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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Places to Visit in Male – Discovering a Rich Culture

The capital of the Maldives may be relatively small in size, but Male is home to quite a few places of interest that offer unique insights into the nation's rich culture.


Grand Friday Mosque

The country's largest mosque and one of the key Maldives tourism attractions, the Grand Friday Mosque is an impressive architectural creation that stands out amidst the Male cityscape. The distinctive gold dome that is part of the mosque is quite eye-catching, and the fascinating minarets and intricate coral engravings that can be found at the mosque lend to the site's charm. Part of this sacred place of worship is the Islamic Centre which has the capacity to accommodate more than 5,000 people. Opened in the mid 1980s, the Grand Friday Mosque also has a special Islamic library as well as a conference hall which is used to host ceremonies and official gatherings.


Old Friday Mosque

Known locally as "Hukuru Miskiy", the Old Friday Mosque is the oldest of its kind in the Maldives. Many island resorts such as Adaaran Prestige Vadoo do offer excursions to Male and when taking part in such outings, look to make time to pay this site a visit. Dating back to the mid 17th century, this mosque has a rich history and is well known for its ornate design elements; beautiful wood carvings and lacquer work, as well as carvings on coral, are signature elements that have made this site such an interesting place to see. Other highlights that can be observed here include a distinctive white minaret which dates back to 1675 and an area that features ancient headstones and tombstones of nobles, sultans and well known individuals from the nation's past.


National Museum

A great place to learn more about the island's rich heritage, the National Museum in Male offers a captivating insight into Maldivian history and culture. The museum is in fact in two buildings, which can be found in Sultan Park; the older building is at the site that was once part of the 17th century Royal Palace. Those visiting the National Museum have much to see including a range of artefacts and exhibits which span an impressive time period; this includes the time when Buddhism was the main religion in Maldives before it became the Islamic nation it is today. Among the items on display are costumes worn by royalty, objects that once belonged to the country's Sultans, ancient stone artefacts, various weaponry and furniture, royal thrones and intricate embroidery.


Maldives Fish Market

One of the liveliest spots in Male, the Maldives Fish Market is where you can witness local fisherfolk bring in their day's catch in traditional boats called "dhonis". The catch is sorted out and then taken to the market which can be found in the capital's northern waterfront. Tuna is the most commonly caught variety of fish though you will find other varieties too. While here one can also look to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits that are brought in from the islands across the atolls.


Majeedhee Magu

If you are planning on engaging in some shopping in Maldives, then look to head to Majeedhee Magu. This street can be found on Male's main road and is home to a range of shops selling all manner of items. Visitors here can look to buy everything from jewellery to electronics and garments to cosmetics. Also of note are the local handicrafts on offer which make for unique mementos and souvenirs of your holiday to Maldives.