10 Best Things to Do in Male

10 Reasons to Visit Maldives Metropolis

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Updated December, 2023

Malé for most visitors to the Maldives is nothing more than a urban spot on an untouched horizon, and the capital is usually used as a transit point to the five-star luxury resorts of the archipelago.

For others, a one-day excursion is enough to suppress the curiosity that arises when a lego-brick metropolis grows out of the ocean for a moment before landing on the nearby Hulhulé island.

But for those looking for a real glimpse of life for one-third of the Maldives, a longer look at the brim-filled city - often called the Manhattan of the Indian Ocean - is an obvious necessity.

Here are the top 10 offers - from the unusual to the main - for your visit to Malé.

1 Visit the Markets

While an excursion to the local market is must on the bucket list of any traveler, the fish and fruit markets in Malé will give you an understanding of life on atolls that is difficult to obtain elsewhere in the Maldives.

Located a stone's throw from Jumhooree Maidan, the fish market is the vibrant heart of the Maldivian fishing industry, from which the country depended for centuries before the advent of tourism. Outside, you can see fishermen returning from the sea and carrying their catch across the busy street (most often tuna), which will then be weighed and sold.

In the harbor opposite, the fleet of fishing dhoni boats crowded, gently strewn with wash lines and tired fishermen, tired after a week of plowing on the huge fishing grounds of the country.

Next to the fish market, the only fruit market in the country showing small (in quantity) but sweet products of Maldivian agriculture. Mango, papaya, guava, bananas, watermelon and, yes, coconuts and dried fish, all this can be bought here. . READ MORE

2 Historical Attractions of Paradise

The place of kings and sultans for nearly 900 years, Male has many stories on this theme. On arrival, from the airport you can take a stroll along the Boduthakurufaanu Magu - named after the winner over the Portuguese in the 16th century, and then through Sultan Park to Jumhooree Maidan (republic square), that marks the Sultanate's finale in 1968.

From here, you are not far from the national museum, the Friday mosque of the 17th century Hukuru Miskiiy, and Muleeaage is a colorful presidential residence.

Official guides are registered with the Ministry of Tourism, or can be recommended by your hotel or guest house. The city of contrasts, and even more exciting for an exciting excursion, the Maldivians are proud of their history and always strive to share facts with guests. READ MORE

3 Enjoy Local Food

Water Villa

Maldives is envious of the whole world thanks to the abundance of marine life and white sandy beaches with fringed palm trees, but not these resources have helped to achieve the country's culinary grandeur. Isolated in tropical seas, Maldivian cuisine for most of its history had to rely on the creative marriage of coconut and tuna. However, these restrictions have resulted in at least one dish that can be found and tried anywhere.

Mashuni roshi consists of from tuna, coconut, and chili peppers in combination, which may not be to everyone's liking - but works great. An appetizing dish eaten with roshi (thin bread like chapati) and a bonus in the form of fried eggs is the best way to start the day in the Maldives. Available almost everywhere, the 'kada' cafe in central Malé cooks different types of this culinary treasure, and is also very cheap.

Between four and six o'clock, Malé stands still for a ‘hedhika’ - a snack - which combines a creative buffet of snacks, where you will find tuna, coconuts, potatoes, and eggs.

More curious gourmets should head to the mobile 'Gaadiya' stands, which are sprinkled with streets along the Boduthakurufaanu Magu in the south of the island. The most delicious from the menu of Maldivian street food, which you should try here - ‘mas kashi’ - a mixture of dried fish, coconut, and mango. Fresh kurumba (coconut) should always be at hand for those who find Rihaakaru (Maldives response to marmite) too sharp . READ MORE

4 Rent a Motorbike

Rent a Motorbike

After you visit Malé for an even short period of time, you will find that mopeds are more than a mode of transport - the capital has 40,000 motobikes registered for 130,000 of its inhabitants.

With temperatures at the mark applied 30 degrees year round, walking is not the best mode of travel, approved by many. Combined with a lack of open spaces, motobike has become a major leisure activity with leisurely trips.

You quickly make friends with Malé, taking a motorcycle tour through the winding streets of the city. With a large number of important points of interest located in the northeast of the island, a trip on motobike around less explored neighborhoods is a practical way to get a full view of life in the capital.

5 Atoll Transfers

Atoll Transfers

If you really want to get a real sense of life on the islands, find out before the force and life of the ocean. As the capital - and the official entry point to the Maldives - Malé remains the transport hub for everything that comes to the city by air or sea.

With 12 airports, the Maldives quickly expanded access to atolls, but there is also a national network of public ferries, which are traditionally enjoyed by islanders to get to and from the capital. Traveling by ferry to remote atolls can take days, but central atolls can be reached within a few hours.

The rapid growth of budget tourism means that today there are many opportunities for those who prefer to travel by ferry between the atolls of Malé - indeed a journey in the style of the Maldives. READ MORE 

6 How About Coffee?

Maafushi - South Male Atoll

Undoubtedly the largest urban center in the Maldives - and one of the most densely populated islands in the world - the Metropolis Malé grows only upwards, increasing the mass of high-rise buildings packed in its 6 square kilometers.

A large and increasingly young population has led to a thriving cafe culture, while social mores mean that coffee is the preferred beverage for any occasion. While the wave, ever more chic coffee continues to flood the city, none can compete with the view from the Azur rooftop restaurant at best Hotel Jen Malél.

A trip to the 11th floor of the hotel, in the country where the highest point does not exceed 2.5 meters - an excursion to the top of the Maldives. The perfect shelter from the heat, the spectacular view of the surrounding islands will soothe your heartbeat racing regardless of what you order.

7 Retreat to a Resort

House Reef Snorkeling

During your holiday in one of the many Maldive resorts, the roar of a proud life can seem millions of miles away, but the capital is actually in close proximity to a large number of luxury resorts.

The last decades saw more development of island resorts in the northern and southern atolls of the country. However, a huge number of resorts are located at a distance of less than one hour by speedboat from the centrally located archipelago of the capital, with the Kaafu atoll which can offer more than one-third of the country's resorts.

Using the more modest attributes of Malé and its surroundings as a base, late bookings and other "last minute" discounts can give you several luxurious nights within easy reach of the capital. READ MORE

8 Experience a Dive on Board a Real Submarine

Rejuvenation in the Luxury Spa

Whale Submarine is the world's deep diving largest passenger submarine currently operating in Maldives. With 50 comfortable seats, Whale Submarine is certified to dive up to 150 meters. This is an excellent opportunity especially for the non divers to visit the mysterious depths of the ocean to explore the underwater world. Experience a dive on board a real submarine which will take you below the unexplored waters of Maldives. You will experience the true underwater world of Tear Drop Reef, previously reserved exclusively for divers. Come aboard and sit back in complete safety and air conditioned comfort, while our professional crew provide you with an unforgettable experience. You may join the adventure on your departure day, provided that you have 2 to 3 hours before flight check-in. Unlike scuba diving, submarine diving is safe to experience. Read More

9 Relax on Henveiru

Romantic Underwater Dinner

Running along the eastern side of the island, Henveiru is undoubtedly the most scenic of the four beaches of Malé. Blown up, cooled by ocean breezes, rare open spaces come to life in the afternoon.

'Artificial Beach' Henveiru, while not figuratively named, offers a desired activity for residents otherwise devoid of the most important element of paradise, because of which the country is famous. In particular, on Fridays, the beach comes to life, offering ample opportunities for unruffled 'observation of people'.

The neighborhood is filled with cafes and restaurants, from which you can happily observe what is happening on the football and volleyball courts across the street.

Alternatively, you can yawn at the incomprehensible ballet of planes taking off and landing from the airport runway adjacent to the island.

As with much of Malé - the Maldives Metropolis, Manhattan in the Indian Ocean - this is something that really, as you must say, believe.

10 Explore the Reefs

Maafushi - South Male Atoll

The unique nature of the archipelago means that you are always close to the incredible beauty of coral reefs. Crystal clear waters around the capital may seem calm compared to a droning metropolis, but below the surface of the Maldives really come to life.

Snorkeling excursions and diving tours can be organized from Malé and its suburbs, with the Northern Malé Atoll representing some of the country's main diving snorkeling spots. The abundance of marine life on shallow reefs means that you can also see the magnificent variety of species without putting on an oxygen tank.

An alternative way to impress with the underwater surroundings is the local whale submarine. The sub-boat runs every 90 minutes from Malé - the Villingili canal and is usually booked through local guest houses and hotels. READ MORE

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