An essential guide to the very best things to do in and around Male.
The Maldives has now become one of the most popular islands/beach destinations in the world replete of points of interest. People from all over the world have been flocking down to this gorgeous island country throughout the months. Being located in the tropics, the Maldives do not really have an off-season for visitors but keep in mind it tends to get blistering hot in the summer months, not something a dip in the ocean might not cure you of. Male, the capital of the Maldives, is very densely populated and is known for its plenty of tourist attractions including mosques, colorful buildings, and bustling markets. Some of the most prominent places to visit in Male include the Male Friday Mosque and the National Museum.
Here's the list of best things to do in Male:
1. Visit the Male Friday Mosque
This mosque is one of the most beautifully ornamented and decorated mosques in the city of Male. People from all over the country come here to worship. The white building looks stunning in contrast with the blue skies with its golden dome peeking out.
2. Explore the National Museum
Male has had a number of Islamic monarchs through the years. There was a time when the Maldives also had an era of Buddhism. All of this has been recorded through antiques which are now displayed at the National Cultural Museum. A visit here is sure to give you an insight into the glorious past of this country.
3. Marvel at the Munnaaru
This roughly translates to Minaret. It is a structure that stands tall alongside the Male Friday Mosque. It is known for its expert coral carvings and lacquer work. It also is in the colors of white and blue which now seems to be a theme.
4. Visit the Islamic Centre
This Islamic Centre is known to be an architectural landmark in the city. It was built by the President in 1984 to honor the Maldivian heroes. The Male Friday Mosque and the Munnaaru lie within the boundaries of the Islamic Centre.
5. Observe the locals at Fish Market
It is known to be the soul of the city. You really should not miss a chance to visit. It is a great spot to observe the locals interact with each other and hence learn a bit more about their culture and how they live their life. You usually would not see many Maldivian women around in this area.
6. Travel on the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge
This structure was built to bridge the distance between Male and Hulhule. The bridge sure has made it convenient for the tourists to drive into Male from the International Airport at Hulhule. This bridge is built over the open sea, and the concrete has now been planted in the seabed.
7. Enjoy at the Artificial Beach
This little crescent beach was especially popular among the locals where they would come to dip their feet into the refreshing waters, whenever they had the time for a break. It is a great spot to hang out with your friends after a long day and get rid of all the stress.
8. Click pictures at the Muleeaage
This stunning piece of architecture was built as a palace of the sultan which then got converted into government offices and now is known as the president’s residence. You will also see the colors of white and blue predominantly used.
9. Visit the Medhu Ziyaarath
This tomb is located in the eastern wing of the Muleeaage. It was built in the memory of Abul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary. It is believed that he was the one who brought Islam to the country in 1153.
10. Shop at the Produce Market
Another market that is very important to the local is this one. Here, you are sure to get an authentic Maldivian experience. People from all over the country gather here to sell their home-grown vegetables. The coconuts and bananas are the most delicious ones you will ever eat.
11. Grab a chance to visit the Old Friday Mosque
It is the oldest mosque in the city. It is famous for its beauty and the Quranic script that has been carved onto the stone. It is itself made from coral stone. It is widely known for its decorations and a Quranic script that has been chiselled into the coral. Usually, tourists have to take permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to enter the mosque.
12. Relax at the Sultan Park
This park has more sand than it has grass, but nevertheless, it is a great place to relax and recuperate after a long day of sight-seeing. Numerous trees have been planted here, and the shade is a respite from the bright sunlight shining down on you.
13. Enjoy the food at Seagull Café House
It is a double-storeyed building with a quaint garden downstairs and a first-floor terrace. They have an extensive menu for you to choose from. They have some of the most delicious curries, fish, and grills. It is an excellent place for you to have a nice brunch with your friends.
14. Indulge your sweet tooth at The Gelateria
Right next to the Seagull Café is this place that is said to serve the city’s best ice cream. It is the best way to cool yourself down after a long day in the heat. This tends to be the best place for dessert around the area.
15. Have a sumptuous meal at Royal Garden Café
This café is located in the best living example of ganduvaru which means a nobleman’s house. They serve the best combination of dishes from different cuisines like Italian, Indonesian, American, and Indian. They are very popular for their delicious satay chicken and nasi goreng.
You ought to visit Male whenever you get a chance in your life. People always think of beaches and resorts when they talk about the Maldives, but it has so much more to offer. The culture is an amalgamation of a number of religions and ethnicities.
Their culture has influences of the south-east Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia and also its proximity to India, really has influenced the cuisine of the Maldives. Not only is Male stunning in an aerial view, with the colorful buildings dotting the island but also is stunning by land in terms of the scenery as well as the people that make up the community.