I did the four hour walking tour of Male with a friend and had a great experience. Our guide, Zaff, was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I particularly enjoyed looking round the old mosque and the trip to the fish and food markets. Zaff took us on a bit of a taste tour and got us to try lots of local foods that we’d never seen before, which was wonderful. I would definitely recommend this trip!
Learn More About Maldivian Life
Departs Morning & Afternoon
Culture & History Tour
Explore History, Culture, & Architecture in the Capital of the Maldives
Discover the hidden gems of Male city! Our half-day walking tour of Male will give you an insider’s view of our vibrant city. Our knowledgeable & experienced local guides will take you to the best spots and provide you with local insights and anecdotes that you can’t find in a guidebook.
Explore historical landmarks, wander through bustling local markets, and savor delicious local snacks. Take a leisurely break at a local café, where you can chat with your guide about their culture and customs. It’s the perfect way to start your Maldives holiday and become acquainted with this captivating destination.
- From USD 55 per person
- Saturday – Thursday 09:00 – 13:00
- Daily 14:00 – 18:00
- Jetty 5, Male (opposite the Bank of Ceylon).
- Collection from the airport, hotels in Malé, Hulhumale or the cruise tender jetty available upon request and is offered free of charge.
We are only able to collect from private resort islands in North and South Male Atolls. Permission must be gained from the resort to enable us to use their private jetty. Not all resorts will allow this service so please do confirm with the resort prior to booking. Charges for return transfer will be based on the distance the resort is located from Male.
- 4 hours
- Maximum 8 persons
- We request female guests to dress with modesty when visiting Male (shorts/skirts/dresses should cover the upper thigh and shoulders/chests should be fully covered).
- Long trousers or a sarong to cover legs is required by both male and female guests when visiting mosques.
- Entry to Sultan Park ( depending on opening times)
- Light refreshment
- Map of Malé & the Maldives
- Services of a Secret Paradise guide
- Local tax (10% service charge and 16% GST)
- Personal expenditure eg souvenirs and snacks
What to bring
- Refillable water bottle, beach towel, sun glasses, sun hat, insect repellent, camera, money for personal expenditure.
About your guide
One of our experienced and professionally trained local tour guides will accompany you for the duration of the activity. All our guides hold First Aid and Lifeguard qualifications and have completed Travelife Online Sustainable Tourism Certification.
Explore the Maldivian capital with a comprehensive walking tour.
Get an insider’s view of the history and culture of the Maldives.
Visit key sites as well as off-the-beaten-track points of interest.
Let your senses revel in the tastes, sights, and smells at the local markets.
Enjoy refreshment at a local cafe.
What to Expect
Your tour starts with an overview of Malé and the harbor area, a very important aspect of any island nation. Passing by the oldest school in the city, learn about the education system and why the Maldives has a 98% literacy rate. Visit Hukuru Miskiiy – Old Friday Mosque and the tomb of Abu-al-Barakaath and learn why the Maldives converted to Islam and how the Islamic faith underpins everyday life.
Stop for a refreshing cup of traditional black tea at a local cafe, a popular spot for locals. Find out the importance of betal nuts and try them for yourself!. Stopping at the November 3rd Memorial, hear the story of how 8 brave military servicemen died in the protection of their country from a terrorist attack in 1988. Wander through Sultan Park, a reference to the time the Maldives was governed by a sultanat now developed into a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city.
Walking back towards the harbor area, pass by the Grand Friday Mosque and the Islamic Centre, Malé’s famous architectural landmark, and onto Jumhooree Maiden – Independence Square. From here, learn the meaning of the Maldives national flag and pick out key government buildings.
Heading west along the harbor, visit the bustling fish market and the local market, where the sights, sounds, and smells will fill your senses. Chat with the local stallholders and taste tropical produce and homemade sweets.
The tour finishes at the top of one of the city’s tallest buildings, providing a great backdrop to your final tour photo image!
Hear From Our Previous Guests
Highly highly recommend this company and their Male city tour. It’s an excellent way to get a sense of the “real” Maldives before you head to a resort. Our guide was Archie, and he was simply excellent! He was extremely knowledgeable, personal, and a pleasure to be with. Many guides simply spit out information, but with Archie it felt as though we were in conversation. Highly recommend!
Our tour with Archie was fantastic! He was so knowledgeable about the city of Male as well as the Maldivian history and culture in general. We spent several hours on a walking tour of Male and the highlights for us were the fish market and the produce market. Archie was able to answer all of our questions about Male from past to present as well as our questions about the greater Maldive Islands. What a culturally facinating country. This was a great way to learn about the country with a local guide prior to our stay at one of the resort islands.
We highly recommend Secret Paradise and, of course, Archie!!
Such a phenomenal tour with Shark. He was an amazing guide in this way, and shared so much knowledge about Maldivian history, geography, culture and politics as we made our way through Male.
He was also one of the best guides I’ve had over the course of my travels—punctual, friendly, open with sharing his own life and story in the Maldives, and really open to shifting course over the morning based on things I wanted to see in or questions I had about the various sites we visited in Male.
I can’t recommend this tour highly enough, and my greatest thanks to Shark for a phenomenal introduction to Male and the Maldives!
This private tour was conducted by Archie from Secret Paradise.
It exceeded our expectations and Archie was brilliant in delivering his knowledge in a most professional manner while conveying his love for the Maldives during our tour .This made the tour very personal.
Spend a day in Male before going onto your resort holiday. This tour will enhance your Maldivian experience by providing a unique look into the people of the Maldives.
One of the best tours we have ever experienced. We learned so much of the Maldivian culture and cruisine. We also learned about the coral reef and even better, ways we can do our part to save it!!! I highly recommend this tour. If you can book it with Shark, you are golden. He is a local artist and highly knowledgeable. He loves his job, and you can really tell. His passion for Maldives is infectious.
I had a Male walking tour with Shark (on the same day that I saw whale sharks, lol), and it was great. First, he was very accommodating and pushed my tour time back because my seaplane departure from my hotel changed, and he modified the tour by adding some additional stops since several of the originally planned locations were closed. He gave a lot of good information and took me to places that I definitely would not have seen on my own. I really appreciated learning his perspectives on local Maldivian culture and how life in the capital differs from life on the islands. I would recommend this for travelers who want to see a slice of real Maldivian life in addition to the resorts.
We had Shark who met us at our hotel and gave us a good local Maldivian perspective on living in the Maldives. We took a local island tour at one resort and we wished we had booked our tour through Secret Paradise instead. The tour helped us with history, religion, economics and general everyday life.
They even accommodated my current disability. I am suffering from a concussion from a bad accident over a year
ago and Shark adjusted the tour to reduce my exposure to large crowds and noise. It was greatly appreciated and I was able to make it through the entire tour.
Please don’t hesitate to use them as they are top notch.
Wow! What a fantastic and interesting tour. It was fabulous to hear personal stories from Shark about his hometown as well as it’s quite amazing history.
I’ve never seen buildings made from coral slabs before, nor heard of whole mosques being moved due to changes in leadership. Shark’s personal stores and anecdotes made this tour far better than the usual read from a script type historical tours.
Thanks again Shark we loved every moment- especially the treats at the food market and the mini history (and life!) lessons along the way.
We took the 4 hour tour through Malé City Walking Tour in January 2023, and had the pleasure to have Shark as our guide. He met us at our hotel, gave us a map and briefly explained the history of Maldives and a general description of what we’d be visiting. We went by the local market and tasted a screw pine, saw turtles off the boat harbor, went by the Sultan Park, stopped by refreshments, and all the while had Shark tell us about his wonderful country. Communication with the owner Ruth was easy, speedy and straightforward. I would love to try their other tours when (and if) I get the chance to visit the Maldives again. ޝުކުރިއްޔާ !
We had booked a snorkeling excursion but UB said it was cancelled due to high tides and unsafe weather. I told him to switch to a walking tour and refund the difference. It was no problem with him or the company. The tour was really good. UB answered all my question about Malè. My wife was really hesitant about a walking tour because she thought it would be boring. But at the end of it, she said it was really fun because of UB’s relaxed vibe. Had a great time and got to know a lot about the fascinating history of Malè and Maldives.
Had a tour with Zaff. He is a very friendly person, showed me different places and shared with me his love for his home country. Indeed he make me realize how much the Maldives is!! Definitely more than just a tropical Paradise.
It was a fantastic experience and Zaff was very very friendly and helpful. Secret Paradise has been amazing and has helped me a lot on my trip to the Maldives. They were always ready to answer any questions I had regarding any aspect of my trip!!
All in all a very nice experience, even with the masks we could feel the smiling welcome 🙂 The check-in process was very structured, safety rules were well explained and it felt very professional.
Great afternoon with Archie. He has excellent local knowledge, gentle nature, and good chats about Game of Thrones! The Male history was interesting and the children’s playground was a lovely place to see. Even a sneak peek at the local footy club.
I really felt I was being introduced to this interesting city by trusted friends. Shaffaf and Hoo were open and welcoming while proudly showing us their city and encouraging us to sample the delights of their food at each market visited.
We really enjoyed the tour with Archie. It wasn’t easy to find a company that could give us a flavor of the real Maldives, outside of the resorts. It was a great blend of history and local culture. Highly recommend it!
My wife and I booked a 4-hour Male tour with Secret Paradise and had a great experience. From our first contact via email we received personalized service and received excellent, prompt responses. The tour provided a great
insight into Maldives and Maldivians and was very informative.