The capital of the Maldives is Malé. We often hear about all of the amazing private islands, but Malé Island is one place you should get to know. Even if you choose to stay on a private island, you will most likely fly through Maldives capital before you get to your ultimate destination in Maldives.
The island is grand, and you can really get a feel for the culture of Maldives by spending some time here!
As you plan your escape to paradise, try to make an effort to set aside some time to experience Malé while you’re here. Even if you explore the city the day you fly in or before you fly home, it’s a huge part of your total experience.
Check out more of this guide to learn everything you should know about Malé City, which is Maldives’ capital.
Maldives Capital – The City of Malé
Part of this unique setup in the Indian Ocean is the capital city. Malé is an island, a city, and the capital of the Maldives. Here, you will find many awesome things that you simply can’t experience on the private islands.
Here are a few of the spectacular adventures awaiting at Maldives capital city, Malé.
- Grand Friday Mosque
- Malé fish market
- Malé international airport
- Malé national museum
- Sultan Park
- Maldivian history and culture
- local tour sites and food locations
- Tourist beach
- Additional attractions and services
What is the capital of Maldives? Malé is so much more than just an island. The capital Malé is the hub of everything that comes through the nation. Tourists start here at the center and then continue their trip near Malé, or with other private island adventures.
Some tourists choose to stay in the capital Malé for all or a portion of the trip. The Malé island is established with everything you could need. They have some great hotels, resorts, food, historical sites, and so much more.
Whether you choose to enjoy some of the tours, spend time in the restaurants, or learn more about the Islam religion of Malé, the ancient location is a place to experience.
Malé is the most populated island in the country. Malé sees a lot of economic growth that is directly related to tourism. That is what funds the majority of their budget.
You will find plenty of resorts, hotels, and attractions in Malé, but you will also be able to experience and watch the life happening around you here.
Things to Do in Malé
If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Malé, you will find no shortage of options. The official president welcomes tourism. They do expect a basic dress code, as well as some rules of respect for the central religion of the country.
Grab a map, get out, and explore the Maldivians culture. They live in a world much their own.
These are some of our favorite things to do in the capital of the Maldives, including exploring the capital city in new ways:
- Bus or boats tours
- National museum
- Sultan Park
- Visit artificial beach
- Malé fish market
- Grand Friday Mosque & religious attractions of Malé
- Shops, Food, and Souvenirs
Take a closer look at what to do in Malé.
1. Bus Tours
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to be able to experience some of the greatest adventures in Malé. This Maldives capital city is friendly to tourists, and their adventures are affordable.
If you want to be able to experience a lot of Malé in a short period of time, using a bus or a boat for tours is a great way to do so. These tours will show the greatest and most popular parts of Malé Island, from the local market setup to the Grand Friday mosque and many other little things in between.
Adventure around with other tourists, hit the highlights, and have a really great time on this part of your Maldives adventure.
2. National Museum
The Maldives capital, Malé City, is home to a historic national museum. This was the first museum in the country and commemorates the first settlers of the area, among other things. Malé has a vast history that led to the foundations of the country. People came together from many other countries to escape religious suppression and settled in this expansive country in the Indian Ocean.
The Maldives islands consist of more than 1,000 islands, but the central city island is right here in Malé. It’s the heart of Maldivian life. The museum honors the heritage of the population, the government establishments, the country as a whole, and the Maldivians’ culture.
Every tourist should spend some time here at the national museum – and it’s free!
3. Sultan Park
Get some space from the buildings, hotels, and transportation of Malé as you head into Sultan Park. This is one of the top parks of Malé City, and it’s quite large. It’s a gorgeous location filled with lush greenery, large shade trees, colorful flowers of the seasons, a peaceful setting, and amazing upkeep.
This Maldives park is always kept clean and maintained. Given its size, this has to be an incredible feat for Malé. Tour through the park and bask in the Maldivian sunshine and greenery. It’s located near the center of the hustle, not far from the museum.
Several resort and hotel locations are located nearby to the park as well. Check out a monument or two in the park. Each monument has some sort of relevance, so visit and learn about them as you go.
4. Visit Artificial Beach
If you want to experience the beauty of the Maldivian waters, you don’t have to go to other islands to do so. You can tour the water, go snorkeling, hang out at the beach, and more at Artificial Beach.
The beach has phenomenal white sands that the country is known for. It also is surrounded by stunning turquoise waters. You get stunning views of the city and the island, but you get to enjoy the beach instead.
Not far away, you will find the ferry, speedboat transportation, and other important Maldivian locations. The Tsunami Monument is located here as well. There are other beaches in Maldives around the island too. There are other monument locations too.
This is a public beach, as are all of the choices in the city. Keep in mind that there are some dress code rules to follow at all public beach locations when you visit.
5. Malé Fish Market
The local market, or the fish market, is a hotspot to experience local life in the city. It’s located near the beaches and packed with fresh fish and other seafood for purchase. Make sure you visit the fish market just for the Maldivian experience. It’s a unique part of the country.
The Malé city fish market is set up in a wide open space of Malé. All of the local fishermen bring out their catches from the local Maldives waters of Malé. The Malé fish market is incredibly unique, and you’re not going to experience anything like it anywhere else in the country.
6. Grand Friday Mosque and Other Religious Attractions
The Maldives capital, Malé Island, is an Islam nation. Because of the backing religion of Malé, this Maldives location has several sites to visit that are important to their religious foundations.
Places like the Grand Friday Mosque are absolutely stunning parts of Maldives that you need to see. Located in Malé, this mosque is their Islamic center. The architecture is spectacular. This is the largest mosque in all of Maldives.
You can visit the mosque as a tourist in Maldives. You simply need to remember to be respectful and follow any required dress code while you are here. Tour several different local religious spots around Malé city, and take it all in.
The mosque is just one major symbol to visit, but there are plenty of other local places within Malé in Maldives to visit or tour as well. There are other mosques, a palace, and traditional domestic locations that are more than a century old. The mosques are the focal point of religious locations.
7. Shops, Food, & Souvenirs
The different islands and resort locations across Maldives will likely have some minor shopping or gift shops where you can acquire souvenirs during your visit. They will also have local food and cuisine at the resort or hotel you stay at.
But the Maldives capital certainly outshines all of these locations. Head on over to the local market of Malé, walk through the local market shops, and spend time buying things to take home from your trips to Maldives.
The local market of Malé is full of different vendors selling their wares. Many of those items are imported to Malé Island or are handmade by the vendors themselves. You will certainly find some unique takeaways in the Maldives capital.
Here you can learn more about the food in Maldives.
Transportation in the Capital of Maldives
Malé Island is the ultimate hub of transportation. The Malé International airport is where nearly every international flight into Maldives is going to flow through. The other international airports is Gan International Airport, but this is still a fairly limited hub. There are five international airports in the Maldives.
Travel stems from the Maldives capital and flows from there. This means your paradise adventure will start in the Malé, and then you can travel to your resort or hotel location from there.
In Malé, you can get around the island through various forms of transport. This includes a bus, public transport options, and other similar choices.
When you want to head out to other islands of Maldives, you will use one of three options:
- Airplane (Maldives seaplanes)
- Bus or shuttle
If you’re going anywhere near Malé city, but staying on the island, you can use shuttles and similar transport to get there. These can take you anywhere in the capital city. They are also the prime way to tour the capital city as well.
If you’re heading out to another island of Maldives, you will travel by boat. There is a ferry, which will only be suitable for the closest options near Malé. Most of the other hotel or resort locations will not be reached by ferry. Instead, you will use a speedboat or a seaplane to reach your hotel or resort.
There are some small airport locations that might be used as well to get around, but they are not the norm, aside from some day trip options. The ferry is a great choice for limited travel to visit nearby, otherwise, find out what your hotel provides to get you around Maldives.
Learn About the Population of Maldives
Malé will have the highest population of any other Maldives location. The Maldives capital is the largest island in the country, and its population is vast. That being said, the population of the other islands will likely be more than you expect simply from Maldives employees working locally. The population of Malé is over 250,000.
The Maldives capital uses the language of Dhivehi, which is the official language of Maldives. Throughout the Maldives capital and other parts of Maldives, you will find that the majority of the population speaks English just as well.
The population of Malé came from several different countries. The population migrated from India, China, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Indonesia, and other locations. The settlers all came together for a brand new life, and Malé provided that for them.
The capital city is the heart of the people, and you can see that displayed in so many ways.
Land and Sea at Malé Capital City
Much of Malé and the rest of Maldives is comprised of islands scattered over a huge radius. There are several atoll locations that comprise the country. The atoll of the capital city is the Malé atoll.
There are many coral reefs surrounding the country that spread throughout it. These locations were created by ancient volcanic mountain ranges submerged beneath the Indian Ocean.
The islands of Maldives come in many different sizes, with the capital city of Malé being the largest. Throughout the capital city and the rest of the country of Maldives, you will find some static details of the land and the sea:
- Plenty of fish and marine life
- Lush vegetation
- White sandy beaches
- Turquoise lagoons
- Coral reefs
- Coconut palms
- Tropical shrubs
- Breadfruit trees
The land and sea of this capital city are a clear picture not just of the city of Malé, but also of much of Maldives as a whole.
The Climate of the Capital of Maldives
Maldives is not called a paradise for no reason. It doesn’t matter if you head south on the map, or stick to the north and other locations, Maldives has a warm, balmy climate all year long. For most of the year, the average temperature of Malé Maldives hangs out right around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the rainy season, Maldives can get pretty humid. However, overall, Malé and the rest of Maldives have sunny warmth perfect for a tropical oasis. The high temperatures of Maldives and Malé top out somewhere near 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rainy season ranges from April to November, with the rest of the year being mostly dry in Malé and other areas too. December is the beginning of their dry and busy season. The capital of Malé has similar temperatures and rainfall to the rest of Maldives.
Malé and Maldives are known for having the lowest elevation of any other country in the entire world. This contributes to the warm, balmy temperatures of Malé.
The Dress Code of Malé Capital City
One of the things that you should know about Malé and other public locations is that they enforce a dress code. Malé is an Islamic region, and while you don’t have to wear the daily garb of the locals, you do need to dress modestly and be respectful of them.
Malé is the capital of Maldives and the primary hub. It is also where all of the leaders and rules are located. Their dress code is more strict than the private island locations of Maldives.
When on Malé, make a point to dress conservatively for both men and women. Women should ensure their cleavage, shoulders, and thighs are covered. The recommendation is to cover from the shoulders to the knee. Men should also cover in a similar manner.
If you go to one of the public beach locations in Malé, your swim attire will also need to be modest. No bikinis are allowed here, and women may need to wear a coverup at all times in some locations. At your private resort, you are allowed to wear bikinis.
Spend Time in Malé as Part of Your Maldives Itinerary!
The Maldives has so many stunning locations. If you really want to get to know about the Maldives, you need to spend some time in Malé to do so. As the capital of Maldives, this city is the central part of everything that happens in the country. You can see life, culture, religion, and so many essential parts of Maldives.
Plan a day trip to Malé, or even stay in a hotel there for a night or two as part of your experience.
What is the Capital of Maldives?
Malé is the Maldives capital, and it’s an amazing place to visit! Malé is likely where you travel through to get to any other part of Maldives as well.
Does Another Country Own Malé or Maldives?
Nope! Maldives is completely independent. It’s almost a melting pot of people that came to Maldives to escape other countries, and they created a place of beauty, starting with Malé.
Is Maldives a City or a Country?
Maldives is a country made up of over 1,000 little islands. Malé is a city on one of those islands.
What is Malé Known For?
Malé is primarily known for being the capital of this country called, Maldives. It’s located in the north atoll and is a central spot for the Maldives as a country.