Are you planning a trip to Bangladesh and feeling overwhelmed by all the cities and sights to explore? That’s pretty understandable considering that Bangladesh is home to vibrant cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, steeped in rich history and bustling with energy.
This comprehensive guide will offer you a detailed view of the major cities in Bangladesh including their key attractions, giving you an insider’s glimpse into both popular and offbeat locations.
Get ready; an unforgettable journey through Bangladeshi culture, history, scenery awaits!
- Bangladesh is a country in South Asia known for its rich culture and fast economic growth.
- Major cities like Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, and Rajshahi offer unique cultural experiences and stunning attractions.
- Metropolitan areas like Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Barisal, and Rangpur play a crucial role in the country’s development and growth.
- Popular attractions in Dhaka include the National Parliament Building, Lalbagh Fort, National Museum, and Ahsan Manzil.
Bangladesh, located in South Asia, is a country known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant economy. With a diverse population and impressive economic growth, it has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers.
Location and geography
Bangladesh sits in South Asia. It is a small and packed place. Many rivers flow here like the big Ganges and Brahmaputra. In the southeast, you find Chittagong. This place has hills, forests, valleys, and more! It’s not all flat land in Bangladesh!
Bangladesh, a diverse country brimming with various ethnic and religious groups, has a unique demographic profile. The following table will provide a detailed breakdown of the religious composition of the population in Bangladesh.
|Religion||Percentage of Population|
This demographic composition reflects the rich tapestry of diverse cultures and faiths that coexist in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh shows fast economic growth. Since 2009, the real GDP has risen by at least 6% each year. This makes Bangladesh one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
The country works hard to reduce poverty. Over half the people used to be poor. Now, less than a third are poor because of aid from around the world. The Sixth Five Year Plan in Bangladesh helps too.
It offers more jobs and chances for growth as part of efforts to cut down on poverty.
Major Cities in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet are some of the major cities in Bangladesh that offer unique cultural experiences and stunning attractions.
Dhaka is the capital and biggest city of Bangladesh. It’s located near the Buriganga River. With over 21 million people, it’s one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Dhaka has a rich history and is considered a megacity. It’s also an important economic center in Bangladesh, contributing to its growth and development. Some popular attractions in Dhaka include the National Parliament Building, Lalbagh Fort, National Museum, and Ahsan Manzil.
Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh and serves as the chief Indian Ocean port of the country. It is located on the Bay of Bengal, making it an important international seaport for Bangladesh.
With a land area of 157 km2, Chittagong plays a significant role in national exports and imports. The city’s economic growth contributes greatly to the overall development of Bangladesh.
Khulna is the third-largest city in Bangladesh, serving as both the administrative center for Khulna District and Khulna Division. Situated in the south-central region of the Padma-Jamuna delta along the Bhairab River, it boasts a rich natural landscape.
One of its main attractions is its proximity to the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to mangrove forests. Known for having one of the oldest transportation systems in Bangladesh, Khulna also faces challenges due to its low-lying coastal location.
In fact, it is recognized as one of the world’s six most climate-vulnerable cities.
Rajshahi is an important city in Bangladesh, known as the “Silk City.” It is a major educational hub and serves as the administrative capital of the Rajshahi Division. Rajshahi has close connections with other notable cities in the country, such as Dhaka, Chittagong, and Khulna.
The government of Bangladesh plans to construct a railway connection between Rajshahi and these major cities. With its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere, Rajshahi offers a unique experience for visitors looking to explore the diverse beauty of Bangladesh.
Sylhet is the fifth-largest city in Bangladesh, with a population of around 700,000 people. It is located on the banks of the Surma River in northeastern Bangladesh. Sylhet is known for its stunning natural beauty, filled with tea gardens and hills.
It also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with various religious and historical sites to explore. The city has good connectivity to other major cities like Dhaka and Chittagong.
Other notable cities and towns
Other notable cities and towns in Bangladesh include Mymensingh, Barisal, Comilla, and Bogra.
Mymensingh is one of the major cities in Bangladesh. Located on the bank of the Brahmaputra River, it has a population of around 700,000 people. The city holds historical significance and has a rich culture.
Mymensingh is known for its beautiful rivers, including the Old Brahmaputra River.
Barisal is one of the major cities in Bangladesh, and it serves as a significant financial hub. With a population of around 533,000 people, Barisal is located in the south-central region of the country.
Situated in the delta formed by the Padma and Jamuna rivers, Barisal is known for its lush paddy fields and vibrant floating markets. One of the unique ways to reach this city is through a slow-paced boat ride along its numerous rivers.
The historical and cultural significance of Barisal attracts many travelers and backpackers who want to explore its rich heritage.
Comilla, officially known as Cumilla District, is a city located on the banks of the Gomti River in Bangladesh. It is often referred to as the “town of bank and tank” due to the presence of numerous banks and large-sized ponds in the area.
Situated about 100 kilometers southeast of Dhaka, Comilla is famous for its natural beauty. With its rich history, it was one of the cities in ancient Bengal. The city offers picturesque landscapes and serves as a gateway to other attractions in Bangladesh.
Bogra is a city located in the Bogra District of Rajshahi Division in Bangladesh. It sits on the west bank of the Karatoya River, which is a tributary of the Jamuna River. Known for its rich historical heritage, vibrant cultural scene, and natural wonders, Bogra is an important commercial hub in northwestern Bangladesh.
One thing that makes Bogra famous is its globally renowned red chili. With its fascinating attractions and unique offerings, Bogra is definitely worth exploring alongside other major cities like Dhaka and Chittagong.
Metropolitan Areas in Bangladesh
Metropolitan areas in Bangladesh, defined as large urban agglomerations with significant economic and social influence, play a crucial role in the country’s development and growth.
Definition and significance
The metropolitan areas in Bangladesh are the major urban regions that include a central city and its surrounding towns. These areas have high population densities and serve as important hubs for economic, social, and cultural activities.
They play a significant role in the country’s development by attracting investments, creating job opportunities, and driving innovation. The metropolitan areas of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet are particularly noteworthy due to their size, population concentration, and strategic importance.
These cities contribute significantly to the overall GDP of Bangladesh and act as centers for trade, commerce, education, healthcare facilities, transportation networks as well as administrative functions at both national and regional levels.
These metropolitan areas also face unique challenges such as managing rapid urbanization growth without compromising quality of life or environmental sustainability. Efficient infrastructure development becomes vital in order to accommodate increasing populations while addressing issues like traffic congestion and housing shortages.
Top metropolitan areas
Bangladesh, a rapidly developing country in South Asia, has several bustling metropolitan areas that are significant for various reasons. These areas include Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Barisal, and Rangpur, each contributing to the country’s overall growth with their unique characteristics and attractions.
Below is a quick snapshot of these metropolitan areas:
|Dhaka||Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh, known for its rich history, culture, and economic activities.|
|Chittagong||Chittagong, the second-largest city, is home to the busiest port in the country and is a major center for industry.|
|Khulna||Located in the southwestern part of the country, Khulna is a vital hub for the country’s shipbuilding industry.|
|Sylhet||Sylhet, in the northeastern region, is known for its tea gardens and natural beauty.|
|Rajshahi||Rajshahi, renowned for its silk industry, is a significant cultural and educational center in the country.|
|Mymensingh||Mymensingh, located on the Brahmaputra River, is famous for its educational institutions and old British-era buildings.|
|Barisal||Barisal is a significant city in southern Bangladesh, widely known for its Paddy growing and numerous rivers.|
|Rangpur||Rangpur, in the northern part of the country, is a notable city for its contributions to education, agriculture, and culture.|
Each of these metropolitan areas has notable attractions worth exploring, and they all contribute significantly to the tourism, economy, and culture of Bangladesh.
Popular Attractions in Dhaka
Visit the National Parliament Building, Lalbagh Fort, National Museum, and Ahsan Manzil for a taste of Dhaka’s rich history and culture.
National Parliament Building
The National Parliament Building in Dhaka, called Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, is a big and important place. It’s where the Parliament of Bangladesh meets. This building is very famous because it’s one of the largest parliamentary houses in the world.
It sits on 200 acres of nice land. Even though you can’t go inside the main building, you can still take tours of the Jatiyo Sangshad complex. People who like politics, history, and architecture will enjoy visiting this place when they come to Dhaka.
Lalbagh Fort is a beautiful historical site located in the old town of Dhaka, Bangladesh. It’s a grand structure from the Mughal era that gives us a glimpse into the country’s rich history.
Maintained by the archaeological department of Bangladesh, this fort consists of three main sections: Mausoleum of Pari Bibi, Diwan-i-Aam, and Quilla Mosque. Lalbagh Fort attracts around three million visitors each year who come to admire its stunning architecture and learn more about Bangladesh’s past.
The National Museum in Dhaka is a must-visit attraction when exploring Bangladesh. Established in 1913, this museum covers an area of 8.63 acres and features 44 galleries filled with artifacts that showcase the history, culture, and art of Bangladesh.
Inside, you’ll find a large library with various publications that cover topics like Islamic art and the country’s geography, animals, plants, customs, and tourist attractions. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of Bangladesh’s rich heritage and diverse cultural aspects.
It’s a great place to learn about the country’s past and immerse yourself in its vibrant traditions.
Ahsan Manzil is a famous tourist spot in Dhaka city. It is situated on the bank of the river Buriganga in old Dhaka. In the past, it was where the Nawab of Dhaka lived. The palace is often called the Pink Palace because of its color.
Construction began in 1859 and ended in 1872. Ahsan Manzil is an important reminder of Bangladesh’s history and culture.
Chittagong, known for its historical sites and stunning beaches, is a city worth exploring. From the ancient ruins of Mahasthangarh to the serene Cox’s Bazar beach, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Don’t miss out on Chittagong!
Chittagong has a rich history with many fascinating historical sites to explore. Some of these include:
- Chittagong Commonwealth War Cemetery: A significant historical site that commemorates the soldiers who fought in World War II.
- Ethnological Museum: This museum showcases the cultural heritage and history of the region, with exhibits ranging from ancient artifacts to traditional crafts.
- Foy’s Lake: This scenic lake is surrounded by lush greenery and is home to a vintage amusement park called Foy’s Lake Amusement World. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty and fun activities.
- Zia Memorial Museum: Dedicated to former President Ziaur Rahman, this museum exhibits his personal belongings, photographs, and documents from his political career.
- Lalbagh Fort: One of the oldest forts in Bangladesh, Lalbagh Fort is a historical landmark with beautiful gardens, mosques, and palaces.
Beaches and coastal areas
Chittagong, located on the Bay of Bengal, offers pristine beaches and beautiful coastal areas. It is a great destination for beach lovers. Some notable beaches and coastal areas to explore in Chittagong include:
- Patenga Beach: This popular beach is known for its scenic beauty and vibrant atmosphere. You can relax on the golden sandy shores, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or enjoy local snacks and activities.
- Cox’s Bazar: It is home to the world’s longest natural sandy beach, stretching over 120 kilometers. With its gentle waves and picturesque surroundings, Cox’s Bazar attracts both locals and tourists alike.
- Kuakata Beach: Located in Patuakhali district, Kuakata offers a unique experience as it is one of the few places in the world where you can witness both sunrise and sunset over the sea.
- Saint Martin Island: This small coral island is known for its crystal-clear blue waters and white sandy beaches. It’s a perfect spot for snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing under the sun.
- Inani Beach: Situated south of Cox’s Bazar, Inani Beach is known for its towering cliffs, rock formations, and serene ambiance. It’s an ideal place to unwind amidst nature’s wonders.
Khulna is a city in southwestern Bangladesh known for its breathtaking beauty and natural wonders. From the enchanting Sundarbans National Park to the majestic Shat Gambuj Mosque, there’s so much to discover in Khulna.
So grab your camera and get ready to be amazed!
Sundarbans National Park
Sundarbans National Park is a large mangrove forest in Bangladesh and it’s the biggest of its kind in the world. This park has dense mangrove forests which provide a habitat for Bengal tigers, making it one of the largest reserves for these majestic animals.
Apart from tigers, Sundarbans National Park is also home to various wildlife such as birds, deer, wild boar, and large saltwater crocodiles. Nature lovers will be amazed by the picturesque tea gardens, serene islands, and wildlife sanctuaries found within this park.
Additionally, Sundarbans National Park is part of the larger Sundarban Reserve Forest which includes wetlands, forests, and three wildlife sanctuaries.
Shat Gambuj Mosque
Shat Gambuj Mosque is a famous architectural masterpiece located in Bagerhat, Bangladesh. It was completed in 1459 and is known for its unique design. The mosque features 77 squat domes, including seven chauchala or four-sided pitched domes.
Ulugh Khan Jahan, a Turkish general and saint warrior, founded the mosque. He also built roads, highways, bridges, and other mosques in the area. Shat Gambuj Mosque is a popular tourist attraction and showcases Islamic architecture in Bangladesh.
Rajshahi and its Cultural Treasures
Explore the rich cultural heritage of Rajshahi with its must-visit attractions like Varendra Research Museum and Bagha Mosque. Discover the city’s fascinating history and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture.
Ready to delve into the treasures of Rajshahi? Read on!
Varendra Research Museum
Varendra Research Museum is the oldest museum in Bangladesh, founded back in 1910. It is located in Rajshahi and managed by Rajshahi University. The museum’s main focus is collecting, preserving, studying, and researching the history and culture of ancient and medieval Bengal, specifically the Varendra region.
It is known for housing around 19,000 ancient artifacts that offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of Bangladesh. For those interested in history and culture, visiting Varendra Research Museum is a must-do as it provides a valuable insight into the country’s past.
The Bagha Mosque is an ancient mosque from the 16th century. It is located about 35 km southeast of Rajshahi city near the Upazila headquarters of Bagha. The mosque is associated with stories of ghosts and paranormal activities.
The historic city of Bagerhat, where the mosque is located, was created within a few years and later covered up by the jungle. The rise of Islam and the Mughal empire in the late 16th century led to the annexation of Bengal, including the area where the Bagha Mosque is situated.
In conclusion, the comprehensive guide to exploring the major cities in Bangladesh provides valuable information about Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, and more. From historical landmarks to beautiful beaches and cultural treasures, these cities offer a unique experience for travelers.
With tips on saving money and suggestions for popular attractions, this guide is your go-to resource for an adventurous trip to Bangladesh. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of these vibrant cities!
1. What are the major cities to explore in Bangladesh?
The major cities to explore in Bangladesh include Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, and Rajshahi.
2. What are some popular attractions in Dhaka?
Popular attractions in Dhaka include Lalbagh Fort, Ahsan Manzil (Pink Palace), National Parliament House (Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban), and Sadarghat River Port.
3. What is there to see and do in Chittagong?
In Chittagong, you can visit the beautiful Patenga Beach, explore the historic Foy’s Lake and World War II Cemetery, or take a boat trip along the Karnaphuli River.
4. Are there any notable landmarks in Khulna?
Yes, notable landmarks in Khulna include Sundarbans National Park (home to Bengal tigers), Khan Jahan Ali’s Tomb Complex, and Rupsha Bridge which connects Khulna with other parts of Bangladesh.
5. How can I travel between these major cities within Bangladesh?
You can travel between these major cities by bus or train as both options are widely available throughout the country. Some cities also have airports for domestic flights.