Dhaka is not a quiet, retiring place. The city, bursting with nearly 17 million people (most of whom often seem to be stuck in the same traffic jam as you), is a gloriously noisy and chaotic place, bubbling with energy.
It's a city that can sometimes threaten to overwhelm the casual visitor, but once you climb into the back of one of its myriad colourful cycle-rickshaws, Dhaka's charm starts to slowly reveal itself. Life flows from the boats on the Buriganga River to its unexpectedly green parks and university campuses. Mughal and British monuments speak of its history, its mosques and Hindu temples of its spiritual side, and the thriving arts and restaurant scenes – plus the rush to build new roads and a metro railway system – give a glimpse of the direction of future travel.
Dhaka isn't without challenges, but sooner or later you'll start to move to its rhythm and truly embrace this furiously beating heart of Bengali culture.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Dhaka.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Dhaka.