Dhaka was the capital of Mughal Bengal for 75 years and was considered to be among the most affluent cities in India for being the hub for Bengal’s ‘muslin’. While travelling through the city, you will notice delicious cuisines, art-festivals and cycle-rickshaws constituting a major part of the city’s culture. To experience the city’s historical journey from monuments to food that dates back to the Mughal era to the British Colonial period, you must visit Old Dhaka. The place is home to almost over 2000 heritage buildings and some of the oldest eatery places that serve mouth-watering local dishes. The best way to explore Old Dhaka is by rickshaw that will take you through narrow busy lanes while giving you glimpse of the regular life as well.
Best time to visit: November to April is the best time to explore Dhaka.
Visa and immigration: If you are an Indian passport holder travelling to Dhaka, then you would need to apply for Bangladesh visa.
How to reach
By Air: Shahjalal International Airport or Dhaka Airport is the largest airport in Bangladesh, located about 20km away from the north of the city. IndiGo operates seven weekly non-stop flights between Dhaka and Kolkata with seamless connections to many other destinations.
By Bus: You can also reach Dhaka by bus from Kolkata and Agartala. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service, jointly operated by the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation and the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
If you don’t taste Briyani while being in Dhaka, then your trip is incomplete. And to taste the city’s best biryani you have to visit Fakruddin. This place is usually packed with locals so try your luck to get a place to sit.
Located at the heart of Old Dhaka, this place is an ancient institution. Started in 1939 as a roadside food corner, Haji Biryani only serves its incredibly delicious Mutton Biryani which is commonly known as Chevon Biryani. Also, try their Borhani, a yoghurt based salted mint drink.
Another place in Old Dhaka that serves delicious local dishes including biryani (of course), curries, Bangladeshi breakfast at an excellent price. But one thing that you can’t miss is their enormous flaky rotis that you might not get anywhere else.
If your gastronomical senses are satisfied with biryani then it’s time to sweeten your mouth a bit with the traditional sweets at Premium Sweets. Interestingly, they give a guarantee card with their pack of sweets, so if you want to exchange your buy the same day, you can do so free of cost. Quite a good deal, isn’t it?
It is very popular for Bangladeshi breakfasts. With the bright and fun environment, the restaurant offers a good portion of food that will not hurt your pocket.
Dhaka is shopping paradise. You will get beautiful sarees, handicrafts, bamboo products, jewelry or famous pink pearls. Jamdani sarees are a must and popular buy for all saree lovers. These sarees are entirely handwoven and take around three months to get complete.
New Market: You will find almost everything in New Market, city’s largest market. You can practically spend an entire day here while shopping for clothing, jewellery, leather and much more.
Jatra: If you are looking for some beautiful souvenirs to take back home then visit Jatra. It is a famous handicraft shop that sells trademark Bangladeshi artwork in a modern form. You can look through their full range of unique items such as home décor accessories, lamps, clothes and wall hangings.
Aarong: Another fantastic place to buy Bangladeshi souvenirs. It is the retail arm of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and offers best-in-quality products in terms of leather, bamboo, clothes, jewellery, ceramics etc. BRAC provides employment for socially and economically weak people by promoting traditional Bangladeshi handicrafts.
Bashundhara City: If you want to taste the flavour of Bangladeshi middle-class lifestyle then visit Bashundhara city, world’s 12th largest mall. Sprawling over whopping ten floors, you can find handicraft stores and even get your jewellery designed. There are about 2000 shops of local and international brands, restaurants, multiplex and a bowling alley as well.
Richmond Hotel & Suites Just 5-minutes’ drive from the airport, this hotel is an ideal option for business travellers. The hotel features a rooftop conference room that is perfect to hold any informal and formal meetings.
Golpata Bed & Breakfast The property is at a nearby location to all famous tourist spots and 3km away from the airport. The rooms are well-equipped, and it is considered to be a value for money hotel as compared to others in the city.
Marriott Guesthouse This hotel is centrally located and offers a comfortable stay equipped with all modern facilities. The cuisines in its in-house restaurant is a must try.
The Westin It is the best address for luxurious accommodation. Soak yourself in luxury and relax in their spacious swimming pool or you can go shopping at Shopper’s world mall located at a distance of 1 km. The best feature of the hotel is the floor-to-ceiling windows that give you a beautiful view of the surroundings while being in your hotel room.
Amidst the hustle bustle of shopping and sightseeing, take out some time to enjoy the local music at this lively and beautiful lounge called Jatra Biroti. As you enter, you tend to fall in love with the magical atmosphere of this place filled with soft lights, bright walls painted with traditional artwork and flowy fabrics. The lounge organises musical workshops to promote the folk music and new artists of the country.