A small island country comprising 26 ring-shaped coral reefs called ‘atolls’, Maldives is one of the most charming tourist destinations in the world. It has more than a thousand islands, which would give you plenty of options to see and do while you are in this majestic island destination. The main gateway to this nation is Velana International Airport, also known as ‘Maldives International Airport’. It was earlier called Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. This airport is located near the capital island of Male on Hulhule Island and is well-connected with the world’s major airports.
If you have a long layover at the airport after arriving in any of the flights to Maldives, you’ll have the chance to get around in the capital or relax for a couple of hours. If you wish to go sightseeing, there are many places you can explore in this part of the country. You’ll also get to interact with the Maldivians while taking a stroll in one of the smallest national capitals in the world. While exploring the capital, you’ll notice that it has been built on a grid pattern and the narrow streets are lined with office buildings, apartment blocks, and shops. Just make sure that you’re dressed in decent attire as this is quite a conservative nation.
Male is a casual and friendly capital, which makes it an ideal place for wandering and visiting some of its popular attractions. After strolling around for quite some time, you can enjoy your moments of relaxation under the shady trees of Sultan Park. It was created on the site of the Royal Palace, which was demolished in the 16th century. Sultan Park is a large public park and is well-known for its green surroundings and a serene atmosphere. It has been maintained well and has a strict policy against loitering, which includes fines for individuals caught while doing so.
You’ll get some interesting insights into the history and culture of Maldives upon visiting the National Museum, which is located in Sultan Park. This three-storeyed museum was opened in 1952 and became the first national museum upon its opening. The building is considered to be the most beautiful in the whole of Maldives and was created to preserve the country’s history and instil patriotism among the citizens. While exploring this museum, you’ll get the chance to browse through a large collection of artefacts that range from objects made of stone to antiques from the period ranging from the Buddhist era to the times of the Islamic rule.
While on your visit to the Islamic Centre, a famous architectural landmark in Male, you’ll get to witness the Grand Friday Mosque. This mosque is officially called Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam and has been named after Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam, one of the most popular heroes of the country. It is the largest of all mosques in Maldives and is also among the largest mosques in South Asia. The Islamic Centre is also a place where official meetings and ceremonies are held.