get your shopping done. Here are eight shopping districts around the island.
Valley Road in Birkirkara sees some of the heaviest traffic on the island, but if pull up to the side of the road and go exploring, you'll find a whole bunch of quirky boutiques and great cafes.
If you're looking for some cool sportswear to improve your gym game, Eurosport and Urban Jungle are both opposite each other on Psaila Street. If it's high street fashion you're after, shops like BHS and Piazza Italia can also be found in Birkirkara. Alternatively, you can venture into the older, central part of town and get a treat of a couple of shops that have stood the test of time.
One of Malta's busiest towns, Sliema is probably one of the best places to go for shopping just because of the sheer variety it hosts within a couple of square kilometres. Zara, Topshop, Springfield, New Look, Armani, Guess, Hilfiger, Mango, Springfield, Lacoste...with anything from high street to hot couture, Sliema has two of Malta's biggest retail malls (Plaza and The Point) a couple of hundred metres away from each other.
It also boasts some gorgeous harbour views only a stone's throw away. Just don't forget to allocate enough time for parking if you're making plans.
The town's shopping district is the (confusingly named) Żabbar Road, Fgura. One of those long roads that starts in one locality and ends in another, here you'll find everything you can ever want, from tattoo parlours, to health shops and everything in between.
Żabbar Road has a couple of local fashion boutiques all next to each other, and it actually starts with Galleria Shopping Centre, where you can find JB Stores and one of the biggest Tal-Lira shops on the island.
With its imposing, record-breaking great dome, Mosta takes the same approach with its architecture as it does with shopping. Apart from having some cool outlets like Distorted Clothing, it also has more conservative retail shops like Centro Moda.
The one kilometre uphill that is Constitution Street is filled to the brim with every kind of shop. This happens to also be a great place to experience the seamless blend of old and new that has become synonymous with many localities around Malta.
Apart from having one of the largest church per kilometre densities in Malta, Ħamrun has seen a rapid increase in boutiques, and its central location will only help it stay on people's radar in the future. As a bonus, Ħamrun has a long list of great local places to stop at for a snack in between shopping sprees.
As soon as Fgura's Żabbar Road comes to end, Paola (also known as Raħal il-Ġdid) kicks things off with their roadful of shops. Never mind that Paola's pjazza actually starts with Main Street shopping complex where you can find Mango, Accessorize, Debenhams, Peacocks and Pull & Bear amongst many others; this whole locality is full of one-off shops along the way.
7. The Airport
Most people might only visit the airport on their way out of the country, but MIA has got its own fair share of shopping to offer. And with SkyParks now adding even more life to an already bustling area, the airport has become a mini shopping district in its own right.
8. Rabat, Gozo
Malta's tiny sister island is much quieter than the mainland, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to see or do in Gozo's capital. Rabat's Arkadia is one of the country's oldest shopping centers and always sees tonnes of people. But with places like the outdoor market and The Duke Shopping Mall all just up the road, Rabat is definitely a shopping district to look out for.
Of course Valletta has to be mentioned in this list. Even with its parking shortcomings, Valletta offers a wide variety of shops, from the most popular names in fashion to a record store claiming to be the oldest in the world. Shopping centers like The Savoy and The Embassy Complex are all a short walk away from each other, and with all the shops found on practically every corner, Republic Street is one of the go-to shopping districts in all of Malta. The Grand Harbour peeping out of Valletta's narrow alleys every now and then is really just the icing on the cake.