Things to do in Male, Maldives

What can fascinate any traveler about a compact and populated island that can be roughly covered in couple of hours on foot? For starters, the opportunity to observe local life from close quarters and meet real Maldivian people. Male, the capital of Maldives is often overlooked by travelers and neglected due to its dense population and inescapable pollution. But we are firm believers of the fact that on every corner in the world you definitely meet someone who introduces you to the unknown. So, armed with our curiosity and no mandatory “things to do” list we stayed overnight in Male and did some fun things on one of the smallest national capitals in the world.

Step away from your luxury resort and soak in some true Maldivian culture as you walk around Male, a bustling city designed in a grid pattern. Here are some interesting things to do in Male, Maldives on your next trip.

Image Credit - Nattu - Creative Commons

Visit Historical & Cultural Places of Interest:

Built in 1656, the Friday Mosque is visited by many Maldivians on a regular basis for their daily prayers. A beautiful structure with an intricately carved coral stone exterior and lacquer work along with bold calligraphy on the inside, needs prior permission from officials for a visit and appropriate dressing. Visit the public park of Male- Sultan’s Park formerly a part of the Sultan’s palace built on the royal palace grounds & later demolished. Within the park stands a three storied colonial style building-National Museum which helps one understand the roots of the local culture. The Tsunami Monument is a poignant reminder of the lives lost. The President's palace- Mulee Aage a colonial-style bungalow can be viewed only from the outside. Hire the services of a local guide and explore Male in comfortable footwear.

Explore the local fish & vegetable market:

Located near the ferry terminal, the local fish market is a must- visit. Come face to face with locals bargaining for “catch of the day”. One gets to see a variety of fish like skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, sharks, octopus and more. A riot of colors, we enjoyed chatting up locals about their fishy tales! Walk nearby to the vegetable market and try striking a bargain, just like the locals do.

Enjoy Local Cuisine:

Maldivians eat a lot of tuna and it features during all mealtimes. Relish a traditional breakfast called Mas huni made with tuna, coconut and chill paired with Roshi (chapati). Maldivian cuisine aslo features coconut based curries made with native fish species like tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi and more. Seahouse Cafe, a very popular restaurant located above the Hulhumale' Ferry Terminal offers local delights as well as international favorites with seaside views. While walking you may also stumble upon modest joints that serve local cuisine but these are not frequented by women. Do take note that no alcohol is served in Male.

Image Credit - Tati Tata - Creative Commons

Relax on the artificial beach:

The recently built artificial beach in Male offers respite to locals and tourists from the hot weather. Locals enjoy a swim in the afternoon and engage in entertainment activities during evenings. The beach is a great place to walk along the shoreline and has shaded spots to rest. We saw a lot of local people visit the beach during lunch time and enjoying their chow with unhindered views of the sea.

Visit Vilingili Island:

Escape from the busy streets of Male city to the scenic Vilingili Island, a mere 10 minute ferry ride away. Sandy streets and greenery dots open streets and one can laze on one of the two beaches. Vilingili Island also offers amazing snorkeling opportunity around the house reef. Relax on swinging undolis (similar to hammocks) just as locals do. Just near the ferry terminal are a few restaurants and cafes so you can sit back and enjoy a cuppa and gaze into blue waters. We enjoyed a hearty meal of Sri Lankan Kothu Paratha and chilled Ice Tea as soon as we landed at Vilingili. The cafes also have a variety of milkshakes/smoothies on offer that were surprisingly good!!!!

If you love adventure, participate in various activities like Scuba Diving, Snorkeling with stingrays, Sandbank trip, Dolphin watching, Night Fishing, Big game fishing and more that can be easily arranged by the hotel you choose to stay. Book yourself on of the day trip to islands like Maafushi, Ukulhas, Rasdhoo, Thoddoo, Guraidhoo or Thulusdhoo that boasts of luxurious big resorts. You package will mostly include return transfers, buffet lunch/dinner and beverages.

How Do I Get Here:

Maldives is connected with major international cities and many airlines operate on the sector. We chose Sri Lankan airlines from India with a 6 Night/7 Days break journey in Sri Lanka. You can read about all the fun we had here. Just like accommodation, airfare prices are higher during season time.

Where Do I Stay:

"The Airport Hotel", a transit hotel that can be accessed by a 10 minute boat ride from the airport.  Try looking for accommodation right in the heart of Male city so you can walk around easily. Vilingili island also offers a few choices but we preferred staying at Male as our pick up from the resort was from the airport!

Best Time To Travel:

Though the best season is from December to April, but travel during these months attract higher airfare and accommodation prices.  A visit during November to March ensures better prices but you may get some rain. We visited Maldives during the month of July and had a fabulous time at Bandos Island Resort.

Do get in touch with us on if you need more info about planning a trip to Maldives. 


  1. When i saw Maldives. it caught my attention as it is on my bucket list. it is my dream destination. after reading your blog it gave me more reasons to visit.


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