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

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

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:

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.

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

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Hi Eva, its great to bump into your blog as i was planning a similar 1 day stay in hulhumale like u did. One question, did u change into local maldives currency for your expenses in hulhumale or do they accept USD?

    Thanks for the great info! 🙂
    Rgds, Lin

    1. Hi Lin,
      Yes, I changed to local Maldives currency. They do accept USD but they convert it to a slightly higher rate. Also, I travel a lot with the public ferry, I’m not sure if they accept USD. So, it’s definitely useful to hold on to some Maldives currency 🙂
      Cheers!

      1. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Dear Eva,
    I came across your amazing blog while searching for accom in the Maldives for our honeymoon. We are taking about the same flight as you, arriving late at 8pm and leave early at 11am. Do you think I should stay both the first and last day at Huhumale? or should I book the first day somewhere else for different experience and Huhumale for the last day so that I won’t miss my flight?
    I thank you in advance and look forward to your reply.
    Best,
    Thanh.

    1. Hi Thanh! Yeah, I think you could consider to stay in Male for the first day, and Hulhumale for the final day for the experience of staying at two different places. Even though Male is crowded, there are plenty of food options, and taxis are everywhere. Hope you have good journey to Maldives!

  3. Hi Eva,

    Thanks for the detail on your blog.

    I happen to come across you blog when I’m searching for transportation from Male airport to Hulhumale. My flight will arrive the at 9:30pm. I checked with the hotel and they are charging US$10 per person. I would like to see if there’s taxi or is UBER available for the transportation.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Jordan, thanks for the compliment. I don’t recall seeing any taxi in Male airport. Yes, hotels are charging USD 10 which I find ridiculous. I highly recommend taking the shuttle bus. When I visited Maldives last year, there wasn’t any Uber in the country. I’m not sure about now. Enjoy your trip to Maldives!

  4. Hi Eva,

    Thanks for your reply. I heard that there’s kinda “Chinese exclusion” in Maldives. Is that true? It makes me not feeling safe walking on the street. I did some search in UBER and it show no service in Maldives.I think i’d take the hotel transportation.

    Thanks
    Jordan

    1. Hi Jordan, I’m not sure about the situation now. But when I took the local bus, there were plenty of Chinese too, and there wasn’t any exclusion. Yeah, I agree it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  5. Hi Eva,

    Unfortunately for me I am reaching the Airport early morning on a Friday. Do you know if the ferry service operates to Male on Friday. I have 5D and 4N. What would be your suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,
    J

    1. Hi Isaac, on Fridays, ferries will be operating within 10 minutes from morning 06:00 AM to 00:00 AM. If you need more info about Male airport, you can check my post here: https://trevallog.com/male-airport-guide-what-to-do-when-you-arrive-at-velana-international-airport-in-male-maldives/

      What time will you arrive? After 6am or before 6am? If it’s before 6am, I suggest that you just wait until 6am if it’s not too long. If it’s too long, consider getting a Priority Pass and check into one of the lounges.

  6. Hi Eva,

    Thank you for your blog. It’s very helpful!

    I am travelling in a small group for a short amount of time, so staying at a different atoll seems difficult and expensive. Do you think Hulhumale’s man made beach is a good enough beach experience in the Maldives, or should we try to visit one of the beach islands? Which island do you think would be the mot hassle free to visit (i.e. frequent public ferries)?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Hassan,
      Yes Hulhumale beach is good enough if you have low expectation and want to be near civilisation. Maafushi is crowded with tourists and doesn’t have great beach, but it has plenty of travel agents so you’ll have many activities to choose from. It really depends on what you want. If you want a cheap place, it’s Hulhumale. If you want plenty of activity options, it’s Maafushi (it also has frequent public ferries).
      Hope it helps!

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