The Maldives Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Aerial view of a seaplane approaching island in the Maldives
The Maldives
Time Zone
Driving Side
Measurement System
Internet TLD
Travel Essentials
MVR .ރ
Electrical Standards
Type D, G & K, 230V, 50Hz
Emergency Numbers
Police: 119, Ambulance: 102
Language Codes
Mobile Country Code


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

Panoramic view of Tsunami Monument
Sarath maroli /

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

National Museum, Maldives exhibit

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

Whale Submarine in Maldives
Management / TripAdvisor

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

Swings on Sultan Park
Olesya Dubrovina / Shutterstock

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)

Hulhumale Central Park in Maldives Island
Sarath maroli / Adobe Stock

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

Area of Victory Monument of Male in Male, Maldives
Sappasit /

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 Palace exterior
Shevchenko Andrey /

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

View of Medhu Ziyaarai shrine in Maldives
Damira /

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:

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, 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 and find a comprehensive coverage plan tailored to your needs.

Tip #1: Respect Local Culture and Customs

Indoors fresh fruits and vegetables market in city Male, the Maldives
Ivan Kurmyshov /

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

Seaplane in Maldvies
Jag_cz / Adobe Stock

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

Couple in Maldvies
Sven Hansche / Shutterstock

‘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

Maldive water villa - bungalows and white beach
totophotos / Shutterstock

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

Kite Surfing in Maldives
haveseen /

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.

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started 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. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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