The largest and main airport serving Bangladesh, Shahjalal International Airport is located 17km from Dhaka’s city centre. It is the primary international gateway into the country, and its two terminals are fully fitted with sophisticated modern equipment. Biman Bangladesh Airlines operates with Shahjalal Airport as its hub, with international carriers including Aeroflot, British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways also travelling here. It also serves domestic airlines like Aero Bengal Airlines and Air Parabat.
The Airport is accessible by railway, with the Airport Railway Station located just opposite the terminal. It can also be reached by car and taxi via the Airport Road.
A number of hotels surround Shahjalal Airport for weary travellers looking for a quick rest. The nearest hotel is less than a kilometre away, and offers a clean and comfortable stay while you wait for your next flight.
What to see and do
Due to its rapid expansion, Dhaka is only a short distance from the Airport. A quick trip to the city makes for an interesting way to spend your transit time in Bangladesh. One of Dhaka’s hotspots is New Market, the commercial shopping belt in the north of the Azimpur area. Built back in 1952, it was the most popular hangout for locals to shop and relax. Today, marked by its three distinctive arched gates, locals and visitors alike throng the market for its wide assortment of groceries, jewellery, stationery, electronics, leather goods, and fast food.
To escape the energetic bustling streets of Dhaka, visit one of the area’s premier tourist attractions: Lalbagh Fort. Travel back in time to the 17th Century Mughal era with the melancholic Fort and its preserved gardens. Construction began in 1677 under the Prince’s command, but with an uncanny onslaught of death that followed soon after, the Fort was declared a bad omen and construction was abandoned.
Three monumental landmarks were completed before the tragedy: the Mausoleum of Pari Bibi, the Hall of Audience (Diwan), and the three-domed Quilla Mosque. The Diwan is an elegant two-storey museum containing an exquisite collection of Mughai paintings and artefacts.
Another favourite tourist spot in Dhaka is Dhanmondi Lake, a quiet tributary streaming through the Dhanmondi residential district. Flanked by quiet parks and lush greenery, this serene lake is the perfect trail for visitors to take in the sights of a lesser-known Bangladesh. Look out for the iconic red house built on a boat’s hull and sporting a tall tower on one side of Dhanmondi Lake. Called Jahaj Bari (boat house), this house stands out in contrast from the green topiaries surrounding it.
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