The Maldives is not the best place in the world to experience a crazy nightlife, mainly because tourists are spread on hundreds of different islands. It also doesn't help that most inhabitants are strict Muslims and that alcohol is prohibited in all local areas.

On the country's 200 "local" islands, you cannot drink or buy any alcohol, even a simple beer. Doing so is only permitted on the "resort" islands, on which the luxury hotels are built.

As a result, the Maldives has never been considered a party destination. Its atmosphere is relaxed and quiet, and a popular choice for couples on honeymoon.

If the thought of going to bed by 8 PM every night during your stay sounds too boring, don't despair. You can still find a few bars/clubs within some of the resorts and hotels.

The following nightlife review will give you a quick overview of your options for drinking and partying in the Maldives.

How much does it cost to drink alcohol in the Maldives?
Drinking alcohol in the Maldives is not cheap, considering almost all the bars and clubs are within luxury resorts.

Indeed, you are not allowed to buy alcohol on any of the "local" islands, including Male, even if you are an expatriate. It is also forbidden to bring your own bottles from the duty-free. If you try to bring one, it will certainly be seen in the X-rays and confiscated.

In the international hotels, you can expect to pay between US15$ and US20$ for a cocktail (+ 22% tax and service) and between US7$ and US10$ for a beer (+ 22% tax and service).

Drinking alcohol in Male, the capital city
Foreigners living in Male do not have many options for partying or drinking alcohol. There are no bars or nightclubs in the capital city, only a few shisha cafés with live music (for instance, the Cave Café).

Whenever they need a drink, they will need to go to nearby islands where alcohol is allowed.

Most often, they will choose the nearest and cheapest one, the airport island, more precisely at the Champs bar of the Hulhulé Island Hotel. There are ferries going there every 30 or 60 minutes and the return ticket costs less than US3$. The bar is quite basic but nice enough for downing a few beers, socializing with other expats, and watching sports.

Some luxury resorts (like Centara Ras Fushi) also offer daily packages to visitors, allowing them to enjoy their swimming pool, their beach, their restaurant, and their bar. In general, free flow alcohol, a buffet lunch, and a return boat transfer are included in the price (around US$80 -US150$ per pax). You can purchase your daily pass through an agent, for instance, iCom.

The Floating Bar and Safari (+960 763-0899) is another option for drinking alcohol. It's a small boat parked about 500 meters from the shores in Maafushi lagoon (Male). The staff is not particularly friendly and it is far from being luxurious, but the prices are reasonable for the Maldives (US5$ for a beer and US12$ for a cocktail). It's best to go there before sunset.

Finally, there are also regular parties organized by expats and for expats (check on Facebook Maldives Expat Parties and Maldives Unwind Parties).

Top Resort Bars and Clubs in the Maldives
All the luxurious resorts on the non-local islands will have restaurants and bars serving alcohol, most likely with a live band in the evening.

Here are the 5 most recommended:

1-Oak at Finolhu Resort
Those familiar with NYC nightlife probably know 1-Oak, one of the most exclusive lounges in the city. The brand also has locations in Dubai, Tokyo, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

The concept of 1-Oak in Finolhu is a bit different, closer to that of a beach club. It has nightly performances from DJs, live bands and artists. They also have weekly themed parties and, a few times per year, festivals with famous guest DJs.

Beach Rouge at Lux South Ari
This is one of the coolest bars in the Maldives, with a DJ every evening playing tropical disco and beach house.

Sip Bar at W Maldives
The W Maldives targets a young clientele and features a nice beach bar, Sip, with a live DJ playing electronic music twice weekly. Note that there used to be a nightclub called 15 Below but it seemed to have closed down.

Farheinheit Bar at Per Aquum Niyama Resort
The Niyama used to have an underwater club, accessible only with a speedboat, called Subsix (six meters below water). It still exists but it is a normal restaurant now.

Instead, guests of the resort can enjoy a drink in their rooftop bar Farheinheit, that features a beautiful view of the sunset.

Kandu Bar at Kurumba Resort
This resort, located near Male, is more affordable than the ones mentioned above. It is popular among expats for day trips and it has enough guests for the bar to be crowded enough.

Every night, you have a different event: Live music, Boduberu dance and drums performances (traditional Maldivian music), DJs, Jazz nights and wine tasting. It is in the open-air and closes at 1 AM.

Any other suggestions for nightlife in the Maldives?
If I forgot a great bar or nightclub for partying, please leave me a message in the comment section below.

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