A city where past meets present
Dhaka's Mughal and British Colonial architecture is a vivid illustration of the city's historic past while its modern shopping centres are among the world's largest.
Best of Dhaka
Dhaka has a humid tropical climate and September to March is the ideal time to visit. Tropical storms are common from April to June, and monsoon rains fall from May to September. Plan a visit at the end of January for the Chobi Mela photography festival or in February for Dhaka's Art Summit and Dhaka World Music Festival. Islamic religious festivals such as Eid el Fitr and Adha and Hindu festivals like Kali Puja are popular and travellers should check dates (lunar calendar).
Planning to go to Dhaka
British passport holders should apply to the Bangladesh High Commission for a 1-month visa. Passports must be valid for the duration of their visit.
Ensure vaccinations like Diphtheria, Tetanus, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A are up to date. It's also worth considering Cholera, Rabies, Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis vaccines and there is a low Malaria risk in Dhaka.
Although some locals might speak English, Bangladeshi is the main language with Urdu/Hindu spoken in some areas.
The cost of living in Dhaka is very low and restaurant meals are around Tk 60. Visit the Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara districts for upscale restaurants.
Useful local information
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is 20 km north of Dhaka. Travellers can take the Public Airport Bus shuttle service from the airport road 5 minutes from the terminal. Tickets to Gulistan bus station are about BDT 10 and buses run till 8 pm. However, buses are crowded and best avoided by those with bulky luggage. Airport departure tax (BDT300) is normally included in ticket prices. Taxis to the city centre cost around BDT 400 and take about 30 minutes. Fares should be agreed beforehand if there is no meter.
Accommodation in a cheap hotel is about Tk 60 while a mid-range hotel costs around Tk 4,100.
Negotiate fares and take cycle rickshaws for short trips. Tk 30 to 50 for a 15-minute ride is average. Auto rickshaws (CNGs) charge around Tk 150-250 for a metered 8 km journey. Approximately Tk 25 for the first 2 km then Tk 7 per km afterwards. Metered taxi fares begin at about Tk 25 but rates should be agreed before boarding. Yellow taxis are air-conditioned. Buses covering main routes are crowded and can be slow. Purchase tickets from bus counters.