Find out what to do, where to eat, how to get to Male and much more.
Male or Malé, is the biggest city and the capital of the Maldives. There, you will find buildings, offices, shops, restaurants, mosques, and you will see Maldives in a completely different way than you are used to.
Male Island is a cool place to visit if you want to understand better how a Maldivian way of life looks like, and what is the best place to find ferries and speedboats to go to other islands.
Where is Male, Maldives?
The city of Male is located in the Kaafu Atoll, right next to the airport’s island (Hulhumale).
Check it out Male on the map:
Dress code in Male
As we mentioned in our Maldives complete guide, since Islam is their official religion they have some specific laws that are applied on the inhabited islands.
And in the case of Male, which is the most populated island in the archipelago, the dress code is more restricted than other islands so make sure you cover chest and thighs there.
Is Male worth visiting?
If you are looking for an immersion into the Maldives culture and history, my answer is yes. Bear with us until the end of this article as we will soon share with you some tips of what to do in Male.
How long should I stay in Male, Maldives?
2 days sightseeing around is more than enough in my opinion, but if you decide to take day tours leaving from Male, then it makes more sense to stay longer.
Transportation in Male
How to go from Maldives International Airport to Male Island?
The Velana International Airport (airport code: MLE) isn’t located in Male as most people think.
A nearby island called Hulhumale is where the Maldives International Airport is actually located.
You can go from Maldives International Airport to Male by ferry, by bus or by car.
Back when I was in Maldives (April/2018), the only way to reach Male from the airport was by ferry or speedboat.
I preferred to take the ferry because they run it very frequently and it is super cheap, I paid only MRV 5.50 (less than US$0.50) at the time.
They have ferries leaving from the airport every 10 minutes from 6am to 11:59pm and every 30 minutes from 00am to 5:59am.
In August 2018, a 2.1km long bridge called Sinamalé Bridge was built, and now travellers can go from the airport to Male island by car and by bus in an approximately 15 minutes ride.
Important! Please note that speedboats, ferries and buses may drop you off in different points of the island.
From Male to Maafushi
To go from Male to Maafushi you can take a speedboat or a ferry.
In case you go by ferry to Maafushi, you need to take the Route 309 (K. Guraidhoo – Male City).
According to the MTCC’s website, the ferry cost is MRV 22 (less than US$2) and the ferry runs on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 3pm. This is the cheapest option.
You may take a look on the updated schedule and price of the route here.
For speedboats you may contact your accommodation to arrange the speedboat for you or ask them to give you the company’s number.
The speedboats work everyday, the cost is usually about US$25 and it takes approximately 35 minutes to get to Maafushi from Male.
From Male to Rasdhoo, Ukulhas or Thoddoo
You can take a ferry or speedboat to go from Male to Rasdhoo, Ukulhas or Thodhoo.
The ferry route is the 303 (Aa. Thoddoo – Male City), and the fare according to MTCC’s website is MRV 53 with is less than US$4.
The ferry leaves from Male on Mondays and Thursdays at 9am, and leaves Rasdhoo on Wednesdays and Sundays at 11am. Check it out the updated schedule and cost here.
Speedboats take about 1 hour to get from Male to Rasdhoo and cost about US$35.
You may check with your accommodation the speedboat’s contact or ask them to arrange the ride for you.
From Male to Dhigurah
The best way to go from Male to Dhigurah is by speedboat.
The ferry takes about 4 hours to get there and the cost isn’t too different from the speedboat’s cost which is about US$35.
Important! Bear in mind that the ferries don’t work on Friday as it is the muslim holiday.
Taxi in Male, Maldives
You can go around Male island by taxi, but I gotta confess that I had two frustrating episodes there.
Some taxi drivers don’t like to carry luggage that much, they say that it may damage their cars seats or trunks, so they often just pass by you once they see it.
I was able to get a ride both times from locals in motorbikes who offered me help, but this is because I had a backpack and not a suitcase.
Luckily there are always amazing Maldivians out there to help us out =)
LMTM Tip: If possible, ask a local how much it should cost to go from place A to place B before getting a cab. This way you will have an idea of the average price and drivers won’t be able to take advantage of you.
Things to do in Male, Maldives
If you are wondering where to go in Male, here is a list for you:
The main attractions in the city of Male
Grand Friday Mosque
The Grand Friday Mosque is the biggest mosque in Maldives. It is quite impossible not to pass by it while walking in Male. In my opinion this is the highlight of the island.
I didn’t have enough time to get into the mosque, but it definitely seems to be worth it checking it out.
Right next to the Grand Friday Mosque you will find the Victory Monument which represents the victory of the Maldivians against an attack they suffered in 1988.
Sultan Park & National Museum
The small public park called Sultan Park and the National Museum are both located where once it was the royal palace of the Sultan of Maldives.
The park is a nice place to chill under a shade or to take your kids (if you have) to play.
In the museum you will find historical artifacts.
The Tsunami Monument was built to remember the victims of a tsunami that hit Maldives in December, 26th of 2004.
If you want to deep dive into the Maldivian culture, check the local market out.
There you will find curious fruits such as this one, called Hala Fruit.
Day Trips departing from Male, Maldives
There are several day trips that you can take during your time in Male.
Here is a list of some of the activities available:
- Scuba dive
- Dolphin sunset cruise
- Snorkeling, dolphin watching , fishing & barbecue trip
- Island Hopping
- Day visit to a resort island
Dive Club Maldives offers daily trips leaving from Male, you may take a look at all the tour options they have in their website.
LMTM Coupon: Our readers have a 10% off discount in the tours and dives operated by Dive Club Maldives.
Where to eat in Male
You can find nicer places to eat in Male when compared to other islands.
Here is a list of some well recommended places to eat there:
- Belle Amie Bistro
- Sala Thai Restaurant
- Seagull Cafe House
- City Garden
- The Sea House
Where to shop in Male
Maldives isn’t the best place for shopping.
But if you are just looking for souvenirs, you can find them at STO Trade Centre which is a building with some stores, or you can also go to the corner between Chaandhanee Magu and Majeedhee Magu where there are several gift shops on the streets.
Where to stay in Male
Hotels in Male, Maldives
There are several hotels to stay in Male, here are our suggestions for you:
Samann Grand is a nice hotel near the beach in Male, Maldives. You can get an ocean view room starting from US$230.
The hotel is near the Artificial Beach and the Hulhumale ferry.
The Somerset Hotel
If you are looking for a well located hotel, The Somerset is a great option as it is just 5 minutes walk away from the Grand Friday Mosque and other main attractions we’ve mentioned here.
They offer a free transfer from the airport and you can find rates starting from US$130.
Ah, the Belle Amie Bistro is located in this hotel.
Sala Boutique Hotel
Sala Boutique Hotel is a very well rated option with prices starting from US$155.
This hotel has an Asian décor and offers an Italian and Thai restaurant.
Napcorner – Nap for sale
Now, if you are traveling to Maldives on a budget, Napcorner may be your best option as you can find a sleeping capsule like this for US$50/night.
This is the closest to a hostel you will find in the Republic of Maldives.
Resorts near Male, Maldives
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Resort
At Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru you can find ocean view villas with a private pool starting from US$670 and all-inclusive rates starting from US$840.
The resort offers watersports, dive center, spa, yoga sessions and much more.
Angsana Ihuru Resort
In just a 20 minutes boat ride from the airport you can get to Angsana Ihuru Resort.
Besides offering beachfront villas, at Angsana Ihuru resort you can have some cool experiences such as a Maldivian cooking class or even get you PADI licence with their dive center.
An all-inclusive rate starts from US$780 and a regular rate starts from US$560.
Airbnb in Maldives
Yes, Airbnb is also available in Maldives =)
You can find some cool places to stay in Maldives like this penthouse with jacuzzi, sauna and an open terrace in the heart of Male. Find the best Airbnb options in Male, Maldives here!
Is there any other thing you would like to know about Male? Please let us know in the comments below.
I hope you have an amazing time in Maldives.
Maldives: All you need to know before going to this paradise
Maafushi: Maldives on a budget
Rasdhoo: A nice island to stay for about a week in Maldives
Dhigurah Island: The best island to scuba dive in the Maldives