Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
Maldives became a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is also a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement. The World Bank classifies the Maldives as having an upper-middle income economy. Fishing has historically been the dominant economic activity, and remains the largest sector by far, followed by the rapidly growing tourism industry. Maldives rate "high" on the Human Development Index, with per-capita income significantly higher than other SAARC nations.
9:00am-2:30pm : Maafushi Island
10:00am-10:30am : Angolo Souvenir shop
Angolo Souvenir shop offers a good selection of reasonably priced gifts and mementos. The friendly, English-speaking stuff will help you browse through heaps of knickknacks, ranging from fridge magnets, mugs, T-shirts, and beach accessories, to handcrafted items made from coconuts and ocean shells. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.
10:30am-1:30pm : Scuba & Snorkeling
2:00pm-6:00pm : Bikini Beach
Bikini Beach is one of the few places on the Muslim island where sun seekers can wear beach attire. Snorkeling is also an option--you will see many colorful fish and even some baby sharks--just wear water shoes near the sharp corals. If you wish to raise your adrenaline levels, rent a jet ski or test your balancing skills on a windsurfing board.
10:00am-10:30am : Jumhooree Maidhaan
Sit back, relax, and watch the world go by at Jumhooree Maidhaan. This little park serves as a popular meeting place and a good starting point of many sightseeing tours. Locals and travelers alike hang out here socializing, feeding pigeons, enjoying sea views, and taking photos of the largest Maldivian flag in the country. Shops and restaurants are within a walking distance, and nearby attractions include the biggest mosque in the Maldives and a former presidential building now turned into a museum.
11:00am-12:00pm : Male Fish Market
Inspect the local produce at Male Fish Market, one of the biggest venues of its kind in the world. Fishermen stock the market every morning, and the daily haul usually includes everything from tuna to swordfish. Make sure you try dried fish, a local specialty with a strong salty taste. You can also find a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables. Be prepared for some interesting aromas, as fresh fish, crowds, and hot weather make for a strong smell.
12:30pm-1:00pm : Sultan Park
Enjoy a patch of greenery at Sultan Park, where flowers grow around an abstract central monument. Take a few moments to stroll through this small park, taking advantage of the shade provided by the lush trees. Once part of the sultan's palace grounds, the park surrounds the national library of the Maldives and the country's premier history museum.
1:30pm-2:30pm : Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque)
Explore the history of the oldest religious structure in the Maldives at Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque), built entirely out of crushed coral in 1658. Inspect the intricate decorations carved into the coral walls and throw a coin into the small well in the courtyard for good luck. Afterwards, wander through the small graveyard at the back of the mosque, where the height of the tombstone indicates the person's social status, with round tops for women and pointed tops for men. Keep in mind that in order to enter, non-Muslims must obtain permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
3:00pm-6:00pm : Food Tours
10:00am-1:00pm : National Museum
See the skeleton of a rare Longman's beaked whale at National Museum, established to preserve the history of the Maldives. The 6 m (20 ft) whale skeleton headlines a collection of natural science and historical exhibits, which offer a broad insight into Maldivian culture. You can appreciate a range of Islamic artifacts, as well as early technology and utensils used by in the Maldives centuries ago. Tragically, many of the museum's pre-Islamic exhibits were destroyed in a 2012 attack, including an 11th-century bust of Buddha carved from coral.
1:30pm-4:30pm : Grand Friday Mosque
Appreciate the exquisite calligraphy adorning the walls of Grand Friday Mosque, the largest religious structure in the Maldives capable of receiving nearly 5,000 worshipers. The intricate carvings, decadent chandeliers, and hand-woven carpets imbue the mosque with an air of historical grandeur. Since its opening in 1984, the white-marble mosque has dominated Male's skyline with its golden dome. Dress respectfully for you visit, making sure your legs and shoulders are covered before you enter.
5:00pm-5:30pm : Island Bazaar
Showcasing a wide range of quality handpicked lifestyle products, Island Bazaar remains a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. Take your time to browse the carefully curated collection of local handicrafts and artworks--from tote bags and cushions to clothes and jewelry. The store also keeps a selection of imported items, such as Australian handmade candles.
10:00am-1:00pm : Mulee Aage
Located at the historical center of Male, Mulee Aage saw long service as the official residence of the president of the Maldives. Known for its colorful facade, this palace was used on and off until 2012 and now serves as a governmental office for holding meetings. Though you cannot see the interior, you can stand next to the front gates and take a few photos of the landmark building. Most walking tours around the city stop outside the palace.
2:00pm-5:00pm : Spas & Wellness
10:00am-1:00pm : Artificial Beach
Appreciate local beach culture without leaving the city at Artificial Beach. The man-made attraction offers locals and visitors a chance to swim and relax in a city that lacks natural beaches. Visit the site to escape the city's crowded tourist scene for a while and see how true Maldivians enjoy themselves. Remember to dress and behave appropriately, avoiding revealing swimsuits and public displays of affection.
1:30pm-2:00pm : Medhu Ziyaarath
See the abode of the president at Medhu Ziyaarath. The historical importance of this residence is significant, so come with a guide if you want to make this experience more than just a good photo opportunity. Built for the sultan in the early 20th century, the palace was converted into the president's residence in 1953. The interior is not open for visitors, but you can admire the elaborate blue-and-white gatehouse, walls and roof from the outside. At the eastern end of the residential complex, you'll find the tomb of Abul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary, responsible for bringing Islam to the Maldives in the 12th century.
2:30pm-5:30pm : Scuba & Snorkeling
10:00am-1:00pm : Hulhumale
The inhabited artificial island of Hulhumale draws pleasure seekers with its selection of cafes, restaurants, and hotels. Have a meal by the beach or simply enjoy the calm of the island, which offers paved roads and acts as a sort of extension of Male, albeit with much less traffic. Check out the island's gold-domed mosque, featuring a modern design that often surprises visitors. Visit the island by taking advantage of ferry or speedboat services from Male.
1:30pm-4:30pm : Hulhumale Beach
At Hulhumale Beach, you'll find snorkeling and water sports and excursions affordable and readily available. Nearby, a range of dining choices ensures you don't have to go far for a quick meal and cold drinks.