The Maldives, a stunning archipelago in the Indian Ocean, is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. The local currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), but most transactions are conducted in US dollars (USD). As a tourist, it’s important to know about currency exchange options to make your trip hassle-free.
The Maldivian Rufiyaa
The Maldivian Rufiyaa is the official currency of the Maldives, and it is divided into 100 laari. The coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 laari denominations, while the banknotes come in 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Rufiyaa denominations. However, most hotels and resorts in the Maldives like Velassaru Maldives accept USD, so you might not need to exchange your money at all.
Where to exchange currency
If you need to exchange currency, the best place to do so is at the airport upon arrival. The Velana International Airport has a few currency exchange booths, where you can exchange USD, euros, or British pounds for Maldivian Rufiyaa. You can also exchange currency at local banks, but they might have limited hours and might not offer the best exchange rates.
Using credit cards
Any Maldives island resort accepts major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. However, some smaller shops and local restaurants might only accept cash. It’s always good to carry some cash with you, especially if you plan on visiting local markets or trying street food.
Tips for currency exchange
When exchanging currency, it’s important to check the exchange rate and commission fees to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal. Also, keep your exchange receipts in case you need to exchange your remaining MVR back to USD upon departure. Lastly, always be mindful of your surroundings when carrying large sums of cash.