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Maldives Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Maldives in 2023

Welcome to Maldives

The Maldives is an archipelago of more than 1,200 coral reefs and 1,000 inhabited islands. The capital city of the territory is Malé, which is located on the island of Maafushi. The capital is also home to the main international airport, the gateway to this tropical paradise. Let's explore!

While known for its beautiful beaches, the Maldives offers plenty of other attractions such as diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, water sports, and cultural activities. This ultimate Maldives travel guide brings together all the best things to do in the Maldives - including some hidden gems - and practical info to help you plan your trip!

Document checklist for Maldives

  • Visa

  • Health declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

Essential Maldives travel information

  • Currency - Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR). $1 is equivalent to approx. MVR 15.30.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - The average daily budget for a Maldives vacation is MVR 3,698 ($240).

  • Languages - The official language is Dhivehi. However, English is widely spoken, especially at hotels and touristic areas.

  • Socket type - Types C, D, G, J, K and L. The Maldives operate on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Maldives Time (MVT): UTC +5.

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Malé, Hulhumale, and Maafushi.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Grand Friday Mosque, and Banana Reef.

Visa information for the Maldives

Right now, we don’t offer visas for the Maldives. However, we offer the Maldives Health Declaration, which is obligatory for your trip.

Maldives Health Declaration explained

The Traveler Health Declaration is a document you must obtain before arrival in the Maldives, to ensure you are in good health and avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

You need to submit the document 96 hours before your departure date, and the validity is for a single entry.

Typical costs and budget for the Maldives

Here we give you the costs to consider for your trip to the Maldives.

Daily spending per person - The daily budget per person is MVR 3,698 ($240). This includes:

  • Meals - Local meals cost around MVR 964 ($62).

  • Transport - Local transportation is MVR 1,712 ($111).

  • Hotel - A double room in a hotel costs about MVR 2,897 ($188.55) for a couple.

For one person, a mid-range Maldives vacation usually costs around MVR 25,888 ($1,692). For luxurious resorts the price can differ. Overwater villas, beach villas, or island resorts can all be found here, so it depends on your budget.

Transport and best ways to travel around the Maldives

The Maldives is a small country surrounded by water, and is divided into 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean.

Therefore, the best options for getting around are sea transport and air travel. Below we’ll give more info about these options, and also about other key transport options to get to know this tropical paradise such as public buses, luxury yachts, and bicycles.

Seaplane transfers

This option is an easy and quick way to get to your destination. In addition, you will be able to appreciate the beautiful turquoise-blue color surrounding the islands. This option is not the most economical but will surely make for an unforgettable experience. Most resorts offer seaplanes as a form of private transport to their guests.

Public ferry

This is one of the best options for travelers on a budget. You can travel to all inhabited local islands, except private resorts, as these require a private boat or seaplane. Check the website of Atolltransfer to find out more about possible island connections.


If you want to travel to uninhabited Maldivian islands, you can rent a Dhoni for a day. This is a Maldivian boat made of coconut wood, very traditional, that is typically used for fishing. Your resort or accommodation location can help you make a reservation.

Walking and cycling

Walking is a perfectly good and safe way to get around touristy islands. Many accommodations also offer free bike rental or paid bicycle tours, which can be a fun way to explore some of the bigger islands.


You will find bus services in Malé and Addu, which are cheap and comfortable, but limited to just these places. It’s also suitable to use a bus to get to your accommodation in Malé from the international airport.

Safety in the Maldives

Maldives is a safe country for tourists, mostly due to its isolated islands and places intended specifically for tourism. However, it always helps to be cautious with your important belongings and valuables when on holiday.

Remember that it is an Islamic nation, so respecting the local religious and cultural norms is very important. Alcohol is only available at resorts.

Another important thing to note is that the country is extremely vulnerable to natural hazards, such as tsunamis, flooding, strong winds, and rising sea levels. Always monitor local media and the government websites for updates.

Weather in the Maldives

The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April, outside the monsoon season.

In the Maldives dry season (December to April) temperatures are between 31°C (87.8°F) during the day and 24°C (75.2°F) at night. During this season, you'll find warm and dry weather, the peak season for vacations.

The Maldives wet season (May to November) sees temperatures from 31°C (87.8°F) during the day and 24°C (75.2°F) at night. There will be strong winds and rain during this season, not ideal for a relaxing beach holiday.

Popular cities and towns in the Maldives

The Maldives is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Here are some of the best places to visit during your stay.

  • Malé - The capital of Maldives is a perfect place to start your holiday. It is an organized and clean city and offers great cultural and historical heritage with many monuments, mosques, and museums. This city also boasts beautiful beaches, charming markets, and exquisite restaurants.

  • Hulhumale - Here you’ll find the historical heritage of the Maldives. It’s a charming island with palm trees, magical beaches, turquoise water, and lots of peace and quiet. It’s also home to Velana International Airport.

  • Maafushi - This island is the perfect place to relax and offers warm water to swim and snorkel. You can also get on a submarine to explore marine life, or enjoy water sports such as water-skiing.

  • Dhidhdhoo - The capital of Haa Alif Atoll, very popular for its tourist attractions. It has many great resorts, vibrant landscapes, and delicious restaurants.

  • Veligandu - An island famous for its romantic vibes, perfect for couples. The luxurious villas and resort islands are ideal to enjoy and rest along the gorgeous waters of the Indian Ocean.

Must do and see in the Maldives

To enjoy the Maldives and its culture and sea life, don’t miss these things on your itinerary.

  • Male Friday Mosque - One of the historical places to visit in the Maldives. Its construction dates back to 1658, and it is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  • Grand Friday Mosque - The largest mosque in the Maldives, attracting many travelers seeking spirituality and peace. In addition, it is architecturally stunning. The white marble, wood carvings, and a golden dome are some of the details that stand out specifically.

  • Banana Reef - A perfect place to dive and see the vibrant coral reefs and seaweed that abound underwater between the islands of North Malé Atoll. Here you can also meet some of the beautiful whale sharks that roam the waters.

  • Kuredu - The northern center of the Maldives archipelago. This island in the shape of a boomerang offers rustic bamboo huts and rows of traditional bungalows with verandas looking out over the waves. A perfect place for diving and snorkeling, as it is famous for spotting manta rays.

Typical Maldives food to try

  • Mas Huni - A popular dish in the Maldives, which consists of shredded smoked tuna served with grated coconut, lemon, and onions. A must-try for breakfast!

  • Reef fish cutlets - Reef fish is a popular meal in the Maldives. The fish is cooked with exotic local ingredients such as coconut, mint chutney, papaya, and cucumber.

  • Gulha - An evening snack served with tea or coffee. These bite-sized meatballs are filled with tuna, onions, chili, and grated coconut.

Vaccine information for the Maldives

Passengers who have transited through or traveled from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Other vaccines that are usually advised are tetanus, hepatitis A & B, and typhoid.

COVID-19 vaccination certificates are not mandatory to enter the Maldives.

Please check the CDC website for general advice or contact your local health practitioner for more information.

Honeymoon in the Maldives

The Maldives are one of the most iconic honeymoon destinations in the world, as you can see in any photo. Honeymooners can enjoy the ultimate holiday in luxury accommodations in one of the world's most beautiful tropical countries.

However, prepare for a hefty price tag-and to use up a lot of those credit card points-for this trip, which is not for those on a tight budget. But when you do make it there, you can be sure that it will be special

There are a variety of accommodations available, from five-star resorts and beach villas to overwater villas with complete privacy. Guests on honeymoon will appreciate that the staff can arrange everything from private beach picnics to couple massages. You can even book your own private island experience!

Fun facts about Maldives

Here are a few interesting things to know about the Maldives before you go!

  • Averaging 1.8 meters above sea level, the Maldives is one of the flattest countries in the world.

  • The beaches of Maldives have white sand because it is made out of coralline and not quartz. This kind of sand is very rare, just 5% of the beaches in the world are made of similar sand.

  • The Maldives is home to the largest whale shark population in the world. You’ll mostly find them by the reefs near Sun Island.

  • The country is home to the majority of the earth’s marine turtle species, five out of seven species in the world. You can spot loggerheads, leatherbacks, Olive Ridley turtles, green turtles, and hawksbill turtles when you visit popular dive sites. Don’t forget your underwater camera!

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