The city of Male is the capital of the Maldives and also an Island set in the stunning azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Male is a great and lively city that you should see on a guided tour from whichever island you are staying.
Ideally, the chances are you will fly into the airport here and then transfer to your private resort, why not stay a night or two here first before heading off.
There are excellent sights and landmarks to be explored on sightseeing tours, but also it is here you will find the liveliest nighttime entertainment in the Maldives.
No visit to Male could be without a shopping trip, there are excellent shops, but the best places are the markets, where you get to mingle with the friendly and helpful locals.
The choice of excellent restaurants is high, serving large varieties of mouth-watering cuisine both with traditional and international flavors.
Then there are a number of varied bars, cafes, music venues and nightclubs to keep you entertained all night long. Read More...
See the Popular and Very Beautiful Hukuru Miskiyy, Friday Mosque on a Guided Tour
Within the world’s densest city, it is very easy to see the coloured skyscrapers and historic sites on walking guided tours of Male and one of the more popular places to visit is the impressive Hukuru Miskiyy, also known as Friday Mosque.
Even though Male is an Island, there are only artificial beaches. However, this is not a bad thing as they are still very beautiful. The Island has seawalls all around it as protection from rising sea levels. In fact, due to these seawalls, the damage from the 2004 tsunami was limited.
From Male, it is very easy to do day sightseeing tours to many of the other Islands in Maldives.
Top 10 Amazing Things to See and Do in Male
Male Friday Mosque
The Male Friday Mosque or also known in Maldives Hukuru Miskiyy is a great guide tour to go on. This mosque dates back from 1656 and is the oldest in the country. It is a beautiful coral stone structure with a Quranic script and intricate decoration chiseled into it. Non-Muslims are allowing into the mosque at certain times but you must be dressed appropriately and when inside you get to see a superb and elaborate interior.
National Museum Maldives
Located in the Sultan Park is The National Museum Maldives, which is another excellent place to take a guided tour. It is housed in the old palace building and has amazing collections of objects depicting the cultural heritage and history of the Maldives. The type of things to be seen include fabulous belongings of the Sultans such as costumes, paper and cloth manuscripts, armor, photographs and so much more.
Take a short boat tour to the island of Hulhumale which is actually an extension of the city of Male. It was a reef which was built up into a manmade island to relieve pressure from Male in terms of population growth. This fresh new city is worth visiting with boulevards lined with palm trees, modern shopping centres, waterfront esplanades, stunning artificial beaches and an impressive glass-domed roof mosque to name a few.
The Islamic Centre
When on a guided tour of the Friday Mosque, be sure to visit The Islamic Centre of which the mosque is part of. This building is noticeable from afar due to its fabulous golden dome. The centre stands out proudly among all the modern buildings shaping the skyline of this city and is an architectural landmark in Male. Apart from the mosque, there is a large library and conference hall to explore and admire.
Scuba diving and Snorkeling Tours
Almost everywhere in the Maldives, you can find fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling tours and that includes Male. Just off South Male is one of the best channels for diving with Reef Sharks and North Male has the best areas for whale shark encounters. North Male Atoll is one of the oldest scuba diving areas and still very popular for all the breathtaking sights underwater to be explored.
Submarine Tours Male
When you are not too confident about diving or you cannot swim but do not want to miss out on the most fabulous adventures underwater, then the ideal solution is a submarine tour from Male. This is a great experience especially if you have children over the age of 3 for all the family to do. This is a very leisurely and fascinating tour of the sights below sea level, seeing reefs and lots of tropical fish.
Fishing Day Tours, Male
Another excellent activity to do when in Male is to go on a Fishing Day Tour with one of the many fishing charters found here. All guides on these tours are experienced anglers and know the best areas to catch what you are looking to catch. There is river fishing for the opportunity to catch big fish or fly fishing for salmon or trout. Whichever fish you are going for, it is a very enjoyable day.
Fish Market Male
When in Male, an experience that should not be missed is that of the fish market in Male. This market has to be seen to be believed; there are fish of all sizes and species. The activity is much higher in the afternoon when fishermen bring in the days catch. Large fish such as tuna are laid out on tiled floors for all to see and for the locals to bid on. These are usually chefs and restaurant owners.
Local Markets and Bazaar in Male
There are many great shopping areas and modern shops but to get authentic souvenirs and local crafts, you need to visit the local markets and Bazaar. These are very entertaining experiences and best done on a guided tour to be sure you don’t get lost or possibly overcharged. All market vendors love to have fun with tourists so like to haggle a lot, don’t be afraid to take part in this, it can be a great laugh.
Maldive Victory Diving Tour
A particular diving tour to take that is unique to Male is the Wreck of the Maldive Victory. This can be challenging so only experienced divers should do it due to the possibility of strong currents. The Maldive Victory was a cargo ship that sank on the 13th February 1981, which happened to be a Friday, after hitting a reef. The ship is at laying at an angle with the propeller end deeper than the wheelhouse.
Travel Tips for Male
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the city/ Island of Male in The Maldives is, for some, from December to April. This is when there are clear skies, lots of sunshine and very little rain. However, it is the busiest time and the prices can be much higher for accommodation, meals and guided tours. For those more interested in the exploration of sea life, coral reefs and weather is not a high priority, then May to November is better suited and more affordable.
It is fair to say that anywhere in the Maldives is slightly more expensive than your average holiday destination but then this is much more than your average destination. The price of accommodation in the city of Male can start from US$60 per night in a nice hotel and rise to over US$600 in other luxury hotels. The cost of sightseeing tours to other Islands by boat varies from season to season as do the city tours of Male.
Know Before Visiting
When staying in the city of Male, the most important thing you need to know is that there is no alcohol served here, only on resort islands. When going on guided tours to the likes of the Mosque, be sure to dress appropriately. Crime is relatively low in Maldives but there is petty crime so be alert for pickpockets mainly. Unfortunately, as yet, same sex relations is not accepted here but hopefully that will change soon.
It is warm all year round in Male, the temperatures vary little throughout the year. The hottest month is April with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and the coldest month is September when the average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius. March has the most sunshine hours in a day. The wettest months of the year are July, September, October and November and the driest months are January, February and March.