Things to do in Dhaka. Dhaka is the capital and the largest city located in central Bangladesh. Dhaka is surrounded by six rivers like a garland. There is Balu and Shitalakha river on the eastern side, Turag and Buriganga river on the south-western side, Tongi Khal to the north and Daleswari river to the south.
The city, bursting with nearly 20 million people which is one of the most densely populated cities in a world full of activities, a paradise for photographers. Actually, you will be surrounded by the subject of photography, when you will be in Dhaka such as street, portrait, people, markets you will get unlimited subjects to clicks for several days. Besides photography, Dhaka has many interesting & historical sites to visit from Mughal and colonial periods.
You will get some of the most attractive places in Dhaka for tourists, which you must visit during your Holiday in Dhaka.
If you are interested to visit them in a day, you may check to our Things to do in Dhaka and Daylong Tour, which are included with Best of Dhaka Tour which are the most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka, Enjoy!
Check out for the most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Attractions place in Dhaka
1. Lalbagh Fort: Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
The most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka, Lalbagh fort. Before it was known as Aurangabad fort in the Mughal period in the 17th century.
Prince Muhammad Azam was the third son of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, started building the fort Aurangabad in 1678 and after one year he handed over to the next governor of Dhaka Shaista Khan to continue the construction of the fort. But he did not carry to complete the whole construction of the fort.
In 1684, the daughter of Shaista khan named Iran Dukht Pari Bibi died there whose tomb inside it. He constructed magnificent obelisks inside the fort, especially near the tomb of Pari Bibi. The tomb of Pari Bibi made of marble stones, black basalt, and glazed tiles. Mausoleum of Pari Bibi and the 2 storied audience hall and single-storied hammam is now the housing of the museum.
Outstanding among the monument of Lalbagh fort is a small three-domed elegant mosque. There are also two tombs one of Shamshad Banu, who is the youngest daughter of Shaista Khan and another one is his grandson Khodad Khan. In the south of the Mazar complex, there are three attaching graves. The middle one is of Mirza Bengali. He is one of the Captains of soldiers for Shaista Khan. And both side graves are an unknown child.
There are several underground secret passages in the fort which are sealed presently. The legends say that 2 of the underground passages led to ruined Zinzzira fort which was built on the other side of Buriganga River, the other passage built as mazes where invaders and intruders would lose their way and finally be in starved and suffocated to death.
In fact, it is claimed that during the Sepoy Revolution against the colonial rulers in 1857, many of the defeated soldiers tried to flee through those passages and lost their lives inside those passages. Even British soldiers, who tried to chase them and tried to arrest them also never returned. Later British researchers sent dogs and an elephant to those passages but they never came back, then those passages were sealed permanently. Still, the mystery behind these secret passages remain unsolved and the actual purpose of these mazes remain unknown. Fort is about 2000 feet long from east to west and 800 feet wide from north to south.
Visiting Hours of Lalbagh Fort:
Summer Season (April – September)
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 1 :30 PM – 06:00 PM
Friday — 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM – 06 :00 PM.
Sunday — Weekly holiday
Monday — 02:30 PM – 06: 00 PM
Winter Season (October – March)
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 1 :30 PM – 05:00 PM
Friday — 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM – 05 :00 PM.
Sunday — Weekly holiday
Monday — 01:30 PM – 05: 00 PM
Lalbagh fort will remain close during any govt. holiday.
2. Dhakeswari Temple : Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Hindu temple Dhakeshwari Mandir, this temple is considered as the national temple for Hindu communities. This temple is built on 12 centuries by Ballal Sen, a king of Sena Dynasty.
Legends say that Ballal Sen dreamt several times that the deity covered under the jungle, Ballal Sen came to the jungle to search that place and discover the deity was covered in the jungle, he uncovered the deity from there and built a temple, the idol of Durga is called Dhakeshwari.
In the 16th century Mansingh who was the subedar of Mughals, he built this temple by laying four Shib Lingas. Dhakeswari mandir is a complex of several temples there is 5 shiv mandir, kali mandir, Durga the ten-armed female deity known as Dhakeswari.
There is 4 shiv mandir on the same side of the complex, stand one after another from east to west. And the west side of the complex is another shiv mandir. This temple has a difference from the other 4 mandirs, the difference is instead of black basal the symbol is made of white mud. Kali Mandir is situated at the eastern side of the complex, the Southside of the complex is for puja offering also sacrifice offering boli. This place is most attractive for the pious Hindus.
3. National Parliament House: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Architecture Louis Khan designed the entire parliament building complex, this complex is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world. Comprising on 800000 sq.m lands. Robert McCarter, author of Louis I. Kahn described the National Parliament of Bangladesh as one of the most significant buildings.
Construction was started in 1961 when Bangladesh was East Pakistan. But halted due to Bangladesh’s independence war and finally completed in 1982. The assembly building received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The exterior of the parliament building is striking in its simplicity with huge walls and large opening of regular geometric shape, in this assembly a light-giving component to the interior of the plan, if you look to the series of columns designed as frame the space of light. And the columns are hollow and much bigger and that their walls can themselves give light, then the voids are rooms and the columns are the maker of light and can take on complex shapes and the supporters of spaces and give light to spaces, Complex building includes lake, lawns and residence for the members of Parliament (MPs).
The main building consists of nine individuals, the eight blocks rise to a height of 110’ when the central octagonal blocks rise to a height 0f 155’. Nine blocks include in different groups of functional spaces and have different levels, interlinked by vertically and horizontally by corridors, stairs, light courts, lifts, and circular areas. The entire Parliament building designed to blend into one, non-differentiable unit.
This is one of the most attractive buildings in Dhaka for tourists. Tours n Trips Bangladesh will arrange all the necessary papers of permission for you to visit Parliament building.
4. Armenian Church: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Armenian came to Dhaka in the 17th Century and concentrated in the old part which was later named Armanitola, after the colony of Armenians families. In1781 the Armenian Church was built on Armenian street. Agaminus Catachik, an Armenian, gave the land to build the church. Michel Cerkess, Aga Aminus, Merker Pogos, and Okotavata Setoor Sevorg also helped to build the church, it took fifty years to complete the construction of the church.
A clock tower was erected on its western side of the church that the clock could be heard from the 4 miles away and people match their watch time with the sounds of a tower bell. The watchtower was built by Johans Paru Piyete Sartis. The clock was stopped in 1880 and an earthquake destroyed the bell tower in 1897. the church is 750 feet long, has 4 doors and 27 windows.
The last Armenian, Stephen was in the church as caretaker, was founded in 1984, is worried after his wife died, he left the church. The Armenian were Orthodox. The first private school in Dhaka is the Pogos school established in 1848 by Armenian. Although the Armenian were very small communities.
At that time, they were rich, they involved themselves in different businesses such as Betel leaf Jute and clothes trades. Some of them were zamindar, influential Armenian families are – Pogos, Arutun, Sarkis, Kozsa, Michel, Henry. In 1888 Sarkis an Armenian introduced horse carriages business (horse run four wheels), In Dhaka for the first time and was known as a ticca car (hiring car). This place is one of the most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka.
5. Sadarghat River Font: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Dhaka is surrounded by 6 rivers like a garland. Sadarghat Riverport is situated on the bank of the river Buriganga, in the south-western part of Dhaka. it is the busiest and most crowded port area in Dhaka.
This is the major riverine port for waterways transportation with most of the districts. The BIWTA Launch Terminal caters approximately 200 of medium and large passenger launches (motorized boat) which are arrived at and depart from, the Sadarghat terminal every day the officials there estimate 30,000 people pass through the Launch terminal every day. for a visitor, these await an amazing scene with different types of boats – covered and uncovered boats, cargo boats, speed boats tugs and motor launches going in every direction.
When a launch arrives at the port, the passengers – exhausted, excited, curious, worried, old, young, male, female, rural relatives, traders—disembark from their boat and hurriedly entered the magical city.
You can climb on the roof of the large to catch an aerial view of the terminal as well as the river and its bank. Paddle steamer service introduced during the colonial period is also operated from this river port. Paddle steamer service for passenger service is obsolete now a day in other countries, a trip by paddle steamer will enable a guest to enjoy the riverine beauty including the countryside of Bangladesh.
There are two main roads, one from east to west and north to south and these two roads are joined in orthogonal shape near Sadarghat by the parallel road of the river Buriganga. The place has been turned into a large daily market of fruits and vegetables and there are a lot of retail and wholesale shops on both sides of the road. This place is must visit and most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka.
6. Ahsan Manjil: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Ahsan Manjil was the residential palace of Nawab family and the official seat of Dhaka Nawab. This palace is now turned into a beautiful museum. This magnificent building situated at kurmitola along the bank of the Buriganga river.
The Building has a broad front-facing the Buriganga river. On the riverside open spacious stairs leads right up to the second portal and their stands grand triple-arched portals. There was a fountain in the garden before in front of stairs which doesn’t exist now.
The palace is divided into two parts, the eastern side, and the western side. The eastern building is called Rang Mahal and the western side of the building with the living room is called Andar Mahal the construction of this palace was started in 1859 and was completed in 1872. It was constructed in the indo saranic revival architecture. In the Mughal era, there was a garden house of Sheikh Enayet Ullah, the landlord of Jamalpur porgona dist. He acquired a big area in kumartoli and included with his garden house. He collected beautiful girls from the country and abroad and keeping them to his garden house for his enjoyment.
The faujdar of Dhaka (representative of Mughal emperor) at that time was attracted to one of the beautiful girls of that garden house. Faujdar invited Sheikh Enayet Ullah in a party at one night and killed him in a plot after that girl also committed suicide in anger and sorrow. There was a grave of Sheikh Enayet Ullah in the northeast corner of the palace yard.
In the period of Nawab Alibardi Khan 1740 century, Sheikh Moti Ullah the son of Sheikh Enayet Ullah sold the property to French traders. French traders could do business here without paying taxes by a decree from the emperor Aurangzeb. When the British French war 1757, the French left the house. According to the Paris agreement of 1814 the French claimed all their Dhaka properties in 1927.
In 1930 French traders sold the properties to the established landlord of Dhaka Khaza Alim Ullah after his death his son Khaza Gani made a great flourish to the property and named it Ahsan Manjil, on his son Ahsan Ullah. In 1952 Govt. acquired the property and left in the supervision of the Dhaka Nawab Court 1985. Dhaka national museum acquired the property. On 5th Dec 1901 electricity first introduced in Dhaka from this Palace. One of the key attractive tourist places in Dhaka.
Visiting Hours of Ahsan Manjil:
Summer Season (April – September)
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday — 3:30 PM – 07 :30 PM.
Sunday — Weekly holiday
Winter Season (October – March)
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday — 3:00 PM – 06 :00 PM.
Sunday — Weekly holiday
Ahsan manzil will remain closed during any govt. Holiday.
7. Shakhari Bazar: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Once upon a time, Dhaka was famous for Shakha and the artisans were known as shakhari, even today the residential area of the shakhari represents the old tradition and culture of their predecessors.
Shakha means bangles from the conch shell and the Hindu community considers it as a symbol of good fortune and purity. In the 17th century, the ancestors of present dwellers started coming to this locality by the command of Mughul emperor and started to settle in this area, later the area known as Shakhari Bazar. Both side brick building of some antiquity in the narrow street of Shakhari Bazar.
In 1666, a tourist named Tavernier came to this locality and found them in this place as inhabitants. Shell used to come from India and Srilanka are not always available and more Hindu women are unable to afford these bangles, opting to buy the much cheaper plastic look alike, for this , the craft faces an uncertain future, as per Hindu religion married women wear conch shell bangles on both wrists and to break them when the husband died.
They are mostly the follower of two deities – Vishnu or Krishna. Up to 1783, they did not have to pay tax for their land. In the time of the liberation war of 1971, the Pakistan army tried their best to exterminate this area, but after independence, they again started to reside in this place. This place is a must-visit tourist attractive spot.
8. Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque: Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Khan Mohammad Mridha mosque is located at Lalbagh area in old Dhaka. According to an inscription found, it was built by Khan Mohammad Mridha during the ruling time of Deputy Governor of Dhaka Farrukh Siyar.
The mosque was constructed by the order of Quzi Abdullah, he was the chief Qazi of that period (1704- 1705 AD) in Dhaka. This monument is now under the archeology department of Bangladesh.
The mosque situated in the western part of the complex area which includes a garden and a graveyard. The mosque was the center of the robust neighborhood during its inception.
The mosque designed as Bengali Mughal type; there the central dome is large than beside other two. This three-dome mosque sits on a rectangular platform. The platform height is 16’- 6” from the ground level. Underneath the platform where arrange vaulted rooms on all sides except the eastern portion.
The mosque platform is accessed by stairs right up 25 steps on the east leading of double-arched gateway aligned with the central bay of the mosque. The prayer hall has three gates for entrance and the hall rectangular structure measuring 48’x24’.
The north portion of the mosque serves as a madrasa or religious school. The façade of the mosque decorated by paneling and ornamental merlons on the parapet. At the northern portion of the garden a well, once it was used for supplying water for Ozu (the way for freshness and religious purify before pray), now the well is abandoned. This place is one of the most tourist attractive activities things to do in Dhaka
9. Star Mosque: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Star mosque locally call Tara masjid. It is located in Old Dhaka in the Armanitola area. White marble structure superb decorated with carved floral with star patterns will stick your eyes and capture attention.
Even locals also often stop for a while to have a look and be amazed by its endless beauty. It was built by Mirza Gulam Pir (Mirza Ahmed Jan) in 1711 when Dhaka was under the Mughal rule. At that time, it was a three-domed mosque made with marble from Rajmahal of India, behind the mosque a part of the original plainly plastered wall still there. In 1926, a merchant named Ali Jan Bepari, who was a resident of Armanitola took the initial step to renovate and redecorate the mosque and its complex.
Ali Jan imported the precious china clay tiles from Japan and England than with stilled artisans decorated the mosque and its complex. The entire mosque including the domes decorated with beautiful floral and star shape patterns made the China clay tiles. On the white marble, the glistering craved stars and floral patterns create a magical and peaceful environment of light and shade in the mosque, also they reflect sunlight into the different angles.
The Holy Quran verses also uncarved into the interior walls. In to the mosque complex a star shape fountain also built on the eastern side of the mosque, this additional structure also built with the same quality of marble and materials used in the mosque.
Ali Jan Bepari and his artisans only decorated and renovated the existing structures and preserved the original structure of the mosque. In1987, the government’s archeology department extended the prayer hall and included two more domes. The mosque got its name from innumerable star patterns. This is one of the most tourist attractive places in Dhaka.
10. Kawran Bazar: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Kawran bazaar is one of the largest wholesale marketplaces in Dhaka city. It is also South Asia’s one of the largest marketplaces. This market named from the person Kawran Singh a Marwari trader at by late 19th century.
This place is full of attractive activities and a gem for photographers. Every day hundreds of small temporary shops gather and surrounded in this place for many different items for daily needs. Inside the markets, there are separate blocks for wholesale trade in fish, vegetables, spices, rice, etc.
There are also permanent shade rows of shops that sell grocery items and toiletries. Vegetables, fish, fruits and many other products brought to this market maximum from the north part of the country.
Every night hundreds of trucks bringing goods for this market. Indigenous means of transport like the three-wheel paddle vans or push carts carry the vegetable, fish, fruit, etc to various markets and different parts of the city. From this market also traders export vegetable, fruit and other agricultural goods to different countries. This market usually starts at midnight and ends at 9:00 am but the temporary shops surrounding the whole day in the marketplace.
11. Bait ur Rouf Mosque: Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Bait ur Rouf Mosque is a refuge of spirituality that utilizes simple, unadorned materials, Ventilation techniques and the play of light and shadow, the architect design makes this mosque winner for Aga Khan awards 2014-2016.
Architect Maria Tabassum designed the mosque. In the increasingly dense neighborhood of Faidabad, Uttara a modern architectural masterpiece Bait ur Rouf mosque is situated. The mosque sets a precedent for the innovative use of local materials and design with respect to immediate surroundings.
Mosque was raised on a plinth on a site axis creating a 13-degree angle with the direction of qibla, which is an innovation in the layout. A cylindrical volume was inserted into a square, facilitating a rotation of the prayer hall, and forming light courts on four sides.
The hall is on eight peripheral columns. The functions are located in spaces created by the outer square and the cylinder. The plinth remains vibrant with children playing and elderly men chatting and waiting for the call to prayer. Most attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka.
12. Liberation War Museum: Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Liberation War Museum took up a chance to experience firsthand Bangladesh’s war of liberation fought in 1971. Bangladesh came into being a nine-month bloodbath, the museum educates the new generation on a nation’s rich history and instill in them the spirit and pride that they well deserve. The gallery unfolds the stories of our freedom fighters.
The four magnificent galleries of this museum, contain the pages of history, experience the pain, sufferings, uncertainty, sacrifices of the great Liberation War and taste the birth of a new country – Bangladesh.
Gallery One – where visitors will start knowing about the history from the pages of the ancient history of Bengal.
Then the Gallery Two, the Liberation War Museum welcomes its visitor with the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. And then comes the part – “Operation Search Light” – the start of the worst genocide of the 20th century inflicted upon unarmed Bengalis by the Pakistanis army and declaration of independence by Bangabandhu.
in Gallery Three, the visitors can experience the combat of freedom fighters and their nine-month fight, and feel the emotion of their guerrilla warfare through watching their everyday utensils, clothes, arms, hideouts, and other testimonies.
Gallery Four starts by, Bakhunda Bridge operation and the contribution of women in the war. It experiences one of the most breathtaking parts of the war, the inhuman tortures on women.
The representation of the torture cell and photographs portray the cruelty of the Pakistani army on the captivated women in their camps.
When the visitors are done with the part that exhibits the memory of the killing of the country’s intellectuals, a Gallery passage leads them to the moment of signing, surrender by Lt Gen Niazi, the commander of Pakistan Eastern Command, in Dhaka on December 16, 1971, in the presence of India’s Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora. And the gallery ends with the giant display of newly born country Bangladesh.
Museum Opening Hours
The museum is open on Monday- Saturday between 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Sunday is closed.
In winter it is open on Monday- Saturday between 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
13. Hatirjheel waterfront: Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Hatirjheel waterfront is one of the recreation sites for Dhaka City. One can walk along, sit beside the lakefront, grab some fresh air and enjoy the city, bridges, and sky.
The Hatirjheel Integrated Development project constructed the area for easy traffic diversion by the connectivity of the city roads. City dwellers using this spot to get away from the crowded city and enjoy cycling, boating, staking, driving around the waterfront as recreational activities. Also, there are water taxi services, Dhakaites use this service for both transportation and for pleasure.
The peace and quiet of the Hatirjheel area can only be felt by riding the water taxi. From northern to southern and western to the western part of the lake connect through the water taxi services. There are some food court arranged beside the lake.
In the evening this area looks so colorful, tourists and pedestrians visit the site to enjoy the reflection of light and fresh air. There is a 120-meter-long colorful musical fountain with a time-controlled sound wave and musical tracks, in the evening the city dwellers watch a spectacular display dance of water in the vicinity of the project. Hatirjheel is the most attractive place in Dhaka some on should not miss.
14. Curzon Hall: Attractive tourist activities things to do in Dhaka
Curzon hall was named-on Lord Curzon. He was a British Viceroy and he had a vision – wanted to build a spectacular town hall for the city.
In the year 1904, the foundation of the breathtaking building laid as nice architected with the blend of European and Mughal elements. One can able to view the magnificent domes, the red coloring of the building is extremely unique and have beautiful pavilions and breathtaking eaves.
Curzon Hall was the location of various significant political events in Bangladesh from the date 1948- 1956. After the partition of India in 1947, Bangladesh was part of Pakistan as East Pakistan and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan chosen the Urdu language as a state language for East Pakistan in 1948.
On the grounds of Constituent assembly, it was immediately protested by the students of Dhaka University that the majority of the people spoke to Bangla, not Urdu, and this event happen in the Curzon Hall that they declared their opposition about the state language policy. This is one of the must-visit tourist attractive activities things to do in Dhaka.
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