Exploring Malé City

Malé is the capital city of the Maldives, and its densely populated streets, hustle and bustle are a stark contrast to the rest of the islands, most of which are styled on a deserted isle concept.

The city is a vibrant hub of commercial activity, the nerve centre of the archipelago. The capital city may not have a vast number of attractions, similar to its regional counterparts, but it does carry a certain charm, and provides an opportunity to connect with locals, away from the ‘picture postcard’ holiday islands.

The entire city can be explored in a day, which means you should definitely add it to your itinerary. It is easy to get around the island city on foot, as it is so compact. You can take a taxi if you feel inclined to do so, it generally should not cost more than a couple of dollars.

Here’s a list of some things to do while you are in Malé City.


Malé City has many restaurants, cafés and tea houses which serve a variety of cuisines, including India, American, Malay and Maldivian. The restaurants and cafés are alcohol-free, in keeping with the religious laws of the country.

National Museum

The two-story museum has a large number of artefacts from various periods in Maldivian history. You can complete the tour in about an hour. There is an entrance fee, and you may be charged a separate amount if you wish to take photographs.

Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiiy)

This is the oldest mosque in the city, as well as the entire country. It dates back to the 17th century and is a beautiful structure. The interior of the mosque is famous for its elaborate wood carvings and lacquer work. Non-Muslims need to get permission to see inside the mosque.

Sultan Park

Take a stroll through Sultan Park, which was once part of the Sultan’s palace grounds. There is an entrance fee for foreign visitors.


The city has several souvenir stores, artisanal boutiques and larger shops where you will be able to find something interesting to take back home with you. Majeedhee Magu is a popular shopping street which offers items ranging from clothes to electronics.

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