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Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and one of the oldest cities of South Asia is chaotic, overcrowded, and densely populated. But what you find here, you will never find anywhere in the world. Dhaka, the heart of Bengali culture has so many things to offer to its visitors. As per the Bengali calendar, there are 12 months in a year. It is said that Bengalis’ have thirteen festivals in twelve months and Dhaka is the hub of celebrating those carnivals. Any time of the year you book one of the many flights to Dhaka and check in here, you will definitely find a festival going on. The warmth of local people, versatile culture, and the simplicity of urban lifestyle will surely leave you astounded.
Tip: Dhaka is such a city where you will find chaotic traffic jams on the main roads. You definitely can avoid that by grabbing a seat on a cycle rickshaw. The moment you step on a cycle rickshaw, you will start enjoying its bumpy but funny rides. Don’t forget to greet the rickshaw puller by saying ‘mama’, a very common word to call and greet an unknown person.
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is the main airport in Dhaka. IndiGo, Biman Bangladesh, Spicejet, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways British Airways, AirAsia, and Singapore Airlines are few of the major air carrier companies which provide their service at Dhaka Airport. Kolkata is the closest international destination from Dhaka and it takes more or less 30 minutes to reach this Indian city. Most of the European destinations come with a layover in Doha or Dubai, depending on which airline company you are booking your flight with. Dhaka is well-connected with most of the cities of the world. Dhaka welcomes over hundreds of flights on a daily basis from major cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Beijing, Saigon, Dubai, Colombo, and the list goes on. If you are coming from a nearby place, you can find a lot of options for direct flights to Dhaka. If you book your flight at least one to two months prior to your date of journey, you can find some real cheap flights to Dhaka.
Dhaka Airport is almost 15 kilometers away from Basundhara city or the city center. Lots of public transports are available to reach the city center from the airport. Buses are the most reliable public transports in Dhaka. You can avail anyone from it depending on which place you want to reach. You can also take a train ride to the city center. There is a railway station exactly on the opposite side of the airport. It takes about 20 minutes of walking to reach the Airport Railway Station.
Tip: If you cannot afford a taxi and you are carrying heavy luggage, then you can book an auto-rickshaw, locally known as CNG. It’s cheap and easy to reach your destination. Don’t forget to bargain, otherwise, you may have to pay extra.
If you are a compulsive shopper or a foodie, Dhaka might appear heavenly to you. Dhaka is famous for its street foods and delicious dishes. Whether you are a snacks addict, a dessert lover, or maybe a main course fanatic; Dhaka is a perfect food destination for you. If you want to taste some of the authentic Bengali dishes, head towards old Dhaka. During lunchtime, you can choose Biriyani, Rice with Hilsa curry, or even Paratha with curry. Even Biriyani has so many varieties like- Kacchi Biriyani, Dum Biriyani, and Handi Biriyani. Even a simple dish of rice with chicken curry tastes delicious in old Dhaka area. Don’t eat too much during lunch as the food story doesn’t end here. You can grab anything between fuchka, jhal muri, or beguni for evening snacks. If you are a sweet-lover, don’t miss having Jalebi, a popular Bangladeshi sweet. What if you are fascinated with tea? Head towards the Ramna Maidan area where you will find different flavors of tea. Famous flavors include- chocolate tea, red tea, maltonga tea, and the list continues. If you are visiting Dhaka, don’t forget to buy some authentic Bengali traditional dresses; Saree for females and Dhoti, for males. Places like new market area or Gulistan area are well-known for some of the best quality apparel within budget. Dhaka is also famous for handicrafts. You can buy souvenirs from the Basundhara city area as a token of remembrance.
Dhaka has two sides specifically; Old Dhaka and New Dhaka city. Old Dhaka is the most crowded area yet it’s famous for its art festivals, cuisine, and cultural diversity. Few of the famous landmarks are situated in this area. Lalbag Fort, Shahid Minar, Dhakeshwari Temple, and Bangladesh National Museum are within a short radius. On the other hand, New Dhaka city is polished with modern buildings and posh areas. In areas like Dhanmondi, Gulshan; you will find some of the best cafes and pubs.
Tip: There is nothing called the best time to visit Dhaka. But if you really want to feel the festive mood of the city, try visiting during Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year) or International Mother Language day. During these times, the city remains colorful and you will experience indigenous Bengali culture along with some of the best street arts.
Most of the tourists prefer to stay in the New Dhaka area as it is considered the safest place in the city. You will find a lot of hotels/hostels in areas like Banani, Dhanmondi, Fakirapool, and Uttara. But if you prefer to meet the other travelers, try finding your accommodation in the Gulshan area. Dhaka is considered one of the cheapest cities in Asia. So you can even find three stars or five stars at an affordable price.
Tip: If you are coming to Dhaka during the festive seasons, try booking your accommodation at least two to three weeks prior to your date of arrival for a hassle-free journey.
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