Welcome to Dhaka, the vibrant capital city of Bangladesh. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka is a captivating metropolis that blends rich history, bustling markets, and a lively cultural scene. As one of the fastest-growing cities in South Asia, Dhaka offers a unique blend of old and new, where ancient traditions coexist with modern development.
Steeped in history, Dhaka has been a center of trade and commerce for centuries. From its humble beginnings as a small Mughal outpost, it grew to become the capital of Bengal during the British Raj. Today, the city showcases a rich architectural heritage, with remnants of the Mughal, British, and modern eras adorning its streets.
Dhaka’s bustling streets are a reflection of its vibrant culture and diverse population. As you navigate the city, you’ll encounter the captivating chaos of rickshaws, street vendors, and colorful markets. The Old Dhaka area, with its narrow lanes and historical landmarks, takes you on a journey back in time, where you can explore ancient mosques, palaces, and bustling bazaars.
Dhaka is a haven for food lovers, offering a wide array of flavors and culinary delights. From mouthwatering street food to traditional Bengali dishes, the city’s diverse gastronomy tantalizes the taste buds. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor iconic dishes like biryani, kacchi biryani, hilsa fish curry, and mouthwatering sweets like rasgulla and mishti doi.
The city also boasts a thriving arts and cultural scene. Dhaka is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and theaters that showcase the talents of local artists and provide insights into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re exploring contemporary art, traditional handicrafts, or attending a lively cultural event, Dhaka offers a vibrant cultural tapestry to explore.
Dhaka’s energy is best experienced in its bustling markets and shopping districts. From the vibrant chaos of Sadarghat, the largest river port in the country, to the bustling markets of New Market and Bashundhara City, shoppers will find a wide range of goods, from textiles and handicrafts to fashion and electronics.
As a city with a rich Islamic heritage, Dhaka is home to many stunning mosques and religious sites. The Star Mosque, Lalbagh Fort, and the Dhakeshwari Temple are just a few of the architectural wonders that showcase the city’s spiritual side.
Dhaka’s warm and hospitable people add to the city’s charm, always ready to welcome visitors with a smile. Immerse yourself in their warmth, learn about their traditions, and experience the true essence of Bangladeshi hospitality.
With its rich history, bustling markets, diverse cuisine, and lively cultural scene, Dhaka offers a unique travel experience that immerses you in the heart and soul of Bangladesh. So, get ready to explore this vibrant city, where tradition and modernity coexist, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Dhaka City Guide: A Brief History Of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has a long and storied history that spans over a thousand years. Situated on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka has been a center of trade, culture, and political power in the region.
The origins of Dhaka can be traced back to the 7th century when it was a small settlement under the rule of the Buddhist Pala Empire. The city gained prominence during the 13th century when it came under the rule of the Hindu Sena dynasty. During this time, Dhaka flourished as an important trading center for textiles, muslin, and spices, attracting merchants from around the world.
In the early 14th century, Dhaka fell under the rule of the Sultanate of Bengal. The city became an administrative center and a hub of Islamic culture and learning. It was during this period that magnificent mosques, such as the Sat Gumbad Mosque and the Sixty Dome Mosque, were constructed, showcasing the architectural prowess of the time.
In the 17th century, Dhaka came under the control of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal rulers further enhanced the city’s architectural landscape, leaving behind magnificent structures such as Lalbagh Fort and the Ahsan Manzil, which served as the residence of the Nawabs of Dhaka.
Dhaka’s strategic location and thriving trade drew the attention of European colonial powers. The city came under British control in 1765 when the East India Company established its rule. During British colonial rule, Dhaka became the capital of Bengal Presidency, and significant infrastructure development took place, including the construction of educational institutions, railway lines, and administrative buildings.
The partition of India in 1947 resulted in the formation of East Pakistan, with Dhaka as its capital. The city played a vital role in the Bengali Language Movement of 1952, which eventually led to the recognition of Bengali as the official language of East Pakistan. This movement became a significant catalyst for the Bengali nationalist movement and eventually led to the birth of Bangladesh.
In 1971, Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan, and Dhaka became the capital of the newly formed nation. The city underwent rapid development, with the construction of government buildings, educational institutions, and cultural centers. Today, Dhaka stands as a symbol of Bangladesh’s resilience and progress.
Dhaka’s history is evident in its architecture, cultural heritage, and the spirit of its people. The city has embraced modernity while preserving its rich traditions. As you explore Dhaka, you’ll witness the layers of history that have shaped this vibrant metropolis, from the ancient mosques and forts to the bustling markets and contemporary infrastructure.
Dhaka continues to evolve as a thriving cosmopolitan city, reflecting the spirit and aspirations of its people. Its history is a testament to the resilience and cultural richness of Bangladesh, offering a fascinating backdrop for visitors to delve into the city’s past and experience its vibrant present.
Dhaka Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Bangladesh
Being the national capital of one of the most densely populated nations on Earth, those that are claustrophobic will be in for a challenge, while those that like urban grit will be in for a treat. Within the frenzy that defines the congested streets and narrow alleyways of this place is a place whose humanity and lives are the primary attraction, as they are both in abundant display here.
Playing host to Buddhists and Hindus in the past and then being a seat of power for those of the Islamic faith (which is the dominant faith here in the present day), Dhaka is filled with many palaces, temples, mosques and monuments just waiting to be discovered.
As previously mentioned though, the one thing that one takes away from this crush of humanity is how a society with wide inequality of opportunity can still manage to function daily, slowly but surely, and often with a pearly white smile.
As mentioned before, Dhaka and Bangladesh is predominantly a Muslim city/country these days, but in the days of yore, it used to be a place where the Hindu community was present in much greater numbers. Today, there still is a minority population of Hindus in the city and country, and the main focal point of their religion in Bangladesh is centred on Dhakeshwari Temple, especially after the Pakistan army razed their former great meeting place, Ramna Kali Mandir during the Liberation War of 1971.
Dhakeshwari Temple dates back all the way to the 12 the century, when it was constructed by King Ballal Sen; while some claim that Dhaka was named after this temple, there is no concrete evidence to substantiate that. The best time to visit Dhakeshwari temple is during Durga Puja, when there is a big celebration involving food, music, colourful vestments, and important dignitaries.
While there are bigger halls of worship in Dhaka, the most unique mosque within the city limits is none other than the Star Mosque, so named for its design scheme when it was constructed in the 19th century. Upon the outer domes and on the beams and walls within are scores of stars, even including a decorative pool in the courtyard that contains a large concrete star, making this mosque stand out from most of the rest in the city.
In order to become the capital in the sovereign state of Bangladesh that exists today, the Bengalis had to fight its bigger cousins from Pakistan (then West Pakistan) for that privilege. They paid a huge price in blood for the right to guide their own affairs, and that sacrifice has been recorded in the annals of history at the Liberation War Museum.
10,000 artifacts detailing the prior history of the Bengalis in this region, the onset of the war itself, and the terrible price paid in genocidal tactics that were employed by the Pakistani army are on display here. From skeletal remains pulled from mass graves to the weapons cobbled together by the pro-independence forces that would eventually win freedom for their nation, these items will help you gain a better appreciation for the pride that everyday Bengalis feel for their country, given the hell they had to go through to secure their place in the world.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sticking out like a sore thumb on the banks of the Buriganga River, the Ahsan Manzil is a hot pink coloured palace that housed wealthy Bengals, lords, merchants, and colonial officials through the years from the 16th century onwards. In the present day, it has been converted into the Bangladesh National Museum, where exhibits from the history of this amazing nation have been gathered for the perusal of interested culture hunters. Of note also is the garden outside, which has been kept in pristine condition.
A bulwark against foreign aggression from over the years, the Lalbagh Fort was originally built by the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, serving in many skirmishes over the ensuing years, from revolts against the British, to providing safe cover for revolutionary forces battling Pakistan in 1971. Features include a mosque, a tomb, and a quaint reflecting pool.
Finally, be sure to experience the daily goings-on of normal everyday life in Dhaka by renting a rickshaw, and taking it for a ride through the streets and alleyways of Old Dhaka. These veterans know their own turf well, and will take you to places that no guidebook could ever know about!
source: Counting Countries on YouTube
Top 25 Things To Do in Dhaka, Bangladesh For Visitors
Here are the top things to do in Dhaka:
- Visit Lalbagh Fort: Explore the historical Lalbagh Fort, built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Marvel at its intricate architecture, visit the museum inside, and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the peaceful gardens.
- Discover Ahsan Manzil: Step back in time at Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace. Once the residence of the Nawabs of Dhaka, this grand palace showcases the rich history and lifestyle of the elite during the British colonial era.
- Wander through Sadarghat: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Sadarghat, the largest river port in Bangladesh. Watch as countless boats ply the waters of the Buriganga River, transporting goods and passengers, and observe the bustling daily life along the riverbank.
- Explore the National Museum: Dive into Bangladesh’s rich history, art, and culture at the National Museum. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, including ancient relics, archaeological finds, and traditional artwork.
- Attend a performance at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy: Experience the thriving performing arts scene of Dhaka by attending a cultural performance at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. From traditional music and dance to theater and contemporary performances, the academy showcases the country’s diverse artistic heritage.
- Sample street food at Old Dhaka: Delight your taste buds with the mouthwatering flavors of Dhaka’s street food scene. In Old Dhaka, explore the narrow lanes and vibrant markets, and savor popular dishes like biryani, kebabs, samosas, and the sweet delicacy of jilapi.
- Visit the Dhakeshwari Temple: Pay a visit to the Dhakeshwari Temple, one of the most significant Hindu temples in Bangladesh. Admire the intricate architecture, immerse yourself in the serene ambiance, and witness devotees offering prayers to the Goddess Dhakeshwari.
- Discover the National Parliament House: Marvel at the architectural masterpiece of the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, Bangladesh’s National Parliament House. Designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn, the building’s unique design and vast surrounding grounds are a sight to behold.
- Explore the Liberation War Museum: Gain a deeper understanding of Bangladesh’s struggle for independence at the Liberation War Museum. Through exhibits, photographs, and personal accounts, the museum chronicles the events of the Liberation War of 1971 and honors the sacrifices made by freedom fighters.
- Stroll through Dhaka University Campus: Take a leisurely walk through the picturesque campus of Dhaka University, one of the country’s premier educational institutions. Admire the beautiful architecture, lush greenery, and peaceful surroundings as you explore this historic campus.
- Admire the Star Mosque: Visit the Star Mosque (Tara Masjid), an architectural gem known for its beautiful mosaic designs and star motifs. The mosque’s stunning blue star-patterned domes and intricate artwork make it a must-see attraction.
- Shop at New Market: Get immersed in the vibrant shopping experience at New Market (also known as Hogg Market). Browse through a variety of shops and stalls selling clothing, accessories, electronics, and handicrafts. Don’t forget to practice your bargaining skills!
- Take a boat ride on the Buriganga River: Experience the charm of Dhaka’s waterways by taking a boat ride on the Buriganga River. Enjoy the scenic views of the city’s skyline, witness the daily activities along the riverbanks, and gain a different perspective of Dhaka’s vibrant life.
- Discover the Bangladesh National Zoo: Spend a day exploring the Bangladesh National Zoo, home to a diverse range of animals and species. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the well-maintained grounds, observe exotic wildlife up close, and learn about conservation efforts.
- Visit the National Botanical Garden: Escape the bustling city and find tranquility at the National Botanical Garden. Explore the vast greenery, picturesque gardens, and serene lakes. Take a relaxing stroll, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you.
- Shop for traditional crafts at Bangabazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Bangabazaar, a bustling market famous for its wide array of traditional handicrafts, textiles, and household items. Bargain for unique souvenirs, intricately woven fabrics, and traditional artwork.
- Attend a cricket match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium: Experience the passion and excitement of cricket, Bangladesh’s most popular sport, by attending a match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Join the energetic crowds, cheer for your favorite team, and immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere.
- Visit the Armenian Church: Explore the historic Armenian community in Dhaka and admire the beautiful architecture of the Armenian Church. Learn about the Armenian diaspora in Bangladesh and their contributions to the city’s cultural fabric.
- Wander through the Shankhari Bazaar: Dive into the world of traditional metal crafts at Shankhari Bazaar. Witness skilled artisans meticulously working on copper, brass, and silverware. Shop for intricately designed utensils, jewelry, and decorative items, and gain insights into the craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.
- Relax at the Hatirjheel Lake: Escape the urban chaos and unwind at Hatirjheel Lake. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the scenic lake promenade, rent a paddleboat or a bicycle, and take in the picturesque views. The lake area is particularly enchanting during sunset.
- Visit the Liberation War Cemetery: Pay your respects to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Liberation War of Bangladesh at the Liberation War Cemetery. Reflect on the significance of their bravery and sacrifice while observing the rows of graves and the memorial monument.
- Explore the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban: Take a guided tour of the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, Bangladesh’s National Parliament House. Marvel at the grandeur of the architecture, explore the interior chambers, and learn about the country’s democratic governance.
- Take a rickshaw ride in Old Dhaka: Embrace the quintessential Dhaka experience by hopping on a rickshaw ride through the vibrant streets of Old Dhaka. Allow the rickshaw puller to navigate the narrow lanes as you absorb the sights, sounds, and colors of this bustling part of the city.
- Explore the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque: Visit the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, one of the largest mosques in South Asia. Admire its grand architecture and intricate Islamic designs, and witness the devout prayers of the local Muslim community.
- Attend a cultural performance at Chhayanaut: Immerse yourself in the melodious tunes of traditional Bengali music by attending a cultural performance at Chhayanaut. Experience the soul-stirring melodies, graceful dance performances, and engaging theatrical productions that celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh.
What To Eat and Drink in Dhaka, Bangladesh
When it comes to dining in Dhaka, you’re in for a treat with a diverse range of flavors and culinary delights. Bengali cuisine, known for its rich spices and vibrant flavors, takes center stage, offering a delightful gastronomic experience. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks in Dhaka:
- Biryani: Indulge in aromatic biryani, a flavorful rice dish cooked with fragrant spices, tender meat (such as chicken, mutton, or beef), and sometimes accompanied by boiled eggs or potatoes. Dhaka is famous for its delicious biryanis, known for their distinct flavors and tender meat.
- Kacchi Biryani: Sample the famous Kacchi Biryani, a traditional Bengali dish that features marinated meat (usually mutton) and fragrant rice cooked together in layers. The slow cooking process imparts a unique taste and tender texture to the meat.
- Hilsa Fish Curry: Treat yourself to a classic Bengali delicacy, Hilsa fish curry. This flavorful fish, often referred to as the “king of fish,” is cooked in a spicy gravy made with mustard seeds, turmeric, and other aromatic spices. It’s a must-try for seafood lovers.
- Panta Bhat: Experience the traditional Bengali breakfast of Panta Bhat, a dish made by soaking leftover rice in water overnight. Served with a variety of condiments like fried fish, pickles, and fried onions, it offers a refreshing and tangy flavor.
- Bhuna Khichuri: Warm up with a comforting bowl of Bhuna Khichuri, a traditional Bengali dish made with rice, lentils, and a mix of aromatic spices. This hearty dish is often enjoyed during monsoons or as a special treat during festivals.
- Street Food Delights: Dhaka is famous for its vibrant street food scene. Don’t miss out on the delicious options like fuchka (pani puri), jhal muri (spicy puffed rice), shawarma, kebabs, and rolls. Explore the bustling food stalls and savor the flavors of these quick and tasty treats.
- Traditional Sweets: Indulge your sweet tooth with traditional Bengali sweets. Sample delicacies like roshogolla (spongy cottage cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup), mishti doi (sweet yogurt), sandesh (milk-based sweet), and pithe (rice flour dumplings filled with sweet fillings).
- Lassi: Quench your thirst with a refreshing glass of Lassi, a popular yogurt-based drink. Enjoy the sweet or savory variations, flavored with fruits or spices, for a cooling respite on a hot day.
- Dhakai Chai: Experience the flavors of Dhakai Chai, the traditional tea of Dhaka. Served piping hot, this strong black tea is often infused with aromatic spices like cardamom and ginger, and can be enjoyed with a touch of sweetness.
- Fresh Fruit Juices: Dhaka is abundant with tropical fruits. Sip on freshly squeezed juices like mango, guava, pineapple, or litchi, offering a burst of refreshing flavors.
- Shorshe Ilish: Delight in Shorshe Ilish, a classic Bengali dish featuring Hilsa fish cooked in a mustard-based sauce. The distinct tanginess of the mustard pairs perfectly with the rich flavor of the fish.
- Fuchka: Indulge in the popular street food snack of Fuchka, also known as pani puri or golgappa. These crispy hollow spheres are filled with a mixture of spicy chickpeas, tangy tamarind chutney, and a refreshing blend of flavored water.
- Chingri Malai Curry: Treat yourself to Chingri Malai Curry, a creamy and aromatic prawn curry cooked in a coconut milk base. The succulent prawns absorb the flavors of the spices and the richness of the coconut, creating a delightful combination.
- Bhapa Pitha: Savor the traditional sweet treat of Bhapa Pitha, a steamed rice cake filled with coconut, jaggery, or sweetened condensed milk. These soft and sweet dumplings are often enjoyed during festivals and special occasions.
- Beef Tehari: Relish the flavors of Beef Tehari, a popular rice dish made with fragrant Basmati rice and tender beef cooked in a flavorful blend of spices. This hearty and aromatic dish is a favorite among locals.
- Jilapi: Indulge in the sticky and sweet goodness of Jilapi, a traditional Bangladeshi sweet. These spiral-shaped deep-fried treats are soaked in sugar syrup, offering a delightful burst of sweetness.
- Borhani: Enjoy the refreshing taste of Borhani, a spiced yogurt-based drink. It is flavored with mint, roasted cumin, and other aromatic spices, providing a cooling and tangy accompaniment to rich and spicy meals.
- Chotpoti: Delve into the flavorful world of Chotpoti, a popular street food made with boiled chickpeas, diced potatoes, chopped onions, and a tangy tamarind sauce. This savory snack is topped with crunchy papri (fried flour crisps) and garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
- Lakhnavi Kebab: Experience the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of Lakhnavi Kebab, a succulent and tender kebab made from minced meat marinated in a blend of aromatic spices. These kebabs are traditionally grilled to perfection.
- Mutton Rezala: Indulge in the rich and flavorful Mutton Rezala, a traditional Bengali dish made with succulent mutton pieces cooked in a creamy yogurt and cashew nut gravy. The delicate blend of spices creates a dish that is both aromatic and satisfying.
- Chaa: Enjoy a cup of Chaa, the traditional Bengali style of tea. Served strong and milky, it’s a perfect accompaniment to conversations and a delightful way to experience the warmth of Bengali hospitality.
- Piyaju: Delight in the crispy and savory Piyaju, a popular Bengali snack made from lentil fritters. These golden-brown fritters are often enjoyed with a side of tangy tamarind chutney.
While exploring Dhaka, be sure to visit local eateries, roadside stalls, and traditional restaurants to savor these delectable dishes and experience the authentic flavors of Bengali cuisine.
source: Mark Wiens on YouTube
Top Restaurants In Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka is home to a vibrant culinary scene, offering a wide range of dining options that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Here are some top restaurants in Dhaka known for their exceptional food and ambiance:
- Panini: Located in Gulshan, Panini is renowned for its exquisite Italian cuisine. Enjoy authentic wood-fired pizzas, delectable pasta dishes, and a variety of Italian specialties in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
- Nandos: This international chain restaurant, located in Gulshan and Dhanmondi, is famous for its Portuguese-style flame-grilled chicken. Indulge in their signature peri-peri chicken, along with a selection of tasty sides and sauces.
- Holey Artisan Bakery: Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan is a popular spot for freshly baked bread, pastries, and breakfast items. From croissants and bagels to quiches and sandwiches, this bakery is a haven for food lovers.
- Star Kabab & Restaurant: Known for its mouthwatering kebabs and traditional Bangladeshi cuisine, Star Kabab & Restaurant has several branches throughout the city. Sample their succulent kebabs, biryanis, and flavorful curries for an authentic taste of Dhaka.
- Spice & Rice: Spice & Rice in Banani offers a delightful blend of Indian, Thai, and Chinese cuisine. Their extensive menu features flavorful curries, aromatic rice dishes, and a variety of mouthwatering starters.
- Saltz: Located in Gulshan, Saltz is a trendy restaurant that serves an array of international dishes with a modern twist. The stylish ambiance, attentive service, and delectable menu make it a popular choice among locals and visitors.
- Crimson Cup Coffee House: If you’re in search of a cozy café experience, visit Crimson Cup Coffee House in Dhanmondi. Enjoy their specialty coffees, freshly brewed teas, and a selection of baked goods and light bites.
- The Dhaba: This themed restaurant in Uttara brings the flavors of North India to Dhaka. Indulge in their authentic Indian dishes, including kebabs, biryanis, and curries, while immersing yourself in the vibrant ambiance.
- Atrium Restaurant: Located in Banani, Atrium Restaurant offers a blend of international and local cuisines. Their extensive buffet spreads, live cooking stations, and elegant setting make it a popular choice for both casual and special occasions.
- Mocambo: Situated in Gulshan, Mocambo is a legendary restaurant that has been serving delicious Continental and Indian cuisine since the 1960s. Enjoy their diverse menu, including steaks, seafood, and classic Indian dishes, in a cozy and nostalgic setting.
- Star Hotel & Kabab: Located in Old Dhaka, Star Hotel & Kabab is famous for its mouthwatering kababs and traditional Bangladeshi dishes. Don’t miss their signature beef kababs and aromatic biryanis for an authentic taste of Dhaka’s culinary heritage.
- Queen’s Kitchen: Nestled in Uttara, Queen’s Kitchen offers a fusion of Asian and European flavors. From sushi and Thai curries to pasta and burgers, their diverse menu caters to a variety of palates.
- Mermaid Café: Situated in Dhanmondi, Mermaid Café is a cozy and laid-back spot that focuses on healthy and organic dishes. Enjoy their selection of salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and vegan options in a charming and eco-friendly setting.
source: Mark Wiens on YouTube
Tours For Visitors To Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka, the bustling capital city of Bangladesh, offers a range of tours that allow visitors to explore its vibrant culture, rich history, and architectural gems. Here are some popular tours for visitors to Dhaka:
- Old Dhaka Heritage Walk: Embark on a guided walking tour through the narrow lanes of Old Dhaka, exploring its historical landmarks, bustling markets, and vibrant street life. Discover the architectural marvels, such as Lalbagh Fort, Ahsan Manzil, and Star Mosque, while immersing yourself in the rich heritage of the city.
- Rickshaw Tour of Dhaka: Experience the charm of Dhaka’s iconic rickshaws as you explore the city’s major landmarks. Hop on a rickshaw and let your knowledgeable guide navigate through the bustling streets, taking you to places like Dhaka University, Dhakeshwari Temple, and the National Parliament House.
- Boat Ride on the Buriganga River: Take a relaxing boat ride on the Buriganga River and witness the scenic beauty of Dhaka from the water. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, observe the daily activities along the riverbanks, and catch glimpses of iconic landmarks like Sadarghat and the Armenian Church.
- Photography Tour of Dhaka: Join a photography tour that provides an opportunity to capture the essence of Dhaka through your lens. Accompanied by a professional photographer, explore the city’s vibrant streets, markets, and landmarks, while learning valuable photography techniques and tips.
- Bengali Cooking Class: Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Bangladesh by participating in a Bengali cooking class. Learn to prepare traditional dishes like biryani, curry, and sweets, under the guidance of a local chef. Discover the unique flavors and techniques that make Bengali cuisine so special.
- Day Trip to Sonargaon: Escape the bustling city and venture on a day trip to Sonargaon, located just outside Dhaka. Explore the historic remains of the ancient capital, visit the Folk Art and Craft Museum, and discover the rich cultural heritage of this tranquil town.
- Liberation War Museum Tour: Gain a deeper understanding of Bangladesh’s history and struggle for independence by visiting the Liberation War Museum. Take a guided tour through the exhibits, photographs, and artifacts that depict the events of the Liberation War of 1971.
- Dhaka Art and Architecture Tour: Delve into Dhaka’s art and architectural scene with a guided tour that explores the city’s museums, galleries, and architectural landmarks. Visit the Bangladesh National Museum, Shilpakala Academy, and discover the modern and traditional art forms that shape the cultural landscape of the city.
- Dhaka Rickshaw Art Tour: Appreciate the unique artistry of Dhaka’s rickshaws on a specialized tour that showcases the vibrant hand-painted decorations and intricate designs adorning these iconic vehicles. Gain insights into the history, techniques, and cultural significance of rickshaw art.
- Village Day Trip from Dhaka: Experience rural Bangladesh on a day trip to nearby villages, where you can interact with locals, participate in traditional activities, and gain insights into the lifestyle and customs of rural communities. Enjoy a break from the city and explore the natural beauty of the countryside.
These tours provide an opportunity to delve deeper into Dhaka’s rich heritage, cultural traditions, and local experiences, allowing visitors to gain a comprehensive understanding of the city’s diverse offerings.
source: Carrie Patsalis on YouTube
Dhaka Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
When visiting Dhaka, you’ll find a range of accommodations to suit various budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, Dhaka offers a diverse selection of options. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right accommodation for your stay:
- Gulshan: This upscale neighborhood is a popular choice for travelers due to its proximity to embassies, businesses, and shopping centers. Here, you’ll find luxury hotels offering top-notch amenities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, and fine dining restaurants.
- Banani: Another upscale area, Banani offers a mix of luxury and mid-range hotels. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, upscale restaurants, and trendy shopping outlets. Staying in Banani provides easy access to entertainment and dining options.
- Uttara: Located near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Uttara is a convenient choice for travelers with early morning or late-night flights. This area features a range of hotels, from budget to mid-range, and is well-connected to major attractions and transportation hubs.
- Dhanmondi: This residential neighborhood offers a mix of mid-range and budget accommodations. It’s known for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful lakes, and proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
- Panthapath: Situated near major hospitals and educational institutions, Panthapath is a convenient area for those visiting for medical or educational purposes. It features a range of mid-range hotels and guesthouses, often catering to a specific audience.
- Old Dhaka: For a more authentic and immersive experience, consider staying in the bustling area of Old Dhaka. Here, you’ll find guesthouses and budget hotels that provide a glimpse into the city’s vibrant culture, bustling markets, and historical sites.
- Budget Accommodations: If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels available throughout the city. These options provide basic amenities, clean rooms, and a chance to interact with fellow travelers.
When choosing accommodations, consider factors such as location, budget, amenities, and accessibility to transportation. It’s also advisable to read reviews and compare prices before making a booking. Dhaka’s accommodations can fill up quickly, so it’s best to make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
Keep in mind that Dhaka is a bustling and densely populated city, so traffic congestion can be a challenge. Opting for accommodations near your points of interest can help reduce travel time and allow you to make the most of your stay in Dhaka.
source: Jason Billam Travel on YouTube
Day Trips From Dhaka, Bangladesh
If you have some extra time in Dhaka and want to explore the surrounding areas, there are several exciting day trip options available. Here are some popular day trips from Dhaka:
- Sonargaon: Located about 29 kilometers southeast of Dhaka, Sonargaon is a historic town with rich cultural heritage. Visit the Folk Art and Craft Museum to learn about traditional crafts, explore the ruins of the ancient city, and enjoy a tranquil boat ride on the Meghna River.
- Jamdani Weaving Village: Experience the art of Jamdani weaving by visiting the weaving villages near Dhaka. Witness the intricate handloom weaving process, learn about the history and significance of this traditional textile art, and have the opportunity to purchase exquisite Jamdani products.
- Savar: Just a short distance from Dhaka, Savar is known for its historical significance and natural beauty. Explore the National Martyrs’ Memorial, a monument dedicated to the heroes of the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Nearby, you can also visit the Jahangirnagar University campus, which boasts lush greenery and a picturesque lake.
- Bhawal National Park: Nature enthusiasts can head to Bhawal National Park, located approximately 40 kilometers from Dhaka. This sprawling park is home to diverse flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for nature walks, birdwatching, and picnics amidst serene surroundings.
- Moinamati Archaeological Site: Journey to the Moinamati Archaeological Site, situated in the Comilla district, to explore ancient Buddhist ruins. Marvel at the impressive Shalban Vihara, an ancient monastery complex, and discover ancient relics, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts.
- Bikrampur Museum: Visit the Bikrampur Museum in Munshiganj, a museum dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the region. Explore the exhibits that showcase the history, art, and archaeology of Bikrampur, an ancient city with a rich historical background.
- Meghna River Cruise: Enjoy a scenic river cruise on the mighty Meghna River, one of the major rivers in Bangladesh. Experience the tranquility of the river, witness the daily life along the banks, and indulge in a delicious onboard meal while taking in the picturesque views.
- Bhashan Char Island: Embark on an adventure to Bhashan Char Island, a newly developed island located in the Bay of Bengal. Explore its pristine beaches, go for a swim, and enjoy the serene surroundings away from the city hustle.
- Goaldi Mosque: Discover the architectural beauty of Goaldi Mosque, located in Sonargaon. This historic mosque, dating back to the 15th century, showcases exquisite terracotta designs and intricate craftsmanship, offering a glimpse into the region’s architectural heritage.
- Chandpur: Take a day trip to Chandpur, a scenic town situated on the banks of the Meghna River. Enjoy river views, visit the Chandranath Temple, and explore the bustling fish market where you can witness the vibrant fishing industry.
These day trips from Dhaka offer a mix of historical, cultural, and natural experiences, allowing you to explore the diversity and beauty of Bangladesh beyond the city limits.
Dhaka Transportation Guide
Getting around Dhaka can be an adventure in itself due to its bustling streets and heavy traffic. However, with some planning and knowledge of the transportation options available, you can navigate the city with relative ease. Here’s a transportation guide for Dhaka:
- Rickshaws: One of the most iconic modes of transportation in Dhaka is the rickshaw. These manually-pulled vehicles are perfect for short distances and navigating through narrow lanes. Negotiate the fare before your ride, and be prepared for slow-moving traffic during peak hours.
- CNG Auto-rickshaws: CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) auto-rickshaws are a popular means of transportation in Dhaka. They are faster than traditional rickshaws and provide a more comfortable ride. Make sure to negotiate the fare or ask the driver to use the meter before starting your journey.
- Taxis: Metered taxis are available in Dhaka, and they provide a more convenient option for getting around the city. Look for authorized taxi companies or ride-hailing services like Uber or Pathao. Make sure the meter is running or agree on a fare before starting your trip.
- Ride-hailing Apps: Dhaka has several ride-hailing apps, including Uber, Pathao, and Shohoz, which offer convenient and reliable transportation options. Simply download the app, enter your destination, and book a ride. These services provide upfront pricing and the convenience of cashless transactions.
- Buses: Dhaka has an extensive bus network that covers various parts of the city. However, buses can be crowded and prone to traffic delays. Look for designated bus stops, check the route numbers and destinations displayed on the buses, and have smaller denomination currency for bus fares.
- Metro Rail: Dhaka’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, known as the Dhaka Metro, is currently under construction and expected to be operational in the near future. Once completed, it will provide a faster and more efficient mode of transportation within the city.
- Bicycle: If you prefer an eco-friendly option and want to explore the city at a leisurely pace, consider renting a bicycle. Some areas in Dhaka have dedicated cycling lanes, making it easier to navigate the streets.
- Walking: Exploring Dhaka on foot is a great way to soak up the atmosphere and get a closer look at the city’s vibrant street life. Be prepared for crowded sidewalks, uneven surfaces, and busy road crossings. Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
- Private Car Rental: Renting a private car with a driver is an option for more comfortable and convenient transportation, especially if you plan to visit attractions outside of Dhaka or embark on day trips.
When using public transportation or taxis, it’s advisable to carry smaller denominations of cash for fare payments. Traffic congestion is a common issue in Dhaka, especially during peak hours, so it’s wise to plan your journeys accordingly and allow extra time for travel.
Remember to consider the weather conditions and time of day when choosing your mode of transportation, as heavy rainfall and peak traffic can significantly impact travel times in the city.
source: Jason Billam Travel on YouTube
Dhaka 1 Day Travel Itinerary
If you have only one day to explore Dhaka, it’s important to plan your itinerary wisely to make the most of your time. Here’s a suggested 1-day travel itinerary for Dhaka:
Start your day by visiting Lalbagh Fort, an iconic historical site in Dhaka. Explore the fort’s beautiful gardens, mosque, and museum, while learning about its rich Mughal architecture and historical significance. From Lalbagh Fort, head to the nearby Sadarghat River Port. Take a short boat ride on the Buriganga River to experience the vibrant river life and witness the bustling activities of the largest river port in Bangladesh.
After the boat ride, visit Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace. This magnificent palace-turned-museum offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Dhaka’s Nawabs during the colonial era. Explore its stunning architecture and learn about the history and cultural heritage preserved within its walls.
For lunch, indulge in a traditional Bengali meal at a local restaurant. Sample local specialties like biryani, kacchi biryani, or fish curry to savor the authentic flavors of Dhaka.
In the afternoon, visit the National Parliament House, a remarkable architectural masterpiece designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn. Take a guided tour of the complex to appreciate its modern design and learn about the country’s governance system. Marvel at the grandeur of this significant landmark.
Next, head to the Bangladesh National Museum, located in Shahbagh, to delve into the rich history and culture of Bangladesh. Browse through its extensive collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and archaeological finds that showcase the country’s heritage. Gain insights into the diverse cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Bangladesh.
No visit to Dhaka is complete without a visit to the Dhakeshwari Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples in the city. Admire the stunning architecture and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this sacred place. Experience the religious and cultural significance it holds for the local community.
In the evening, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of New Market (Chandni Chowk). Explore the bustling market, shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, or simply soak in the local vibe. The market offers a glimpse into the daily life and commerce of Dhaka.
For dinner, indulge in delicious street food at Haji Biriyani or Nanna Biriyani, two famous local biryani joints in Old Dhaka. Savor the flavors of their aromatic biryanis and experience the authentic taste of Dhaka’s culinary scene.
End your day with a relaxing stroll around Hatirjheel, a man-made lake and recreational area. Enjoy the beautiful lights and serene surroundings as you take a leisurely walk or sit by the lake to unwind. Reflect on the experiences of the day and savor the memories you’ve made in Dhaka.
Please note that traffic conditions in Dhaka can be unpredictable, so it’s important to plan your timings accordingly and be flexible with your schedule. Additionally, some attractions may have specific visiting hours or may be closed on certain days, so it’s advisable to check their availability beforehand.
source: Srishti Tehri on YouTube
Dhaka 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary
If you have 3-4 days to spend in Dhaka, you can explore more of the city’s attractions and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture. Here’s a suggested 3-4 days travel itinerary for Dhaka:
- Begin your day by visiting Lalbagh Fort, an iconic historical site in Dhaka. Explore the fort’s beautiful gardens, mosque, and museum, while learning about its rich Mughal architecture and historical significance.
- From Lalbagh Fort, head to the nearby Sadarghat River Port. Take a short boat ride on the Buriganga River to experience the vibrant river life and witness the bustling activities of the largest river port in Bangladesh.
- Visit Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace. This magnificent palace-turned-museum offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Dhaka’s Nawabs during the colonial era.
- Enjoy a traditional Bengali lunch at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of Dhaka’s authentic cuisine.
- Explore the bustling New Market (Chandni Chowk). Browse through the shops and stalls, shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
- For dinner, try local street food delicacies at Bangshal Road or Chawkbazar, known for their delicious snacks and sweets.
- Start your day by visiting the National Parliament House, a remarkable architectural masterpiece designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn. Take a guided tour of the complex to appreciate its modern design and learn about the country’s governance system.
- Explore the Bangladesh National Museum, located in Shahbagh. Spend time browsing through its extensive collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and archaeological finds that showcase the country’s rich history and cultural heritage.
- Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant, sampling various Bengali dishes.
- Visit the Dhakeshwari Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples in Dhaka. Admire the stunning architecture and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this sacred place.
- Explore the nearby Dhaka University area, known for its beautiful campus and vibrant student life. Take a stroll around Curzon Hall and Shahbagh Square, and immerse yourself in the youthful energy of the surroundings.
- Take a day trip to Sonargaon, a historic town located about 29 kilometers southeast of Dhaka. Explore the Folk Art and Craft Museum, visit the ancient ruins, and enjoy a tranquil boat ride on the Meghna River.
- Visit the Liberation War Museum to learn about the history and struggle for independence of Bangladesh. Explore the exhibits, photographs, and artifacts that depict the events of the Liberation War of 1971.
- Enjoy a traditional Bengali lunch at a local restaurant, trying regional specialties.
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Hatirjheel, a man-made lake and recreational area. Take a walk along the lake, enjoy the beautiful lights, and indulge in some street food from the nearby stalls.
Day 4 (optional):
If you have an additional day, you can consider exploring more of Dhaka’s attractions or taking a day trip to nearby destinations, such as:
- Explore the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre, an interactive and educational science museum.
- Visit the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, the National Parliament Building, to witness its impressive architecture.
- Take a day trip to Bhawal National Park, where you can enjoy nature walks, birdwatching, and picnicking amidst serene surroundings.
- Explore the archaeological site of Mainamati, known for its ancient Buddhist ruins and archaeological excavations
- Explore the Shankhari Bazar, an old market in Old Dhaka known for its vibrant atmosphere and traditional crafts. Wander through the narrow lanes, browse the shops selling brassware, textiles, and jewelry, and witness the artisans at work.
- Visit the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, the National Parliament House of Bangladesh, and marvel at its unique architecture. Take a guided tour to learn about its significance in the country’s political landscape.
Alternatively, you can also consider taking a day trip to nearby destinations like:
- The ancient city of Bagerhat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its historic mosques and shrines.
- The picturesque town of Panam Nagar, renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture and historic buildings.
- The peaceful village of Purbachal, where you can enjoy the tranquility of rural life and engage in activities like boat rides or village tours.
These additional options will allow you to further explore the cultural and natural diversity of Dhaka and its surrounding areas, making the most of your 3-4 day trip to the city. Remember to plan your days according to your interests and check the opening hours and accessibility of the attractions you wish to visit.
source: Carrie Patsalis on YouTube
Dhaka 1 Week Travel Itinerary
If you have a week to spend in Dhaka, you can delve deeper into the city’s rich culture, history, and surrounding areas. Here’s a suggested 1-week travel itinerary for Dhaka:
- Start your exploration by visiting Lalbagh Fort, Sadarghat River Port, and Ahsan Manzil to get a glimpse of Dhaka’s historical and architectural heritage.
- Enjoy a traditional Bengali lunch at a local restaurant.
- Spend the evening exploring the bustling New Market (Chandni Chowk) and indulging in local street food delicacies.
- Visit the National Parliament House and the Bangladesh National Museum to gain insights into the country’s governance system and cultural heritage.
- Explore the Dhakeshwari Temple and the Dhaka University area, immersing yourself in the spiritual and vibrant atmosphere of these locations.
- Take a day trip to Sonargaon, exploring the Folk Art and Craft Museum, the ancient ruins, and enjoying a boat ride on the Meghna River.
- Experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Sonargaon.
- Visit the Liberation War Museum to learn about Bangladesh’s struggle for independence.
- Explore the Shankhari Bazar in Old Dhaka, known for its traditional crafts and vibrant market atmosphere.
- Take a day trip to Bagerhat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its historic mosques and shrines.
- Explore the ancient city, marvel at the architectural wonders, and learn about the region’s history.
- Spend a day immersing yourself in the cultural and artistic scene of Dhaka. Visit art galleries, attend cultural performances, or explore the local handicraft markets.
- Discover the vibrant arts and crafts of Bangladesh.
- Explore the natural beauty of Dhaka’s surrounding areas. Take a day trip to Bhawal National Park or Purbachal, enjoying nature walks, birdwatching, and picnicking amidst serene surroundings.
- Engage in activities that connect you with the natural landscape.
This itinerary provides a comprehensive experience of Dhaka, allowing you to explore its historical sites, immerse in its cultural heritage, and venture into the surrounding areas to discover the natural beauty and diversity of Bangladesh. However, feel free to customize the itinerary based on your preferences and interests. Remember to check the opening hours and accessibility of attractions, and allocate extra time for potential traffic delays when planning your daily activities.
source: Josie Lifts Things on YouTube
Is Dhaka A Safe City To Visit?
Dhaka, like any other bustling city, has its share of safety considerations for visitors. While it is generally safe to visit Dhaka, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure a smooth and secure trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Be vigilant in crowded areas: Dhaka is known for its busy streets and crowded public spaces. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded markets, public transportation, and tourist attractions. It’s advisable to carry a secure bag or backpack and avoid displaying valuable items openly.
- Use reliable transportation: When using taxis or ride-hailing services, opt for reputable companies or platforms like Uber or Pathao. Ensure that the taxi has a working meter or agree on a fare before starting your journey. Avoid unmarked or unofficial taxis.
- Traffic and road safety: Dhaka’s traffic can be chaotic, with a high volume of vehicles and limited adherence to traffic rules. Exercise caution when crossing roads and use designated pedestrian crossings whenever possible. Be cautious when using rickshaws or other non-motorized vehicles, as they may have limited visibility in traffic.
- Stay updated on local news and travel advisories: Prior to your visit, check for any travel advisories or safety warnings issued by your government or embassy. Stay informed about current events and local developments that may impact your safety.
- Respect local customs and cultural sensitivities: Dhaka is a city deeply rooted in its cultural and religious traditions. Respect local customs, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of local sensitivities.
- Secure accommodations: Choose reputable and well-reviewed accommodations that offer security measures such as 24-hour reception, CCTV surveillance, and secure entry systems. Keep your valuables in the hotel safe and take necessary precautions when venturing out.
- Stay hydrated and practice food safety: Carry bottled water with you to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather. When dining out, choose reputable restaurants and prioritize hygiene. Opt for freshly cooked food and avoid consuming raw or undercooked items.
- Seek local advice: If you’re unsure about specific areas or neighborhoods, seek advice from hotel staff, local authorities, or reliable tour operators. They can provide valuable insights and guidance to ensure your safety.
By following these safety tips and using common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to Dhaka. It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts, and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Dhaka?
The best time to visit Dhaka is during the winter months, which span from November to February. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions for exploring the city and enjoying outdoor activities. The temperatures during this time range from around 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F), creating a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere.
One of the main advantages of visiting Dhaka in winter is the milder temperatures. Unlike the hot and humid summers or the rainy monsoon season, winter brings relief with cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels. This makes it more enjoyable to explore the city’s attractions, stroll through its bustling markets, and engage in outdoor sightseeing.
In addition to the pleasant weather, visiting Dhaka in winter also allows you to partake in the festive atmosphere. December is a particularly vibrant month, with celebrations for Christmas and New Year taking place throughout the city. You can witness colorful decorations, attend cultural events and performances, and experience the joyous spirit of the festive season.
Another benefit of visiting during the winter months is the reduced rainfall. Dhaka experiences less precipitation during this period compared to the monsoon season, ensuring clearer skies and fewer interruptions to your travel plans. You’ll have better visibility for exploring landmarks, taking photographs, and enjoying panoramic views of the city.
It’s important to note that while winter in Dhaka is generally comfortable, it can still have some variations in temperature and occasional foggy mornings. It’s advisable to pack a mix of light and warm clothing to be prepared for mild daytime temperatures and cooler evenings.
Overall, the winter months of November to February provide the best weather conditions and a festive atmosphere for visiting Dhaka. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, immersing in the local culture, or enjoying the culinary delights of the city, this time of year offers a delightful experience for travelers.
source: The Holistic Trainer on YouTube
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Dhaka?
After your trip to Dhaka, there are several fascinating destinations in Bangladesh that you can explore. Here are some popular places to visit:
- Sundarbans: Located in the southwestern part of Bangladesh, the Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest mangrove forest in the world. Take a thrilling boat ride through the dense mangroves, spot wildlife including Royal Bengal tigers, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this unique ecosystem.
- Cox’s Bazar: Known for having the world’s longest natural sandy beach, Cox’s Bazar is a popular coastal town in Bangladesh. Relax on the beach, take a dip in the Bay of Bengal, and enjoy stunning sunsets. Don’t miss visiting Himchari and Inani Beach, which are known for their picturesque landscapes.
- Sylhet: Located in the northeast region of Bangladesh, Sylhet is known for its lush tea gardens, rolling hills, and beautiful waterfalls. Explore the scenic landscapes, visit the famous Ratargul Swamp Forest, and take a boat ride on the pristine lakes of Jaflong.
- Chittagong: As the second-largest city in Bangladesh, Chittagong offers a mix of historical sites and natural beauty. Visit the Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard, explore the Ethnological Museum, and hike up to the picturesque Batali Hill to enjoy panoramic views of the city.
- Rangamati: Nestled in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, Rangamati is known for its scenic beauty and serene lakes. Explore the tribal villages, take a boat ride on the beautiful Kaptai Lake, and visit the Rajban Bihar Buddhist Monastery for a spiritual experience.
- Bandarban: Another gem in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bandarban is famous for its rugged mountains, lush greenery, and tribal communities. Trek to the top of Nilgiri Hill for breathtaking views, visit the golden-domed Jadi Temple, and explore the tribal villages to learn about their unique cultures.
- Dhaka’s Old Town: If you want to explore more of Dhaka, dive deeper into the Old Town area. Visit the historic Lalbagh Fort, the vibrant Shankhari Bazar, and the Star Mosque with its stunning mosaic work. Take a rickshaw ride through the narrow streets and soak in the rich heritage of the city.
- Paharpur: Located in the northwest of Bangladesh, Paharpur is home to the UNESCO-listed Paharpur Vihara, also known as Somapura Mahavihara. This ancient Buddhist monastery complex dates back to the 8th century and is an impressive architectural site with extensive ruins.
- Rajshahi: Situated in the northern part of the country, Rajshahi is known for its rich history and archaeological sites. Visit the famous Puthia Temple Complex, which houses a collection of historic Hindu temples. Explore the Varendra Research Museum, which displays a wide range of artifacts and archaeological finds.
- Kuakata: Located on the southern coast of Bangladesh, Kuakata is a picturesque beach town famous for its panoramic views of both sunrise and sunset. Enjoy the tranquil beach, take a boat ride on the Payra River, and experience the unique beauty of this coastal destination.
- Bagerhat: Visit the historic city of Bagerhat, known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed mosques and mausoleums. Explore the Sixty Dome Mosque, a magnificent example of medieval Islamic architecture, and other impressive structures like the Shat Gambuj Mosque and Tomb of Khan Jahan Ali.
- Mymensingh: Explore the city of Mymensingh, known for its architectural heritage and cultural sites. Visit the Mymensingh Museum, which showcases a collection of archaeological artifacts and historical items. Take a boat ride on the Brahmaputra River and enjoy the serene surroundings.
- Barisal: Located in southern Bangladesh, Barisal is known for its scenic beauty and riverine landscapes. Take a boat ride through the intricate network of rivers and canals, visit the floating guava market, and experience the rural charms of this region.
- Bogra: Explore the city of Bogra, home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mahasthangarh, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Bangladesh. Discover the ruins of an ancient city, including ancient fortifications, temples, and stupas.
These are just a few of the many destinations worth exploring in Bangladesh. Each place offers its own distinct attractions, cultural experiences, and natural beauty, allowing you to continue your journey of discovery after your visit to Dhaka.
If you’re looking to explore countries near Dhaka, there are several fascinating destinations within the region. Here are a few places you might consider visiting:
source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube
- Kolkata, India: Located just across the border from Bangladesh, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is known for its rich colonial history, cultural diversity, and vibrant arts scene. Explore historical landmarks like the Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge, visit cultural institutions like the Indian Museum and Tagore’s House, and indulge in delicious street food.
- Kathmandu, Nepal: A short flight from Dhaka will take you to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Experience the unique blend of ancient temples, colorful markets, and stunning Himalayan views. Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Durbar Square, and consider embarking on treks in the surrounding mountains.
- Bhutan: Known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” Bhutan offers a unique and tranquil experience. Explore the capital city of Thimphu, visit the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang), and immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture and traditions. Bhutan requires tourists to book through authorized travel agencies, ensuring a well-organized and meaningful trip.
- Yangon, Myanmar: A short flight from Dhaka will take you to Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar. Discover the grand Shwedagon Pagoda, explore the colonial architecture of downtown Yangon, and visit the bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market. Experience the warmth of Myanmar’s people and sample the diverse culinary delights.
- Bangkok, Thailand: With direct flights from Dhaka, Bangkok offers a vibrant mix of cultural landmarks, bustling markets, and exquisite cuisine. Explore iconic sites like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, shop at the lively street markets, and indulge in Thai street food and traditional massages.
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Enjoy a diverse blend of modernity and tradition in Kuala Lumpur. Visit the famous Petronas Twin Towers, explore the cultural heritage of the Batu Caves, and sample the vibrant street food scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Malaysia’s multicultural atmosphere.
- Colombo, Sri Lanka: Experience the vibrant city of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Discover the city’s colonial past, visit iconic landmarks like the Gangaramaya Temple and the National Museum, and indulge in Sri Lankan cuisine.
- Kolkata, India: Cross the border to Kolkata and explore this bustling city known for its literary heritage, historic landmarks, and cultural festivals. Visit the iconic Victoria Memorial, explore the Indian Museum, and immerse yourself in the flavors of Bengali cuisine.
- Pokhara, Nepal: Journey to Pokhara, a picturesque city nestled in the Himalayas and known as the gateway to the Annapurna mountain range. Enjoy stunning views of the Himalayas, go boating on Phewa Lake, and embark on treks to explore the surrounding natural beauty.
- Bagan, Myanmar: Marvel at the ancient city of Bagan, home to thousands of well-preserved temples and pagodas. Take a hot air balloon ride for panoramic views, explore the temples on bicycle or e-bike, and witness breathtaking sunsets over the archaeological site.
- Darjeeling, India: Head to the hill station of Darjeeling in West Bengal, India. Enjoy the cool climate, visit tea plantations, ride the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train), and soak in the panoramic views of the Himalayas.
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Explore the capital city of Cambodia and discover its rich history and vibrant culture. Visit the stunning Royal Palace, explore the historic sites of the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and experience the bustling markets and street food scene.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Explore the historic landmarks like the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit bustling markets like Ben Thanh Market, and savor the delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
- Yangshuo, China: Travel to Yangshuo, a scenic town in southern China known for its breathtaking karst landscapes. Take a cruise along the Li River, explore the rural countryside by bike, and witness the famous Impression Sanjie Liu light show.
- Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Explore the cultural treasures of the Kathmandu Valley, home to three ancient cities – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, and Pashupatinath Temple, and experience the rich history and spirituality of Nepal.
- Jaipur, India: Venture to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, India. Explore the majestic palaces like the Amber Fort and City Palace, immerse yourself in the local markets, and discover the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the region.
These are just a few examples of nearby destinations that offer unique cultural experiences, historical landmarks, and natural beauty. Each country has its own distinct attractions and charm, allowing you to broaden your travel experiences beyond Dhaka and explore the rich diversity of the region.
Dhaka Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
Nestled along the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, the enchanting capital of Bangladesh, beckons travelers with its kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and flavors. A city that effortlessly blends tradition with modernity, Dhaka is a captivating tapestry of history, culture, and vibrant energy. As you step foot into this bustling metropolis, prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey that will ignite your senses and leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Dhaka’s historical treasures are steeped in tales of a bygone era. Wander through the labyrinthine lanes of Old Dhaka, where the ancient meets the contemporary. Explore the magnificent Lalbagh Fort, an architectural masterpiece adorned with ornate gateways, lush gardens, and a sense of grandeur that transports you to the Mughal era. Marvel at the regal splendor of Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace, an opulent mansion that showcases the extravagant lifestyle of the Nawabs.
Immersing yourself in Dhaka’s vibrant street markets is a sensory feast like no other. Lose yourself in the bustling chaos of New Market, where a symphony of colors, scents, and voices intertwine. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of local street food, savoring the fiery spices of biryanis, the succulent kebabs, and the irresistible sweetness of traditional desserts like roshogolla. The air is thick with the aromas of spices and the laughter of locals as they haggle and bargain.
Dhaka’s cultural richness is woven into its very fabric. Pay homage to spirituality at the Dhakeshwari Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine where devotees seek solace and divine blessings. Explore the architectural marvels of Star Mosque, with its intricate mosaic designs and sparkling blue tiles that shimmer in the sunlight. Let the melodies of traditional music and dance performances at the Shilpakala Academy transport you to a realm of artistic brilliance.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, a world of natural wonders awaits. Embark on a journey to the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest mangrove forest in the world. Traverse its meandering waterways, where elusive Royal Bengal tigers roam and vibrant birdlife thrives. Feel the gentle caress of the sea breeze on your skin as you stroll along the sandy shores of Cox’s Bazar, relishing the panoramic views of the Bay of Bengal.
As you bid farewell to Dhaka, its allure lingers in your heart, forever etched in your memories. The city’s warmth, its spirited people, and its vibrant tapestry of experiences will stay with you long after you depart. Dhaka, a city of contrasts and captivating charm, leaves an indomitable imprint on the souls of those who seek its treasures. Embrace its magic, delve into its intricacies, and let the enchantment of Dhaka guide you on a journey of discovery and wonder.
In the heart of Bangladesh, where dreams take flight, Lies a city of wonders, bathed in golden light. Dhaka, a tapestry of colors, vibrant and grand, Beckons the traveler with an outstretched hand.
Streets alive with energy, bustling and alive, A symphony of honks, a vibrant jive. Old Dhaka’s narrow lanes, a time capsule in space, Whisper tales of history, etched on every face.
Lalbagh Fort stands tall, a regal silhouette, Majestic and proud, a haven from life’s fret. Ahsan Manzil, the Pink Palace, tells tales of old, A testament to grandeur, its stories unfold.
In the rhythm of the markets, a sensory delight, New Market’s chaos, a feast for the sight. Spices dance in the air, flavors fill the street, Biryani’s allure, a taste you must meet.
Dhakeshwari Temple, a haven of serenity, Where devotion finds solace, a divine fraternity. Star Mosque shimmers, mosaic tiles gleaming bright, A celestial sanctuary, a vision of pure light.
Beyond the city’s borders, nature’s embrace, The Sundarbans’ enchantment, a mystical place. Cox’s Bazar, sandy shores stretching afar, Whispers of the ocean, a celestial memoir.
In Dhaka’s beating heart, the soul comes alive, Music, art, and culture, in harmony they thrive. The melodies of folk songs, a symphony of pride, Shilpakala Academy, where talents coincide.
Dhaka, a city of resilience, strength, and grace, A warm embrace awaits in every space. As you wander its streets, open your heart wide, Discover the magic that in Dhaka does reside.
Let Dhaka’s rhythm guide you, its stories untold, A journey of exploration, an experience to behold. In Dhaka’s embrace, you’ll find treasures untold, A city that captures the spirit, forever enfolded.