If your resort offers a trip to Malé on your Maldives vacation then it’s a real gem of an attraction.
It’s a small place and we mean small but being the size it is means that you won’t have a chance to get bored as a jam packed tour of the city keeps you on your toes!
In Malé there’s a lot to check out. And remember that this is a dry Capital so you won’t find any alcohol on Malé but you will of course on your resorts.
You can also pick up guides and leaflets from the Maldives Tourist Board Information Centre at the airport.
Here are our top attractions to look out for...
Malé Maldives History…You can check out the history of the islands starting with the National Museum of the Maldives established to preserve the history and culture of the country.
Now one of the interesting things about the National Museum is that it’s housed in the only remaining structure of the Sultan’s Palace which was destroyed in the 1960s. This three-storey colonial-style building houses an impressive collection of artefacts from the past and relics of war.
Top Tip: unlike the island resorts where you can pay in US dollars, in Malé you can only use Rufiyaa – the Maldivian currency. So change a bit at the airport before catching the boat over.
After your history lesson and culture fix check out the Islamic Centre only two minutes away from the museum.
This Malé Maldives attraction is the most startling architectural landmark on Malé.
Malé Maldives’ Friday Mosque…
The centre consists of a mosque big enough for five thousand people
(no wonder Malé is crowded – that’s enormous!) an Islamic library, conference hall, classrooms and offices. Once you walk up the steps you realise that this symbolizes the importance of Islam in the culture of the Maldives.
There’s also the Friday Mosque built in the seventeenth century (not to be confused with the newer Grand Friday Mosque). The Friday Mosque is a masterpiece of architecture with probably the best example of coral carving anywhere in the world. The walls of the mosque are hewn together with blocks of filigree-curved coral posts. Heavy wooden doors slide open to reveal the inner sanctum with hanging lamps and panels intricately carved with Arabic script.
Opposite this building you’ve the Presidential Palace. It was revamped in the eighties and this Maldives attraction now holds official functions for the government.
And if you’d like a spot of shopping…
Malé Maldives Shopping
If you’d like a spot of shopping…… Then Majeedhee Magu Street is for you. This is the main street of Malé has plenty of shops with loads of authentic local produce and also imported goods.
Check out the markets, especially the fish market. This Malé Maldives attraction is on the beach front west of Republic Square. As the main trade centre it’s a busy place.
You have fishermen arriving with their catch mainly of tuna. The fish are carried into the market place, cleaned and sold on. If you’re in Malé overnight, then towards evening you’ll see the fishermen who’ve been out all day return and unload their catches.
Just up the road is the more peaceful local market with stalls selling a variety of produce mainly from the surrounding islands. Here you’ll find bunches of bananas hanging on coir ropes from the ceiling along with different kinds of vegetables and fruits. There’s also a selection of yams, nuts, pickles, breadfruit chips and bottles of home made sweets.
The market has been in the same place for decades.
This Maldives attraction has seen little change throughout its history.
You’ll definitely get a flavour of this friendly country from your Malé walkabout.
Malé is a great city to visit and we’d recommend visiting Malé on your Maldives holiday if your resort offers it, if not there are plenty of other attractions in the Maldives.
We're always astounded that although you can walk around the whole of Malé in about 45 mins, it's one of the most densely populated cities in the world with almost 1/3 of the Maldives' population living there.
It's a great city to visit and one of the best Maldives attractions.
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