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Discover Malé

Discover Malé

The capital of the Maldives occupies its own island, and is a bustling city of over 200,000 people. It’s vibrant, colourful, and incredibly friendly, making it one of the more relaxed world capitals. It has that wonderfully laid-back island feel that visitors love. Don’t see Malé as simply a ‘stopping off’ point – take the time to explore this exciting location and you’ll find a rich culture and active nightlife. If you do need to take a breather, simply hop on a ferry to the local islands of Hulhumalé and Vilimalé for some chill-out time on the beach.

It's small enough to explore on foot, and you’ll find all of the major attractions conveniently clustered around the north shore, making it super-easy to pack everything into a couple of days’ exploring. 

This is a destination that is quite literally expanding – as more artificial land is created, Malé is getting larger, but don’t worry about getting lost: simply look for the giant flagpole in the middle of Jumhooree Maidhaan (Republic Square) and you’ll soon be able to find your way back to your hotel!

Essential Facts

Time
09:59
Date
12/6/2021
Time Zone
+05:00
Weather
°C
Language
Dhivehi, English, Arabic
Currency
Maldivian Rufiyaa
Electricity
230 V and 50 Hz
Best Time To Visit
November - April

Things To Do

Hulhumalé

Hulhumalé

Just a short ferry hop away is the chilled-out island of Hulhumalé. It’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and despite being an artificial island, has a great beach for relaxation as well as plenty of restaurants and cafés.

Republic Square

Republic Square

The heart of Malé, this huge space includes a small but beautifully laid-out park and the flagpole, which can be seen from almost every point in the city and is a great marker point to stop you from getting lost. It’s a great place to stop for a while and simply watch the world go by.

The Whale Submarine

The Whale Submarine

The waters around the Maldives are famous for their stunning marine life, including the gentle giants of the seas, whale sharks. The Whale submarine gives you a unique view of the underwater world and is well worth adding to your itinerary.

Shopping

Shopping

Shopping in Malé is a wonderful mix of bustling local markets and ultra-modern malls. To get a true sense of a Maldives market, head to the northern waterfront, where you’ll find stallholders from across the atoll selling local products. It’s a great spot to pick up a few local delicacies as well as some great tourist trinkets. 
The STO People’s Choice Supermarket is a huge outlet selling goods from all across Asia, as well as local snacks. 
Stroll through the centre of Malé and you’ll find plenty of boutiques and shops selling local crafts as well as more high-end goods, or head to the Centro Mall for more recognisable outlets. But the top of the list for great local products is Malé Local Market, which is filled with stalls offering more unusual gifts and mementoes of your trip to the Maldives.

Food and Drink

Food And Drink

Malé is packed with restaurants, cafés and market stalls selling local snacks and drinks, so you’re never far away from a culinary experience. Bear in mind that during Ramadan many restaurants and cafés are closed until sunset, so if you are travelling to the city during the Holy Month then it’s wise to plan ahead if you need food or refreshments during the day.

The food is spicy, delicious, and full of flavour, with influences from around the Asian region. Thai food is particularly popular, and because the Maldives is an atoll, fresh fish and seafood is plentiful. The simplest dishes are the best – freshly grilled fish is packed with flavour and is usually accompanied by simple rice or vegetable dishes.

Malé is a ‘dry’ city, so you won’t find any alcohol on sale, even in the hotels. However, if you want something refreshing then head to the Seagull café opposite the Sultan’s Park mosque for some of the best ice-creams you’ll find anywhere in the Maldives.

Things To Know

Visa Requirements

  • You must have a valid passport with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) enablement and a minimum of 1 month’s validity to get into the Maldives.

  • Tourist visas are issued when you arrive and last for 30 days. They are free for all visitors who have the correct documentation.

  • You will need a pre-paid hotel booking or accommodation

  • You must also have sufficient funds to cover you for the length of your stay in the Maldives.

  • You will need a confirmed return or onward ticket.

  • You may need a yellow fever vaccination certificate (check with your home embassy)

  Getting Around

  • Malé is small enough to explore on foot, and the majority of attractions are on the north shore approximately 15 minutes’ walk from the airport/ferry terminal.

  • Taxis are the most common form of public transport and charge a set rate from the city centre to the airport.

  • Buses run every 30 minutes from the airport to the neighbouring island of Hulhumalé.

  • Public buses (the Greater Malé Transport Link) run across the city and across to the adjoining islands of Hulhumalé and Hulhulé. Purchase a Touchlink card to use the buses, although they do also take cash payments.

  • Ferries run from the Hulhumalé ferry terminal to the island and the airport every 30 minutes, making this a more relaxing way of getting to and from your flight.