Alla scoperta di Malè la capitale delle Maldive

Malè guide: what to see in the capital of the Maldives

One says Maldives and think about the classic shot: white beach, blue sea that cannot be bluer, palm crouched to fill the photo and in the background bungalows that emerge from the water almost by magic. Instead then upon arrival a Malè, the capital ofarchipelago, lands and sees something else and we are amazed. But how? Is this the Maldives? This is why it may be useful to browse through the guide before leaving Bad and prepare for the first meeting.

With what is a strange town, almost always very overlooked by tourists heading straight for the predictable dream of islands and of atolls. But instead he deserves a little stop to finally get a taste of the country. Beyond the colors of the postcard.

Malè’s guide: small and crowded

The island that houses the city is truly small: it is only 1.7 km long and one km wide but in this tiny space there are about 100,000 inhabitants. The result? Yet another surprise for those who arrive and find themselves crushed in what is undoubtedly the most crowded city in the world. Just to solve this problem and get a little more space there new island of Hulhumaléin the lagoon Hululhehas been reclaimed to provide development areas for the future.

Malè we said normally it is barely touched by the tourists who disembark at his airport and then they board the boats or boats again seaplanes to reach the resorts into the blue. Now, it is true that this is a city with not exactly a wild and decidedly lazy life but perhaps it deserves an extra look. Even a short stop (Bad turns around on foot in an hourand almost all the things to see are concentrated on the north coast, 15 minutes walk from the airport and the pier) to discover this capital that has its own character: with narrow streets, colorful housesgraffiti and a pleasant atmosphere.

Moreover, if you really cannot stay without taking a bath, know that one of the surprises you will have in your wandering is that there is also a small artificial beachon the east coast, about a ten minute walk from the airport.

Of course: any guide to Malè will tell you that it is not comparable to the other beaches of the Maldives, especially as most of the locals come here to bathe fully dressed. But there is a dive and you can even go surfing. Another detail: there is no public transport but taxis are plentiful and cheap.

Discovering Malè the capital of the Maldives

The guide to Malè: markets and shops

In addition, the nearby islands of Hulhumale (artificial) e Vilingiles they are served by frequent and very cheap public ferries and they provide glimpses of the capital and spaces for relaxation. For those who want to go shopping it is important to know that here you will obviously find the best shops at Maldives. Most of the souvenir shops that cater to tourists are located in the business district, located near the pier where travelers arrive from the airport ferries.

Another popular shopping district in Male is the Singapore bazaarin the upper part of the Chaandhanee Maguso called because many of the products are imported precisely from Singapore. However, most of the outdoor markets in Male offer fruit and vegetables rather than souvenirs and it is pleasant to spend a few hours wandering among the colorful stalls. Remember that the spices here they are excellent: if you like tasty food, stock up on them. Also remember that the city ​​is predominantly Muslim: the bars and restaurants in Male they hardly ever sell alcohol.

discovery of Malè the capital of the Maldives

The Friday mosque. Where you cannot enter.

Among the things to see in our walk there is certainly the Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiiy). Built in 1656 during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar I, it is finely decorated in wood with Arabic writing and ornamental motifs but unfortunately non-Muslims are not allowed inside.

Free for the visit is obviously the Republic square (Jumhooree Maidhaan), the central point of Malè where the flagpole with a huge flag of the Maldives. It is also the focal point of every political demonstration in the capital and therefore do not be surprised by the not too discreet presence of the police forces which among other things have their headquarters right next to it.

Finally the last stop in our wandering is at Islamic center, a building that stands out for its size just south of the Piazza della Repubblica. The complex contains the largest mosque in the Maldives, topped by a golden dome and capable of seating 5,000 people. Visitors are welcome in the center outside of prayer hours but it is not possible to take photos inside.

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