Top 11 Attractions In Male Maldives In A Day

Feature Page for Attractions in Male Maldives. Regulus at the sign of Maldives

Male is the capital city of the Maldives, on the southern edge of the Kaafu Atoll, which includes North Male Atoll. It is the most populous and urbanized area in the Country. Today I will give you an overview of the top 11 attractions in Male Maldives for a day tour.

Before diving into the luxury resorts and Maldives excursions, I recommend you also spend a day or so in this city. Especially, if you are interested in historical landmarks, cultural experience, and local life, you would not want to miss the attractions in Male Maldives.

All the attractions in Male Maldives are within walking distance. In fact, you could round the city for around 2 hours given it the land area is only around 2.2 square kilometres.  Because of its compact size, a day or even half is abundant for you to explore all the top 11 attractions in Male Maldives.

And most of them are free, making them suitable for traveling Maldives on a budget. Whether you are traveling to the Maldives solo, with your family, or on a honeymoon, the Males offers a variety of experiences as your first stop.

Velana international airport to Male

Velana International Airport is the busiest and most well-connected airport in the Maldives. It is also your first stop before beginning all the things to do in Male Maldives. Upon arrival at the Velana International Airport, you can easily find the sign for public ferries to Maldives. The white ticket booth is just near the pier.

Booth for the public ferry to make. Starting point of the 11 attractions in Male Maldives
The Booth for the public ferry To Male

The ferry ride costs USD 1 or 15 MYR per ride. I recommend paying in USD, as the exchange rate in the airport is 10% worse than that of Male. The staff will refund you in MYR if there is any exchange required. You may want to keep some small USD notes during your visit.

The boat ride is around 10 minutes to Male. The schedule from Velana International Airport to Male is every 15 minutes from 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM or 30 minutes from 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM.

Male Maldives Attraction 1: Male Local Market

Starting from the airport ferry terminal, you can reach Male local market by walking east along the coast. The local market in Male is a vibrant and bustling hub. There you can yourself in the lively atmosphere and experience Maldivian daily life. With around 3 to 4 large warehouses, you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, fish, dried fish, and other local products there.

Exploring the Male Local Market provides an opportunity for you to engage with the local community. Don’t be shy to have a chat with the locals. Maldivians are very welcoming and enthusiastic about sharing their culture.

First attraction Male Maldives - Male Local Market with assorted dried fishes
The Male Local market with assorted dried seafood

Particularly, I would recommend the assortment of fish brought in by local fishermen and processed there to you. They have a lot of variety including tuna, reef fish, prawns, and even crabs.  I bought a couple of dried tunas there at 2 US dollars per pack. They are super tasty with a hint of smokiness. That’s the best valued purchase in my Maldives trip given Maldives is very famous for its sea products.

You don’t need to pay any entrance fee to enter the local market. Based on its variety, local culture, and pricelessness, I would put that as the first stop for visiting the attractions in Male Maldives

Male Maldives Attraction 2: Stingrays Watching

Finish sightseeing at the Male local market? Make sure you do miss the stingrays watching. The spot for the stingrays watching is just at the pier outside the local market. There you will find dozens of stingrays swimming near the seawall. Sometimes you may even find a couple of sea turtles there attracted by the fish by-products thrown away near the local market.  It is a great chance for you to take a photo there with the crystal-clear water and the marine life there for free. If you are unsure of the exact location, type in “Stingray Watching” on Google Map.

Stingrays watching points near the Male Local Market
Dozens of stingrays near Male Local Market

Male Maldives Attraction 3: Fish Market

Opposite the Male local market, you will find the fish market. The fish market is one of the attractions in Male Maldives that you cannot miss for experiencing the local culture. It is the place where the locals would frequent every morning for the fresh catches from the fisherman. Thus, you would not find any souvenirs or tourist items here.

Despite that, I had a wonderful chat with a local worker there. From that, I learned that a kg of yellowfin tuna is around USD 4 which is very cheap compared to other Countries. They would usually use them for local dishes like mas huni and tuna curry or dried smoked tunas. A bit pity that the locals do not make use of them for sashimi.

The Male Fish Market - Regulus holding a big tuna fish
Male Fish Market

Male Maldives Attraction 4: The Islamic Center / Grand Friday Mosque

The Islamic Center in Male, Maldives is an iconic landmark and an important religious institution in the country. The centerpiece of the Islamic Center itself is the Grand Friday Mosque. It is one of the largest mosques in the world. While it offers a place for worshipping, it also has an Islamic library for housing different Islamic literature and a center tower for visitors.

It is important to remember that it is a significant religious place for the locals. Although it is open for visitors, you are advised to adhere to the dress code required.

Male Maldives Attraction 5: Sultan Park

Continue to head south, you will find Sultan Park. The park features well-manicured gardens with vibrant flowers, tall palm trees, and lush green lawns.  It also offers two playgrounds called “Tree House Climb” and another one called “Spider Web Kids Park” with various colorful fishes around. Together they constitute a very peaceful and serene atmosphere, especially suitable for families with kids. Regardless of your itinerary, I would recommend you take a short break in the park before heading to the next male city attraction.

Male Maldives Attraction 6: Maldives National Museum

At the corner of Sultan Park, you will find the Maldives National Museum. The museum features a wide range of exhibits that highlight the history, archaeology, art, and cultural traditions of the Maldives. If you would like to know more about the history of Maldives, it is a recommended place to go.

Front door of Male Maldives National Museum
The National Museum

However, it is worth mentioning that it is a small museum. Other than that, the entrance price between local citizens (1 USD) and foreigners (10 USD) seems quite unfair to me. You will also need to pay another 1 USD for photo taking.  In that, I would advise you to have a check on the comments on Google Map before deciding whether you want to go or not.

Male Maldives Attraction 7: The Old Friday Mosque (Male Hukuru Miskiy)

Also near Sultan Park, the mosque’s history dates back to the 17th century (since 1675) and is one of the oldest mosques in the world. The mosque is built entirely of coral stone, intricately carved with geometric patterns and ornamental details reflecting the unique architecture of Islamic and Maldivian architectural styles. If you are not a Muslim, you could only walk around the graveyard outside given with appropriate dress code.

This is probably one of the most historical must-go attractions in Male Maldives.

The oldest attractions Male Maldive - front door of the Old Friday Mosque
Old Friday Mosque since 1675

Male Maldives Attraction 8: Mulee-aage (Palace)

Opposite the Old Friday Mosque is Mulee-aage. The official palace of the president of Maldives. It has a rich history being built in 1919 and served as a home for former Sultans and royalties. While you would not be able to enter the Palace, you can still take a picture from the exterior.

The exterior of Maldives presidential palace
The exterior of Maldives presidential palace

Male Maldives Attraction 8: Tsunami Monument

Near the western end of Male, you will find the Tsunami Monument for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It was a catastrophic event on December 26, 2004. Beginning with a powerful undersea earthquake off the coast of northern Sumatra 9.1 and 9.3 in magnitude, the earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis that affected multiple countries in the Indian Ocean region. Maldives as one of the island nations with the lowest-lying experienced significant damage causing the lives of 74 Maldivians.

The monument contains 20 steel spheres representing the atolls of Maldives and the names of the 74 victims carved on the edifice. It is also located in a very tranquil park near the sea where you can find lots of adorable stray cats around.

The Tsunami Monument for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
The Tsunami Monument

Male Maldives Attraction 9: Lonuziyaaraiy Park

At the southeast corner of Male, you will find Lonuziyaaraiy Park. One of the most popular public parks in Male. Similar to Sultan Park, it also serves as a good checkpoint for taking a rest with nature. On top of that, it is also a good base point for heading to the remaining attractions in Male Maldives including the Male-Huhumale link bridge and the artificial beach.

Male Maldives Attraction 10: Male – Hulhumale Link Bridge

From the Lonzuiyaaraiy Park, you could enjoy the stunning view of The Male-Hulhumale Link Bridge. Completed in 2018, it is a significant infrastructure project in the Maldives that connects the capital city of Male with the neighboring island of Hulhumale. From there you can also take a taxi or public bus crossing the 2.1 kilometers long bridge to the island of Hulhumale. 

Male Maldives Attraction 11: Artificial Beach

At the eastern end of Male, you will find the Artificial beach. This man-made beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. With the powdery sand, turquoise water, and sunshine, it is the best place for relaxing, swilling, or simply soaking up the tropical vibe.

It’s important to note that the Maldives is a Muslim-majority country. While there are no specific dress requirements at the Artificial Beach, you should dress modestly. This means avoiding revealing or overly revealing clothing, in short, no bikini.

While it’s not comparable to the beaches in other Maldives resorts, you could experience more local culture here.

What to eat in Male

The 11 attractions in Male Maldives shall provide you with a day of Maldivian culture. Apart from sightseeing, you will also find a wide range of restaurants available in Male. If you prefer local cuisines, you could go for some local restaurants like Seagull Café House, Belle Amie Bistro, and Symphony Restaurant.

Due to the location and island nation’s nature, you would find a variety of delicious dishes that showcase the local flavors and influences from Indian, Sri Lankan, and Arabic cuisines.  It could be quite spicy sometimes but you must try the fish cuisines here especially the ones made with tuna.

If you would like a quick meal, there are also international restaurants like Marrybrown KFC and Chicking available on the island.

What to eat during or after visiting the attractions in Male Maldives
Tuna steak at Seagull Café House

Wrapping Up The 11 Attractions in Male Maldives

Exploring the top attractions in Male provides a great introduction to Maldivian culture and history. Within a single day, you can visit vibrant markets, ornate mosques, and peaceful parks, and observe local life. The sites are all conveniently located within walking distance of each other, making Male easy to experience without transportation.

Starting your day at the local fish and fruit markets puts you amidst the bustle of daily commerce. You’ll gain insight into the seafood central to Maldivian cuisine. Nearby attractions like the Grand Mosque, Sultan Park, and museums showcase Maldives’ religious and national identity. Venture to the old mosques and presidential palace to step back in centuries of Maldivian leadership.

Other than the site visits you could also enjoy the other parts of nature or local lives at  Lonuziyaaraiy Park and Artificial Beach. During the tour, don’t forget to enjoy the local restaurants for the great seafood.

Most of the restaurants offer wallet-friendly menus and attractions do not require an entry fee. Spending a day touring the attractions in Male Maldives would give you memorable exposure to this fascinating atoll nation before island retreats.

Please leave a comment to tell us how you feel about Male.

Finishing the attractions in Male Malives and buying tickets to other islands at the ferry ticket office
Ferry ticket office at Male for other islands

Regulus K

A budget travel blogger passionate about exploring different destinations worldwide, while balancing a regular 9-to-5 job.


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