The Maldives is an Asian country set in the midst of the Indian Ocean. This small nation is spread across the Laccadive Sea and the Arabian Sea, with almost 1,200 little islands forming it. Each of these isles is clustered into atolls, with Male being the capital. A quick way to soak in the city feels of this island is to take the Half Day Male City Walking Tour.
Since you will most probably be landing at the Velana International Airport which is located in Male, the world’s smallest capital, you should ideally begin your exploration from there itself. Although there are many other public islands in The Maldives, Male happens to be the most convenient to arrive at since it is home to Maldives’ International Airport.
Half Day Male City Walking Tour Timings & Fee
This 4-hour tour of Male, the capital city of The Maldives, is conducted twice daily. The morning slot is from 9 AM to 1 PM, while the afternoon timings are 2 PM to 6 PM. Depending on your arrival or departure schedule, you can select either of the Maldives half day tours.
The Half Day Male City Walking Tour is priced at USD 40 per person. The fee includes return transfers to and from the jetty, some light refreshment at a café, entrance to Sultan Park and charges of the walking tour guide. Local taxes are priced into the ticket, so you need not pay extra. The tax amount includes 12% GST and 10% service charge.
Half Day Male City Walking Tour Experience
If there is any way to understand Maldives’ history and culture in a matter of a few hours, it is through this half day walking tour of Male. Right at the outset, your tour guide gives you an overview of the capital city, which is an island in itself. As your meeting point is a jetty at the harbour area, you are also given some information about its importance in the context of islands.
Maldives’ Education System & Religion
You gradually move on to Male’s oldest school and get to know about its education system that has ensured a 98% rate of literacy in The Maldives. The schooling system is also closely linked to the religion of this country. Islam is the state mandated religion in The Maldives, and anybody who wishes to become a citizen must convert into a Muslim first. As you spend more time here, you will notice how Islam has a deep impact in almost everything in the lives of the Maldivians.
Old Friday Mosque & Abu – al – Barakaath’s Tomb
As you learn about their faith, you are taken past the Old Friday Mosque. Also known as Malé Hukuru Miskiy, this is one of the oldest mosques in the city and quite grand at the same time. You will pass by the tomb of Abu – al – Barakaath who influenced one of the erstwhile sultans of The Maldives to convert the country into Islam.
Royal Garden Café
Your next stop is the Royal Garden Café where you will be able to relish some traditional black tea. The café is a nobleman’s house with intricate Maldivian architecture that will catch your eye. Male’s Royal Garden Café is one of the favourite gathering spots of the locals, and if you wish to interact with them, you will get ample opportunity to do so here.
November 3rd Memorial
After the tea break, you will continue your walk to Male’s November 3rd Memorial. Erected in the memory of 8 military servicemen who were martyred in 1988 while they tried to protect The Maldives from a terrorist attack, this is a place to grieve and be thankful for the sacrifice of those who give up their lives for their country.
Sultan Park & National Museum
The next halt of the Half Day Male City Walking Tour is the sprawling Sultan Park. This park is a reminder of the time when The Maldives was not a republic but was governed by a Sultanate. The park is a great place for leisurely strolls and taking pictures against art installations. Sultan Park also houses the National Museum which exhibits traditional attire, coins, artillery, paintings and a lot of other artefacts that underscore the culture and history of The Maldives.
Islamic Centre & Jumhooree Maidhaan
After you exit Sultan Park, you are taken back toward the harbour. You might recognize some of the monuments that you have already seen by this time during the walking tour. You will also walk past the Islamic Centre of Male and reach a popular meeting point, called the Jumhooree Maidhaan. Alternatively known as the Republic Square or Independence Square, this is where a tall flag post bears the national flag of The Maldives.
Your walking tour guide will explain to you significance of the colours and what each shade means. You will also be shown various government buildings which are located around Jumhooree Maidhaan.
Male Fish Market & Local Market
Whether you enjoy shopping or are simply amused by the din, you will love the next part of the half day Male City walking tour. As you stroll along the harbour to the west, you will come across the island’s fish market. Bustling with eager shoppers, haggling traders and busy fishermen, the marketplace is full of excited voices and the strong smell of freshly caught sea fish.
You will then move on to the local market where you will be able to admire the variety of tropical fruits and vegetables. The pop of colour and delicious aromas will undoubtedly make you hungry. You will have some time here to chat with the Maldivian stall owners about their food and also relish some fresh produce and homemade sweet delicacies.
The final leg of this half day tour in The Maldives is a visit to the top of one of Male’s tallest buildings. Thanks to the rooftop vantage point, you will get to see all of the city from a bird’s eye view. You can take plenty of photos from up here. A group photo will be taken here against the city backdrop for keepsake.
Things to Keep in Mind during the Half Day Male City Walking Tour
Walking tours are always fun, more so when it is in a paradise like The Maldives. To ensure that your half day Male City walking tour is without any hiccups or unpleasant surprises, keep these pointers in mind:
- You are advised to dress modestly since The Maldives is a Muslim country. As a general rule, shoulders and knees should be covered.
- Carrying religious books that are contrary to Islam is prohibited in the country. Also, idols cannot be carried into this island. If found, such items are often confiscated or the tourists are asked to leave The Maldives.
- The walking tour fee does not include the entry fee into the National Museum which is located inside the Sultan Park. While the entry charges for the park are paid for, you will have to take out your own tickets if you also wish to visit the museum.
- This Maldives half day tour is ideal for those who like a personalized and intimate experience as the group size is capped at 8. This is to ensure that you don’t have to jostle for space or queue up for taking pictures during the walk.
- While some snacks and a cup of black tea are included in the tour fee, if you wish to eat more at the Royal Garden Café, you can pay out of your own pocket.
- The walking tour of Male lasts for four hours, but you need not worry about having to walk continuously. We will adjust the pace as per your walking speed, and provide for plenty of resting stops throughout.
- Although the Male city walk passes by a lot of important landmarks such as the President’s Palace, and others, we will not have the time to enter each of those. Nevertheless, it is possible to admire the architectural aspects and the outer grandeur of these buildings.
- The Male City walking tour operates under all weather conditions. As we will not cancel or reschedule your booking, you are advised to dress appropriately. Maldives’ weather, even though mostly sunny and warm, is sometimes rainy. It is better to carry an umbrella or a raincoat to be able to comfortably participate in the walk on a cloudy day.
- If you wish to cancel your booking, you can do so only at least 24 hours before the tour date and time.
Your exploration of The Maldives does not have to end with this walking tour. You can explore more activities on this island or the other islands on other atolls. There are plenty of full day tours, half day tours, snorkelling tours and diving tours, photography trips, cooking classes, local dining experiences, sandbank tours, underwater environment conservation excursions, walking tours, yachting, sunset cruises, fishing trips and other interesting things to do in this island nation!