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Hulhumale – The Perfect Transit Between Airport and Other Islands in Maldives

Hulhumale – The Perfect Transit Between Airport and Other Islands in Maldives

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My flight from Singapore to Malé is scheduled to arrive at 8.05pm Maldives time. During the trip planning stage, I knew I have to stay overnight near the airport on the first night because the public ferry that goes to my next destination only depart in the morning. I weighed the pros and cons of staying in 3 different islands, namely Malé, Hulhumalé and Villingili. In the end, I decided to stay in Hulhumalé.

Why Hulhumale is the Perfect Transit

We spent our first night and last night in Hulhumalé and we really enjoy our time there. Here are the reasons why.

1. Hulhumalé is so easily accessible from the airport. To get to Hulhumalé from the airport, simply board the shuttle bus that departs every 30 minutes from the bus stop beside KFC. It costs MVR 20 per person. The bus schedule is here. Do note that the bus doesn’t allow standing passengers, so be there and queue early!

The bus stops at 2 locations: Redwave and main bus stop. If you’re unsure where to alight, just ask the bus captain and he will advise you.

airport hulhumale shuttle bus station location

The bus stop at the airport (beside Burger King) from which you can board the shuttle bus to Hulhumale. There’s a board showing the bus schedule.

airport to hulhumale, airport shuttle bus ticket

The ticket of airport shuttle bus

How to go to the airport from Hulhumale

To take the shuttle bus from Hulhumale to the airport, go to either of these 2 bus stops:
1. Junction of Nirolhu Magu 11 (GPS coordinate: 4.215570, 73.544636)
2. Junction of Nirolhu Magu 15 (GPS coordinate: 4.212114, 73.543493)

Alternatively, study this map.

bus stop in hulhumale for airport shuttle bus

The first bus stop (Junction of Nirolhu Magu 11) from which you can board the shuttle the bus to airport. There’s a board showing the bus schedule.

bus stop 1 in hulhumale for airport shuttle bus

Airport shuttle bus at Junction of Nirolhu Magu – 11

bus stop 2 in hulhumale for airport shuttle bus

The second bus stop (Junction of Nirolhu Magu 15) from which you can board the shuttle the bus to airport. There’s a board showing the bus schedule.

2. Hulhumalé is not overly congested like Malé. The roads in Hulhumalé are wide, with generous pedestrian walkways.

3. Traveling from the airport to Villingili is too troublesome. It requires one to take a ferry from the airport to Malé, then a taxi from the north jetty to Villingi jetty in Malé, then take another ferry to Villingili.

4. You can go to Malé directly with a 20-min ferry ride. It costs just MVR 5.50, and it departs every 15 minutes.

ferry male hulhumale

Ferry departing from Hulhumale, going to Male

Location of Hulhumalé Ferry Terminal on Google Maps is: https://goo.gl/maps/ADX2LokA193CzqxW7

5. There is a stretch of pristine beach with plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby. Even though the whole island is man-made, the beach is awesome.

Hulhumale beach

Hulhumale beach in the morning

6. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouse, and their prices are affordable. Scroll down to “Where We Stayed At” to find out how much we paid for our rooms in Hulhumalé.

7. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes too. Scroll down to “What We Ate” to find out what we love.

8. There are minimarkets, souvenir shops and even a supermarket (Redwave City Square).

redwave supermarket in hulhumale

Redwave supermarket

9. There are 2 neighbourhood buses that connect the main road to Hulhumalé Ferry Terminal. These are the links for the schedule (see page 2) and the route.

10. You can absolutely run in Hulhumalé. The roads are wide with generous pedestrian walkways.

Where Hulhumale Can Improve

At the moment, there is no bikini beach in Hulhumalé. I hope there will be bikini beach in the future!

Where We Stayed At

On our first night in Maldives, we stayed at Noomoo Maldives. We paid USD 59/night per room after tax. The hotel is about 500m away from the bus stop where the airport shuttle bus dropped the passengers; we walked for about 10-15 mins while dragging our luggages along the main road.

noomoo maldives. hulhumale hotel

The streets in front of Noomoo Maldives

The room at Noomoo is not huge, but it’s acceptable. There are small bottles of shampoo and body soap in the toilet. There is wifi in the room, as well as phone. The breakfast at Noomoo consists of 3 pcs of toast with butter and jam, 1 fried egg, 1 sausage and 1 glass of orange juice. As it was a low season, the kitchen staff was still sleeping when we arrived at the cafe at 6:30am, and it took him about 20 minutes to prepare our breakfast.

noomoo maldives breakfast, hulhumale hotel

Breakfast at Noomoo Maldives

On our last night in Maldives, we stayed at Fuana Inn. To be honest, I was so pumped up when I arrived at Fuana Inn and saw that it’s located right by the beach and there are many restaurants around. Furthermore, our room has a balcony overlooking the beach! How cool! It is also nearer to the main bus stop compared to Noomoo and it’s cheaper. Location-wise, Fuana Inn is located at one of the best locations in Hulhumalé.

fuana inn room, hulhumale hotel

Fuana Inn room

fuana inn balcony view, hulhumale hotel

The balcony

fuana inn balcony view, hulhumale hotel

The view from the balcony

However, there were 2 things that didn’t sit well with us: the rude attitude of the front desk staff, and the stains on the bed.

What We Ate

We like Manhattan Fish Market so much that we ate there for 2 times! It’s located at the topmost floor of Centro Mall. My favorite dish is absolutely the Shrimp Aglio Olio. It costs just MVR 85 but it came with so many shrimps! Manhattan Fish Market is really worth the splurge.

manhattan fish market in hulhumale - giant platter

The huge and delicious platter

We had our final meal of the trip at Alchemist Bistro & Café. The portion was huge, but choice of food was limited. Their best-selling items are shakes. We ordered Milo shakes and boy, it was huge!

alchemist bistro cafe in hulhumale, bolognese spaghetti and milo dinosaur

Spaghetti bolognese and Milo dinosaur

Near Centro Mall, there is a fruit market. We were glad to have visited the market because we found great bargains. Small coconuts cost only MVR 15. The seller cuts open the coconut for us, and gave us a makeshift spoon made from coconut shell.

fruit market in hulhumale

Fruit market in Hulhumale

Thoughts About Future of Hulhumale

The government of Maldives has several ambitious goals for Hulhumalé. One of the goals is for Hulhumalé to be able to accommodate two-thirds of the total population of Maldives with a target population of 240,000. The population in 2016 was 40,000. With such a lofty goal, I foresee that in 5 years time, Hulhumalé will be so different from what it is today. Honestly, I’m excited to see what it becomes in the future.


This is Part 3 of my “Maldives Trip in 2017” series. Read other posts in this series:

To see all articles I’ve written about this archipelago, visit my Maldives page.

Hulhumale - The Perfect Transit Between Male Airport and Other Islands in Maldives

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Hari Vakkala

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Hi Eva, We couple planning for 4N /5day trip to Maldives. We arrive at Male international airport by 2:00 pm on Thursday and want to stay near by with good beach view. please suggest what if we stay in Male or Hulhumale? Which is the cheap hotel for the day as we prefer to take a good rest on that day with limited activities, before we start the next day early.

Eva

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Hi Hari, I recommend Hulhumale over Male. As for the hotel, we stayed at NooMoo and Fuana. Both are budget hotels so don't expect high standard service.

Wu Zhenfu Gilbert

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Hi Eva,

Your blog is very helpful. Would like to check how do I get to Maafushi from Male Airport by public transport and roughly what’s the rate??

Regards,

Gilbert

Eva

Sunday 16th of February 2020

Hi Gilbert, you can read this post: https://trevallog.com/maafushi-island-maldives/

Johanna

Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi Eva, Your Blog is very interesting for what to do and see at Hulhumale. I‘ve booked one week at Huvan Beach Hotel, which I really can recommend, because it‘s very clean and the stuff is very friendly.

The Beach at Hulhumale would be beautiful, if someone would remove the waste. What‘s going on there? I was shocked about the trash everywhere. The government should not care about Bikinis, they should care about there waste. People sitting at the beach in there own waste, children playing in the waste. Whatfrom will they get more sick? From the sight of a Bikini or from the trash?

I would nobody recommend to stay at Hulhumale, although Huvan Beach Hotel is very good.

Eva

Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi Johanna, Appreciate your honest feedback. It's quite sad for me to hear about the trash problem in Hulhumale. I agree that the government should implement a better waste management. Good to know that Huvan Beach Hotel is recommended.

Maneesh Annavarapu

Tuesday 5th of November 2019

Hi Eva, Thanks for the blog. It was very informative. I am coming to maldives for a 5 day trip. Planning to stay 2 days in hulhumale / maafushi and 3 days in a private island 1) since i am coming on Friday morning, is it possible to take a local ferry to maafushi ?? 2)i am planning to take a 2 day scuba diving package. What will be the price range for that kind of package and is it better to plan this scuba diving from hulhumale or maafushi??

Eva

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

Hi Maneesh, Thank you! 1) From what I know, there is NO ferry from Male to Maafushi on Fridays. If you really want to go there on Friday, perhaps you need to book a private speedboat from your hotel or guesthouse. 2) I have no idea about pricing of diving packages because I did not dive when I was there, sorry. From my own observation, there are more dive shops at Maafushi compared to Hulhumale.

Hope it helps!

Sunil Bobbala

Wednesday 25th of September 2019

Thank you. I changed my mind instead of staying in Hulhumale will stay over night in Male city. In the morning take taxi to villingili terminal of Male then to villingili to catch my ferry at 8.30 AM

Eva

Thursday 26th of September 2019

Yeah staying in Male would save time and hassle :)