Dhaka In Focus

Travel Team
By Travel Team 2 Min Read

Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, and the noise and crowds can prove overwhelming for first-time visitors. But stick around and you’ll discover some attractive monuments, an endless variety of restaurants and an unrivalled arts scene.

The city is at its best in the relatively cool winter months from November to March. This is also when it holds an array of fascinating cultural events, ranging from the biennial Dhaka Arts Summit (attended by 300,000 Dhakaites the last time it was held) and the Dhaka Lit Fest. The University of Dhaka’s Fine Arts Institute – designed by pioneering modernist Muzharul Islam – is an airy structure enveloped in landscaped gardens.

There are plenty of sights to feast your eyes upon. Lalbagh Fort – a sprawling 17th century Mughal complex – is one of them. The pink-hued Ahsan Manzill, former pleasure palace of the Sheikh Enayet Ullah, is another. Dhaka also has plenty of chaotic, colourful markets to visit – Dhanmondi Hawkers’ Market sells some of the most beautiful Jamdani and Tangail textiles and saris in the city.

Make sure you take the time to wander down the winding alleys of Old Dhaka, the city’s historic centre. You’ll pass timeworn buildings, shaded courtyards, religious buildings and plenty of markets. Bangla Bazar is crammed with book stalls, while Shakhari Bazar is a Hindu neighbourhood known for its shakhari makers (an instrument made with conch shells). There are plenty of places to eat, from street food stalls to heritage coffee houses and restaurants selling morog pulao (a variation of chicken biryani). 

And no trip to the city is complete without a trip on the river! Catch a boat from Sadargat, the city’s busiest river port.

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine