go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Money and costs

Currency
Rufiyaa (MVR)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated August 31, 2015 5:47PM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
US$300
  • Budget resorts cost US$150–400 per night.
  • Guesthouses are cheaper at around US$100 per night.
  • Reach guesthouses cheaply by taking public ferries for US$5-10.
Midrange
US$400-850
  • Midrange resorts start from US$300 per night.
  • Full board or all-inclusive options can save money.
  • Speedboats to resorts cost around US$200.
Top end (more than)
US$850
  • Top-end rooms start at US$750.
  • Sea planes transfers generally cost around US$400 return.
  • Dine at the best restaurants in Male for around US$20.

The currency of the Maldives is the rufiyaa (Rf), which is divided into 100 larees. Notes come in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, five and two rufiyaa, but the last two are uncommon. Coins are in denominations of two and one rufiyaa, and 50, 25 and 10 larees. Most resort and travel expenses will be billed in dollars, and most visitors never even see rufiyaa, as US dollars are accepted everywhere. If you’re staying in a resort, all extras (including diving costs) will be billed to your room, and you pay the day before departure. Resorts accept cash and credit cards, and unless specified US dollars are preferred (although some European-oriented resorts use the euro as their default currency).

Tipping

Tipping is something of a grey area in the Maldives, where a 10-12.5% service tax is added to nearly everything from minibar drinks to snorkelling excursions. In many places this would mean that you don’t need to tip any further, but it’s still the case that people serving you personally will often expect something. While it's obviously impossible to tip everyone who carries your bag (that would be about five people between arrival at the airport and your hotel room), it’s good form to leave a tip for your room staff and in smarter resorts your thakuru (butler). Give any tips to the staff personally, not to the hotel cashier – US dollars, euros and local currency are equally acceptable. There’s no need to tip bar staff or waiting staff, as that will be added to your bill automatically. In Male the fancier restaurants usually add a 10% service charge, so you don’t need to tip. Tipping is not customary in local teashops.