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The Maldives attract tourists with its extraordinary island nature. Cote d'Azur, coral reefs, the Indian Ocean, luxury resorts and sea adventures are the some of the reasons that travelers head to the islands . However, in addition to this, the island republic also has several interesting attractions that are worth seeing.

Many of them are concentrated in Male, where the cultural and economic life of the Maldives is in full swing. While in the capital, do not pass by its attractions - you will get a whole excursion. If you choose to rest on local islands, in addition to beach activities, you can plunge headlong into the local flavor - old buildings, mini-museums and crafts of indigenous people.

And now in more detail - where and what is worth visiting in the Maldives.



Friday Mosque

The oldest mosque in the Maldives was built from coral stone in 1658. This is the visiting card of the capital. The Hukukru Miskiy finish in mahogany and sandalwood is impressive. A minaret rises next to the mosque. Also of interest is the so-called "Cemetery of the Sultans". Maldivian nobles are buried under old 17th century tombstones. Nearby is the tomb of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, by whose order the mosque was built.

Visiting: if you are not a Muslim, you can only see the inside of the mosque with a special permit. Rangers may make exceptions for tourists dressed appropriately for Islam.

How to get there: the Friday Mosque is located 10 minutes’ walk from the Hulhule ferry terminal.


Mulee’aage Palace

Close to the old mosque, you can see a neat blue and white colonial-style building. This is the Mulee’aage Palace, built over 100 years ago for the son of Sultan Shamsuddin III. After the proclamation of the Republic, the palace remained the seat of the president. Today it is a house-museum surrounded by a lush manicured garden.


Mulee’aage Palace | Asad Photo Maldives

Tomb of Meduziyarai

Part of the Muliage Palace is the most intimate attraction of the Maldives. This is Medhuziyaarai - the grave of the traveler Abu al-Barakat Yusuk al-Barbari. According to legend, it was he who brought Islam to the Maldives in 1153.

Islamic Center and Great Friday Mosque

In Male, the Islamic Center was opened in 1984. The central place on its territory is given to the mosque of Sultan Mohammed Takerufan Al-Arzam or the Grand Friday Mosque. Its huge golden dome is hard to miss. At the same time, the majestic white marble mosque can accommodate up to 5 thousand people. Inspection of the interior is a little easier here than in Hukukru Miskiy. The center is open to tourists, but only on weekdays at specially designated hours - from 9:00 to 17:00, except for prayer hours.


Islamic Center and Great Friday Mosque | Asad Photo Maldives

Sultan Park

Central Park, where residents and guests of Male love to walk. Previously, on its territory towered the Sultan's Palace, destroyed in 1988 during an attempted coup in the Maldives. In the Sultan's Park, you can admire the abundance of exotic blooms and relax among the shady thickets. The preserved wing of the palace houses the National Museum.

National Museum

The exhibits at the main Maldivian museum date back to different eras. If you would like to learn more about the history, culture and life of the Maldives, be sure to check out the atmospheric museum.

There are collections of lacquerware, national costumes, jewelry, household items, models of national dhoni boats and ancient body-beru drums, coral sculptures and other archaeological finds. Among the main treasures of the museum are a sculpture of the head of Buddha and a collection of skeletons of sea animals.

Museum opening hours: daily, except Friday, from 10:00 to 16:00.

Location: Sultan Park.

SinaMale Bridge

The bridge that connects Male and Hulhumale, where the international airport is located. It was built quite recently - in 2018, and greatly simplified the crossing from the airport. The ocean bridge is almost 1.5 kilometers long. A taxi or bus is significantly less expensive than a speedboat, and the views are amazing. At night, SinaMale is illuminated with bright lights. There is a pedestrian sidewalk and bike paths. Great place for an evening stroll.

Tsunami monument

The monument is dedicated to the victims of the devastating tsunami that arose as a result of the earthquake in Indonesia in 2004. Its steel spheres represent the tsunami-hit atolls of the Maldives. This is an extraordinary structure, which tourists like to walk and take photos. But its meaning is much deeper. The authors of the monument wanted to convey how dangerous any rise in the water level in the ocean is for the Maldives archipelago.

Location: in Thin Ruh Park, at the ferry pier in the southeastern part of Male.

Jumhooree Maidhaan

The main square of Male, located at the pier №1. Nice walking area equipped with a fountain and benches. From the square you can clearly see the largest national flag in the Maldives. There are many souvenir shops and a fish market nearby.

Markets

Markets in Male are the best way to experience the local flavor. Trade is concentrated on the northern coast of the city. Boats are unloaded at the pier, which are loaded again in the evening, only with other goods. This is the commercial center of Male, where it is always crowded, noisy and interesting for tourists.

Fruit market. Unlimited exotic fruits and vegetables can be found in the fruit market. From all over the Maldivians bring their goods for sale in Male. Mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, papaya, honey bananas and spices from the southern and northern islands of the Maldives.

Location: the market is located on Bodu Takurufanu Magu Street.

The fish market is located opposite the fruit market. If possible, hurry up here in the afternoon - late in the evening. At this time, local fishermen return with their catch on large vessels. This is a great opportunity, if not to taste, then to appreciate the variety of Indian Ocean seafood.

If you still can't resist, then the purchased fish will be cut and packed in ice. If desired, it can be prepared in any restaurant in the city.

Location: Bodu Takurufanu Magu street, near the ferry pier.

Singapore Bazaar. There is an incredible abundance of goods of various kinds, which were previously brought only from Singapore. Hence the name. Jewelry, clothing, handicrafts, diving equipment, fishing goods, souvenirs and more.

Location: next to the port on Chandani Magu street.
 

Hanifaru Bay

And a little about the most striking natural attractions of the Maldives. One of the most heard places is Hanifaru Bay on Baa Atoll. This is a unique creation of nature, where a large number of manta rays come to feed. A real paradise for snorkeling fans. Hanifaru Island and Lagoon is protected by the state and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the plankton bloom season - from May to November, up to 200 individuals gather here, which swim peacefully, not paying special attention to masked divers.

Registration for a visit to the protected reserve takes place at a special institution on the main island of Dharavandhoo.


Manta ray in Hanifaru Bay | Milaidhoo Island Maldives Resort

How to get there: take local airlines to Dharavandhoo Island, seaplane or speedboat to your resort.

Vaadhoo beach

The Maldives has a huge number of stunning beaches. Many of them have their own flavor. For example, the beaches of Vaadhoo Island. A unique natural phenomenon, which is called the "star sea", takes place here. The fact is that the local waters contain bioluminescent phytoplankton, which makes the coasts seem to twinkle with thousands of stars at night. This amazing sight is worth seeing at least once in your life!

How to get there: Vaadhoo is located in the Raa Atoll. From Male can be reached within 15 minutes by speed boat.

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