Information & Facts
Getting around in Malé is relatively easy due to its small size.
It is possible to walk around the entire city in about an hour, and
most of the major attractions are clustered near each other on the
north shore, about a 15-minute walk from the jetty. There is no
public transportation in Malé, however taxis are plentiful and
Dhivehi is the national language in Maldives. English is
widely spoken in addition to German, French, Italian and Japanese,
spoken by the resort staff.
The Maldivian Rufiya (MVR) is divided into 100 laari. The
resorts in Maldives are generally expensive and travellers should
ensure they bring sufficient funds. There are no cash machines and
travellers' cheques are rarely used, but there are currency
exchange facilities available at resorts and banks. Major credit
cards are accepted at most resorts and hotels. US Dollars can be
exchanged at the airport, banks or hotels. Guests staying at
resorts can settle their accounts in hard foreign currency (US
Dollars are best), credit cards or travellers cheques. Banks are
usually closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
The best shopping in the Maldives is undoubtedly Malé, a city
crowded with shops and markets. Most of the souvenir shops that
cater to tourists are found in the business district, conveniently
located close to the jetty where travellers arrive from the airport
Another popular shopping district in Malé is the Singapore
Bazaar at the top end of Chaandhanee Magu, so called because many
of the products are imported from Singapore. Most of the outdoor
markets in Malé are filled with fruits and vegetables rather than
souvenirs, but they are an enjoyable way to spend a few hours
browsing the colourful stalls. Though most countries' customs
agents will confiscate coconuts and papayas, it is possible to buy
some wonderful local spices, which are a popular souvenir from the
Malé is a city filled with culture and history, all clustered
together on a tiny island. Its Islamic heritage is at the forefront
with beautiful buildings like the Grand Friday Mosque and Islamic
Centre, and those looking to soak up some Maldivian culture will
want to plan for a visit to the National Art Gallery, Maldivian
National Museum and Independence Square.
Malé's markets are a popular attraction in their own right,
ranging from the colourful stalls of the vegetable and firewood
markets to the bustle of the famous fish market.
There are few natural attractions in Malé, however a small
artificial beach on the east coast of the island offers
surprisingly good surfing. The Whale Submarine is a popular Malé
attraction for those too timid to scuba dive, with a 40-minute
underwater ride showcasing the marine life of the Indian Ocean.