Top things to do in Malé – the Capital of the Maldives

1. Try some traditional Maldivian “short eats” at a local café.

When you walk around Malé you will be sure to notice many tea shops filled with locals, especially during the afternoon hours.  Although tea and coffee are commonly served, so too are “short eats.”  Although short eats come in different shapes and forms, they can be best described as tiny snacks (usually deep fried and in most cases partially filled with tuna, among other things).  Short eats tend to be delicious and perfect for tourists on a budget as they are cheap based on local and international standards.

Sample some Maldivian short eats while in Male

Sample some Maldivian short eats while in Male

2. Swim at Artificial Beach

The soft, powdery white sand beaches on the resort islands throughout the Maldives are world famous.  They are so pristine that it’s hard to believe that something so picturesque still exists.  But who knew that there is a beautiful beach on Malé Island as well? Just head to the far eastern shoreline of the Island and you will stumble upon a nice strip of white sand also known as “artificial beach.” Despite its proximity to downtown Malé, the water is clearer here than 90% of the beaches we have seen around the world! When you are at artificial beach you will also enjoy an excellent view of sea planes and commercial aircrafts making their approach to Malé International Airport.

Male's artificial beach is surprisingly nice and very accessible

Male’s artificial beach is surprisingly nice and very accessible

3. Take a short ferry ride over to Viligili

If you have a few extra hours to kill, grab a quick ferry over to Viligili Island from Malé.  It’s a super quick trip over to this neighbouring island. Viligili has a few nice beaches to relax on and it’s always interesting to see the slower pace of life here in comparison to the capital. From the east side of Viligili you will be able to take great photos of Malé from an above average beach. A few hours should be plenty of time to stroll around Viligili before heading back to your place in Malé.

Get a glimpse of Male from the eastern shoreline of Viligili

Get a glimpse of Male from the eastern shoreline of Viligili

4. Explore the Narrow Streets, Local Markets, Shops and the Harbour Area on Foot 

Malé’s appeal can be appreciated more through the sum of its parts opposed to one major attraction.  Visiting Jumhooree Maiden (the main square), walking through the produce and fish market area and observing local fishermen preparing their boats and supplies are the small things that showcase the true Maldivian way of life.  Once you get a feel for the city you will begin to appreciate how unique it is for a city like Malé to be functioning smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Feel free to check out our related article that highlights the observable day-to-day highlights about strolling around Malé.

It's always an interesting walk around Male's harbour area

It’s always an interesting walk around Male’s harbour area

Consider checking out the produce market while in Male

Consider checking out the produce market while in Male

5. Visit the Tuna Market

Arguably the highlight of any visit to Malé is checking out the early morning “tuna catch.” Literally boat-loads of freshly caught tuna are transported to the fish market where they are weighed, sold, or quite frankly, gutted. It’s not a formal place to enter by any means.  During our visit we simply walked right into the action and the local fishermen didn’t seem to mind our company. Malé’s fish market is neither overly commercialized nor “touristy” which makes it the ideal place to take photos of an authentic Maldivian environment.

Tuna, tuna and more tuna at the fish market in Male

Tuna, tuna and more tuna at the fish market in Male

The local people who are behind the tuna industry in the Maldives

The local people who are behind the tuna industry in the Maldives

How to find the cheapest rooms in Male and the rest of the Maldives?

To search for the top hotels in Male, ultimately there are two main sites to use: either the largest hotel booking site in the Maldives (and the world) or the best price comparison site in the world.  Some of our readers book exclusively with www.agoda.com, it might be worth checking their prices out as well!

Either way you should have no problem finding the nicest rooms at the lowest prices.  Good luck!

If you are interested in visiting the Maldives anytime soon, feel free to comment or to ask any questions that you may have below.  In the meantime, safe travels!

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