We take pride in providing authentic travel recommendations based on our own experiences. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product or book a reservation. Learn more ›
Imagine a place where turquoise waters meet white sandy beaches, palm trees sway gently in the breeze, and the air smells like salt and sunshine. The Maldives is a chain of 1,190 coral islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. It’s a paradise for many, breathtaking beauty and ultimate relaxation.
In this Maldives travel guide, we break down the best things to do in the Maldives, taking you on a journey through the island nation that’s rich culture, history, and captivating natural wonders.
From snorkeling and beachcombing to exploring historical sites and soaking up local traditions, visiting the Maldives promises an unforgettable experience.
- Best Things to Do in The Maldives
- 1. Tsunami Monument
- 2. National Museum, Maldives
- 3. Whale Submarine
- 4. Sultan Park
- 5. Central Park (Hulhumalé)
- 6. Victory Monument
- 7. Muliaage (Palace)
- 8. Medhuziyaaraiy Shrine
- Where to stay in The Maldives
- How to Get Around in The Maldives
- Travel Tips for Visiting The Maldives
- Tip #1: Respect Local Culture and Customs
- Tip #2: Choose the Right Island for You
- Tip #3: Embrace Maldivian Time
- Tip #4: Protect the Maldives’ Environment
- Tip #5: Be Adventurous
Best Things to Do in The Maldives
1. Tsunami Monument
Located in Thin Ruh Park, the Tsunami Monument is a poignant reminder of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. This modern memorial, featuring steel sculptures representing the 108 Maldivian lives lost in the tragedy, serves as a place for reflection and remembrance.
In addition to its somber significance, the monument is surrounded by lush greenery, offering visitors a peaceful spot for contemplation and relaxation.
2. National Museum, Maldives
For a fascinating insight into the Maldives’ rich cultural heritage, visit the National Museum housed in a restored 17th-century sultan’s palace. This modern, air-conditioned museum showcases the country’s history through an extensive collection of artifacts dating back to ancient times.
The exhibits include intricately carved wooden panels, antique thrones, and even a 6th-century coral stone head of Buddha. It’s an essential stop for anyone interested in learning more about the cultural and social evolution of the Maldives.
3. Whale Submarine
The perfect activity for those who want to dive beneath the waves without getting wet, the Whale Submarine offers an unforgettable adventure. This safe and comfortable underwater vessel takes passengers on a journey to a lively world of coral reefs and exotic marine life.
With experienced guides and large viewing windows for whale sharks, the Whale Submarine is a unique experience everyone should experience when visiting the Maldives, especially if you’re not a keen diver.
4. Sultan Park
In the heart of Malé, Sultan Park is a lush and picturesque oasis amidst the bustling city. Once the royal gardens for the adjacent historic palace, this beautifully manicured park now offers locals and visitors a chance to escape the city’s heat and noise.
With its shady pathways, lush foliage, and tranquil fountains, Sultan Park provides the perfect respite from urban life and is a great place to unwind and soak up the natural beauty.
5. Central Park (Hulhumalé)
Central Park in Hulhumalé is a haven for both locals and visitors. This expansive waterfront park boasts stunning ocean views, beautifully landscaped gardens, and ample seating.
With plenty of open space for recreational activities, a children’s playground, and even an outdoor gym, Central Park is ideal for those looking to spend leisurely time outdoors with family or friends.
6. Victory Monument
The Victory Monument is a beautifully crafted monument dedicated to the victory of the Maldivian people over the invading Portuguese in the 16th century.
Set on a private island in an idyllic location near the waterfront, this tranquil place offers a fascinating glimpse into Maldivian history while providing a scenic, relaxing spot.
7. Muliaage (Palace)
Muliaage is the official residence of the President of the Maldives, nestled in the heart of Malé. This graceful white palace, built in 1919, showcases the blend of Maldivian and British colonial architecture.
Although the interior is not open to the general public, the palace’s distinctive elegance is still a sight to behold from the outside.
8. Medhuziyaaraiy Shrine
As the final resting place of the Maldivian national hero, Muhammed Thakurufaanu, the Medhuziyaaraiy Shrine is an essential stop for anyone interested in Maldivian history.
Thakurufaanu is credited with liberating the Maldives from Portuguese rule in the 16th century, and his tomb is a symbol of the Maldivian spirit and perseverance. This humble brick structure, adorned with palm fronds, invites visitors to pay their respects and learn more about this fascinating historical figure.
Where to stay in The Maldives
The Maldives boasts a stunning array of luxury resorts and idyllic island hideaways. Picture yourself relaxing in your own private island or overwater bungalow, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves within a stone’s throw of blissful sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
The Maldives has truly mastered the art of island hospitality, so when planning your visit, keep one resort of the following top accommodations in mind:
- Gili Lankanfushi Maldives – Eco-conscious luxury on a private coral island.
- Soneva Fushi – Barefoot chic, it’s an island living in the heart of nature.
- Kanuhura – 5-star retreat on a sun-kissed, untouched beauty.
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island – World-class lectures and unique underwater experiences await.
- Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort – Tranquil villas on a pristine lagoon, ideal for adventure seekers.
- Kandima Maldives – All-inclusive island experience designed for relaxation.
- Rihiveli by Castaway Hotels & Escapes – Seclusion and wildlife encounters in harmony with nature.
- Hanifaru Stay Hotel – Authentic island guesthouse for budget-conscious travelers.
- Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa – Exotic eco-friendly luxury amidst blue horizons.
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Quintessential indulgence on an exclusive island paradise.
How to Get Around in The Maldives
Getting around the Maldives can be an adventure, with various transportation options for visitors. There is no central public transportation system, so you’ll mostly rely on speedboats, dhonis (local boats), and seaplanes to travel between islands. In Malé or Hulhumalé, you can explore the areas on foot or hire a bicycle or scooter.
For a more flexible experience on some local islands, RentalCars.com offers rental car options. Embrace island-hopping during your Maldives journey and uncover the hidden gems of this archipelago.
Travel Tips for Visiting The Maldives
Famed for its overwater villas, resort islands, and white-sand beaches, the Maldives attracts honeymooners, intrepid explorers, and sun-seekers alike. Experiencing the Maldivian way of life is an open invitation to slow down and immerse yourself in island living.
As you gear up for your Maldives adventure, don’t forget travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings. Browse options on VisitorsCoverage.com and find a comprehensive coverage plan tailored to your needs.
Tip #1: Respect Local Culture and Customs
While the Maldives’ tourism sector may project a laid-back, liberal feel, Maldivian society is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions. When visiting Malé or local islands, dress modestly to show respect for the local population.
Maldivians are warm and hospitable, so engage with them, try the authentic flavors, and learn about their customs – you will be rewarded with experiences you can’t find in glossy brochures or luxury resorts.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Island for You
The Maldives is a collection of myriad islands with a distinct charm. Before planning your trip, consider the kind of experience you’re seeking. Would you be happy surrounded by the trappings of a luxury resort, or do you prefer to immerse yourself in island culture?
A mix of both worlds or a focus on specific interests like diving or spa retreats? Research the different Maldivian islands and their offerings to ensure you find the perfect fit for your Maldives travel guide.
Tip #3: Embrace Maldivian Time
‘Maldivian Time’ is a pervasive concept in the archipelago’s culture. Locals value flexibility and spontaneity, and schedules can be fluid. Embrace this approach during your Maldives visit – delays may happen, but the laid-back island vibe is all part of the experience. Ditch the strict timetable and savor the unhurried tempo of life in the Maldives.
Tip #4: Protect the Maldives’ Environment
The Maldives is an eco-sensitive destination with delicate ecosystems. Visitors need to protect the environment during their stay actively.
Refrain from touching coral while snorkeling, avoid using single-use plastics, and adhere to the policies and practices of eco-friendly private resorts. The Maldives’ stunning beauty relies on the care and respect shown by those who visit.
Tip #5: Be Adventurous
The Maldives offers much more than beachside relaxation – an entire world of experiences awaits discovery. Explore underwater realms by snorkeling or diving at famous sites like Hanifaru Bay or Kuda Rah.
Take a traditional dhoni to spot dolphins and sunsets, or try local arts and crafts. Open yourself to new experiences and leave with unforgettable memories of the Maldives.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.