Overlooking Marsamxett Harbour, the upscale Ta’ Xbiex is Malta’s diplomatic quarter. It’s particularly notable for its number of embassies and high commissions, all housed in ocher-colored grand villas and palazzi along an enclave of private mansions.
A seaside promenade runs from St Julian’s to Pieta, passing Ta’ Xbiex marina, where sleek yachts bob in their berths. Along the walkway there are spectacular views over the harbor towards Valletta and the bastions of Floriana as well as a number of quality seafood restaurants. Standout among these is The Black Pearl, a wooden schooner dating from 1909 and now transformed into a fine-dining restaurant. Most visitors come independently or sail by the area on sightseeing cruises.
Things to know before you go
- Ta’ Xbiex is a must-visit for photographers, particularly around sunset.
- Come hungry: the seafood restaurants are worth the visit alone.
- Most of the area is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.
How to get there
Ta’ Xbiex is located along Marsamxett Harbour, between Valletta and Sliema, on the side of Msida Creek. Finding parking is not an issue here if you have your own car; otherwise, you can take buses #12, #1, or #21 from Valletta Station. The journey takes around 15 minutes.
When to get there
The best time to visit Ta’ Xbiex is around sunset, when the sky often turns beautiful hues of saffron. It’s also a good time to come if you want to grab dinner; note that Maltese tend to eat dinner a little later than in English-speaking countries, you shouldn’t have a problem grabbing a table.
While you're in the neighborhood, make sure to spend some time exploring Marsamxett Harbour, if for no other reason than to people-watch: the harbor is home to the largest yachting marina in the country, and gets plenty of activity. While in the area, also check out Fort Manoel, an 18th-century baroque fort on an island in the middle of the harbor.
- Msida Marina
- Marsamxett Harbour
- Malta 5D
- St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Spazju Kreattiv)
- National Museum of Archaeology, Malta
- Lascaris War Rooms
- Auberge de Castille
- St. John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta' San Gwann)
- Teatru Manoel
- Port of Valletta
- Valletta Waterfront (Pinto Wharf)
- Upper Barrakka Gardens
- Grandmaster's Palace
- Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck
- Grand Harbour