Trip To Dhaka | Bangladesh Travel Guide

Trip To Dhaka | Bangladesh Travel Guide

Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh, located in Southeast Asia. Nearly 20 million people live in Dhaka Metropolis, which is outside the city where approximately 10 million people live in the center. For this reason, it is considered the fourth most populated city in the world. By 2025, Dhaka’s population is projected to reach 25 million. Since many religious and ethnic groups live together in Dhaka, it is like a summary of the cultural mosaic that the country has.

Dhaka has an important place in the Mughal Empire as it was also the capital of the empire. During the imperial rule that reigned between 1526-1858, many Sufi gardens, tombs, palaces, city walls and especially many mosques were built in the city. This is why Dhaka is still known as the “city of mosques”. The city is also famous for its caravanserais, where traders who used the silk road in ancient times stayed.

After destroying the Mughal Empire, the British, who ruled the country for about 100 years, left the dominance of the country to India in 1947 and finally declared its independence in 1971 by winning the war against Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Bangladesh has been governed by a democratic parliamentary system since 1990; however, there are still many violations in the field of human rights.

In addition, it is predicted that after 30 years, there will be no Indians left in the country where approximately 230 thousand Indians leave due to discrimination and social inequality. Dhaka is one of the most important stock exchange and trading centers in Southeast Asia today. Since the city is very crowded, the best means of transportation in the city, which does not take up space and relieves the traffic, are “bike taxis”. There are more than 400 thousand bicycle taxis in the city.

Where Is Dhaka?

Dhaka is the largest city and capital of Bangladesh, a Southeast Asian country. Dhaka is located on the east bank of the Buriganga River in the country.

When To Go To Dhaka?

Dhaka, which has a tropical savanna climate, has 3 different seasons throughout the year. Tourists do not prefer to go to Dhaka between May-October, which is also known as the “wet season” and passes under the influence of monsoon rains, because even if you arrive in Dhaka, travel within the city becomes almost impossible. During the “cool season” between October and February, the temperature averages 21 degrees and the lowest 12 degrees. During this period, it hardly rains in Dhaka.

The city can be visited comfortably under these weather conditions. Therefore, the most preferred period for tourists to visit Dhaka coincides with these months. Thus, tourists from Europe or the USA will also experience traveling in a warm city in winter. In the period between March and May, known as the “dry season”, the temperature hovers around 30 degrees and a comfortable trip can be enjoyed despite the heat. It should be noted that there will usually be hurricanes in May-June and October-November.

There are religious as well as meteorological reasons for scheduling your trip to Dhaka well. Because in Dhaka, where 87 percent of the population is Muslim and tolerance is decreasing, you will not find food almost anywhere during Ramadan, and it will not be welcome to eat the food you bring with you in public.

Best Place To Visit In Dakka

Dhaka is a city with a history dating back to ancient times. Both witnessing many events in the history of the country and hosting many ethnic and religious groups have enriched it from a touristic point of view. We have compiled 10 must-see destinations for you when you go to Dhaka. While visiting these touristic spots, you will sometimes feel like you are traveling to the past, and sometimes you will sail into deep emotions in the spirituality offered by the environment.

We have researched the top 10 must-see places in Dhaka for you. From Lalbagh Fort to Yıldız Mosque, from Ahzan Manzil to Martyr Minar Anadil Monument, from Bangladesh National Museum to Parliament Building; From the Bangabandhu Mausoleum to the Dhakeshwari Temple, make sure to take note of these beautiful structures that host millions of tourists annually in Dhaka.

Lalbagh Fort


Lalbargh Fort is a fort whose construction began in the 17th century under the Mughal Empire and was never completed. It is located next to the Buriganga River and is Dhaka’s main tourist spot. The castle, which was started to be built during the reign of King Mohammed Azam, welcomes thousands of tourists daily. The fort has three main buildings: the mausoleum with the tomb of Pari Bibi, wife of King Azam, the Shaista Khan Museum and the Lal Bagh Mosque. The tomb is in the middle of the castle.

The mosque has a total of three domes. Lalbagh Fort is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The castle, which was left to be forgotten after the collapse of the Mughal Empire, attracts the attention of tourists today.

Ahsan Manzil


Ahzan Manzil was the residence of the “Nawab”, the general or governor, whom the emperor held responsible for the administration of Dhaka in the Mughal Empire. Today, about 3 million tourists visit Ahzan Manzil, which is a museum. Construction started in 1859 and was completed in 1872. The palace, which was extensively damaged in the great Dhaka earthquake in 1879, was restored by the then Governor of Dhaka, Khwaja Ahsanullah.

The mix of Gothic and Indo-Mughal architectural styles is easily noticed in the architecture of the palace. When you visit Ahzan Manzil, you will admire the wide and peaceful gardens after the pink main building.

Star Mosque


Yıldız Mosque, built by Mirza Golam Pir in the 19th century, is a special mosque that every tourist visiting Dhaka must visit today. It offers a visual feast with a total of 5 domes, 4 minarets and embroideries. There is a star-shaped pool in the garden of the mosque, which was completely built with Islamic architecture. A businessman named Ali Jan Bepari had the place of worship in the Armanitola region of Dhaka completely renovated in the 20th century, especially the Chinese porcelains called “Chini tikri” inside the mosque were carefully furnished.

Also known as the “Shining Mosque”, this mosque is eye-catching enough to deserve its name and can be visited every day and at any time of the day, whether for worship or for touristic tours.

Parliament Building


The Parliament building “Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban” in the capital Dhaka was built by the famous American architect Louis Khan. The building, the construction of which was completed between 1961 and 1982, is surrounded by large gardens and lakes and covers a total area of 800 thousand square meters. Although a parliament building built for an astronomical amount in such a poor country still draws criticism, tourists and the people of Bangladesh show great interest in the building.

The most important part of the Parliament is its library. The largest library in the country, with an archive of more than 85,000 books, is open to all visitors, except for its special sections. Wide grass gardens, which were fashionable to surround palaces in 17th and 18th century Europe, were preferred for the exterior decoration of the Bangladesh Parliament, as they represent prosperity and wealth.

Bangabandhu Mausoleum


Bangabandhu was the popular name of Mujibur Rahman, who played an important role in Bangladesh’s independence struggle, and it meant “friend of the Bengalis”. He first became the first prime minister of Bangladesh, then assumed the post of head of state and brought the principle of secularism to the country. During the Pakistani occupation, Bangabandhu also struggled to speak their mother tongue, not Urdu, in their home country.

Rahman was killed in a military coup in 1975, the country’s fourth year of independence. Rahman’s tomb is in this mausoleum and Bangladeshis come here to visit their national hero. Therefore, it is a must-visit place for foreign tourists. Apart from Rahman’s tomb, you will also have the opportunity to visit a museum where you can learn about his political cause and struggle.

Dhaka Armenian Church


Although there are hardly any Armenians in Dhaka today, this church is very important. Because in the 17th and 18th centuries, thousands of Armenians lived in the country and they built a church in their neighborhood. The Armenians in question were deported to Bangladesh by the Iranian administration, which was ruling in their own land. The name of the region where the Armenian population, most of whom were engaged in leather trade, lived at that time, is still Armanitola.

Even though the total Christian rate in Bangladesh is 0.5 percent of the population, today many tourists visit this church every day. The most important and wealthiest family of the Armenian community in Dhaka at that time was the Pogose family. The Pogoseler, who served the state with both bureaucrats and merchants, established a school in Dhaka and contributed to the construction of this church and many Armenian churches outside the city.

Dhakeshwari Temple


Dhakeshwari Temple, which belongs to the State of Bangladesh, is the most important tourist attraction in Dhaka. According to Indian belief, the Goddess of Dhaka is protecting the people here and therefore every tourist visiting the temple is expected to be very respectful and make sure that you do not interrupt anyone’s worship while visiting the temple. The temple is located in Bangladesh and is one of the most important places of worship for the Indian population.

The temple, which is thought to date back to the 11th century, is located right in the middle of Dhaka’s ancient and modern districts. Mass prayers are held in this temple on the birth and death anniversaries, religious days and national holidays of the leaders whom the people adopt as heroes.

Bangladesh National Museum


The museum, also known as Dhaka Museum, was officially named Bangladesh National Museum as of 1983; It hosts thousands of local and foreign tourists every day with its exhibitions on different themes such as ethnography, art, history, natural history and contemporary world civilizations. Located in Dhaka’s Shahbag district, the museum is the country’s largest.

The Dhaka Museum, which opened its doors for the first time in 1913, was built by the pro-colonial Scottish Lord Carmichael. In addition to the permanent exhibition halls, the museum, which has four main buildings in total, also includes a library, observation laboratory, photography gallery and temporary exhibition halls. You may need to spare a full day to visit all parts of the museum, which is built on an area of 20 thousand square meters.

Mainimati Buddhist Temple Ruins


One of the must-see places while in Dhaka, located 70 kilometers outside the center of Dhaka, is the Mainimati Ruins. Every tourist who comes here says that he is immersed in the spirituality of the environment, and Buddhists are still seen praying here. This temple, which is one of the most important places of worship of the Buddhist faith, is built between the 7th and 12th centuries. It is thought to have been used for centuries.

The temple, which was built with hand-made and fired bricks, was destroyed in the modern period and the remaining part is preserved. You can reach the ruins in a short time by taxi from the center of Dhaka (with the driver agreeing the price in advance). We would like to point out that some of the ruins are now on military land and it will not be possible for you to see that part unless you get special permission.

Martyr Minar Monument


It was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the Mother Tongue Movement that broke out in Bangladesh in 1952. This movement is a revolt against the Urdu-speaking obligation imposed on the people during the occupation of Pakistan, and Bangladeshis struggled to speak their own language. Bangladeshi people, who attach great importance to the national spirit and independence, make this monument and express their gratitude to the martyrs of their mother tongue.

Due to its historical and political meaning, tourists as well as locals visit this monument. After the events in Bangladesh, on the “International Mother Language Day” determined by UNESCO as February 21, all people lay flowers on this monument and pray.

Transportation In Dhaka


When Dhaka is mentioned, only the center should not come to mind. Next to the center is the Dhaka Metropolis, where it remains very small. For this reason, there is a metro network that works on a single line, although it is not very developed for now. In the center, as the roads are very crowded, the best means of transportation in the city, which does not take up space and relieves the traffic, are “bicycle taxis”. There are more than 400 thousand bicycle taxis in the city. Only 90 thousand of them are registered with the municipality.

Motorized versions of these taxis also provide ease of transportation in traffic, and new generation “environmentally friendly motorized taxis” are now used as a precaution against environmental pollution. In the city, a tradition of decorating bicycle taxis has developed over time. On them, you can sometimes see a portrait of a movie star, sometimes a Hindu deity engraved with paint. These taxis will take you from the airport to the center as well as from your hotel to the place you want to arrive in the city. But it is always in your best interest to be cautious and not trust every driver.

In addition, before getting into the taxi, you should make sure that the driver knows where you want to go and you should agree on the price according to the distance. Bringing up the fee issue after your arrival may result in scam. Apart from that, double-decker buses, which remind of the British influence, are not preferred in the city as they make traffic more difficult and buses are mostly used for intercity journeys.

Despite all the precautions taken, the use of private vehicles is common in the city, and recent research has shown that traffic in the city is congested for more than 7 hours a day. Taxis are safer than bicycle taxis, but if you take a taxi, you risk spending too many hours in traffic. Dhaka’s largest station is Kamalapur Railway Station. The most convenient way to come to Dhaka from the surrounding cities and towns is the Buriganga River. Dozens of boats dock at the port in the morning and evening without stopping and drop off passengers.

Dhaka Cuisine


Bangladeshi cuisine has its origins in the Mughal Empire. However, the influence of the British, Indians and Pakistanis in the country also diversified the cuisine. In Bangladesh cuisine, where rice and lentils are used abundantly, it is seen that crabs and shrimp are used more and more as you go to the coastal areas. In the eastern parts of the country, dried fish, coconut and sour cream sauces are used relatively more. Dhaka also has a different flavor range named after itself.

The most known as “Old Dhaka food” is “Pulao“. Tourists who go to Dhaka and want to experience different tastes should definitely try Bangladesh’s traditional dish “achar”. Achar is a dish obtained by mixing vegetables and fruits with mustard and many other local spices and cooking. It can be said that “chotpoti“, which is prepared by mixing chickpeas, potatoes, eggs and various spices, is the most consumed dish in the country. Bakarkhani, Dhaka kebab, pakki birani, burhani, lassi and phuckha can be eaten from street vendors.

Another food that should be tried by tourists interested in different cuisines and cultures is “ilish”, which is prepared by marinating the region’s famous seafood hilsa fish with mustard and curry sauce. For dessert, sweetened yogurt called “mishti doi” is most recommended. We would like to remind you that weak tourists should not eat all these heavily spiced dishes that are not cooked in a very hygienic environment. Alcohol is not consumed in the Muslim-majority areas of Dhaka, as in the rest of Bangladesh.

On the other hand, where there are Garo people and Christians, alcohol consumption is free and rice beer and local wines are famous in these regions. Finally, we can say that the local population is not in the habit of leaving a tip in restaurants, but tourists are expected to tip up to 10 percent of the account.

Shopping In Dhaka

Dhaka is a city with both Western-style shopping malls and preserving its authentic market culture. Therefore, tourists have many shopping options. You can shop in a modern environment at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, Jamuna Future Park, Dhaka New Market shopping malls, or you can go to the markets where you can be with the people and breathe the daily life in Dhaka. In these markets, vases, glasses and pots made of traditional muslin fabric and clay will attract the attention of tourists the most.

Apart from that, you can taste the seafood or vegetable dishes specific to Bangladesh cuisine from peddlers and buy various spices to use at home. You can find authentic trinkets both to use in your home and to give gifts to your surroundings. The Indian market in Dhaka is also a must-see market place; Here you can also taste Indian cuisine and buy souvenirs.

Various jewelry and accessories such as handcrafted bracelets and necklaces made in traditional lines will not only be a memory for yourself from your trip to Dhaka, but you can also give gifts to your loved ones on your return. Finally, we recommend you to buy the local tea known as “Cha”, try the authentic henna and for male tourists to take the traditional men’s clothing called “Lungi” as a souvenir.

Nightlife In Dhaka

Just as the food in Dhaka should not be expected to suit our taste, there should be no expectation of ordinary entertainment in nightlife. Because this is the capital of a country whose population is overwhelmingly Muslim and that accepts Islam as the religion of the State. Although the British influence is still seen in the most popular sports, they do not live the nightlife like a European. That’s why there are very few nightclubs, bars and restaurants open until late at night.

Unfortunately, waiting to go to a cafe in Dhaka and spend time and chat, as you would in your own city or in a European city, will disappoint you.

Moreover, in such a crowded city where security is very limited, it may be a better idea to not go out at night and relax at your hotel. Only Dhaka’s foreign neighborhoods have nightclubs and only foreigners are allowed to enter. Like the nightclubs in “Hotel Westin” and “Hotel Le Méridien” in the 1st and 2nd parts of Gulshan District, “German Night Club” and “Chalet Bar & Restaurant” can be suitable addresses for those who want to have fun at night in Dhaka. Likewise, “The Club Cube Dhaka” located in the Jamuna Future Park complex is a nightclub that we can recommend and where DJ performances are held.

We advise you not to go to nightclubs that we did not specify, because we do not specify in our article the nightclubs that are unreliable or referred to as “underground”. Apart from these, we have much more suggestions for those who want to have a nice dinner; because Dhaka center has restaurants of all kinds of cuisines. There are also options for vegetarians and those on a gluten-free diet: Restaurants such as “Thai Emerald”, “Khazana” and “Star” offer South East Asian cuisine as well as options to suit your diet.

Apart from that, “3 Dragons at Pearl“, which is considered the best Chinese restaurant in Dhaka, is a suitable option for those who love Chinese cuisine. Our advice to you is that for your health, you should not consume alcohol that you find very cheap and act cautiously in such cases.

We can list other bars and restaurants that offer both affordable prices and quality service as follows: Bluemoon Recreation Club, Sakura Bar & Restaurant, Nightingale Bar, Korean International Club, Floor 6 Reloaded, Dimple Bar & Restaurant, Jatra Biroti and Blaze Bar.

There is plenty of choice for tourists who enjoy going to the movies in the evening. “Balaka Cinema”, “Star Cineplex”, “Blockbuster Cinemas”, “Shyamoli Cinema”, “Mukti Cinema Hall”, “Punam Cinema”, “Padma Cinema”, “Jonaki Cinema Hall”, “Shahin Auditorium” as the most beautiful movie theaters We can count movie theaters such as “Sony Cinema Hall”. If you are careful at night as well as during the day in Dhaka, you can have fun without any problems and see the night side of the city.

Dhaka Festivals

Dhaka, where many traditional and religious festivals take place, offers entertainment for tourists and young population. Since many ethnic and religious groups such as Muslim Bengals, Hindus and Buddhists live together in Bangladesh, their unique celebrations are an indication of the mosaic and colorfulness of the country. We have compiled some of the festivals taking place in Dhaka for you:

Warning: The dates of each festival must be confirmed on their website before the trip.

Pahela Falgun Spring Festival (February)

It is the first day of spring according to the Bengali calendar, and today the arrival of spring is celebrated. All Bengali people welcome spring with their traditional clothes and ornaments. Falgun is the 11th month of the Bengali calendar and the first month of the spring season. The spring season is considered the “king” of the 6 seasons in the Bengali calendar. All women wear bashonti, or yellow and orange dresses. Men also wear their colorful panjabis in honor of spring.

From the first light of the morning, songs are sung, poems are recited and danced on the streets of Dhaka, as in all of Bangladesh, throughout the day. The Faculty of Fine Arts takes the lead in the organization of these celebrations. In the late afternoon, the celebrations continue with the carnival in Rabindra Shorobor and Bahadur Shah Park.

Bengali New Year Pahela Baishakh (April)

According to the Bengali calendar, the country celebrates the start of the new year. Pohela means “first” and “Baishakh” is the first month of the Bengali calendar. A public holiday is declared for a day and entertainments are held in the streets of Bangladesh. The Bengali new year, which has a place in the Hindu tradition, was also celebrated during the Mughal Empire. New Year’s Eve party in Dhaka starts at dawn. Since 1989, Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Arts has held the biggest organizations for New Year celebrations.

Fine arts students prepare a variety of masks and outfits to be used in entertainment. A different theme is covered each year. In addition to the entertainment on the streets, the most delicious meals are prepared, sometimes pigeons are raced, and sometimes boat races are organized on the river.

Buddha Purnima (May)

Buddha Purnima is the birthday of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Buddha was born in present-day Nepali in 563 BC. The birthday, which is determined according to the Chinese lunar calendar, is celebrated on a different day every year according to the Gregorian Calendar. Buddha’s birth represents “Salvation”. All Buddhists in Asian countries hold a festival that day to celebrate the birth of Buddha. Therefore, the streets of Dhaka are also the scene of colorful moments.

The festival is also important for Indians as it comes to the full moon according to the Hindu calendar. Buddha’s father is the king; however, Buddha refuses to live a lifetime of prosperity and wealth. He has always been humble and full of spirituality. Due to their beliefs, Buddhists eat at a minimum during the festival, pray, help the needy, and share whatever they have with their environment.

Janmashtami (August)

Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, who is mentioned in Indian mythology. According to the belief, Krishna was born when his parents were in the prisons of the demon Kangso and represents the resistance against evil. It is believed that Krishna was born to restore order when the world degenerated. The master comes and defeats evil. On Janmashtami day, music sounds from the streets of Dhaka and Hindus march, dance and have fun to give their thanks to Krishna.

When you see this festival, which is made for the sake of love and goodness, you will want to attend. Unfortunately, lately, due to the social and political problems in Bangladesh, the influx of Indians to leave the country causes this colorfulness to not be the same as before. However, the current Indian population in the country continues their traditions.

Durga Puja Hindu Festival (September)

Durga Puja is the biggest Hindu festival. According to Indian mythology, it represents the power of Goddess Durga against Satan Mohishashur. This festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. According to the belief, Durga killed the devil who caused the corruption of people and rebuilt the peace on earth and in heaven. Durga Puja festival lasts for 5 days and for 5 days, everyone, especially the Indian women, dress colorfully. Indian women dress in their most special traditional clothes and wear their traditional jewellery.

Each of the 5 days has its own characteristics. Indians also decorate their homes with care for these celebrations. This festival is the best occasion to buy new clothes, eat sweets and have fun. Everyone has great fun with their spouse, friend, family and neighbors and express their love for each other. As a tourist, you can be a part of this fun and meet a culture you have never seen before.

Dhaka Public Holidays

  • 1 January: New year
  • February 13: First Day Of Ahar According To The Bengali Calendar
  • February 21: International Mother Language Day, Declared By UNESCO In Memory Of Those Who Were Martyred During The Language Movement In 1952 So That Bengali Remains The Official Language.
  • March 26: National Independence Day
  • April 14: New Year According To The Bengali Calendar
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • May 5: Shabe miraj- Miraç Kandili The Night Believed To Have Ascended To The Sky Of The Prophet Of Islam.
  • May 10: Buddha Purnima Day, Which Celebrates Buddha’s Birth And Enlightenment
  • May 26-June 24: Ramadan Month
  • 7 November: National Day Of Revolution And Solidarity
  • 16 December: Bijoy Dibosh – Victory Day And Liberation From Pakistani Occupation
  • December 25: Christmas

Useful Information For Dhaka

  • Fire Brigade: 9 555 555
  • Police: 999
  • Ambulance: 199



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