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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:
Republic Square: This green square is situated on the northern edge of Male' and lined with palm trees. The square was constructed in 1989 and features a flagpole with the nation's largest Maldivian flag waving proudly. This area is also a popular spot for locals to meet.
The National Museum: After the Maldives became a republic, the country established the National Museum. Located in the former Sultan's Palace, the museum has preserved valuable relics since 1952. Here, visitors are treated to a display of regal objects, ornate attire, coins, royal sunshades, jewelry and thrones. There are even artifacts from the pre-Islamic era, almost 1,000 years ago. The National Museum welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; however, ticket sales conclude at 4 p.m. Admission costs 100 rufiyaas (about $6.50) for adults and 50 rufiyaas (about $3.25) for kids. The museum is just a short walk south of Republic Square.
Sultan Park: Located adjacent to the National Museum, Sultan Park is an open green space for locals and visitors to enjoy. The park features sculptures, playgrounds, greenery and fountains, in addition to pathways for strolling and benches for when you need to rest. However, previous travelers warn that foreigners need to pay to enter the park. Some say the park is great if you're visiting with kids but otherwise underwhelming and not worth the entry fee. Park entry costs between 75 and 100 rufiyaas (around $5 to $6.50) depending on when you visit. The park is open daily but various hours apply.
As you meander along the city's thoroughfares, you'll also notice numerous mosques. Although you may want to venture inside, be cautious and polite: foreigners, particularly non-Muslim ones, are not welcome in some.
Male' (and the island it envelops) is just a hop, skip and a jump from the island of Hulhule', where the airport rests. Its proximity to Hulhule makes it easy and efficient to visit the city at the beginning or end of your Maldives vacation.
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