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Male is the densely populated capital city of Maldives. It has an area of 6.8 km2. Velana International Airport is the main airport connecting the Maldives to major countries in south-east Asia like India, Sri Lanka & China. The best time to visit this place is during the dry season, i.e. between November & April, as since later, monsoon arrives.
There are not many tourist attractions, but it’s a fantastic place for wanderlusts. For art enthusiasts, a National Art Gallery is a good option. There is also a -Tsunami monument for the historian spirits out there. For seafood lovers, the Male fish market is a significant attraction. Grand Friday Mosque is the right place for people who want to see the cultural side of the place. There is also an artificial beach located, famous for its worth to visit in the city.
Nearest International Airport: Valena International Airport, Male
How to reach: Male airport is connected with major Asian cities
Famous for: Gateway to pristine islands of Maldives
Best time to visit: November to April
National Art Gallery,
Male Fish Market,
Grand Friday Mosque
Male- the heart of the Maldives & the capital city of the nation is known for its exciting and unique island life like nowhere else. It is also the mercantile heart of the island & is a hive of activity. It is the engine driving the economy of Maldives & is the central hub for the country’s political struggles. It offers the best chance to see the “real” Maldives away from the resort culture & the urban luxury like an infinity pool. It’s a place encapsulating tall, brightly colored buildings in the middle of extensive turquoise water all around. Male is pleasingly quirky as well, having alcohol free cafes & amazing restaurants along with shops & lively markets. The generally capital city hubbub is present as well. The place has got not many sights to visit but is worth taking the feel of the “real” Maldives away with you.
The town is built in a grid pattern with its narrow streets having a mix of shops, office buildings, apartmental blocks & vehicle jams. Maldives’ women fashion ranges from burqas to jeans & free-flowing locks. So, visitors should dress a bit of casual conservatively. The island is intensively constructed & densely populated. A large dorm is being built on the adjacent artificial island & a kilometer-long bridge(by Chinese) is under construction to connect to nearby Hulhule Island international airport.
There are no mandatory tourist attractions, but the place is right for the wanderlusts out there. Sultan Park has more sand than grass, welcomes you with shade trees. The President’s Palace is a beautiful colonial-style bungalow in the mid of town, but not open to visitors. You can visit the National Museum & the golden-domed Grand Friday Mosque as historical marks of the place. Non-Muslims have to take prior permission to enter the mosque.
The main market is a lively and authentic hangar- full of Indian ocean aromas, freshly caught fish, betel nut, fruits, vegetables, tins of everything, kitchen stuff & unique fabrics. The central waterfront esplanade & boat harbor is the constant up-down center of village ferries & resort launches heading to North Male Atoll’s myriad islands & coming back from there.
There are various good, international dining spots like the one situated at the waterfront, Citron by Lemongrass, having international & Indian fare. The midtown Seagull cafe, a two-story hub under the shade of an ancient tree is known for its Sri Lankan fish curry along with coffee & other snacks, their in-house specialty being ice cream. Male is majorly a “dry” town as much of the drinking occurs at private & international resorts & hotels rather than in city bars.
So, the crucial things to do can be highlighted majorly as:
Take a visit to the National Art Gallery. The collection here is majorly related to ancient Buddhist stone carvings & other historical marks of Maldives.
Take a 2-hr long Submarine tour—this tour features showing the spectacular coral reef around Male. The journey takes us to distant and deep spots where rarely found species like the Basking Shark species can be witnessed.
A tour to the Male Fish Market. Fish is the staple food in their diets, so it’s a thriving trade in their markets. This market sells local delicacies like lobsters, prawns, fried squids at a reasonable price in comparison to the hotels & resorts.
A half-day tour of Male. You can also take a half-day tour walking to all the points of interest on the island & get an insight into the local culture and history of the place with some guides along.
The tsunami monument. This spot is an art masterpiece located on Boduthakurufaanu Magu. It’s an outdoor stainless steel monument standing as a memorial dedicated to the local lives lost during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.