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Chittagong
second largest city of Bangladesh, situated at the southwestern part of the country
Asia > South Asia > Bangladesh > Chittagong Division > Chittagong
Chittagong (officially Chattogram) is the main international seaport and second largest city in Bangladesh. 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.
Understand
Patenga sea beach
Karnaphuli River at night with a view of Chittagong Port
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.
Climate
Chittagong
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
5
 
 
27
15
 
 
 
28
 
 
29
17
 
 
 
64
 
 
32
21
 
 
 
150
 
 
33
25
 
 
 
264
 
 
33
26
 
 
 
611
 
 
32
27
 
 
 
774
 
 
31
27
 
 
 
564
 
 
31
26
 
 
 
320
 
 
32
26
 
 
218
 
 
32
25
 
 
66
 
 
30
20
 
 
15
 
 
27
16
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
0.2
 
 
81
59
 
 
 
1.1
 
 
84
63
 
 
 
2.5
 
 
90
70
 
 
 
5.9
 
 
91
77
 
 
 
10
 
 
91
79
 
 
 
24
 
 
90
81
 
 
 
30
 
 
88
81
 
 
 
22
 
 
88
79
 
 
 
13
 
 
90
79
 
 
8.6
 
 
90
77
 
 
2.6
 
 
86
68
 
 
0.6
 
 
81
61
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
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 cyclones. 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.
Get in
City Gate
By plane
Chittagong International Airport
1
(CGP IATA) Shah Amanat International Airport 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:
By train
Chattogram Old Railway
2
Chittagong Railway Station
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.
By bus
Shah Amanat Bridge
There are 2 spots in the city where the major private companies operate from and have offices - just to the south of GEC Circle on CDA Ave, and on Station Road near Hotel Golden Inn. Greenline, Silkline and Shohag are the nicest and have frequent services to Dhaka (৳1200, 6-8 hours) and Cox's Bazar (3-4 hours). Greenline also offers the only direct bus to Sylhet (৳550, 7-8 hours).
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.
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 car
Chittagong 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.
By boat
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.
Get around
Map of Chittagong
Cycle rickshaws
Auto rickshaw (aks tempoo)
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.
By foot
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.
By bicycle
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 rickshaws
Rickshaws 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.
By bus
View of Sheikh Mujib Road from C&F Tower in Agrabad area
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
3
Natun Bridge Bus Stop to
4
New Market Bus Stand.
Route 2: runs from
5
Kalurghat Bus Stand to New Market Bus Stand
Route 3: runs from
6
Fatehabad Bus Station to New Market Bus Stand.
Route 4: runs from New Market Bus Stand to
7
Bhatiyari.
Route 5: runs from New Market Bus Stand to
8
Airport.
Route 6: runs from
9
Katgor Bus Stop to
10
Laldighir Par Bus Stop via Agrabad, Tigerpass, Station Road and New Market.
Route 7: runs from
11
Colonel Hat Bus Stop to Laldighi via Boro Pul, Agrabad and New Market.
Route 8: runs from New Market Bus Stand to
12
Oxygen Bus Stand.
Route 10: runs from
13
Bahaddarhat Bus Stop to Kalurghat Bus Stand via EPZ, Mahila (Female) Hostel, Customs, Fakirhaat, Barek Building, Agrabad, Chowmohoni, Tigerpass, Lal Khan Bazar, GEC More, Sholoshohor Number 2 Gate and Muradpur..
Counter-bus
Metro Provati counter-based metropolitan bus service, has several stoped around the metropolitan area from Patenga to Bahaddarhat Bus Stoppage.
By taxi
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.
See
Downtown
Asiatic lion (female) at Chittagong Zoo
The Mughal era Chandanpura Mosque
Holy Rosary Church, also known as the Portuguese Church
Architectures
Central Railway Building
Cheragi Pahar Circle chittagong (4)
Court Building
Beaches and river sides
Cemeteries, memorials and sculptures
Martyred Intellectuals Memorial, University of Chittagong
Commonwealth War Cemetery
Parks
Bugs Bunny statue in Butterfly Park Bangladesh
Shadhinata Complex
Archives and Libraries
Chittagong University Library
Museums
Bangladesh Railway Museum
Chittagong University Museum
Ethnological Museum
Elsewhere
Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard
Do
There are a few amusement parks and public parks in Chittagong:
1
Batali Hill, Tigerpass (about 1 km from the center of the city). If you want to ride the highest hill within the metropolitan area, go to Batali Hill, near the Tiger Pass crossing.
(updated Jul 2017)
Fishing
Go fishing for Anabas, Cat fish, Ruhi, Tilapia etc.
2
Agrabad Deba, Agrabad. (updated Jul 2017)
Rides
Foy's Lake
Shows
There 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.
Performing arts
Theaters
Events
Chittagong continues to grow with annual events and festivals held throughout the city.
Buy
Banani Complex
Sales tax
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.
Basics
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.
Shopping malls
There are a handful of shopping malls:
Outlet malls
Individual stores
Baatighar, Press Club Building, Jamal Khan.
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.
Eat
Shangri-La, Agrabad
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'.
Drink
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.
Hookah/sheesha
Bangladeshi bar food, hookah, and an amazing lounge experience. The crowd that frequents these two places is young, hip and trendy.
1
Oasis Lounge, Hotel Agrabad, Sabder Ali Road, Agrabad Commercial Area, ☏ +88 031 713311-8, fax: +88 031 710572, ✉​info@agrabadhotels.com​. Check-in: 11:30. A 4-star business hotel in the commercial district; restaurants and a swimming pool. Online booking available. US$165-700 (pp/night). (updated Jul 2017)
Bars and nightclubs
Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View
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.
Nightclubs and dancing
There 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.
Sleep
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budgetunder ৳5000
Mid-range৳5000-10000
Splurge৳10000 and over
Note: With some exceptions, hotels and other sleeping establishments will not allow anyone under age 18 to reserve a room. It is highly recommended to research and reserve in advance of arrival.
Budget
2
Hotel Miskha (হোটেল মিসখা), 95 Station Road, ☏ +880 1711-178711. Check-out: 12:00. One 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. Tk 200-300. 
Mid-range
Splurge
Hotel Agrabad, Agrabad
Stay safe
Connect
Internet
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.
4
Dot Com, 41/42 Central Shopping Complex, 3rd Floor, OR Nizam Road, GEC Circle, ☏ +880 1711 750518, ✉​info@dotcombd.com​. Maximum speed 512 kbps+ per PC ৳40/hr. 
Telephone
The country code for Bangladesh is 880. Add 31 to make a call for Chittagong.
Postal and courier services
Government courier
8
General Post Office, Abdur Rahman Road (Besides New market and Bangladesh Bank), ☏ +880 312511135. Su-Th 10:00-05:00.
(updated Jul 2017)
Private courier companies
9
DHL Agrabad, Shafi Bhaban, Plot #6 Sheikh Mujib Road. Su-We 09:00-21:00.
(updated Jul 2017)
Chittagong emergency numbers
Here are the Chittagong emergency contact numbers
Cope
ATMs
If 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:
Major hospitals
Smoking
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.
Others
Laundry service
Laundry 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.
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
Go next
Chittagong is a great base for exploring the famous hill districts.
This city travel guide to Chittagong is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.

Last edited on 25 April 2021, at 05:21
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