While it is easy to dismiss Maldives as just a beach destination, in truth the country has a lot more to offer tourists. Many of the island nation’s historical and cultural attractions are located in Male’ (which is also the capital city). So travellers interested in learning a little about Maldives can take a day off from the beach and explore the streets of Male’, where attractions such as the Hukuru Miskiiy (or Grand Friday Mosque), the Sultan Park and the National Museum await them.
The Sultan Park is a small public park which was once attached to the Royal Palace. However, with the fall of monarchy on the island a large portion of the palace was destroyed leaving very little to see. Despite its small size the park contains an impressive variety of plant life and even a limited number of animals. The public garden is gorgeously landscaped and contains several ponds covered in water lilies. The garden is generally quiet and peaceful making it a nice place to sit back, relax and enjoy nature.
The National Museum is housed in the portion of the royal palace that was left standing and is situated inside the park. The museum opened its doors to the public in November 1952. One can find a vast and varied collection of items at the museum. Items on display include weapons and armour, costumes, jewellery, shoes, ornaments, coins, sculptures made out of coral, antiques, hookahs, traditional musical instruments and even thrones. Highlights of the museum include a bust of the Buddha dating to the eleventh century and an intricately engraved panel of wood sourced from the Grand Friday Mosque. Opening hours are between 9.00 am and 3 pm, every day except public holidays and Fridays.
Although Male’ is home to many tourist attractions it is not known for its beaches. Tourists who want to enjoy the island’s best beaches can book a Maldives resort such as the Cocoa Island Maldives which is situated on a different island. The Maldives luxury hotel is located on a private island and has a terrific beach. They even have over thirty bungalows built right over the waters for guests who never want to be too far from the ocean.