Malé is the capital city of the Maldives Republic. This remote country consists of 1,200 islands and almost 30 coral reefs. As a result of the recent developments in sea transfer systems and the emergence of independent hotels and inns, the Maldives is becoming a budget-friendly destination.
The city of Male has a population of 227,486 people. In addition, it is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. It is located in the southern part of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). We should mention that the city contains a central island, an airport island, and four additional islands which are under the authority of the Malé City Council.
The city was traditionally known as the King’s Island; it was the place where old royal families used to reside and rule the country. Also, the royal palace was here. The name of the city then became Mahal.
In ancient times, It used to be a fortified walled city with gates and fortifications. When the city was rebuilt under the authority of President Ibrahim Nasir after the termination of the kingship in 1968, the Royal Palace and the fortifications were demolished. By the way, the Malé Friday Mosque still remains.
The Maldives’ largest industry is tourism. The government receives more than 90% of its revenue from tourism and related taxes. Among all the tourist attractions in the country, Malé is the most famous and has many places of interest nearby.
Due to the fact that Islam is the official religion of the country, there are some regulations of the dress. Female visitors should be careful of the dress code on Male, as it is more restricted than on other islands.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Malé has a tropical climate. The average high temperature in Malé is 30 °C or 86 °F, and low temperature is 26.5 °C or 79.7 °F, which is the same average as most equatorial cities at this time of year. As a result of the Maldives’ very low elevation, the temperature is consistently high year-round.
If you are planning to visit the Maldives, try doing it between November and April. Although The island experiences a warm and sunny climate most of the year, it also witnesses a dry season and a humid, rainy period. Every season has its advantages and disadvantages.
Warm temperatures, little rainfall, and few clouds mark the best travel period between November and April when the Maldives offers excellent weather conditions. As a result, resorts often charge higher rates for rooms during this busy time of year.
May to October is considered as Rainy season. During this period, islands experience between 5 and 10 inches of rain per month and strong winds. Travelers might find more affordable choices during this period. Also, during these months, the waves and swells are bigger, making surfing near that area more interesting.
Transportation Inside the Island
The Male is about a mile wide. It only takes about 30 minutes for you to walk from one end of the island to the other one. It is completely easy for you to walk. Getting around on foot also gives you the opportunity to discover the island more deeply.
But there are also taxis and cars that can take you wherever you want on the island. They are budget-friendly and will not cost more than one or two dollars. By the way, It is prudent to make sure about the costs before getting in the car. You can ask a local about the transportation fair from one place to another.
There is a variation of choices for both visitors on budget and those who wish to stay at more luxurious resorts. Here is a list of available options in Male:
2.1 km from One Love Beach and 700 m from Villingili Ferry Terminal, this budget-friendly resort is located. Here you will find small rooms for rent. That is to say, Napcorner provides guests with comfortable sleeping capsules with facilities such as air conditioning and a shared bathroom. You can rent a capsule for $50 a night.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
From US$670, you can reserve an ocean view villa with a private pool at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, and from US$840, you can book an all-inclusive stay. This hostel offers aqua sports, a diving center, spa, yoga sessions, and plenty of other options.
Angsana Ihuru Resort is only a 20-minute boat ride from the airport. The resort offers beachfront accommodations along with exciting activities, like a Maldivian cooking class or getting a PADI license in their dive center. Rates start from US$780 when booking all-inclusive and US$560 when booking regularly.
An Airbnb guest can stay at a penthouse in the heart of Male, equipped with a jacuzzi, sauna, and open terrace, all with scenic views. Airbnb will give you up to US$64 off if you are traveling to Male for the first time.
The staff here are friendly and completely helpful. Rooms are comfortable and fully equipped. You will be assisted by the friendly staff at the reception with all your transfer needs, and a taxi or boat can be booked from here. There’s a very good selection of juice for breakfast here, and the hotel is close to the main street.
The Somerset is easily accessed since it is just five minutes away from the Grand Friday Mosque and other attractions of the island. Free airport transfers are available from this hotel. Prices start from US$130.
The Somerset Inn is split into two houses and is a smaller and more intimate accommodation than the Somerset Hotel. The working staff are intimate and helpful; they will assist you with transfers, city information, and nearby islands. The hotel provides you with tasty breakfast options.
Sala is a luxury hotel whose decoration is inspired by Thai themes. They have named their rooms after well-known cities of Thailand, take, for example, Chiang Mai! They have a restaurant next door called Sala. They prepare their food with organic ingredients from Thailand. Here you will find fully- equipped rooms and extra offers.
Amenities consist of Free High-Speed Internet(WiFi), Free breakfast, Diving, Fishing, Babysitting, Free airport transportation, Meeting rooms, Massage rooms. Also, each room provides guests with Bathrobes, Air conditioning, desk, room service, coffee/tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Extra long beds, and bath/shower.
The Samann Grand is a luxurious hotel offering private balconies. The hotel has a restaurant, a concierge, 24-hour room service, and free WiFi. Besides, there are family rooms available.
Each room has a television set that includes satellite service, a kettle, a hairdryer, a desk, and a bathroom equipped with showers and free cosmetics. The rooms of the hotel will give you the opportunity of enjoying the City view. Samann Grand provides a tasty breakfast in the mornings.
Hotel Jen Male
Hotel Jen is one of a kind among luxurious hotels on Male Island. The rooftop infinity pool at Hotel Jen Male offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. There is a free shuttle service from Velana International Airport, and it only takes about 7 minutes to get to the hotel. Also, it provides a spa and 24-hour café. Union Pay is accepted by the hotel.
There is a flat-screen TV, Chinese TV channels, a tea/coffee maker, air conditioning, a bathroom with a massage rain shower, toothbrush and slippers, and Free WiFi in every room. Fitness center facilities are available 24 hours a day. Island tours can be arranged by the hotel’s reception. Also, guests are accommodated with Laundry and dry cleaning services.
How to Spend Time in Male
There are plenty of activities available in Male. From wandering the city and its main attractions to relaxing on beaches and going fishing. Here is a list of the most popular activities on This Island.
Old Friday mosque
Old Friday is the oldest mosque in the Maldives with over 400 years old. Make sure to arrange a visit to this great ancient mosque where you can find amazing details of Islamic art and architecture.
Grand Friday mosque
Grand Friday Mosque is the largest mosque in the Maldives. It has a capacity of holding almost 5,000 people. It is worth visiting at least one time.
Located just outside Sultan Park and the Grand Friday Mosque, the Victory Monument was built in honor of a hard time in the history of Maldives, when people wanted to overthrow the government about 30 years ago.
Sultan Park and National Museum
Across the street from the National Museum is a small public park named Sultan Park that was once the palace of the Maldivian Sultan.
You can enjoy relaxing under the shade of the tree in the park or take your children with you so they can have an enjoyable time playing there. Also, if you are interested in historical artifacts, do not forget to visit the national museum nearby.
In memory of the victims of the Maldives’ tsunami of December 26th, 2004, the Tsunami Monument was constructed.
You have plenty of choices here in Male. From the local market to modern malls in the heart of the city, you will be provided with almost whatever you want. Also, you might find the chance to buy souvenirs.
It would be an appropriate beginning to start from one side of the main street (called Majeedhee Magu) and lead to the other side. This is the main road and simultaneously the busiest one in the city. There are numerous stores here that feature souvenirs, electronics, food, wearings, children’s stuff, etc.
Also, you can visit Male Fish Market & Local Market, which are two separate markets located just beside each other. Here you can familiarize yourself with local life and its characteristics. Also, you can buy plenty of things in these two lively markets.
STO Trade Centre is a great hypermarket that has a part allocated to souvenirs with reasonable costs. Another great place to shop for unique items is the Island Bazaar, a unique boutique with a huge selection of handcrafted items.
Where to Eat
You can find restaurants, cafes, teahouses, and eateries all over the city. Foods for every taste are available, and cuisines from India, Malaysia, America, and Maldives are served here. Here is a list of well-known eateries in Male:
A Ganduvaru (a traditional mansion in Tamil Nadu) with fancy woodwork and a friendly environment, Royal Garden Cafe appears to be one of the most popular places in Male. This is a perfect place for a quick coffee break or a full meal.
Although Symphony might not be a famous place, this is a great and affordable place for eating. In addition to the tasty and budget-friendly food, You can find locals here. Which means this is a trustworthy place to eat. There are several great drinks (particularly Watermelon Cooler), grilled dishes, and a fruit platter.
Salt Cafe & Restaurant
Apart from the modern aesthetic and intimate staff, the roof terrace is a great place to dine in, especially in summer. This restaurant also offers great seafood.
Sala Thai is one of the most high-rated Thai restaurants here. It has an energetic outdoor green plot where you can sit and enjoy your meal. One of my favorite dishes here is the Thomm Yum soup.
This is a well-known and energetic place to eat in Male. You can choose from burgers, wraps, salads, curries, and seafood dishes. Also, their desserts are popular.
Calorie Counter Maldives
Those people who are on a special diet or prefer to eat healthy and organic food with low calories rather than other kinds of foods might find this place interesting.
How to Get There
Most of the visitors choose the chief airport of Maldives MLE (Velana International Airport, also called Malé International Airport) as their destination. Maldives International Airport is on a nearby island called Hulhumalelocated. There are lots of routes leading to Male, but the most popular are The Middle East (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi), India and Sri Lanka (Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi, Colombo) Asia (Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok).
A few hundred dollars per transfer would be required to get to the island via private seaplane if you came from another Maldivian island. The prices start at $130 USD. Also, the airport has ferries leaving the airport every ten minutes between 6 am and 11:59 pm and every 30 minutes between 00 am and 5:59 am.
If you are planning to visit Male from other islands of Maldives, you will have two choices: to take a public ferry or speedboat. Getting there by public ferry is cheaper (usually a few dollars) but more time-consuming, while a speedboat costs more (starting at $20/person) but takes you to your destination sooner. A few cruises are also offered to the Maldives.
Here is some good news for you! In August 2018, a 2.1km long bridge called Sinamalé Bridge was constructed. At the moment, visitors are able to reach Male from the airport via car or bus in nearly 15 minutes.