10 Things to do in Malé, the Maldives’ Capital

Male Maldives
Male Maldives

While the Maldives is renowned for its idyllic islands and luxurious resorts, its capital city, Malé, offers a unique and vibrant experience that shouldn’t be overlooked. Malé is the political, economic, and cultural hub of the Maldives, bustling with activity and rich in history. Here are ten things to do in Malé City that will give you a deeper appreciation of Maldivian life beyond the beach.

Male Fish Market

  1. Visit the Malé Fish Market

A visit to the Malé Fish Market offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. This bustling market is the central hub for fresh seafood, where fishermen bring their catch early in the morning. Watching the lively haggling and the array of colorful fish is a fascinating experience. It’s also a great place to buy some fresh fish if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation.

Male Local Market

  1. Explore the Malé Local Market

Adjacent to the fish market is the Malé Local Market, a vibrant place where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies. This market is the best spot to sample traditional Maldivian snacks and purchase local spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Hukuru Miskiy Old Friday Mosque in Male

  1. Marvel at the Hukuru Miskiy (Old Friday Mosque)

The Hukuru Miskiy, also known as the Old Friday Mosque, is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the Maldives. Built in 1658, this historic mosque is constructed from coral stone and features intricate carvings and lacquer work. Non-Muslim visitors can view the mosque’s exterior and, with permission, may enter when not in use for prayers.

Maldives Islamic Centre

  1. Tour the Maldives Islamic Centre

The Maldives Islamic Centre, with its striking golden dome, is a key landmark in Malé. It houses the Grand Friday Mosque, the largest mosque in the Maldives, accommodating over 5,000 worshippers. The architecture is impressive, blending traditional Islamic design with modern elements. Visitors can enter the mosque outside prayer times to appreciate its serene interior.

the National Museum

  1. Visit the National Museum

Located in the Sultan Park, the National Museum of the Maldives offers insights into the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. The museum’s collection includes artifacts from the Buddhist era, Islamic period, and the modern age, such as royal antiques, traditional costumes, and ancient weaponry.

Sultan Park in Male

  1. Relax at Sultan Park

Sultan Park, a lush green oasis in the heart of Malé, is the perfect spot to unwind amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. The park is part of the former Sultan’s palace grounds and offers beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains, and shaded areas to relax and enjoy the tranquility.

Male Maldives

  1. Stroll Along the Malé Waterfront

The Malé Waterfront, also known as the Henveiru Park, offers scenic views of the Indian Ocean and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The area is perfect for a leisurely stroll, where you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze, watch ferries and fishing boats, and witness stunning sunsets.

The Presidential Palace in Male, Maldives

  1. Discover the Maldives’ Political History at the Presidential Palace

Muliaage, the Presidential Palace, is an important historical and political landmark in Malé. Built in the early 20th century, it has served as the official residence of the President of the Maldives. Although you can’t enter the palace, its colonial-style architecture and beautifully maintained gardens are worth viewing from the outside.

Local Cuisine in Maldives

  1. Experience Local Cuisine

Malé boasts a variety of eateries offering both traditional Maldivian dishes and international cuisine. Don’t miss trying local specialties like garudhiya (fish soup), mas huni (a tuna and coconut breakfast dish), and hedhikaa (traditional snacks). Popular dining spots include Seagull Café House, Aioli Restaurant, and Symphony Restaurant.

The Tsunami Monument in Male

  1. Visit the Tsunami Monument

The Tsunami Monument, located on the southeastern part of Malé, commemorates the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The monument is a striking structure made of steel and glass, featuring 20 steel spheres representing the 20 atolls of the Maldives. It’s a place for reflection and remembrance, offering a poignant reminder of the natural disaster that impacted many lives.


Malé City, with its rich blend of culture, history, and modernity, offers a fascinating contrast to the tranquil island resorts of the Maldives. From historical landmarks and bustling markets to serene parks and culinary delights, Malé provides a unique window into the daily life and heritage of the Maldivian people. Exploring this vibrant capital will undoubtedly add depth and diversity to your Maldivian adventure.