5 Things to do in Dhaka; Backpacking in Bangladesh

Traveling in Bangladesh was my first real adventure on my way to every country in the world. I didn’t know what to expect but there were both a lot of things to do in Dhaka and even more things to do in Bangladesh in general. We had our hotel in Dhaka sorted so now it was time to do some sightseeing.

Despite being on a super tight budget, Bangladesh is one of the cheapest countries in the world to visit, so I could at least afford to backpack in Bangladesh. Thankfully! So check out the things to do in Dhaka from my experience:

TOP-TIP: You can take a rickshaw highlight tour of Dhaka including all these things, by booking with these guys stress-free

Things to do in Dhaka
Things to do in Dhaka

Sadarghat Waterfront

First off was a trip to the waterfront, Sadarghat, on the banks of the river Buriganga. This place is an eyeopener for sure! Crowded with ferries, boats, paddle steamers, fisherman’s boats and dhabas all hiving with business and commotion.

If you make it to Dhaka I recommend making your way to the waterfront. From here you can hitch a ride on one of the boats and ride around the river. Sure it’s filthy but you get a real feel of the old city this way. And for half the price of a can of coke you can’t go too wrong.

things to do in Dhaka
things to do in Dhaka

Baitul Mukarram Mosque

After getting covered in the dirtiest water this side of the India we thought we’d continue our trek through Dhaka, next up was the countries largest Mosque.

For me, this is what traveling is all about; I’m not ashamed to admit, being a caucasian lad from a small town in Ireland I wasn’t exactly clued up on the world’s religions, However, in the 3 or 4 years I have been traveling I have been exposed to Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Ba’haism and Judaism. And now I feel more than comfortable holding a conversation about any of these religions, at least superficially.

So, this was my first direct exposure to Islam and the people in the Mosque were overwhelmingly happy to see us there. The 10th largest mosque in the world no less! A really positive experience and one I will never forget.

Things to do in Dhaka
Things to do in Dhaka; Baitul Mukarram Mosque
Baitul Mukarram Mosque
Baitul Mukarram Mosque

Ahsan Manzil Museum

Raj-era British building that used to be home to the ‘Nawab’ of Dhaka. Famous for it’s pink colour, the building is now a museum.

Tickets: Tk 600

Saturday to Wednesday from 10.30 to 17.30. Fridays 14.30 to 19.30.

Ahsan Manzil Museum
Ahsan Manzil Museum
Ahsan Manjil (The Pink Palace) in Dhaka, things to see in Dhaka
Ahsan Manjil (The Pink Palace) in Dhaka

Lalbagh Fort

Dating back to 1678 and the Prince Mohammad Azam (son of the former Mughal Emperor), the Mosque has been the scene of countless battles. Now it’s a monument to the colourful history.

10am to 5pm daily

Tickets: 300TK

Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka, Backpacking in Dhaka
Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka

Sonargaon Day Trip

30km from Dhaka, Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bengal. The ruins of Panam Nagar are spectacular. Tally up a day trip to Sonargon with a visit to Hajiganj, just 10km more.

TOP-TIP: You can book a day trip to Sonargon, with no risk of being scammed, with these guys!

things to do in dhaka
things to do in Dhaka

My time backpacking in Dhaka

Things were about to get a lot more interesting for me when traveling around Dhaka. We met a guy in the mall who basically adopted us as his foreign friends, before we knew it we were playing cricket and having dinner in the slums.

Rahul and Azim really took care of us, let us into their homes, showed us around the city. What a cracking experience. With their help we devised a plan to get to India, we were going to take the steamboat down the river Buriganga to Khulna, just off the bay of Bengal. From there we can make our way to India. And after an evening of cricket, local food and a night with the family,  we went in search of tickets to this rocket steamer from Dhaka to Kulna.

Cricket in Bangladesh, traveling in Dhaka
Our extended Bangladeshi Family
Playing cricket in Bangladesh, backpacking in Bangladesh
Playing cricket in Bangladesh
the slums in Dhaka, traveling in Bangladesh
Our accommodation for the evening
Rocket Steamer Boat in Dhaka, from Dhaka to Khulna
Searching for the ticket kiosk to get the boat

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