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Best Things To Do in Maldives

With 1,190 islands (only 200 are inhabited), you've got plenty of territory to explore. Despite the numerous isles, most visitors simply lounge at the palatial resort of their choice. While travelers should certainly unwind, a few excursions should also be on the itinerary. For one, the capital city of Male' (one of the smallest capitals in the world) bustles with activity from the fishing docks to the National Museum. If you are a scuba diver, you can't miss the riveting Maldives Victory shipwreck and the shark-filled Fish Head area. And don't forget about the beaches: The soft sands fade into colorful reefs beneath brilliantly blue waters.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Maldives

Many vacationers head to the Maldives solely to relax on the beach – and for good reason. The sugar white sand and striking blue water make for the perfect beach vacation backdrop. Most island resorts offer their own private stretches of sand, complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Some resorts that boast notably beautiful beaches include: the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, aaaVeee resort, COMO Cocoa Island, Fihalhohi Island Resort and Angsana Ihuru. Past visitors said the beach scenes in the Maldives are hard to describe, saying their beauty is unparalleled. There are public beaches on a handful of Maldivian islands, though visitors must be covered as wearing revealing clothing is illegal. A very few "bikini beaches" (on Rasdhoo and Maafushi) allow sun-seekers to wear typical bathing suits. However, travelers recommend sticking to the beaches on or near your island.
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Beaches Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Maldives Beaches
Many vacationers head to the Maldives solely to relax on the beach – and for good reason. The sugar white sand and striking blue water make for the perfect beach vacation backdrop. Most island resorts offer their own private stretches of sand, complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Some resorts that boast notably beautiful beaches include: the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, aaaVeee resort, COMO Cocoa Island, Fihalhohi Island Resort and Angsana Ihuru. Past visitors said the beach scenes in the Maldives are hard to describe, saying their beauty is unparalleled. There are public beaches on a handful of Maldivian islands, though visitors must be covered as wearing revealing clothing is illegal. A very few "bikini beaches" (on Rasdhoo and Maafushi) allow sun-seekers to wear typical bathing suits. However, travelers recommend sticking to the beaches on or near your island.
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#2
Male' Free

#2 in Maldives

Free
Male' is one of the world's smallest capital cities at just 2.2 square miles, but it packs in the people and sights. Top sights to check out in the capital city include:
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Shopping Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Male'
Male' is one of the world's smallest capital cities at just 2.2 square miles, but it packs in the people and sights. Top sights to check out in the capital city include:
... more

#3

#3 in Maldives

With exceptionally clear water and thriving marine life, the Maldives makes for a great environment for scuba diving and snorkeling. Many resorts feature reefs so close travelers can easily swim from the beach, while others offer snorkeling excursions where a boat and tour operator transport you to deeper waters and even more colorful reefs. Meanwhile, beginner and seasoned scuba divers can enjoy dive trips around the Maldives. All scuba divers are required to do an initial guided orientation dive before any additional dives; experienced scuba divers should bring their dive certification and logbook as well. Most scuba divers may go on one or two dives organized through their resort or spend their Maldives vacation on a LiveAboard vessel, which travels to different dive sites daily. Divers and snorkelers were very impressed with the variety of fish and sea life they saw in the Maldivian waters. Many also had high praise for the friendly and knowledgeable tour operators.
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Natural Wonders Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
With exceptionally clear water and thriving marine life, the Maldives makes for a great environment for scuba diving and snorkeling. Many resorts feature reefs so close travelers can easily swim from the beach, while others offer snorkeling excursions where a boat and tour operator transport you to deeper waters and even more colorful reefs. Meanwhile, beginner and seasoned scuba divers can enjoy dive trips around the Maldives. All scuba divers are required to do an initial guided orientation dive before any additional dives; experienced scuba divers should bring their dive certification and logbook as well. Most scuba divers may go on one or two dives organized through their resort or spend their Maldives vacation on a LiveAboard vessel, which travels to different dive sites daily. Divers and snorkelers were very impressed with the variety of fish and sea life they saw in the Maldivian waters. Many also had high praise for the friendly and knowledgeable tour operators.
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#4

#4 in Maldives

Free
If you wish to catch a glimpse of Maldivians' daily lives, look no further than the Male' Fish Market. This is the commercial epicenter of arguably the country's most important industry: fishing. Here, the foot traffic peaks in the afternoon as fishermen from the entire country sail right up to the edge of the market and unload the daily catch. Tuna is the most popular fish for sale, but you'll find some other types as well. Visitors say watching the workers filet and clean the fish is impressive. You could even pick up some fresh fish for dinner, if you have a facility to prepare a meal. Though, some previous travelers warn communication may be difficult here as some Maldivian fishermen do not speak fluent English.
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Shopping Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Male' Fish Market
If you wish to catch a glimpse of Maldivians' daily lives, look no further than the Male' Fish Market. This is the commercial epicenter of arguably the country's most important industry: fishing. Here, the foot traffic peaks in the afternoon as fishermen from the entire country sail right up to the edge of the market and unload the daily catch. Tuna is the most popular fish for sale, but you'll find some other types as well. Visitors say watching the workers filet and clean the fish is impressive. You could even pick up some fresh fish for dinner, if you have a facility to prepare a meal. Though, some previous travelers warn communication may be difficult here as some Maldivian fishermen do not speak fluent English.
... more

#5

#5 in Maldives

Free
Hukuru Miskiiy, also known as the "Old Friday Mosque," dates back to 1656 and is the oldest mosque in the country. The exterior is made of coral stone and features intricate designs and inscriptions from the Quran. While it may seem underwhelming to the average traveler from the outside, the inside of this mosque displays intricate woodwork and exquisite inlays.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Hukuru Miskiiy
Hukuru Miskiiy, also known as the "Old Friday Mosque," dates back to 1656 and is the oldest mosque in the country. The exterior is made of coral stone and features intricate designs and inscriptions from the Quran. While it may seem underwhelming to the average traveler from the outside, the inside of this mosque displays intricate woodwork and exquisite inlays.
... more

#6

#6 in Maldives

The Maldive Victory sunk in 1981 after hitting a reef. Now, the dive site attracts scuba aficionados thanks to its particularly challenging currents and the rich sea life (picture thriving coral and colorful fish) that has made the wreck a sight to behold.
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Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Maldive Victory
The Maldive Victory sunk in 1981 after hitting a reef. Now, the dive site attracts scuba aficionados thanks to its particularly challenging currents and the rich sea life (picture thriving coral and colorful fish) that has made the wreck a sight to behold.
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#7

#7 in Maldives

Travelers seeking ultimate relaxation should book a spa treatment (or a few) while visiting the Maldives. Many of the resorts in the Maldives offer their own spa on-site and use island-sourced ingredients in their treatments, such as papaya, seaweed and pineapple. Services range from typical massages and facials to signature options like citrus hydrating body treatments and customized acupuncture and chakra balancing. The Maldives is also home to the first underwater spa in the world, Huvafen Spa. What's more, several resorts host yoga classes that complement the spa relaxation and wellness offerings.
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Spas Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Maldives Spas
Travelers seeking ultimate relaxation should book a spa treatment (or a few) while visiting the Maldives. Many of the resorts in the Maldives offer their own spa on-site and use island-sourced ingredients in their treatments, such as papaya, seaweed and pineapple. Services range from typical massages and facials to signature options like citrus hydrating body treatments and customized acupuncture and chakra balancing. The Maldives is also home to the first underwater spa in the world, Huvafen Spa. What's more, several resorts host yoga classes that complement the spa relaxation and wellness offerings.
... more
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