Best time to go to Bangladesh
The best time to visit Bangladesh is in the relatively cool season from October to February, when the weather conditions are dry and fresh. Avoid April when the conditions are unbearably wet and hot.
Currency: 1 taka corresponds to 100 poisha
Currency abbreviation: BDT (ISO code), Tk. – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes are issued in the value of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 taka, coins in amounts of 50 poisha and 1, 2 and 5 taka . There are also coins worth 1, 5, 10 and 25 poisha, but these are rarely used.
You should make sure that the banknotes are in good condition, as many retailers reject banknotes with tears.
1 US dollar = 70.3 taka
1 euro = 103.4 taka
1 Swiss franc = 68.4 taka
Currency exchange: Most banks outside of large cities do not exchange money (also no cash in US dollars or euros). The best thing to do in the cities of Dhaka, Sylhet or Chittagong is to change as much as is likely to be needed to travel around the country.
There are some official exchange offices that offer fairly good exchange rates. Here you can also exchange the national currency Taka for US dollars. Sometimes you can change money in shops.
Since the liberalization of the economy, there is no longer a black market.
Cash: The easiest way to exchange US dollars in Bangladesh is to follow the euro at some distance.
Credit cards: in Dhaka and Chittagong you can pay with Visa, MasterCard or American Express in large hotels and restaurants. HSBC and Standard Chartered banks in large cities give cash on credit cards.
ATMs: There are ATMs in larger cities. However, these machines mostly do not accept foreign credit cards. With Visa cards, the chances are highest with ATMs from Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC and Dutch-Bangla Bank. Cirrus or MasterCard are often not accepted.
Traveler’s checks should be in US dollars.
Customs: Foreign currencies can be imported up to a value of $ 5,000 without declaration.
Bank opening times: Sat – Thu 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Bangladesh has a lot to offer tourists. So there is a wide variety of sights and attractions to see. Some of these sights are World Heritage Sites. These include the historic mosque city of Bagerhat, the ruins of the Buddhist monastery in Parhapur and the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.
There are also some interesting religious buildings to see in Dhaka. These would be the Dhakeswari Temple, the Khan Mohammed Mirdha Mosque or the Kashitully Mosque.
Paharpur also has a lot to offer. In this city you should not miss the huge Somapuri Vihara Buddhist monastery, built in the eighth century. The Satyapir –Vita temple is also worth a visit.
The Sat Gombud mosque can be visited in Bagerhat.
Don’t miss the nine domed mosque from the pre-Mongolian period in the village of Qasaba Guarnadi. There is also an old mosque from this period near Patuakhali. It was built in 1464.
In Bangladesh there are still some old and impressive religious buildings from different faiths to be seen. The country also has some interesting technical buildings to offer that you should definitely take a look at.
The Megna Bridge between Bhairab and Ashuaganj is certainly worth a visit. The bridge is one kilometer long. But visiting the Jamuna Bridge between Bhuapur and Sirajganj or the Hardinger Bridge near Paksey can also be an experience.
There are also historical graves in Bangladesh to visit, such as B. the ruins of the former royal city of Jaintiapur, the tomb of Sultan Bayazid Bostami or the mausoleum of Pari Bibi.
Other places of interest in Bangladesh that should not be missed are the Ahsan Mazil Palace in Dhaka, the caravanserai Chota Katra and Bara Katra in Dhaka, Banga Bhavan and the Ghana Bhavan Parliament Building.
But nature lovers also get their money’s worth in Bangladesh. So you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Rajendrapur National Park. The Madhupur National Park is also worth a visit. Other natural attractions include the Sylhet region, the Sundarbans National Park and Cittagong. Sitagnong is the longest beach in the world and is 120 kilometers long.
The national airline of Bangladesh is Biman (BG). The private airline GMG Airlines (Z5) also offers flights to South and Southeast Asia.
Other airlines with connections to and from Bangladesh are Qatar Airlines (QR), British Airways (BA), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Druk Air (KB), Emirates (EK), United Airways (BD), Etihad Airways (ETD), Gulf Air (GF), Indian Airlines (IC), Dragon Air (KA), Pakistan International Airways (PK), Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Thai International (TG).
There are three international airports in Bangladesh – Asmani International (ZYL) and Sylhet, Patenga (CGP) in Chittagong and Zia International Airport (DAC) in Dhaka.
Zia International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Bangladesh. It is located twelve kilometers north of the capital city center.
Car / bus
There are a number of border crossings between Bangladesh and India, but only a few are suitable for handling foreign visitors. The main border crossings include:
Benapole: located on the Calcutta-Dhaka route, the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) offers a direct bus connection between Calcutta and Dhaka and the private bus company Shyamoli Paribahn provides a daily connection between Dhaka and Benapole;
Hili: is an important trade hub between Bangladesh and India and is heavily frequented by trucks, the Indian city of Balurghat is about 25 kilometers from Hili directly on the main road;
Burimari: is about 13 kilometers outside the village of Patgram and can be reached by bus directly from Dhaka or Rangpur;
Akhaura: about 150 kilometers from Dhaka and about four kilometers from the Indian Agartala;
Godagari: near Rajshahi and accessible by bus from there, Godagari and the Indian Lalgola are separated from each other by the Padma River and are connected by boats;
If you want to travel to Bangladesh in your own car, you need an international driver’s license, a Carnet de passage en douane and an entry permit from the Embassy of Bangladesh.
Travel in the country
Bangladesh has five domestic airlines: Royal Bengal, United Airways, Biman, GMG Airlines and Best Air. They connect the capital Dhaka with numerous cities in all parts of the country.
Among other things, Biman offers flight connections between the capital Dhaka and Chittagong and Sylhet. GMG Airlines also connects Dhaka with Chittagong and Sylhet as well as, for example, with Jessore, Cox’s Bazar or Barisal.
There are few flight connections between regional cities, for example between Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong.
Bangladesh has inland waterways with a total length of more than 8,000 kilometers. Around 60 different types of boats in many different sizes run on them. Travelers can ride for a fee or rent boats to get from place to place.
Special paddlewheels, called Rocket, from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) connect the capital Dhaka with Khulna, Barisal, Mongla and numerous other port cities every day. For travelers who want to visit the Sunderbans, the huge mangrove forests, or the ruins of the historic mosque city of Bagerhat, trips with the Rockets are ideal. The ships are also very suitable for the almost 30-hour journey from Dhaka to Calcutta.
All Rocket ships are equipped with first and second class decks. Meals are not included in the ticket price.
Traveling by train in Bangladesh is a little more convenient than driving a bus. The main routes are well developed and the first class cars are quite luxurious. There are now ticket machines at many rail ports.
However, missing river bridges and different track widths slow down the journey, for example. A trip by train can sometimes take twice as long as a bus. However, intercity trains (IC) are mostly punctual, relatively fast, clean and run relatively frequently, especially in the east of the country. There are air-conditioned 1st class cars and 2nd class cars with and without seat reservation. Seat reservations can be made at the ticket offices.
traveling through Bangladesh in your own car has some advantages, but also some disadvantages. On the one hand, having your own vehicle offers a lot of freedom when exploring the country. On the other hand, traveling by car is much more expensive than traveling by public transport.
Driving in Bangladesh, especially within the capital and on the Dhaka-Chittagong route, requires experience and courage. The traffic is dense and often chaotic. Accidents keep occurring. Therefore, it is recommended for tourists not to drive themselves, but to rent a car with a driver.
In Bangladesh it is not possible to get a rental car to drive yourself. However, renting a car with a driver is particularly straightforward, especially in larger cities. There are countless rental car agencies in Dhaka in particular. For longer trips with overnight stays, the driver must also be reimbursed the costs for board and lodging, in addition to the regular rental price.
Outside of Dhaka, the cost of renting a vehicle is slightly lower. However, there are significantly fewer rental cars.
When renting a vehicle including the driver, there are no additional insurance obligations and costs.
Bus travel in Bangladesh is inexpensive and efficient. The country has an extensive road network. Most bus stops are on the outskirts of towns. This reduces the congestion in the cities, but also means long walks for travelers. However, the bus company offices are mostly located in the city center. Seats can be reserved there and not at the bus stops.
For longer journeys, it is advisable to rent a seat in a large and modern coach (chair coach). They are safer and offer more leg room. However, they don’t drive faster than traditional buses in Bangladesh. Most comfortable coaches travel on the routes between Dhaka and the cities in the west of the country. Tickets for coaches equipped with air conditioning are twice as expensive as those on buses without air conditioning. Some buses offer snacks and drinks.
The main operators of comfortable coaches are Soudia, Hanif Enterprise, Eagle Paribahan and Green Line.
When traveling to remote areas of Bangladesh, however, regular buses are often the only way to travel. They are much cheaper than the comfortable coaches. Buses from private companies are often in better shape than the state-owned vehicles of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
A few more country-specific peculiarities: To cross wide rivers, passengers have to get off the bus and after translating they have to get on the other bank of the river in another bus. Traveling on the roof of a bus is illegal, but is hardly punished by the police. If you want to take a ride on the roof of a bus, you should always beware of low-hanging branches. They cost the lives of numerous people every year.
Bangladesh’s streets are home to an enormous selection of vehicles that are used for passenger transport – there are buses, cars, trucks, rickshaws, baby taxis, tempos (large auto rickshaws), tractors, motorcycles, water buffalos and much more. In order to avoid later problems, it is advisable to negotiate tariffs before starting your journey.
The three-wheel auto rickshaws common in Bangladesh are known as baby taxis. They are faster and more comfortable than rickshaws. Baby taxis can be found everywhere in Dhaka and Chittagong and are used by many people instead of regular taxis. For long journeys, such as from Dhaka or Chittagong airport to the city center, more comfortable and faster regular taxis are recommended, even if they are more expensive.
One pace is the larger version of a baby taxi, which is equipped with a closed cabin. Outside of Dhaka and Chittagong, they are more strongly represented than their little relatives. Mostly, like buses, tempos drive on fixed routes. A trip with them costs less than a baby taxi, but is also much more uncomfortable due to the cramped cabin conditions.
Bangladesh is ideal for bike tours and a bike ride is a great way to discover the country. With a few exceptions, the country is flat and easy to travel. However, cycling in larger cities can be quite dangerous for visitors due to the high and chaotic traffic. There bicycles can easily be transported on the roof of baby taxis or buses. Larger highways are also not particularly suitable for cyclists. However, there are countless secondary roads and paths across the country, most of which are in good, trafficable condition.
The best travel time for cyclists is the dry season from mid-October to late March. Many paths are impassable during the monsoon season.