1. HAVE A MALDIVIAN BREAKFAST
Experience a local breakfast buffet at Sea House Cafe which is located at the first floor of Hulhumale' Ferry Terminal at the north eastern corner of the island.
In addition to having a variety of local and western cuisines, it has a great outside deck with an amazing view of the famous “Maldivian sea and sky”, Hulhule’, the international airport and Funadhoo,the fuel storage island.
As it is one of the most popular cafes’ in the city frequented by both locals and expats, it is highly advisable to go as early as possible to get a good table and enjoy the peace and serenity, and see the city wake up and get busy. Breakfast is served from 7:30am till 10:45am and costs Mrf 103.00 (approx. US$ 7.00). The crowds will usually start coming around 9:30am.
Recommended : Mas Huni and Roshi, Kulhimas and Roshi, and all the fish dishes.
Interesting places nearby: The Artificial Beach, Raalhu gandu, Tsunami Monument, Skate Park, Hulhumale’ Ferry Termin
2. GO FOR A DIVE OR SNORKEL
Go for an introductory dive with Dive Club Maldives which charges about Mrf. 500 (approx. US$ 7.00) for 2 dives. First dive will be a practice session at a shallow area, like Maagiri Thila about 15 minutes by boat and the second dive location will depend on your skill/confidence from the first dive and on what you would like to see such as sting rays, moray eels or reef sharks.
The Dive Club Maldives team is an extremely friendly bunch, so do feel free to ask for any special requests etc. Also, if you feel that diving is a bit too extreme an adventure, or you do not have enough time on your flight schedules (have to have 48 hours rest between diving and flying) you can go for 2 sessions of snorkelling for Mrf. 250 from which you can see the colourful reefs and marine life.
3. SURF AT RAALHUGANDU
The Male' surf point, Raalhugandu, is located on the south-eastern side of Male' and it is usual to see surfers at all times of the day, every day.
The ‘spot’ in front of Tuscaloosa Cafe’ near Raalhugandu (surf break) is the unofficial head-quarters of the local surfers so if you have any questions about the waves, tide etc. or just want to have a chat with the friendly lot, do make a stop there.
The hut built by the these surfers overlooking Raalhugandu provide a perfect vantage point for watching the surfers or simply just to watch the strong curling waves.
Interesting places nearby:
4. SWIM AT ARTIFICIAL BEACH
Have a dip in the Artificial Beach located at the north-eastern side of Male'. It is highly recommended to do this early in the morning after watching the sunrise – which is spectacular!
Though Maldives is famous for its beautiful beaches, the capital city does not have a natural beach due to extensive reclamation over the years to cater for overcrowding of Male’. The artificial beach was constructed as a place for Male’ residents as a place go to for fresh air, enjoy morning/evening walks, swim and spend time with family and friends. Over the years a variety of entertainment activities like sports activities, kids events and live music shows have been held here along with opening up of a few cafe’s along the stretch.
The area comes to life in the late afternoons and evenings and specially during the weekends (Friday and Saturday) when hundreds of Male' dwellers come out to play, hang out with family and friends and relax and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Interesting places nearby:
5. “SHORT-EATS” TASTING
Short-eats; a variety of finger-food, mostly fish and coconut based, is the local version of fast-food and are famously and commonly served at Sai-Hotaas (teashops). These sai-hotaas are extremely informal and very vibrant throughout the day and are open from early morning till 1 am at night. You could also try freshly made roshi (chapati/bread) with a variety of side dishes from these cafes.
Should you prefer a “milder” atmosphere, you could try the cafes at Carnival area at the north-eastern side of Male’ or the cafe’ at ADK Hospital. You could also look for hedhika counters at local addresses – famously “Husnoo ge” bajiya (samosa) and “Saatanu ge” gulha (fried fish balls).
Other local “delicacies” you might want to try:
- “Killi” – mixture of ground arecanuts, beetle leaf, cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and sugar which the locals eat after meals; available at almost every general goods stores. Try a small amount to see if you like it. It's an acquired taste.
- Dried, canned and frozen fish – available at Mifco Mas Fihaara located next to the turf soccer fields at Maafaanu Stadium.
- "Kulhi Kaajaa" and "Foni Kaajaa" – and available at the vegetable market opposite the local Fish Market.
- "Thelli banbukeyo" – deep fried thinly slices bread fruit available at the local vegetable market.
- "Dhiyaa Hakuru" - a thick sugar syrup.
6. SOUVENIR SHOPPING
Hunt for souvenirs from the stretch of shops at northern end Chandhanee Magu (Magu means street or road in Dhivehi) and the shops at STO Shopping Comple (Orchid Magu). The souvenir shops will usually open around 9 am and will close around 8:00 pm. In between it will close for about 10-15 minutes around noon (about 12:00-12:15pm) and afternoon (3:15-3:30pm) for prayer times.
Do ask for locally made items such as wooden ornaments and containers decorated with lacquer, wooden boats, Thundu Kunaa (locally made floor mats) coral jewellery and do ask for a discount!
Kaashi Boat - Chandhanee Magu – wooden dhoni, lacquer ware, books, calendars, postcards
Maldivian Cultural Center – STO Shopping Complex
Interesting places nearby:
Jumhooree Maidhan - the Republic Square
The Islamic Center and Masjid Al Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaan Al Auzam
Bandeyrige - Headquarters of the Armed Forces
Theemuge - Former Presidential Palace