15 Places You Don't Want to Miss in Bangladesh

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bangladeshinfo-icon will be one of the most exciting countries that you’ll ever visit. There are lots of places to visit in Bangladesh that attract tourists from around the world.

Every part of the country could give you a different experience. You can discover the many landmarks, enjoy the Bengali beaches, or see the diverse wildlife. Bangladesh is a place for everyone to enjoy.

There are many things to do for tourists. That includes anything from shopping to hiking to cruising through their river channels. Many places around Bangladesh have great tourism industries that will fill your trip with fun and excitement. You should definitely plan to visit any of the top destinations.

#1 Dhaka

Dhaka is a perfect example of the culture of Bangladesh.

Dhaka will be one of your favorite places to visit in Bangladesh. It’s a city that definitely amazes anyone who visits. Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and also its largest city, both in size and population. 

Tourists come to Dhaka to experience how city life is in Bangladesh.  The nation’s largest international airport is located in Dhaka. It’s often the start point for anyone visiting Bangladesh.

Sightseeing is one of the most common activities in Dhaka. It’s known as a cultural hub thanks to its long history. Part of the city is divided into “Old Town.” This area has a mixture of architectural styles because of the different early influences on the city. 

All around Dhaka you’ll see landmarks, religious sites, monuments, and several cultural venues such as the National Museum. Each one of these sites is a great stop for all tourists.

After sightseeing, you’ll really get to enjoy the vast amount of shopping and world-renowned cuisine. Dhaka is an international city, so you’ll be able to see some of everything here.

#2 Chittagong

Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh and is a place where many cultures collide.

Chittagong got its early growth thanks to being the major port city of Bangladesh. Even today it is a significant economic city. Chittagong has now grown to be the second largest city in Bangladesh.  There is a lot to experience here. 

Chittagong is one of the most unique places to visit in Bangladesh that has seen the influence of many different places. Its location is situated between Indiainfo-icon and SE Asiainfo-icon. It was always along trade routes entering either location from the sea or land. Chittagong is famous for its port. One of the most popular places to see in the city is shipyard. The number of ships located here amazes everyone. 

Check out: My Trip Through Bangladesh

There are many other sites around Chittagong that are worth seeing. There is a nearby beach since it’s a coastal city and tourists frequently come here to relax. You can also go sightseeing at the shrine or iconic mosque. A lot of parks can be found here, from amusement parks to simply lounging.

#3 Bogra

Bogra is one of the oldest cities in Bangladesh, and is home to ruins of an even older city, Mahasthangarh.

The oldest city in Bangladesh is Bogra. You can imagine the history to be discovered here. Some of the main attractions to the city are to explore it a bit further. It’s also considered a city of major religious importance. The most known landmarks are Buddhist and Hindu temples, stupas, and historic palaces of former rulers. Many of these sites are still active. Some devotees still take pilgrimages to Bogra. 

Read more: Exploring Bogra food markets

Bogra being the oldest city means that it’s also nearby to some other very historical places. Just outside of the city you will see why this is always a treat for visitors. The ancient ruins called Mahasthangarh is one of the earlier archaeological sites in the entire country. The museum here holds many relics from some of the earliest civilizations. 

You can also visit one of the old villages here. That will be a great place to see how a small town setting in Bangladesh compares to its major cities. You’ll be able to pick up some local handicrafts that would go great as souvenirs. Bogra is a must-visit on the list of places to visit in Bangladesh if you value culture and history.

#4 Comilla

Comilla is one of the oldest and largest cities in Bangladesh. It is located on the intersection of many main highways in Bangladesh, so it's pretty accessible to everyone.

Comilla is a city located in the same district as Chittagong. Its considered as one of the oldest cities in Bangladesh as well as one of the larger. It’s also a city that amazes its visitors. Comilla is a very accessible city. It’s located along all major highway routes in this region of Bangladesh. 

Historic British rule has shaped a lot of the city. This influence is reflected in the architecture and landmarks you’ll see here. Comilla held a significant role in World War II. A lot of the landmarks and memorials are dedicated to it. Visitors can enjoy tours to some of the surrounding archaeological ruins and temples to see more of its history.

Cricket is regarded as the most popular sport in Bangladesh. It is played everywhere from a quick street pick up a game to the professional level. One of the top professional cricket teams in Bangladesh plays at the stadium here. It would be exhilarating to see a game here and get an authentic local experience.

#5 St. Martin’s Island

St. Martin's island is an absolutely beutiful place in Bangladesh filled with many unique activities.

Another one of the best places to visit in Bangladesh that will surely amaze you is St. Martin’s Island. It is just off the shore of the mainland, in the Bay of Bengal. In fact, ferries and small boats are the only way to get to the island. Daily trips to the island have been set up recently after its growth in tourism popularity.

Coral reefs actually form St.Martin's Island. That makes it an excellent place for maritime activities such as diving and snorkeling. There is an abundance of marine life that you can see here. One of the main activities over there is fishing. Visitors really enjoy this destination. The beautiful beaches make it easy to relax or dance all night at a beach party. It's no wonder that it's one of the best places to visit in Bangladesh.

#6 Khulna

Streets of Khulna

Many people usually skip this charming city that is officially the third biggest city in Bangladesh with whooping 1 million residents. A crazy fact is that the official population number doubled in the last three years!

Anyway, the city is located in the Khulna Division in the south-west part of this stunning country. The city is vital for the economy of the country since it serves as a major port city that lays on two beautiful rivers - Ruphsa and Bhoirob. Many travelers usually pass through the city while reaching stunning Sundarbans that is a popular destination as it’s a home of Bengal tigers. 

There are many places to visit and foods to try in Khulna that will definitely introduce you with the culture in this part of the country. Green Park is a huge park located in the city where locals usually take their families to relax and also, that’s probably the only place where you’ll see young couples together. 

There are multiple ways to explore this stunning city, and I recommend taking a tuk-tuk drive or merely getting lost walking around. The local restaurants with delicious food can be found in every step serving amazing meat dishes. When it comes to accommodation, many options are ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. 

Khulna District is famous by Bengal tigers, but the only tiger I saw was the tiger statue in Khulna. 

Here are a few things and places I recommend visiting in Khulna

#7 Jessore

Group of kids in Jessore

A city of Jessore is the capital of Jessore district that is located on the western part of the country directly bordering with India. The city itself has more than 3 million residents, but the vibe and experience will definitely give you the impression of a rural town - such a fantastic experience!

The whole city is filled with local stores, street food, tuk-tuks, and all-time chaotic traffic. Locals mainly live from farming and have crops all over the year since the climate and soil are ideal for many plants including a popular patali that is a date sugar. 

People around Jessore are accommodating and friendly, like the most hospitable people I had a chance to interact with around Bangladesh. 

If you’re into exploring the culture of Bangladesh, then you should definitely take a walk, or tuk-tuk drive around and visit market street filled with shops and street food, eating iconic Bangladeshi ice cream and definitely don’t forget to visit Jessore Collectorate that is built during the colonial era. 

#8 Bagerhat

Temple in Bagerhat

Many travelers find Sundarbans National park as the destination they want to visit, but on the way to the stunning bio-diverse park, there are few off-the-beaten-places you definitely don’t want to miss! One of these places is a small town of many mosques called Bagerhat

The city is located between Khulna and Sundarbans which is a perfect place to explore on your way south. The city is officially called a lost city of Bangladesh since it has countless mosques and temples all around while some are abandoned. 

It’s hard to stumble upon any foreigner in the city, but the hospitality of local will make this city a highlight of Bangladesh trip. I recommend you visiting abandoned mosques with locals since they know many hidden places to explore and it gives a unique vibe to the whole experience. 

If you are an adventurer and feel like Indiana Jones, then Bagerhat is definitely a place you want to visit during your trip in Bangladesh. 

#9 Sundarbans National Park

Sundarbans national park

Sundarbans National park is officially one of the most visited places in Bangladesh. The park is located in the south-west part of the country, and it’s the largest mangrove forest in the world stretching around whooping 140,000 ha of land. 

A vast diversity of plants and animals is definitely a thing that attracts people to this stunning place. You can stumble upon tigers, crocodiles, fish, reptiles and around 290 species of birds. 

Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna river surround the whole place, and the best way to explore this stunning place is by taking a boat ride through the rivers. 

#10 Srimangal

Sunset in Srimangal

Travelers who’re eager to explore an off-the-beaten-path of Bangladesh should definitely head to the north-eastern part of the country. The first place that comes to mind is Srimangal - a tea capital of the country. 

It’s very uncommon that tourists go there, but the friendliness and hospitality of locals will make this place special for any traveler. The place looks stunning and exceptionally green since it’s a home of many species of herbs, trees, and untouched nature. Srimangal is located in the mountains, and you can explore many terrace tea fields which radiate with a unique smell of tea leaves. 

Arguably one of the best ways to explore Srimangal is by renting a bicycle and drive on unpaved roads around tea fields. It’s very relaxing and calm since there is no traffic and you won’t stumble upon many people. 

Once you’re there, head to Lawachhara National Park and explore stunning Hamham waterfalls. Nature lovers and adventurers will definitely fell in love with this place.

There are many guest houses and homestays which provide you with a unique vibe and give you the insights of the culture and lifestyle of that part of Bangladesh. 

#11 Rangamati

River in Rangamati

Rangamati is located in the south-eastern part of the country directly bordering with Myanmarinfo-icon. The town Rangamati is the capital of the largest district in the state. This place is definitely worth-visiting since it’s located in stunning mountains and surrounded by many lakes. It’s usually avoided by tourists because of its remote location.

Travelers who visit Rangamati mainly go there because of the stunning Kaptai lake. The mind-blowing fact is that the lake is human-made and it’s entirely surrounded by the stunning nature and endless hills and mountains. The best way to explore the lake and beauty around is by taking a boat ride. When it comes to a boat ride, there are many options including a full-day trip with an experienced guide who can speak English. 

The area is very remote, so it’s not odd that it serves as a home of many tribal groups. There are few markets with amazing handcrafted goods and delicious regional food. Also, the Buddhist monastery Rajban Bihar along with few other monasteries and temples can be found in the region. 

#12 Gaur

Temple in Gaur

If you’re a history lover who’s interested in exploring ruins and lost cities, then Gaur might be the perfect location for you in beautiful Bangladesh. Gaur is located in the western part of the country bordering with India. The city is full of ruined temples dated from the medieval and ancient era. The city itself has a long and exciting history and the first mentions of the city dated back to the 12th century. 

Gaur was the capital of the Bengal region back in the day, but it was abandoned because of mighty cholera disease. There are many mosques and temples to explore, and many of them are still abandoned and in very poor condition. Anyway, the government invested a huge amount of money in the restoration of the most important mosques and temples. 

Don’t forget to visit the lost city of Gaur if you’re looking to educate yourself about the history of Bangladesh!

#13 Sylhet

Sylhet during the night

Sylhet is a metropolitan city located in the north-eastern part of the country. People who’re into spirituality and religion may find Sylhet a fascinating place since it’s the most important spiritual center of Bangladesh. 

If you’re not into spirituality but more into exploring stunning places, don’t worry since there are few natural wonders you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Sylhet. Lalakhal is a stunning water-canal where you can hire a local boat guide. Another stunning natural place that will give you a glimpse of local culture is Jaflong. Jaflong is the place where local people collect the stones and sell them in the city to the companies that are using the stones to produce countless goods. The place is also a home of few tribal groups including Khasia who are open to host visitors and show them bits of their local culture and how do they grow famous betel leaves. 

Sylhet is especially attractive for tea lovers since there are many tea fields and people consume an extraordinary amount of delicious and strong flavored tea. 

#14 Barisal

City center of Barisal

Barisal is the place that finds its home on the Ganges delta. It is incredible how the activities on the river entirely surround local life. Barisal is the place where you won’t see many tourists, but instead, you will definitely learn much about the culture and lifestyle of people in that region. 

The place is full of the floating market where you can try delicious food from the region, small villages in the forests, bazaars where locals sell the goods collected and made from natural resources. 

If you’re thinking of visiting this stunning place, then you should definitely consider visiting in the monsoon season when the canals and rivers get to a certain level, and many floating markets start to operate. The most interesting of all floating markets is definitely a colorful guava market!

#15 Sompur Mahavihara

Sompur Mahavihara temple complex

Are you looking for hidden historical places in Bangladesh? Sompur Mahavihara is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries south of Himalayas. The whole complex was built in the 8th century AD by the Pala emperor and it still remarkably well-preserved. 

UNESCO listed this site to their protected list since of enormous importance to Bangladeshi people. It’s a bit off the beaten path, so the monastery is only accessible by the private tour guides that will drop you off with their car. 

There are a lot of great places to visit in Bangladesh. The most popular hub for tourism is Dhaka. You can find many ways of getting from Dhaka to any of the other destinations around the country. There are definitely plenty of cities to learn more about local culture and history. Bangladesh also has a variety of islands that are just as fun to explore. You’ll truly be amazed by this beautiful country.

Have you ever been to Bangladesh? What are the most impressive places you have the chance to visit in this stunning country?

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.