Maldives Travel Guide

How To Reach Maldives

Malé International Airport (MLE) is the main airport, connecting the Maldives to all major countries in South-East Asia including India, China and Sri Lanka. Despite its geographic isolation, the Maldives is easily accessible by air from anywhere in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Hence, it is served by all major airlines in the region and several charter flights from Europe Scandinavian countries. Best rates for this route are possible when you book 6-7 months before your travel dates. The Maldives is a five-hour journey from India, forty-five minutes from Colombo, three hours from Dubai, four hours from Singapore and nine to eleven hours from London.


Visa is free on arrival for all nationalities to enter the Maldives. To get immigration clearance upon arrival, the person must meet the requirements that are listed below. One must:

  1. Carry a passport with a validity of at least six months. Foreign Passports holders passport and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for a minimum of 30 days from the arrival date (*Changes made due to COVID-19).
  2. Have a Pre-paid hotel/accommodation booking.
  3. Carry adequate funds to last for the intended period of stay in the Maldives.
  4. Confirmed onward/return tickets to the home country.
  5. Fill up and submit the Traveller Health Declaration (THD) electronically by those travelling to and from the Maldives, within 24 hours before their travel via the immigration website. (*Changes made due to COVID-19).
  6. Attach COVID-19 negative PCR test result while completing the Traveler Health Declaration form. (*Changes made due to COVID-19).

Time Zone

Maldives falls in the UTC + 05:00 time zone, which is thirty minutes behind Indian Standard Time.


The Maldives is a tropical country located across the equator with an average temperature of 30-degree Celsius. While the weather is mostly sunny and humid throughout the year, one can expect tropical rain showers from May to October.


Dhivehi, the official Maldivian language is an Indo-Aryan language related to an ancient form of Sinhala, a Sri Lankan language, but with Sanskrit origins and is spoken by most locals in different dialects throughout the country. Here are some essential Dhivehi words to help you in Maldives.

  • How are you: Haalu kihineh?
  • My name is: Aharenge namakee
  • Yes: Aan
  • No: Noon
  • How much is this for: Meethi kihaavarakah?
  • Thank you: Shukuriyyaa
  • Goodbye: Dhane


The island provides comprehensive and economical public transport services that include speedboats and public ferry services. Though taxis are not the most sought after mode of transport in the Maldives, in Male Uber and Ola taxi services are available for hire. Cars are a rare sight in most Maldives cities. Apart from a few taxis and personal vehicles, renting a car is not prevalent amongst travellers.


Currency & ATMs

The currency of Maldives is Maldivian rufiyaa (Rf). You can use US Dollar (USD) throughout the country as well. However, it is wholly possible to holiday in the Maldives without even touching cash if you pay via credit card on departure. Major credit cards such as Visa, Amex and MasterCard are accepted in resorts and most guesthouses. The best way to go about a Maldivian holiday is to pre-book your resort inclusive of meal plans. One can only find ATMs on the main island of Male and on-site at the airport. If you use your ATM card in Male, make sure to call your bank beforehand to put a travel alert on it to avoid getting blocked. We suggest that you carry around 800 USD for four nights. However, it is also advisable to have a buffer for 100-200 USD, in case of emergencies.

Currency & ATMs

WiFi and Cellular Services

WiFi is available in all the resorts and most guesthouses. WiFi is available at most restaurants and cafes in the Maldives, so connectivity is not an issue. A SIM card roughly costs 300 MVR. Dhiraagu, and Ooredoo are the Maldives' leading cell phone companies. Out of the two, Ooredoo has better network coverage.

Good To Know

  • Restaurants and cafés in Malé have clean, convenient and free restrooms.
  • Drink adequate fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Long periods of sun exposure could leave you susceptible to heatstroke. It is generally more humid in the Maldives than in India, so carry a small water bottle wherever you go during the day.
  • Beware of coral cuts while snorkelling as corals are poisonous, and the wound takes longer to heal.
  • The minimum age for scuba diving and snorkelling is ten years. However, you can opt for supervised snorkelling if travelling with kids.
  • Remember to carry travel adaptors to safeguard your equipment. Maldives receives 230 Volts, 50Hz and one can use C, D, G, J, K, L sockets and plugs.
  • If you are over 17 years and are visiting the Maldives, you will be entitled to certain concessions and duty-free entries on some of your goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, cigars, tobacco and perfumes.
Restaurants and cafés

What Should You Pack

  • Remember to carry lots of sunblocks with a good SPF, broad-brimmed hats, and an umbrella to minimize your interaction with the sun.
  • Do not overpack—chances of you donning your swimwear for most of the day are high.
  • Pick cotton or linen clothes and flowy dresses over other fabrics.
  • Do not forget to pack flip-flops and comfortable walking shoes.
  • If you have any medical prescriptions, carry them with you.
What Should you Pack


  • Public display of affection is frowned upon in the local islands of Maldives.
  • Resorts are open to same-sex couple guests, and the couple does not face discrimination, only blushes and awkward stares.
  • Beach exposure and nudity are strictly prohibited. You can wear bikinis on the resort island but not on the local islands.
  • The popular form of greeting is shaking hands with men when you meet them.
  • Eat only with your right hand when dining on an inhabited island because the left hand is considered unclean.
  • Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter mosques anywhere in the Maldives unless they are explicitly invited.
  • Bargaining is not part of Maldivian culture; however, haggling in touristy areas is still tolerable.

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