St Julian’s is located along the North coast of Valletta around two bays linked by a coastal road with Sliema. Once a small fishing village and summer residence to some rich Maltese families, St Julians has today been developed in a prime entertainment district. This town is bursting with activity all year round and one is spoilt for choice with things to see and do.
St Julian’s was under developed for many years because of its coastal position and fear of Muslim attacks. Remains of a roman tower can be found in this town, used as a Saracenic burial ground in its later years. A couple of tombs from the Roman period can also be found in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart Convent in Balluta, a district within St Julians.
Coastal attacks diminished after 1565 and in 1688 Spinola Palace, built by an Italian Knight Fra Paola Raffaele Spinola marked the first major coastal reclamation. The palace was used as a public place to host many entertainment events and in 1733, the Bali of the order and successor to his uncle enlarged this palace as part of his role as rector and Curator of the abbazia. Unfortunately, in 1798 during the French occupation, the palace was badly damaged by the French troops stationed in this Palace, including the mutilation of the Knights emblem on the facade of this palace.
The Dragonora Palace, positioned on a peninsula called Dragonara Point was built much later in 1830. Built at the water edge by the Marquis Scicluna, the palace commands spectacular sea views. In 1964 the Dragonara Palace was transformed in a Casino, the very first casino on the island, attracting many chic and glamorous visitors.
Spinola Bay is located in the heart of St Julians, just below Spinola Palace. The Bay is still used as a fishing area and is decorated with various traditional fishing boats and boat houses, where Maltese tradition is still upheld. Overlooking the bay, one is spoilt for choice with a vast selection of restaurants, offering different types of cuisines. Many of these restaurants have a strong italian influence and fish tends to be amongst the most popular dishes. St George’s Bay, a stroll away from Spinola Bay is a tiny sandy beach and a safe area for many young children. Although small in size, the bay is served with many facilities and surrounded by many amenities.
One of the most popular districts amongst the young is the Paceville district , an area bursting with activity all year round because of the many bars and clubs. The area is also served with many entertainment facilities including a bowling alley, cinema complex, shopping center and casinos. Just before entering Paceville, one cannot miss the Portomaso tower,a chic business district overlooking a beautiful Marina and surrounded by various elegant restaurants as well as a 5 star hotel and apartment complex.