Being a city built on the banks of the river Buriganga around 400 years ago, Dhaka has burgeoned into a densely populated megacity with a rich history and culture. It is a city that has embraced modernization while holding its roots firmly.
Consequently, numerous places of attraction both historical and relatively new have manifested within its proximity. All of these places portray and define the life of this city and are definitely worth giving a visit to.
Let’s begin with a list of the best places to visit in Dhaka so that you can know the city from ins and outs.
1. Ahsan Manzil
Built in 1872 on the banks of the river Buriganga, Ahsan Manzil is a relic of Dhaka’s history. It was named after the 3rd Nawab of Bengal, Khwaja Ahsanullah. Once the seat of the nawab of Dhaka, the palace has been converted to a museum since 1985. The palace is situated in Kumartoli area of Old Dhaka, near the Buriganga river.
2. Lalbagh Fort
Although never entirely completed following the actual plans, the Mughal emperor Muhammad Azam Shah started constructing the 17th-century fort complex situated in the present day Lalbagh area of Old Dhaka. Built on the bank of the Buriganga river, this fort cherishes the Mughal history of Bengal.
Once, this fort used to be the residence of the Mughal Governors of Bengal, in the house called Diwan-i-Aam, inside the fort. The place is enriched with a lot of stories and historical artifacts that reverberate the history of this city, mesmerizing its visitors.
3. The National Parliament House
The National Parliament House or the ‘Jatiya Sagshad Bhaban’ designed by the famous American architect Luis I. Kahn, is considered to be one of the largest legislative complexes in the world. Constructed on 200 acres of land at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar of Dhaka, this monumental structure was completed in 1982. This building seats the ‘Parliament of Bangladesh’.
For tourists, the parliament complex or ‘Jaitya Sangshad’ Complex, along with the crescent lake and the Chandrima Uddan is open at all times. People interested in morning or evening walks are particularly fond of this place. This structure is considered as a national treasure and visited by both domestic and foreign tourists every day.
4. Nuhash Polli
Situated on the outskirts of Dhaka in the Piruzali Village of Gazipur Sadar, Nuhash Polli was founded in 1997 on 13.61 acres of land (later 24.76 acres) by the famous Bangladeshi Novelist Humayun Ahmed. The entire place hosts a landscape of greenery with 300 species of trees and tea plants.
Furthermore, numerous types of locally made statues are placed within its premises. It is a great place for a day out and to experience the greener side of Dhaka.
5. Liberation war museum
The Liberation war museum is situated in the center of Dhaka City at Agargaon. Built in 1996 to preserve the memory of the liberation war, this museum hosted more than 21000 artifacts from the war, as of 2016. This structure is a representation of the indomitable spirit of the Bangladeshi people.
The numerous galleries within the museum represent the struggle, sacrifices, and determination of Bangladesh’s free-spirited people, which led to their freedom. It is definitely a worthwhile place to visit, to know the essence of this country as a whole.
6. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre
Opened in 2004, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre is the country’s biggest planetarium. Located at the Bijoy Sharani Avenue of Tejgaon in Dhaka, it was previously named as the Bhashani Novo Theatre.
This planetarium offers astronomical shows with 3D projections of space, planets, and other celestial bodies. If you are someone trying to frame Bangladesh in the perspective of the universe, the Novo theater is your place to go.
7. Bangabandhu Military Museum
Inaugurated in 1987, the Bangabandhu Military Museum is a preservation of Bangladesh’s military history, heritage, success stories, and various weapons and ammunition. Located permanently in the Bijoy Sharani Avenue of Tejgaon, beside Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre since 1999, has become a trendy destination amongst youth in recent times.
In addition to the numerous galleries, the museum also has enabled Augmented Reality, Interactive Displays, Virtual Reality, Holograms, and other 3D visualizations throughout its premises that further enhance the experience of this Museum. It is one of the most picturesque museums in Bangladesh and undoubtedly a great place to visit.
8. Ramna Park
The Ramna park is one of the largest recreational parks in Bangladesh. Located in Ramna at the center of Dhaka, this park has had its roots since the inception of this city in the 1600s. In the 19th century, British officials took initiative to build the park in its present appearance.
The Park boasts a unique evergreen and serene ambience, with the presence of over 71 species of flowering trees, numerous walkways, and the Ramna Lake. Every year this place becomes extra special with the celebration of the much-anticipated Bengali new year’s celebration. Thus, this place should be at the top of the list of places to visit in Dhaka.
9. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park
Encompassing 3810 acres of land, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park is the largest Safari Park in Asia. Inaugurated in 2013, this safari park is located in Gazipur, on the outskirts of Dhaka. More than 3000 animals and birds of 47 different species call this safari park their home.
The Park hosts great biodiversity amidst the Sal Forest, promoting a sense of adventure and excitement. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best tourist places in the country, and a must-visit for anyone who’s trying to explore Dhaka.
10. Panam City
Attaining prominence in the 19th century, during the Zenith of British rule in Bengal, Panam City or Panam Nagar began its journey towards becoming a key business center. It was a renowned textile trading center with diverse merchants constantly traveling towards the city, particularly to acquire unique cotton fabrics. Profiting from the textile trade, the residents built houses with exquisite architecture that can still be marveled at in this day and age.
Today only 52 of the original buildings of the city remain standing. The Baro Sardar Bari of Isa Kha, Kashinath House, etc. are some major attractions within the proximity of this historical place.
11. Golap Gram (The Rose Village)
Situated in the village of Saidullahpur next to birulia in savar, Golap gram has taken the shape of a major tourist attraction. With land after land of arable soil used for the cultivation of flowers, particularly roses, the place is a magnificent sight to behold. The rose gardens represent a sense of beauty and serenity that automatically elevates your mood.
In addition to enjoying the beautiful sight of roses, one can also buy them for very low prices. The beauty of the uninterrupted sight of roses attracts thousands of tourists in hopes of experiencing this sight of beauty and magnificence.
12. Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed Park
The Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed park is a lush open green park built on 9.55 acres of land in Gulshan Avenue of Dhaka. Despite being located in the most upscale commercialized neighborhood of the city, the park maintains a very soothing and natural ambiance. The Park is enriched with strong natural biodiversity. Within the boundary of the park lies more than 1500 trees belonging to 40 species.
Additionally, the park offers well-planned and maintained cycle lanes, walking lanes, a pond, and other amenities that enhance the experience of its visitors’ manifolds. Furthermore, being in proximity to the diplomatic zones of the city, it has been made one of the safest places in the country with strong security details followed meticulously by the park officials. Thus, this park is certainly a place worth giving a visit while exploring Dhaka.
Dhaka is a rich city teeming with places and activities for people to experience. The rich history, culture, and innovations of the residents of this city are a remarkable addition to this city’s character. Visiting Dhaka is tantamount to creating unique memorable experiences that can be cherished for a lifetime.