It is almost ordinary for someone when visiting a country for the first time to explore its capital. Since the international airport is often located is the capital, it is very practical to roam around the city whether on the first day or on the last day of the vacation. Tourists who visit the Maldives, however, are not like that. Often, once tourists arrive in the country, they go directly to their island resort and spend the rest of their time there. Still, there are some who take a day trip to Male, which are often organized by several island resorts.
Male is neither a large city nor a large island to start with. With just about a mile long and a little over half of a mile wide, you can walk around the city in over an hour. But if you will try to explore and check what the city has to offer, you will discover a few notable attractions.
The National Museum, located in Sultan Park, provides a glimpse of history of the Maldives. The stylish colonial construction features various artifacts, including the throne, that were once used by the sultans during the early years of the country.
Since the Maldivians are predominantly Muslims, expect to see a mosque. But Huskuru Miskiiy Mosque (Old Friday Mosque) possesses a unique magnificence with ethnic workmanship and arched corals that are truly a masterpiece. Glimpse of the past can also be seen in the tombs of the national heroes and the members of the royalty located in the area. The Islamic Center is the most significant landmark in Male. Its most stunning feature is the golden dome that stands out wherever you are in the city. With its huge size, it can accommodate around 5000 people. The Islamic Center also has offices, conference halls and a library.
If you like shopping, then you should visit the Majeedhee Magu. The place is lined up with several stores offering an array of products including, electronics, cosmetics, garments and jewelry. The Orchid Magu and Chandanee Magu have a bunch of souvenir cafes and shops. The Male fishing market can be quite a site. If the time is right, you can see, loads upon loads of fish being sold in the market.
Unlike other major cities, Male is not known to for bars and clubs where you can party till dawn but there are other forms of entertainment. The New Harbor sometimes holds an outdoor concert. There are two cinemas in Male, the Olympus and Star, located in Majeedhee Magu.
Eating can be quite an experience in Male. The Maldives has its own unique taste but influences from Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabic and Oriental cuisines create a whole new identity for a Maldivian cuisine. If you want to taste an authentic Maldivian food, try eating on small cafes or local eateries. They taste almost as good as the foods that are served in your hotel restaurant minus the cost. For the less adventurous and for those who want to stay on the safe side, several restaurants also offer Italian, French, Thai, Chinese, Indian and American cuisines.
Male is basically a crowded and bustling place, but at the same time, it a city far different from what we are used to seeing. So on your visit to the Maldives, take time to visit Male and see these sites for yourself.