When you think about your next city trip, you might consider Paris, New York or Dubai – destinations that are packed with various sights, cultural highlights and tourists from around the world. But have you ever imagined spending some time in Malé, the capital of the Maldives, and exploring the island? If you have some time left on your arrival or departure day, seize the opportunity and allow for some hours on this unique island. I can assure you that it will be nothing like an ordinary city trip. Sightseeing in Malé will definitely enrich your holidays in the Maldives.
The Maldives is a country consisting of over 1.200 little islands. One of them is its capital, Malé. The city is not only the most populated town in the Maldives but also the most densely populated capital in the world. The Maldives is known for islands full of sand and palm trees surrounded by turquoise water and coral gardens, but Malé is an exception from this. Asphaltic streets full of businessmen and cars, surrounded by skyscrapers hosting international companies are a typical occurrence. Here, you can watch fishermen selling their daily catch and hear the muezzin calling religious Maldivians to pray at the mosque.
To dive into the Maldivian culture, you just need some hours left to spend in the capital for a sightseeing tour after your arrival or before your departure at the international airport. Malé is only 8,3 km² big, so you can take a tour by walking around the island, no need for public transports. Start your itinerary at the harbour and begin with the president’s office. Unfortunately, visiting the building inside is not allowed. Some steps away, you will see Hukuru Miskiy, the Malé Friday Mosque. It was built of coral stones with the Arabic calligraphy in 1658. Continue your city trip by walking to Sultan Park, one of Malé's few parks and green areas. The area was once home to the Royal Palace that was demolished in the 16th century. One part of it still exists and now hosts the National Museum with a large selection of archaeological findings and items of the history of the Maldives. The rest of the area is a beautiful park where you can walk around, relax and have a picnic.
After taking a break in the park, I can recommend continuing your sightseeing tour walking by the Grand Friday Mosque that was built in 1984. It is right next to the souvenir street. Here, you can shop all the typical memorabilia such as postcards, magnets and jewellery. End your city trip through Malé at the local market and the fish market, where you can watch Maldivians at work. Take a look at fish of all sizes brought to the market right from the ocean, including swordfish and octopus. At the local market, you can find all kinds of vegetables and fruits, mostly imported, but also different spices and local chocolate. After your sightseeing trip, you might want to relax on the artificial beach of Malé. Please consider that the locals also cover their bodies on the beach and in the water, and you are not allowed to wear short swimwear in Malé.
Exploring the capital of the Maldives can be an exciting experience, far away from an ordinary city trip. Getting to know the culture, architecture and people of the Maldives will surely enhance your holidays. As you can see, the city is full of historic sights and unique places. So, visit the island yourself to experience your version of a perfect sightseeing day in Malé.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.