Go On A Pub Crawl
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Malta’s shores are crammed with different daytime activities. Thanks to the sun and sea you could stay for a month and not get through a fraction of the list of possibilities. But what do you do when the sun goes down? Why, you hit the pub of course, or if you want to make a proper night of it, you hit several of them.
The good news is that there’s certainly no shortage of choice on Malta. It has hundreds of pubs and bars that run the whole gamut of styles from the hearty, rough and ready ‘serious drinking’ holes to somewhere hip, cool and sophisticated with sleek and stylish décor.
Perhaps the best place to start any Maltese pub-crawl is in the capital city, Valletta. The picturesque and recently renovated Valletta Waterfront contains a line of different bars in which you can happily stop for a pint or two of the local brew and sip it in front of one of the best and most iconic views in Europe – the Grand Harbour. Once you’ve worked your way along the waterfront, it will be time to venture up the hill and into the city itself.
In and around the centre you’ll find several traditional bars with their trademark billiard tables and stale beer smell, through to more modern fashionable establishments, where you’re bound to meet Malta’s more trendy residents.
Of course, no pub-crawl in Valletta worthy of the name will miss out Oliver Reed’s final drinking place. Known simply as The Pub, this is the very place where the actor and notorious drinker and hell-raiser passed away at the end of another marathon session. It has become a Mecca among pub-crawlers the world over and is right in the heart of the city in Archbishop Street and one not to miss.
The other obvious venue for a pub crawl is Malta’s party hotspot, Paceville, with its wide range of bars and clubs aimed at the younger crowd. The venues’ names change as often as the fashions but although they might be called something different each time you come to Malta, there are always plenty to choose from.
The odd one mixed in among them have survived the rigours of time though, such as Ryan’s Irish Pub and Footloose Fun Bar. These drinking establishments are part of the furniture in Paceville but should provide you with at least two consistent points of reference for the next time you return.
Other pub crawl venues to consider are the Sliema sea front, the historic Three Cities, and the tourist bars of Bugibba to the north of the island. However, those after a proper Maltese drinking experience, need to head out to the sticks and ‘crawl’ around one of the local villages. It may be a short crawl, there may only be two bars, but it will certainly be an interesting one!
The reason is that villages on Malta tend to have a bar dedicated to each of the island’s two political parties. In larger villages you might also find bars for each of the village’s highly competitive band clubs too. They’re quite welcoming, friendly places though most tourists are scared off by their exclusively local looking nature. Inside they serve small snacks like chicken wings, bread, or snails free of charge while you drink. The only thing you have to do, especially if you nip in during the run up to an election is make sure your shirt is not in the colour of the opposition party!
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