Sliema, the Maltese hub for shopping, cafes and restaurants
Sliema is a coastal town situated on the northeast of Malta, adjacent to St. Julians. Once the home of Malta's aristocracy; it has now become a major commercial area, very popular for shopping, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Sliema acquired its name from a chapel dedicated to The Our Lady of The Sea (or Stella Maris) built in 1855, which served as a reference point to the fishermen who inhabited the area. The name is linked to the opening words of the Hail Mary prayer, which in Maltese are "Sliem Għalik Marija". Sliem is the Maltese word meaning peace or serenity. Sliema is quite a large residential town with a population of around 15,000 locals; housing also a significant number of expatriates that reside there temporarily.
Sliema was once a quiet fishing village, a minor summer resort that hosted the wealthier Valletta residents. The 19th century, however, saw the development of Sliema; it quickly grew into a residential area, adjoining to neighbouring St. Julians. Elegant villas and town houses, as well as many Victorian buildings were built by the British along the promenade overlooking the rocky coastline.