It's the capital city of the beautiful Maldives, and although simply a transit point for many, a holiday in Male itself can make for an interesting getaway. Encompassing the whole island, the city of Male is big and bustling and literally bursting at the seams! So much so in fact they're building a new artificial island nearby to ease the overcrowding. Muse-see sites include the Islamic Centre, the largest mosque in the country, and the Sultan Park and National Museum. While it doesn't have the picture-postcard beaches like its neighbouring islands, there is an artificial beach to relax on.
British Airways, Thomson Flights and SriLanken Airlines offer direct flights to Male from London Gatwick, Manchester and London Heathrow. The flight time is around eleven hours. For a greater choice of departure points you can take the indirect route. Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Flybe offer indirect flights from UK airports including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Belfast City and Newcastle. Flights from the UK land at Male International Airport which is situated on the neighbouring island of Hulhule.
The cheapest way to get to your Male hotel from the airport is to walk to the nearby public ferry dock and take a ferry to Male. Ferries depart every 15 to 20 minutes and the journey to the city takes just 10 minutes. Getting around during your Male holiday can easily be done on foot – the whole island is less than two kilometres by one kilometre in size! If you don't fancy walking though, you can get a taxi and taxis charge a flat fee regardless of where you want to go.
There is a good variety of accommodation on the island so shouldn't have too much trouble finding something to suit your needs. If you are on a budget and looking for cheap hotels in Male you'll have much more luck than if you were searching on any of the other Maldives islands. However, budget accommodation won't be great and many cheap hotels won't offer air-conditioning.
To pick up a bargain during a holiday in Male head to the northern part of the island where you'll find the Male Market. Here you'll be able to pick up everything from souvenirs to jewellery. Be sure to brush up on your haggling skills as you'll have to negotiate hard to get a good deal!
Dining out at hotel restaurants can be expensive so it's a good idea to seek out the more traditional eateries frequented by the locals. If you're on a really tight budget take a trip to the state-run supermarket which offers produce and snacks at vastly cheaper prices compared to the resort hotels and restaurants. It's also worth bearing in mind that you won't be able to buy alcohol in Male, even at the larger hotels. If you fancy a tipple, you'll have to head to Hulhule Island Hotel on the neighbouring Hulhule Island.
Updated 22nd May 2013
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