ChittagongBangladesh. Located on the Bay of Bengal, the city is the headquarters of many Bangladeshi companies, including the Chittagong Stock Exchange. According to the British newspaper the Telegraph, Chittagong is one of the ten fastest growing cities in the world.
Chittagong is one of the great port cities of Asia. It flourished on the Maritime Silk Road and was the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road. It was visited by famous medieval explorers like the Venetians Niccolo de Conti and Caeser Frederick; the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta; and the Chinese admiral Zheng He. The Portuguese, Mughals and British controlled the port in successive periods until the 20th century. It became a major financial centre and the largest port in modern-day Bangladesh after the Partition of British India.
Today, Chittagong is a fairly large metropolitan area with a population of about 6.5 million. As in Dhaka, its streets are filled with masses of rickshaws. Rolling hills and greenery dot the landscape. The Karnaphuli River is a burgeoning hub of shipping. Chittagong puts in a little more effort than other Bangladeshi cities to keep its streets and sidewalks clean. The city's residents are called Chittagonians. Foreigners will notice a distinct increase in nuisance from beggars in certain intersections, like the Central Railway Station. Beggars come from different parts of Bangladesh because Chittagonians are more prone to charity than people in other parts of the country.
The old quarter of the city is home to several historic mosques and Sufi shrines. The Anderkilla Imperial Jame Mosque was built by the Mughals after they conquered Chittagong in 1666. It once formed part of a large hilltop fort. The Sufi Shrine of Bayazid Bostami has a pond full of turtles. The former Portuguese settlement is located in Patherghatta. It is home to the descendants of Portuguese traders, who are known locally as Firingis. The area has several churches, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong. Chittagong is also the seat of the Bengali Buddhist priesthood.
The busiest parts of the city are Station Road, Strand Road, GEC Circle and O.R. Nizam Road. The affluent neighborhoods of Khulshi and Nasirabad are home to the city's middle and upper classes. Chittagong has many influential business families.
The city is home to prominent gentlemen's clubs, restaurants and golf courses.
The Chittagonian enthusiasm for inviting people to massive feasts is a bit of legend both locally and elsewhere. Known as mezbani these feasts feature a tremendously hot curry, usually of beef. If you're not used to it, approach with caution. You might also be able to find some of the world's best lobsters here, as Chittagong is the center of the Bangladeshi seafood industry.
Under the Köppen climate classification, the weather has a tropical monsoon climate (Am) - hot and very humid during the summer monsoon season (April-September) and drier and cooler in the winter (October-March). The city is vulnerable to North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone. The deadliest tropical cyclone to strike Chittagong was the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, which killed 138,000 people and left as many as 10 million homeless.
- (CGP) is served by most major domestic and many international air carriers as the second largest and busiest international airport in Bangladesh. It has flights from Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Dubai, Bangkok, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Kuwait. Domestic services include several daily flights with Dhaka.
For departing flights:
- Allow plenty of time for security screening, especially on those days when major conventions end. Or if possible schedule your flight at another day/time.
To travel between the airport and your Strip hotel:
- Taxis cost ৳200–500 from the airport to a Strip location.
- Autos cost ৳100–250 from the airport to a Strip location.
- Buses cost ৳5-30 each way and departs every 10–20 minutes, sometimes more than an hour.
- Trains run to Dhaka, Sylhet, Mymensingh and other cities. The main route out of Chittagong runs north to Comilla and Akhaura, from where the routes to Dhaka and Sylhet diverge. The train station is on Station Road just west of Jubilee Road. Chittagong is a terminal station on the metre gauge eastern section of the Bangladeshi Railway. The headquarters of this railway are located here. Train journeys are, in general, cheaper than bus journeys. The best bet for a tourist is to make reservations at the station or a travel agency. Trains are popular so book in advance.
Local buses to Cox's Bazar (৳140, 3-4 hours) run frequently throughout the day from Cinema Palace Bus Station, about 1 km north of the Station Rd area.
phone: +880-2-8357757address: Station RoadBRTC operates the International Bus Service twice daily with Kolkata and scheduled services with Agartala
phone: +880 1711 798344address: Zakir Hossain RoadDaily services with Dhaka, Sylhet, Khulna, Cox's Bazaar, Jessore and Kolkata.
phone: +880 2 8331302-4address: Zakir Hossain RoadDaily services with Dhaka, Kolkata, Sylhet, Cox's Bazaar, Khulna and Bogra.
- Chittagong Bus Depot, +031 683423. Station Road at Batali Road, across from the Old Railway Terminal.
Chittagong is the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road, a historic highway that runs through parts of four countries — Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan — all the way to Kabul at the western end.
By carChittagong is the focal point of the national highway system in Bangladesh. Cars can be used to travel from the Indian border, but the border with Myanmar remains closed.
- BIWTC has an office and launches its ferries from Sadarghat, about 1 km south of the train station down Sadarghat Rd. Barisal is the main destination, from where you can continue to Dhaka.
Getting around in Chittagong is always an adventure. Traffic is, by and large, horribly congested and many drivers will think nothing of quoting ten times the going price to a tourist. Agree on prices before setting off. Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of the country's capital Dhaka. There are various bus systems with different routes, taxis, and smaller 'CNG' taxis which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. Also, the traditional manual rickshaws are very common.
Walking is also a possibility as the town isn't too confusing, but keep an eye out as the streets can be very busy, especially around Station Rd and Jubilee Rd. If travelling along the Strip, walking is a reasonable option as the hotel-casinos are close to each other. However, note that what may look to be a short walk of only a couple hotel-casinos away may be farther than you expected as the resorts often look closer than they are due to their large size.
Many locals of lower-classes often use bicycles as a primary form of transport. They can be useful in their ability to squeeze through tight situations, where traffic may prevent a large vehicle from moving. Some newer roads in the capital have dual bike/rickshaw lanes. Although, there is little opportunity to buy or rent a bike, plus the roads and traffic are in such bad condition that the chance of an accident is high.
By rickshawsRickshaws are kind of three-wheeled, pedal-powered cycle with seats in the back to seat passengers and a driver in the front. They are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto-rickshaw. Rickshaws don't use meters, so establish a price before getting on. Tk 20-100 is reasonable for most journeys of a few kilometres.
All parts of Chittagong are well connected by buses and with tickets ranging from Tk 5-50 (Tk 1.42/per km), are very cheap; but also quite crowded most of the time. Some buses are provided air-conditioned service. As bus stops do not have bus routes written properly, it can be difficult to find your way. Asking other people at the bus stop is often the best way to find out about bus routes to your destination. However, the buses are pretty frequent, running every 15-20 min or so on most routes. There is one kind of buses in Chittagong:
Route 1: runs from to .
Route 2: runs from to
Route 3: runs from
Route 4: runs from to .
Route 5: runs from to .
Route 6: runs from to via Agrabad, Tigerpass, Station Road and New Market.
Route 7: runs from to via Boro Pul, Agrabad and New Market.
Route 8: runs from to .
Route 10: runs from to via EPZ, Mahila (Female) Hostel, Customs, Fakirhaat, Barek Building, Agrabad, Chowmohoni, Tigerpass, Lal Khan Bazar, GEC More, Sholoshohor Number 2 Gate and Muradpur..
Counter-busMetro Provati counter-based metropolitan bus service, has several stoped around the metropolitan area from Patenga to Bahaddarhat Bus Stoppage.
Taxi (usually with driver) is required to see many of the far-flung sites within and around Chittagong. Taxis ply the roads, some yellow and some black, all with or without meters. Black taxis start the meter at Tk 15 while yellow taxis have slightly higher standards in terms of comfort, and start at Tk 20. Black taxis are typically in notoriously poor condition and lack air conditioning. Yellow taxis are required to have air conditioning; the fleet consists mostly of Toyota Corollas, with some Mitsubishis and Hondas. The yellow taxis are also considered far safer, in comparison to black taxis and auto-rickshaws.
By auto rickshaws
Auto rickshaws (also called CNG taxi, or simply CNG) are good for shorter trips. Always in a distinctive green livery, auto rickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions that run on CNG and can seat three-four people in the back. In general, they are much cheaper than taxis and can be hailed from the street easily.
By local train
There are limited demo services on Chittagong's railways, but the facilities are a far cry from the user-friendly railway stations. For the most part, train stations are inconveniently located. There is no passenger service on the Chittagong Railway Station outside rush hour.
The Bangladesh Railways website does not accept foreign credit cards.
BNS Issa Khanphone: +1 880-31-740391, +1 880-31-714971address: New Mooring, ChittagongLargest naval base of the Bangladeshi Navy. Formally as PNS Bakhtiar, before Bangladesh Liberation War, the base awarded National Standard by the President.
J M Sen Halladdress: K B Abdus Sattar RoadJatra Mohon Sen Hall is related to the history in 1930, when an armoury in Chittagong was raided. The hall is named after Bengali politician Jatra Mohan Sengupta.
Masjid-e-Siraj ud-Daulahaddress: Nabab Siraj ud-Daulah road, ChandanpuraSituated in the old city, the multi-domed mosque is an architectural sight to behold. For its impressive architecture consisting of multiple domes and minarets painted in bright colors the mosque is one of the famous landmarks in the city.
Beaches and river sides
address: South KhulshiCreated in 1924, by building a dam, planned by an English engineer Mr. Foy and built on the initiative of the then Assam-Bengal Railway, amidst panoramic surroundings, this is an ideal spot for outings and picnics, thronged by thousands of visitors. It has been developed into an entertainment and amusement zone. There is an amusement theme park, a lake resort, and a sea world (aquatic theme) park in the lake area. The zoo is next door.
Cemeteries, memorials and sculptures
Buddhijibi Smriti Stambhaddress: Chittagong University Road, Hathazari
Central Shaheed Minaraddress: KC Dey RoadA divisional martyr monument
Shrine of Baizid BostamiThis holy shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base there is a large pond with several hundred tortoises floating in the water. According to tradition, these turtles are descendants of evil spirits (djinns) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years ago.
Shrine of Shah AmanatA very famous saint of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) came from Bihar Sharif, India. At Chittagong he lived in a cottage and accepted service as a pankha wala (hanging fan puller) in the Judge's Court. From the circumstantial evidence it appears that he was a great man of the late 18th century. The family that lives in the compound of Hazrat Shah Amanat Khan's (R) mausoleum and looks after it are Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan's descendants. They have got in their possession a Persian waqfnama (deed of endowment) of Anwar Khan, the son of Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R). Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) lived a very simple life. His daily routine was to attend to his duties in the Court and to engage in prayers. No one knew that he was spiritually endowed nor did he pose to be such. His spiritual greatness was revealed through a Karamat (spiritual power with magical elements received from The Almighty Allah) which brought him to the limelight and people came to know that he was a Wali (saint) of the highest rank. When his spiritual attainments became known, he resigned from his job and remained busy with spiritual religious act and meditation. He is ranked among the greatest saints of Chittagong. People visit his mausoleum specially to seek blessings in matters of litigation. Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) lies buried in a mausoleum to the east of the Laldighi of Chittagong
Archives and Libraries
phone: +88 031 726311-14 (PABX Extn. - 4370)address: Chittagong University Museum, Chittagong University Campus, University of Chittagong, HathazariA reference library which contents books to support research about iconography, epigraphy, numismatics, architecture, small and folk art and other cultural resources.
phone: +88 031 726311-14 (PABX Extn. - 4370)address: Chittagong University Campus, University of Chittagong, Hathazari
Banshkhali Eco Parkaddress: Banshkhali Upazila
FishingGo fishing for Anabas, Cat fish, Ruhi, Tilapia etc.
ShowsThere are places where you can buy show tickets, but generally not for the really popular shows on the same day of the performance. Most where only cash accepted.
EventsChittagong continues to grow with annual events and festivals held throughout the city.
The local sales tax is 15%. Only groceries and prescription drugs are exempt.
Like most of the city, Chittagong has not implemented a tax refund mechanism for international travelers. The only retailers that can sell tax-free items to international travelers are the duty-free shops at Shah Amanat International Airport.
Most hotel/casino resort complexes in Chittagong have a gift shop open 24/7 that offers basic traveler supplies and sundries. Hotel gift shops are outrageously expensive and should be avoided except for emergencies.
There are a handful of shopping malls:
The Bangladeshi book industry is huge, producing annually about thousand of books in English, and obviously far more in Bengali and other native languages. Chittagong is the hub of this industry, so small, specialist bookstores abound. Locally produced books can be very inexpensive and many popular Western titles are published and available here for a fraction of their original cost.
In general, good places to buy books are in Cheragi Pahar, Andarkilla, Station Road, GEC circle, plus shopping malls in the city.
The people of Chittagong love oily and spicy food. This can be a problem for foreigners and lead to upset stomachs. If you are a foreigner you should consider sticking with better restaurants and eating in large hotels. Never eat green salad which comes with your meal as you will not know if it has been washed in sanitized water. Just a handful of restaurants in town use sanitized water to wash salad and this is a recipe for explosive diarrhea.
One oddity in Bangladesh is that restaurants advertise themselves as, for example, "Zaman Hotel and Restaurant" but do not operate a hotel. Where you eat at one of these establishments you can tease them by demanding a room. One-room stores also have signboards advertising themselves as 'department stores'.
phone: +880 31 2513576address: Jiban Bima Bhaban (Ground Floor), 1053, Sk. Mujib RoadThe largest and the latest international standard restaurant in town with a Karaoke corner, seats up to 500 people across 2 floors. Has a huge menu of Continental, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Bangladeshi dishes. Fully air conditioned and tiptop.
Baskin Robbins (Agrabad)address: AgrabadIce cream parlor
Baskin Robbins (CDA Aveneu)address: CDA AveneuIce cream parlor
Basmati Restaurantphone: +880 31 651201address: CDA Ave, GEC CircleIt provides Bangladeshi and Indian food with a classy environment.
phone: +88031-2558551, +88031653558address: Ramna Trade Center, CDA Ave
Bonanzaphone: +880 31-652079address: 1692 N1, GEC circleInternational standard, large menu and recommended for foreigners who need a break from an upset stomach.
Cafe Milanophone: +880 1912-345721address: c/Alameda de Mazarredo 17
Cocolocophone: +880 1969-554040address: 137/B K.B. Fazlul Kader RoadMexican cuisine
Handi Indian Bistrophone: +880 1730-341181address: 2nd Floor D, 805 CDA Avenue
The Meridianaddress: Opposite to Bonanza (GEC circle)The Meridian has an excellent lunch buffet for around Tk 350. The rest of the menu used to be pretty good but as of late it is better to stick to the buffet.
phone: +880 31-632733, +880 31-614656, +880 31-623516, +880 31-623565address: 805/B CDA Avenue, JB Complex, GEC Circle, Dampara
Royal Hutphone: +880 1817-203257address: Shahid Saifuddin Khaled RoadPopuler for Chicken Tikka and Paratha
Shangri-La Chinese Restaurantphone: +880 31 810210address: 39, Sabdar Ali Road, Agrabad C/ASmart air-conditioned chinese restaurant.
Sugarbun (Well food)address: GEC circleFast food place from the international chain of the same name. Selling pizza, burgers, fries plus a variety of dishes to Asian tastes in a fast food format. Sugarbun also sells coffee, cakes, bread and other snacks.
Zaman Hotel (there are 13 Zaman hotels in Chittagong)phone: +880 189 649 138address: just north of GEC Circle, on west side of streetThe menu contains no foreign dishes and this is not a place where foreigners typically eat, though it falls at the top end of middle class Bangladeshi restaurants. The place is clean, the food is OK, the service is good. You can ponder the wisdom in the quote on the menu: "For super disk with quality food to avoid cooking please step with whose family at Zaman Hotel." There are two restaurants of the same name on the same block - this one is the most southerly, with the huge neon sign on the roof.
Tea and coffee
The teahouses and coffee houses in Chittagong are mostly large, heavily standardized chains. The most common location for various kind of tea is Dalla, besides Agrabad Access Rd. The most common coffee house is Rio Coffee, found in multiple locations across the city, most notably around Naval Avenue Rd.
Bangladeshi bar food, hookah, and an amazing lounge experience. The crowd that frequents these two places is young, hip and trendy.
Bars and nightclubs
Alcoholic beverages are available at five-star hotels in Chittagong as well as a number of private clubs. Four hotels in Chittagong have bar license; Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View, Hotel Agrabad, Silmoon Hotel, Saint Martin Hotel Limited and The Peninsula Chittagong. While all the hotels are expensive for drinks. Like the Peninsula is expensive by far (more than Tk 550 for a large can of Heineken).
Here you can buy Bangladeshi local branded (Karrew and Co, Darshona) alcohol (vodka, rum, malted, whiskey, gin) from licensed ware houses situated in Shadar Ghat (Kazi & Co.), BRTC, near the railway station (foreign liqueur) and from Dewan Hat.
If you want to go to a bar, then you can go Hotel Shahjahan at Shadarghat, a well-furnished bar, or there is also a bar at BRTC bus stand adjacent to the foreign liqueur shop.
It is possible to buy alcoholic beverages, ranging from local brews to smuggled beer and counterfeit brand alcohol. Local booze is available legally at government licensed shops. There is one in Agrabad on Sheik Mujib Rahman road. It is tucked into an alley way a short distance from the first floor "Siemens" showroom.
Counterfeit branded alcohol is available from illegal traders in Kulshie and other areas. But beware: deaths have been reported from consumption of adulterated liquor, and headaches and illness are more common. Smuggled booze is sometimes available on the sea beach.
phone: +880 31-616722address: 486/B, OR Nizam Road, CDA Avenue4-star hotel. The roof of the building has a swimming pool and offers a view of the entire city.
Nightclubs and dancingThere are three private clubs in Chittagong. The premiere club is the Chittagong Club which is located at number one Empress Road. The Chittagong club has a bar license and serves foreign alcohol in addition to local gin, vodka, and whiskey. Chittagong Club membership is closed but foreigners can apply for "temporary membership" for up to two years.
The Chittagong Institute is a far smaller club but it does maintain a bar. It is located in Jamal Khan road.
The Catholic club opens membership to all persons for a small fee but membership applications are only accepted once a year (during December?) It maintains a small bar serving local drinks.
Hotel Miskhaphone: +880 31 610923address: 95 Station RoadOne of the better of the Station Road cheapies, rooms are large, fairly clean and more atmospheric than others in the area with faded old wooden furniture. Prices are a little high but don't even think of asking the stubborn manager for a discount or to throw in a TV. There's a decent restaurant behind the reception desk.
phone: +880 31 636383, +880 1711889555address: 291 Station Road3-star international hotel
Hotel Al-Faisalphone: +880 31 710048address: 1050 Nur Ahmed RoadThis is a good option, mostly because it's far enough away from Station Rd.
Hotel Bandargaonphone: +880 31 637686address: 875 Nur Ahmed RoadNear Hotel Al-Faisal, it's also a good choice.
Hotel Eastern Viewphone: +880 31 2510567, +880 31 2514935, +88 01727 739 839 (Hot Line), +880 1710 914 448, +880 1811-227 888address: 225/A, Sheikh Mujib Road, Chowmuhony, AgrabadWell-equipped, 24 hours service, lift, standby generator, all kinds of food in room, Internet, hot & cold water, secretarial service. It's run by ex-managers of renowned hotels & staff are really good, whole atmosphere is quiet & clean.
Hotel Golden Innphone: +880 31 611004address: 36 Station RoadAcross the street from Sylhet Super, it's another decent choice.
Hotel Sylhet Superphone: +880 31 632265address: 16 Station RoadThis is a very large hotel west of the train station.
address: Jubilee RoadTypical large 3-star hotel. Wireless internet throughout.
phone: +880 1820 141 995address: Sheikh Mujib Road, Agrabad
address: 1739, Sheikh Mujib Road, Agrabad
phone: +880 31-2557035address: Road # 1, Plot # 2, O.R. Nizam Road4-star hotel. Roof top restaurant have trendy with the touch of nature.
phone: +880 31-616722address: 486/B, OR Nizam Road, CDA Avenue4-star hotel. The roof of the building has a swimming pool and offers a view of the entire city.
Most hotel charge a separate fee for WiFi usage. Internet cafes can be found around the intersection of Station Rd and Jubilee Rd and around GEC Circle and Agrabad. Price around ৳40-60/hr.
phone: +880 1711 750518address: 41/42 Central Shopping Complex, 3rd Floor, OR Nizam Road, GEC CircleMaximum speed 512 kbps+ per PC
The country code for Bangladesh is 880. Add 31 to make a call for Chittagong.
Postal and courier services
- Government courier
phone: +880 312511135address: Abdur Rahman Road
address: Shafi Bhaban, Plot #6 Sheikh Mujib Road
Chittagong emergency numbersHere are the Chittagong emergency contact numbers
Police Commissionerphone: +880 31 624100
Agrabad Fire Stationphone: +880 31 716326
ATMsIf you need cash, it's a good idea to get it before going inside bar or club. American Express, Master Card, VISA Card have accepted almost all the ATMs booth in the city. Check ahead to see if your bank has locations in Chittagong. On the Strip, the following ATMs are safer bets:
- For the customers, there are ATMs inside the branch at Agrabad Commercial Area.
- For customers, there are ATMs inside the district main branch at Sheikh Mujib Road and different places of the city.
phone: +880 31 6594357address: Zakir Hossain Road
phone: +880 31 656565address: 1675/A O.R. Nizam Road
phone: +88 031 619400address: 57, K.B. Fazlul Kader Road, Panchlaish, Chawkbazar.
phone: +880 31 2520063, +880 31 711236, +880 31 718521, +880 31 718525address: Agrabad
Chattagram Metropolitan Haspatal Limitedphone: +880 31 651242address: OR Nizam Road
Memon Maternity Hospitalphone: +880 31 617169address: 291 Strand Road
National Hospital (Pvt.) Ltd.phone: +880 31 623713 (Ext. 623753)address: Mehdibag
In the public places and stand-alone bars, smoking is permitted. However, there are some areas which are smoke-free but may be very close to smoking areas. Nightclubs and lounges may allow smoking if they do not serve food. For all other standalone restaurants, bars, convenience stores, grocery stores and airport facilities smoking is prohibited.
Laundry serviceLaundry service is offered in most laundry shops and hotels, even in budget accommodations. If you would rather save the money and do it yourself, buckets are found in almost all public bathrooms - but perhaps wash it out well first.
phone: +8801787864188address: 1030, Zakir Hossain Road (Opposite M.E.S College), Nasirabad
phone: +8801787864188address: First Floor, Khulshi Mart, Khulshi
- Exercising outdoors is not recommended due to the level of pollution and swimming in rivers is also not recommended. Instead, look for a hotel with a gym or a pool since many offer day passes. You can always try a morning or evening walk in the parks.
Foreign missions and High Commissions
- phone: +880 31710264, +880 31716153address: German Honorary Consulate in Chittagong, c/o M.M. Ispahani Ltd., Ispahani Building, Sk. Mujib Road, AgrabadMirza Shakir Ispahani, Honorary Consul
- phone: +880 37654148, +880 654201address: Assistant High Commision of India, Zakir Hossain Road, KhulshiShri Anindya Banerjee, Representative
- Chittagong Hill Tracts -
- Bandarban - a hill district two hours by bus
- Rangamati - a popular town in the Chittagong Hill Tracts
- Cox's Bazar - The country's premier beach resort, about 3 hours south by bus.
- St. Martin's Island - an island in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal.
- Comilla - World War Cemetery, Kotbari Baddha Bihar, BIRD, Salban Bihar