The PV Experience

Written by Kurt Aquilina

Malta is known for its nightlife and so it treats it as one of its main exports when it comes to tourism. In fact, the first thing every foreigner in their 20s who’s been to Malta mentions whenever you speak about the island is the word ‘Paceville’ or PV in short. In today’s article, we’ll be having a look at what goes on during an evening at the notorious Paceville.

Paceville is a part of the town called St. Julian’s and constitutes as one of Malta’s tourism hotspots: both for its nightlife and also its hospitality and catering industry. Having been around since the 1960s, Paceville has evolved from being a quiet hotel and casino area, to Malta’s entertainment hub. Bars, clubs and nowadays strip clubs can be found everywhere in Paceville and one would definitely be spoilt for choice if you’re looking to dance the night away.

Paceville in December is not very different than the rest of the year. People still dance and they also drink a lot. My friends and I enjoy both and tonight was no exception. I decided to start my evening early, getting off at St. Julian’s at around 8.30PM. I stepped into one of Paceville’s side streets, seduced by the smell of pizza coming from an Italian place which looked like a Mafia hangout, but at the same time, brought back so many drunken memories from my past. I just knew I had to kick it off with a slice of sausage and fries pizza, so I made my way to the restaurant and called my band of misfits to check if I could tempt any of them into feeling that same nostalgia I had felt a few minutes before.

Once the pizza was eaten, we met up to start our weekly routine. We went to a low-key bar on the outskirts of Paceville to each start with a round tray of random shots. The barman who worked there recognised us, having done this a million times by now. We took the trays to our table and toasted to a great night. The bar was empty except for us, brave drinkers preparing for a war with our livers.

The thing about Paceville is, despite its small size (compared to other countries) one can find any type of entertainment desired. In our tour of the place we got a piece of everything, all in one night.

We visited another bar which had much more people and a billiards table too. It looked just like your cliché American bars from the ‘70s. We played a couple of rounds while having a few beers as more of our friends began to come into the picture. By now, half of the guys were already fooling around and the girls were no longer shy. That was the signal for us which meant it was time for stop number three.

We had now become a crowd, parading through Paceville’s streets, a few holding onto each other already. We entered one of our favourite clubs, a place jam-packed with language school students and possibly more foreigners than locals. From shots to beer, onto pitchers now and so, we made our way towards the furthest bar in the club and ordered the most common alcoholic drink around, Vodka mixed with RedBull, which is also the cheapest around too. Clubs like this are great to make friends with the DJ. So we went towards the DJ stand to request some tunes and pull the birthday prank where we would tell him to announce that one of our friends was celebrating his birthday, even though he wasn’t.

The last stop of the night in our Tour de Paceville was actually the highlight of the night. Being regulars at this club, we had made an enormous amount of friends whom we met every time we visited. After waiting for the few who looked like they were underage to have their IDs’ checked, we entered what is advertised as the ‘hottest club in Paceville’. The place was lit up with Christmas decorations which seemed appropriate for the time of year, but not as much for the hip hop and RnB music which was playing. Like commuters looking for a seat on a train, we squeezed ourselves towards our usual place. As if we hadn’t spent enough money, this place was the place to have our grand finale. It was where we would buy a whole bottle of booze to recreate our very own ‘last supper’ kind of celebration, ‘last’ for the night of course. The celebration turned festive as the DJ began to play Christmas music and one could hear most of the people in the club singing along and raising their glasses in the air.

After most of us had disappeared, our remaining friends and I downed our glass and carried it outside with us as a token of the great night we had just experienced. To add to our tradition, we then got ourselves a couple of one-euro burgers from a burger joint across the road. As I sat down eating what tasted like heaven at that time, I could see the Paceville lights still shining brightly as though the night would never be over. Unfortunately, ours was surely done and we grabbed a taxi back home to sleep, leaving our hangovers to be dealt with the next day. 

Despite our drinking, we did do a lot of dancing, which is Paceville’s main purpose after all. Paceville has been put under quite some pressure after the mass critique of its rapid increase in ‘Gentlemen’s clubs’ and shisha bars. However, it remains Malta’s largest landmark when it comes to a variety of music clubs and bars, which we must admit, do make the best nights out. That was all we have for you today… We’d love to hear about your experiences in Paceville!