How the reputation of Maltese localities changed

How the reputation of Maltese localities changed

It is a common Maltese trait to create associations with certain localities. In a number of cases, we form our perception of a person based on the locality he comes from. Different localities come with their own perceptions and in this article, we will discuss how these have changed. We will be having a look at some localities within Malta, and discuss their evolution as time progressed.


For quite a number of years, people living in Sliema were labelled as “tal-pepe”, referring to the fact that individuals from this part of the island tend to think of themselves as the elite, perceiving others as inferior. As time progressed Sliema’s perception changed into it being associated as the place for foreigners who could afford a certain lifestyle. Just go for a stroll in Sliema and try to overhear conversations. You would be lucky to encounter one in Maltese!

St. Julian’s

Similar to Sliema, Maltese individuals from St. Julian’s enjoyed a certain societal status. Being Maltese and having a house in St. Julian’s was one of the luxuries to boast about. Today you find practically no houses as almost all have been replaced with apartments and penthouses, and less Maltese people, due to affordability.


This locality’s evolution in terms of perception is quite intriguing. Around fifteen years ago, very few people wanted to live in Gzira, due to the negative associations with criminality and prostitution. In a nutshell, this was almost all Gzira was renowned for. Very few people would have highlighted the positive sides of Gzira. Fast forward a few years later and Gzira is treated as an extension of Sliema, where people want to buy apartments for rental investment. This is due to the fact that many foreigners coming to Malta for work or holiday, would seek accommodation in Gzira. Today, Gzira boasts some of the largest rental revenues in the country.


At some points in the past years, Valletta was associated with people of lower social status. It was not the place that many would have considered to live in, especially if they were not born there. With that said, it has in recent years, become a sought after option where property prices are also very high.

It also lacked any entertainment appeal in the past. Following the Capital for Culture initiatives undertaken in recent years, Valletta is now also perceived as an ideal place for entertainment.


This locality has always enjoyed a certain prestige and still does till this very day. People who live in Swieqi are associated with a certain class. With that said, recent cases of criminality and an influx of foreigners have made this locality less appealing.

Any other localities to mention or make reference to? Let us know in the comments section.

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