Coconut Palms, Visit the Maldives
Visit the Maldives – Visa Requirements
There is no advance visa requirement for travelers who visit the Maldives. Entry visas are granted on arrival. For further information, refer to the Republic of the Maldives, Department of Immigration and Emigration or check your specific country at VisaHQ. For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.
Maldives Atolls, © Can Stock / mvaligursky
Visit the Maldives – Malé
When you visit the Maldives, your flight will land on an island next to Malé. Malé is the capital and largest city in the Maldives. More than 100,000 people live in Malé. The city completely fills the atoll that i has been built on. This gives Malé the strange appearance of a modern city set adrift in the sea. You can walk across Malé in 20 minutes. Most visitors don’t usually visit Malé though. If you visit the Maldives, you are more likely to head from the airport by boat or float plane directly to a resort on a nearby private island.
Grand Friday Mosque, © Can Stock / gorilla2006
Visit the Maldives – Malé Mosques
- The Islamic Centre containing the Grand Friday Mosque – the largest mosque in the Maldives.
- Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiiy) – built in 1656 including the Minaret of Hukuru Miskiiy.
- Eid Miskiiy – mosque built in the 1800s.
Visit the Maldives – Malé Markets
The Fish Market is west of Independence Square (Jumhooree Maidhaan) along the northern waterfront. Watch the catch being brought in each evening and watch the fish cutters at work. Across the street is the Local Market with fruit, vegetables and handicrafts from the neighboring islands.
Other Sights on Malé
- The National Museum and Sultan Park – located at the site of the former Sultan’s palace called Mulee Aage.
- National Handicraft Centre
- National Art Gallery
Island Vacation Resort, © Can Stock / Violin
Visit the Maldives – Island Hopping
Go island hopping from Malé. Look for a water taxi (dhonis) near the main ferry terminal to the airport or at the cruise ship tender dock. Then head out on an island hopping adventure. Visit a beach like Kuda Bandos Island Beach on the island of Kuda Bandos. Kuda Bandos Island Beach is about a 45 minute boat trip. Try snorkeling and diving there too.
Sunset, Visit the Maldives, © Can Stock / Fyletto
Visit the Maldives – Scuba Diving
The Maldives are one of the world’s best scuba diving locations. You can see sharks, turtles and whale sharks. Try scuba diving at Mushimasmingali Thila (Fish Head) near Mushimasgali Island in Ari Atoll. Fish Head has lots of gray sharks. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Fish Head.
Maldive Victory Scuba Diving
Another popular scuba diving spot is the wreck of the Maldive Victory. The Maldive Victory dive site is just a few minutes from Malé, but the strong currents mean you should be an experienced diver. The Banana Reef is great for diving too and it’s close to Malé.