White sandy beaches, turquoise waters…thinking of that beach getaway already? It’s time for one of the best beach getaways ever! That’s right! We’re talking about Maldives😍
The perfect beach getaway doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag! We’ve done all the research for you to enjoy Maldives under USD770!
Option 1 – Direct Flight
Of course, this will take up a fair bit of your expenses so be sure to keep a look out for flight deals! A quick search on Skyscanner will give you many options with affordable prices (taxes included).
SriLankan Airlines offers affordable direct flight! Transfer flights to Maldives are much cheaper than direct flights. Plus, the arrival time is not too late so the day isn’t wasted on travelling alone☺️
#HHWT Tip: It’s a well-known fact that the best time to fly out will be on Tuesdays to Thursdays! The crowd is considerably lesser and the flight prices is relatively cheaper. Of course, don’t forget to book your flights way in advance (about 180 days or more)!
Option 2 – Bus to KL, Flight from KL
For those looking to save more, consider taking a flight via AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Male (capital of Maldives). You can get return tickets for as low as USD228 per pax. The bus ride to and from from KL will cost you about USD28. Enjoy the scenery or take that beauty sleep with a smile on your face knowing that you are saving a whole lot more on this trip!
Since most flights reach Maldives at night, travelers will have to stay a night at Hulumale. The boats that go to other islands mostly leave in the day, so either way you’ll have to find a place to spend the night!
Note: The prices stated below are based on a search from 1st July to 31st July 2017.
Credit: Elite Beach Inn Maldives on Facebook
We heard about Hotel Elite Beach Inn and love it’s simple bed and breakfast concept – perfect when you’re trying to go on a budget. The hotel is an 8-minute drive away from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
Cost: From USD36/night (per person: from USD18/night)
Credit: @razki_iskandar on Instagram
Another option with a similar concept is UI Hotel, which is about a 10-minute drive away from the airport!
Cost: From USD33/night (per person: from USD17/night)
Another option is to check out Airbnb! Located in the heart of Hulhumale’, this newly-built apartment is a 2 minutes walk from the beach and a 10 minutes drive from the airport – convenient and scenic☺️
Cost: USD40/night (per person: USD20/night)
Day 2 – 4
After spending the night in Hulhumale, we recommend that you book an accommodation on the mainland, Male. There are many unique places to choose from and most of the hosts are friendly – ensuring that you have a pleasant stay in their humble abode!
LVIS boutique hotel
This is a hotel but listed on an Airbnb page for one reason. Unlike other hotels, guests have the opportunity to experience a very personal approach to the local community and to experience how Maldivians live🤗
Cost: USD332/3 nights (per person: USD166/3 nights)
Sea House Hotel Top Deck
Alternatively, Sea House Hotel Top Deck is another smart choice for travelers! The hotel is located just 0.5 km away from the city center and provides easy accessibility to amenities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers you easy access to the city’s must-see destinations🤗
Credit: Seahouse Maldives Topdeck Hotel on Facebook
Cost: From USD141/3 nights (per person: USD71/3 nights)
#HHWT Tip: Looking for more accommodation options? Check out more Muslim-friendly budget resorts in Maldives!
When you first land in the Maldives, you will arrive at Hulhule, an island in Male. From there, you can choose to either take a 24-hour bus to the city of Hulhumale, or a 10-minute local ferry to Male city.
Credit: @amisfir on Instagram
From the Airport to Male
A local ferry is 10rfy (USD0.60). This is a 10-minute ride.
Speedboat is 25rfy (USD1.60). This is a 3-minute ride.
Taxis in Male charge is a standard fare of 25rfy (USD 1.60) per trip.
From the Airport to Hulhumale center
The public bus runs 24 hours from the airport to the center of Hulhumale. The bus stop is located at the end of the airport, beside a food court that sells Burger King and Thai Express.
4. Must-Visit Places
Republic Square or Jumhooree Maidhaan
Credit: @gitamegarita1 on Instagram
Begin your day at Male’s centre, Republic Square, located on the north coast and easily marked by a flagpole with a giant Maldivian flag. It’s a great start to orientate yourself in the city as it’s probably the first thing you’ll see when you arrive by boat from the airport. This is a great place to chill and people watch😜
The Grand Friday Mosque
Credit: David Stanley on Flickr
Next to the square is the most prominent landmark in town, the Grand Friday Mosque. Islam is a fundamental part of day-to-day life in this Muslim country. Nowhere is this more evident than the area surrounding the mosque! This exceptionally well-maintained Masjid offers a preview into the local’s religious make-up.
Featuring a plain white facade, a golden-topped turret, marble interior and a beautiful golden dome dominates the city’s skyline. The mosque can accommodate up to 5000 worshipers😮
Main Street, Majeedhee Magu
Credit: @mbybs on Instagram
Head to Majeedhee Magu if you’re curious about the main commercial district of Male, or if you need to stock up on diving gear or go souvenir hunting! This road spans the length of Male from east to west and it’s lined with shops carrying items imported from Southeast and South Asia.
Note: Shops are generally open from 9:00 am for most of the day until 11:00 pm, except between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm and for 15 minutes after each call to prayer.
Cost: All free! Except for shopping of course😉
Total duration: 1 -2 days, depending on how much of the city you would wanna cover
Visit Rasdhoo Island and other uninhabited islands
Maldives is made up of over 1,200 islands but only around 200 are inhabited! Popular islands include Maafushi (which can get pretty packed during peak season) and Koomandoo. Since Maldives has so many other islands, you can consider visiting the less mainstream ones!
Credit: @ahmed_lisaadh on Instagram
Rasdhoo Island is one of the most popular destinations among diving amateurs and water sport enthusiasts. The island is 56 kilometers west from Male, located in Alif Alif Atoll. This is a rather small island, with a population of only 1500 people.
Travel to the neighbouring islands, Madivaru and Madivaru Finolhu, either for half of a day or the whole day! Locals call them picnic islands and you can get there by speed boat or by kayaking😎
Credit: @franzifrosch on Instagram
There is also a lagoon near Madivaru Finolhu, which is 2.5-3.0 meters deep, with a magnificent coral reef at the heart of the lagoon😍
Getting there via Public Ferry
Male – Rasdhoo. Duration is 3 hours, USD4/person. Rides available on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00am from Villingili Terminal (southwest of Male).
Rasdhoo – Male. Duration is 3 hours, USD4/person. Rides available on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday at 11.00am to Villingili Terminal (southwest of Male).
Getting there via Scheduled Speedboat
The speedboat runs daily. Duration is 1 hour 20 minutes, USD35 per person.
Male-Rasdhoo. Departs at 10.30am and 3.30 – 4.00pm daily. 9.30am only on Fridays.
Rasdhoo – Male. Departs at 7.30am and 1:30pm. 7.30am only on Fridays.
Duration: Half a day or full day, depending on how much of the island you would wanna cover
5. Must-Do Activities
Snorkeling in Maldives is a friendly sport that lets even the non-swimmers explore the hidden gems of the underwater world. All you need are masks and fins! This is definitely one of the best water activities to do in Maldives☺️
Cost: USD85/person for 2 hours
Duration: Minimum 2 hours
Explore the beautiful waters of Maldives and feel the adrenaline rush! Jet skiing is one of the most popular water sports in Maldives. You don’t need to know how to swim to rev up the engine. But make sure you always wear a life jacket so that even if you fall, you can easily float on the water until you the coast guards rescue you.
Credit: Scubaspa Maldives on Flickr
Cost: A 20-mins ride per pax costs around USD70-185 (depending on type of water vehicle chosen)
Duration: Minimum 20 minutes
This is something that I would definitely recommend for those looking for an alternative to scuba diving! The bottom of the boat is made of transparent glass😱 The boat will bring you far into the ocean so you can see the colourful creatures and marine plants swaying in the deep ocean. This way, you won’t even need to get into the water to see all the wonderful jewels of the ocean!
Credit: @bandosmaldives on Instagram
Cost: Around USD30
Duration: 30 min – 1h 30 min (depending on operator)
Imagine how exciting it would be to fly a kite right on the surface of the beautiful blue Maldivian sky😍 This one’s for the adventure seekers and is a cheaper alternative to parasailing!
Credit: Ocean Water Sport on Facebook
Cost: 60 – 90 USD per person to fly for an hour
Duration: Minimum 1 hour
6. Eating on a budget
Local food is mostly seafood and you will have no trouble finding a halal restaurant in the city. Coffee houses around the island serve coffee from early morning until late at night for around USD1.50!
Credit: @idmiwald on Instagram
Credit: @foodiebills on Instagram
They also offer snacks, sandwiches, and noodles for around USD3. Other than grilled fish, typical Maldivian cuisine involves breakfast of sweet and thick milk tea, canned tuna mixed with onion and lime juice, and delicious roshi. Regular dishes from local eateries in Male can cost as little as USD4! You can get rice with chicken, or fried noodles with assorted meat with this price.
See below for an approximate breakdown of food prices:
Coffee and Snacks (Around USD4.50)
Food per day: < USD30
Food for 5 days: Approximately USD150
If recommended restaurants are more of your liking, check out these two options we’ve handpicked just for you!
The Sea House Maldives
This awesome restaurant serves seafood, Thai and Western cuisine. Savour top-quality food at reasonable prices here😋
Credit: The Sea House Maldives on Facebook
The best part is that you can enjoy your food, accompanied by the gorgeous sea view and breeze😌
Credit: The Sea House Maldives on Facebook
Address: Boduthakurufaanu Magu, 1st Floor Hulhumale Male’ Ferry Terminal, Male 20005
Price Range: $$ – $$$
Opening Hours: 4.30am – 12.00am daily (except Fridays – closed from 11.00am to 1.30pm)
A little and cosy restaurant tucked away from the busy streets in Male but still within the city center, Symphony is a regular hangout zone for those passing through the city! The restaurant serves a variety of cuisine ranging from Chinese to Thai to International at reasonable prices.
Credit: @iamnausha on Instagram
Address: M.a Male Faru, Athamaa Goalhi, 20196, Maldives
Price Range: $$ – $$$
Opening Hours: 11AM – 1AM daily except Thursdays & Fridays
Now, let’s recap how much you would need to spend for a 5 days 4 nights stay in Maldives:
KL – Maldives
SPEEDBOAT (2 Island Trips)
|ACCOMMODATION (5 days, 4 nights)||USD 88|
|WATER ACTIVITIES||USD 200|
Note that this calculation is based on an approximate value, but at least you now know that you are able to spend less than USD770 while still having a great time in Maldives!☺️