Traditional welcome in the Maldives


Stepping out in Malé

Explore the bustling capital city

With colourful high-rise buildings covering the island, the Maldives' capital is a compact hive of activity. Make sure you visit to see what life is like outside the resorts and to pick up local produce and handicrafts at the busy seafront markets. Take a break from shopping to look around the beautiful mosques outside of prayer times, and see the sultans' ceremonial robes and opulent thrones at the National Museum. Only 1.7km wide the best way to get around and take in the bustling capital is by foot.

Boutique shops offer a variety of international products and on the most famous shopping street of Majeedhee Magu, you will find shops and supermarkets selling clothes, cosmetics, accessories, electrical goods and also groceries.  Orchid Magu and Chaandhanee Magu, located next to the Republic Square, sell plenty of local produce. A visit to the local markets will give you a good insight into local Maldivian life, where fish and agricultural products are sold. You can purchase almost anything in the varied stores and international shops in Male, which are generally open from 8am until 11pm. Duty free shopping is also available in the departure terminal of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE).

Major island resorts have shops that sell basic items like food, clothing, medicine and cosmetics and it is also possible to buy sapphires and other precious jewels in the resort's boutique shops. If you take advantage of some of the resort island excursions to other often less inhabited islands, then you can interact with locals and purchase some great souvenirs to take home with you. You will find anything from authentic lacquer works, dhoni crafts (traditional boats in miniature), wood carvings, woven mats, products made from coconut shells and coir ropes. 



Top Tips from our Experts


Destination Specialist

"Malé is a complete contrast to its hundreds of island resorts. Beach wear and barefoot luxury are welcomed and encouraged on the outer islands but when visiting Malé we'd recommend dressing more conservatively to respect local customs."