Chittagong, the second-largest city and main seaport of Bangladesh, holds a captivating history dating back to ancient civilizations. This vibrant, modern city on the banks of the Karnaphuli River offers an abundance of attractions for every traveler. From stunning beaches and lush hills to sacred temples, museums, and parks, Chittagong leaves an indelible mark on its visitors. As you explore, you’ll be welcomed by warm hospitality, colorful traditions, delectable cuisine, and the dynamic lifestyle of its people. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture buff, a history connoisseur, or an adventure seeker, Chittagong offers experiences tailored to your interests.
In this article, we’ve curated the top 10 things to do in Chittagong, each offering a unique and meaningful glimpse into the city and its culture. These hidden gems, local secrets, and invaluable tips will enhance your visit, making it truly unforgettable. So, without further delay, let’s take a trip through the ten best things that Chittagong has to offer.
Visit the Chittagong Commonwealth War Cemetery.
One of the most poignant and historical places to visit in Chittagong is the Commonwealth War Cemetery, which contains the graves of hundreds of soldiers from both Allied and Japanese forces who died on the Burma front during World War II. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which still maintains the cemetery, acquired it from the British Army after the war.
Why visit the Chittagong War Cemetery?
The cemetery is a must-see attraction for history buffs, peace lovers, and nature enthusiasts, as it offers a glimpse into the past, a tribute to the fallen heroes, and a serene environment surrounded by greenery. You will find rows of white headstones, each bearing the name, rank, regiment, and date of death of a soldier. Some of them also have personal inscriptions from their families or comrades. You will also find a memorial book that lists the names of over 400 sailors of the former Indian Navy and nearly 6,000 sailors of the former Indian Merchant Navy who were lost at sea during the war.
The cemetery is not only a place of mourning but also a place of reflection and appreciation. You will feel a sense of gratitude and respect for the sacrifices made by these brave men and women who fought for freedom and justice. You will also feel a sense of hope and peace as you witness how former enemies are now resting side by side in harmony. The cemetery is also a place of beauty and tranquility, as you enjoy the lush landscape, the colorful flowers, and the soothing breeze.
Location and operating hours
The cemetery is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. The cemetery is located on Badsha Mia Road, near the Arts College and Finlay’s Guest Houses. You can get there by bus, taxi, or rickshaw from the city center. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour that will take you to the cemetery and other historical sites in Chittagong.
Enjoy Patenga Beach
If you are a beach lover, an adventure seeker, or a foodie, then you should not miss Patenga Beach, which is one of the most popular tourist spots in Chittagong. Patenga Beach is located on the estuary of the Karnaphuli River, just 14 kilometers south of the port city of Chittagong. It is near the Bangladesh Naval Academy and Shah Amanat International Airport 2, which makes it easily accessible and convenient.
Patenga Beach offers a scenic view of the Bay of Bengal, where you can enjoy the sunrise or sunset, watch the ships and boats sailing by, and feel the breeze and waves on your feet. You can also indulge in a variety of water sports, such as speed boat riding, sea biking, jet skiing, and banana boating. These activities will give you a thrill and excitement that you will never forget. You can also ride a horse or a camel along the coast or take a walk on the newly built walkway that is decorated with flowers and lights.
Culinary at Patenga Beach
Patenga Beach is also a paradise for foodies, as it offers a range of local delicacies that will satisfy your taste buds. Experience the famous Patenga fried chicken, known for its crispy and juicy flavor. Alternatively, indulge in the creamy and refreshing Patenga ice cream. The menu also boasts an array of delectable seafood dishes, including fish fry, shrimp curry, crab masala, and lobster grill. Don’t forget to explore the vibrant Burmese Market nearby, offering a variety of souvenirs and handicrafts for you to peruse and purchase.
The Best Time to Visit Patenga Beach
The best time to visit Patenga Beach is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and dry. Stay clear of the monsoon season, spanning from June to September, as this period brings potential flooding and erosion to the beach. For your safety, it’s important to adhere to some essential precautions. Ensure you wear life jackets when partaking in water sports, refrain from swimming in deep waters or strong currents, and keep a vigilant watch over your belongings at all times.
You can get to Patenga Beach by bus, taxi, or rickshaw from the city center. The fare is around 100 to 300 taka, depending on the mode of transportation and the distance. Alternatively, you can book a tour package that will include transportation, accommodation, food, and activities for Patenga Beach and other nearby attractions.
Patenga Beach is a must-do activity for anyone who visits Chittagong. It will give you a memorable experience that will make you fall in love with this city and its people.
Explore the Chittagong Zoo.
If you are looking for a fun and educational way to spend a day in Chittagong, you should not miss the Chittagong Zoo, the oldest and one of the most popular zoos in Bangladesh.
Located in the scenic Foy’s Lake area, about 8 km from the city, the zoo is home to over 600 animals of 107 species, including rare and exotic ones such as tigers, lions, elephants, crocodiles, and birds. Here are some reasons why you should visit the Chittagong Zoo and some practical information to help you plan your trip.
Why visit the Chittagong Zoo?
The Chittagong Zoo is a must-see attraction for animal lovers, families with kids, and education enthusiasts, as it offers a chance to see and learn about a variety of animals from different habitats and regions.
Marvel at the awe-inspiring Bengal tigers and African lions, the planet’s largest and mightiest felines. Observe the playful Asian black bears and widely spread Rhesus macaques, among Asia’s most prevalent primates. Be enchanted by the gentle giants, the Asian elephants, and the Gayals, the most substantial wild cattle in South Asia.
You can also observe fascinating reptiles, such as the Indian rock python, the longest snake in India, and the marsh crocodile, one of the three crocodilian species found in Bangladesh. And of course, you can enjoy colossal and melodious birds, such as the great hornbill, the largest hornbill in Asia, and the blue and gold macaw, one of the most popular parrots in the world.
Educational trip in Chittagong
The Chittagong Zoo is not only a place to see animals but also a place to learn about them. The zoo has informative signboards and guides that provide facts and stories about each animal’s characteristics, behavior, diet, habitat, and conservation status. You can also participate in interactive activities and programs that educate you about wildlife and environmental issues. For example, you can feed some animals, such as deer and ostriches, under supervision. You can also watch animal shows that demonstrate their skills and talents. And you can join special events that celebrate various occasions, such as World Animal Day and World Environment Day.
The Chittagong Zoo is also a place to have fun and relax. The zoo has a beautiful natural setting with greenery and hills that create a pleasant atmosphere. The zoo also has various facilities and amenities that cater to your needs and preferences. Find unique souvenirs and gifts at the zoo’s shopping center. Stay connected with free high-speed Wi-Fi available throughout the zoo. Enjoy some leisurely games and sports at the zoo’s playground. Take a break and recharge at the zoo’s rest house. Keep your car safe in the zoo’s parking area. And you can enjoy delicious food and beverages at the zoo’s cafeteria.
How do I visit the Chittagong Zoo?
The Chittagong Zoo is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 30 taka for adults and 10 taka for children. You can also buy a membership card for 500 taka that gives you unlimited access to the zoo for one year.
To get to the Chittagong Zoo, you can take a bus or a taxi from anywhere in the city. The zoo is located opposite the USTC Medical College on Foy’s Lake Road. You can also take a train or a plane to Chittagong from other cities in Bangladesh or abroad. The nearest railway station is Chittagong Railway Station, which is about 10 km from the zoo. The nearest airport is Shah Amanat International Airport, which is about 20 kilometers from the zoo.
The Chittagong Zoo is a wonderful destination for anyone who loves animals and nature. It is a place where you can see, learn, and have fun with your friends and family. So don’t wait any longer and plan your visit to the Chittagong Zoo today!
Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement World
Foy’s Lake Concord is an amusement park complex that covers nearly 320 acres of land at Foy’s Lake, in the Pahartali neighborhood of Chittagong, Bangladesh. It was established in 2004 by Concord Entertainment Company Limited, and it consists of a dry theme park, a water park, a resort, and bungalows.
It is a popular destination for people who want to enjoy nature, adventure, and entertainment in Chittagong. Here are some reasons why you should visit the best amusement park in Chittagong and some practical information to help you plan your trip at the Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park.
Why visit Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park?
Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park is a place where you can have fun and relax with your friends and family. You can experience the following attractions and activities at the park:
Foy’s Lake: Foy’s Lake is a man-made lake that started in 1924 by constructing a dam across the stream that came down from the hills in the northern part of Chittagong. It is a beautiful lake that offers a stunning view of the hills and forests that surround it. You can take a boat ride on the lake and admire the turquoise water that reflects the light from the sandy white bottom. You can also explore the hills and forests that are home to deer, monkeys, birds, and butterflies.
Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement World: The dry theme park has shops and carnival rides such as a baby carousel, roller coasters, bumper cars, coffee cups, and a Ferris wheel. You can also enjoy other activities, such as paintball, archery, zip line, rock climbing, and more. You can also watch animal shows that demonstrate their skills and talents.
SeaWorld Concord Water Park: The water park has water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and water coaster rides. You can also enjoy the children’s pool and splash pools. You can also watch musical concerts, dance performances, drama shows, and more at the water park.
Foy’s Lake Resort: The resort has lakeside cottages and chalets that provide accommodation and scenic views of the lake. You can also join special events that celebrate various occasions, such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Pohela Boishakh, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, and more, at the resort.
How do I visit Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park?
Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance fee for both the lake and the amusement park is 300 taka for adults and 200 taka for children. You can also buy a membership card for 1500 taka that gives you unlimited access to both for one year.
To get to Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park, you can take a bus or a taxi from anywhere in the city. The park is located opposite the USTC Medical College on Foy’s Lake Road. You can also take a train or a plane to Chittagong from other cities in Bangladesh or abroad. The nearest railway station is Chittagong Railway Station, which is about 10 km from the park. The nearest airport is Shah Amanat International Airport, which is about 20 kilometers from the park.
Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park is a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to have fun and relax in Chittagong. It is a place where you can see, do, and enjoy with your friends and family. So don’t wait any longer and plan your visit to Foy’s Lake Concord Amusement Park today!
Visit the Batighar (Lighthouse).
If you are looking for a historic and scenic way to spend a day in Chittagong, you should not miss the Batighar, meaning lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in Bangladesh. It was built by the British in 1797. Located in the Patenga area, about 14 km from the city center, Batighar is a symbol of the colonial era and a landmark of the port city. Here are some reasons why you should visit Batighar and some practical information to help you plan your trip.
Why visit Batighar?
The Batighar is a must-see attraction for history buffs, lighthouse enthusiasts, and photographers, as it offers a glimpse into the colonial era, a unique architectural design, and a spectacular view of the sea and the sky.
For history buffs, Batighar is a perfect place to learn about the history and culture of Chittagong. The British East India Company built the Batighar in 1797 to direct ships entering and leaving the Chittagong port.
It was also used as a watchtower and a signal station during the Anglo-Burmese wars in the early 19th century. The Batighar witnessed many historical events and changes in Chittagong, such as the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the Partition of Bengal in 1905, the Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, and more.
Who must visit the Lighthouse?
For lighthouse enthusiasts, Batighar is a great place to admire the unique architectural design and structure of the lighthouse. The Batighar is made of stone and brick and has a cylindrical shape with a conical top. It stands at 92 feet high and has a spiral staircase inside that leads to the lantern room. The lantern room has a Fresnel lens that emits a white light every 10 seconds. The Batighar also has an adjacent building that serves as the keeper’s quarters and a museum that displays various artifacts and models related to the lighthouse.
For photographers, Batighar is an amazing place to capture the stunning view of the sea and the sky. The Batighar is situated on a sandy beach that overlooks the Bay of Bengal. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the blue water, the green hills, and the white clouds from different angles and perspectives. You can also witness the beautiful sunrise and sunset from the Batighar and take breathtaking photos of the changing colors and shades of the horizon.
How do I visit Batighar?
The Batighar is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 20 taka for adults and 10 taka for children. You can also buy a ticket for 50 taka. It gives you access to both the lighthouse and the museum.
To get to Batighar, you can take a bus or a taxi from anywhere in the city. The Batighar is located on Patenga Road, near Shah Amanat International Airport. You can also take a train or a plane to Chittagong from other cities in Bangladesh or abroad.
The nearest railway station is Chittagong Railway Station, which is about 14 km from Batighar. The nearest airport is Shah Amanat International Airport, which is about 3 kilometers from Batighar.
Batighar is a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to explore history and nature in Chittagong. It is a place where you can see, learn, and enjoy yourself with your friends and family. So don’t wait any longer, and plan your visit to Batighar today!
Experience Batali Hill.
If you are looking for a natural and adventurous way to spend a day in Chittagong, you should not miss Batali Hill, which is the highest hill in Chittagong city with an altitude of 280 feet. Located near the Tiger Pass crossing, about 1 km from the city center, Batali Hill is a popular spot for hiking, sightseeing, and meditation. Here are some reasons why you should experience Batali Hill and some practical information to help you plan your trip.
Why experience Batali Hill?
Batali Hill is a must-do activity for nature lovers, fitness enthusiasts, and spiritual seekers, as it offers a scenic hike, a panoramic view of the city, and a Buddhist temple at the top.
For nature lovers, Batali Hill is a perfect place to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature. Venture up the hill along the winding path that guides you through vibrant greenery and blooming flowers. Along the way, keep an eye out for various animals and birds, such as deer, monkeys, squirrels, and parrots. As you ascend, inhale the fresh air and savor the cool breeze on your face.
For fitness enthusiasts, Batali Hill is a great place to challenge yourself and improve your health. Climbing the hill is a fantastic workout. It strengthens your muscles, boosts stamina, and burns calories. When you reach the summit, you’ll feel accomplished and satisfied. Take a moment to relax and do some stretches to rejuvenate your body.
For spiritual seekers, Batali Hill is an amazing place to meditate and connect with your inner self. Explore the serene Buddhist temple perched atop the hill, a place devoted to Lord Buddha and his profound teachings. Here, you’ll encounter a majestic statue of Buddha and a stupa housing his sacred relics. If you wish, you can partake in the prayers and chants alongside the monks and devoted worshippers. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance that envelops the temple, allowing peace and serenity to wash over you.
How do I experience Batali Hill?
Batali Hill is open every day from sunrise to sunset. There is no entrance fee or registration required to hike up the hill. However, you should follow some rules and etiquette when visiting the hill, such as wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, carrying water and snacks, avoiding littering and noise, respecting the wildlife and plants, and following the instructions of the guards and guides.
The difficulty level of hiking up Batali Hill is moderate to hard, depending on your fitness level and experience. The duration of hiking up and down the hill is about 2 to 3 hours, depending on your pace and breaks. The distance of hiking up and down the hill is about 4 km.
Visit the Ethnological Museum.
One of the most interesting and unique things to do in Chittagong is to visit the Ethnological Museum, which is the only museum of its kind in Bangladesh. The museum showcases the rich and diverse culture, history, and lifestyle of the various ethnic groups and tribes that live in Bangladesh and neighboring countries such as India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Why experience the Ethnological Museum?
If you are looking for a unique and informative thing to do in Chittagong, you should not miss the Ethnological Museum, which is the only museum of its kind in Bangladesh. The museum will take you on a journey through the rich and diverse culture, history, and lifestyle of the various ethnic groups and tribes that live in Bangladesh and neighboring countries such as India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan.
You will learn how these people have adapted to their environment, how they have interacted with each other, and how they have contributed to the social and cultural development of the country. You will also appreciate the beauty and creativity of the human spirit, as well as the craftsmanship and artistry of the exhibits.
How do I experience the Ethnological Museum?
The Ethnological Museum is located in the Agrabad Commercial Area, near the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It has two floors with 12 galleries, each dedicated to a different ethnic group or region. The museum displays a variety of artifacts, such as clothing, jewelry, weapons, musical instruments, household items, and religious objects, that illustrate the customs, traditions, beliefs, and values of the people. The museum also has a library with books and journals on ethnology and anthropology.
You can visit the museum from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except on government holidays. The entrance fee is 20 taka for Bangladeshi citizens and 100 taka for foreigners. You can reach the museum by bus, rickshaw, or taxi from any part of the city.
The museum is a great place to spend a few hours exploring and learning about the fascinating diversity and heritage of Bangladesh and its neighbors. You can also take photos of the exhibits, but make sure to respect the culture and sentiments of the people. You can also buy souvenirs from the museum shop or nearby stalls.
Enjoy the Karnaphuli River
If you love rivers, you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy the Karnaphuli River, which is the largest and most important river in Chittagong and Bangladesh. The river has a length of 270 km and originates from the Mizo Hills of Mizoram State in northeastern India. It flows through the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the city of Chittagong before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Visit the Chandanpura Mosque.
If you are looking for a place to admire the beauty and diversity of Islamic art and architecture in Chittagong, then you should not miss the Chandanpura Mosque. This mosque is one of the most beautiful and colorful mosques in Bangladesh, with a distinctive architectural style that reflects the history and culture of the city.
A prosperous merchant named Chandan, who was an adherent of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, constructed the Chandanpura Mosque in the late 17th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries, British colonial authorities later renovated and expanded the mosque, adding new features and decorations. The mosque is also known as the Masjid-e-Siraj-ud-Daulah, after the last independent Nawab of Bengal, who visited the mosque in 1757.
Why is it a must-see attraction?
The mosque is a must-see attraction for religious buffs, architecture fans, and art lovers, as it offers a glimpse into the Islamic culture and heritage of Chittagong, a unique blend of Mughal and British influences, and a stunning display of domes, minarets, arches, and tiles. The mosque has three main domes and several smaller ones, each with different colors and patterns. The minarets are decorated with floral motifs and geometric designs. The arches are adorned with calligraphy and verses from the Quran. The tiles are imported from various countries, such as Iran, Turkey, China, and England.
How do I visit?
To visit the Chandanpura Mosque, you need to follow some practical guidelines. The best time to visit is in the morning or evening, avoiding the prayer times, which are five times a day. To ensure you’re well-prepared, you have a few options for checking prayer times. You could go online for the information, or simply inquire with a friendly local before heading to the mosque.
Remember, it’s essential to adhere to the mosque’s dress code, which mandates modest attire, covering your head and body. You can either bring your scarf or opt to rent one at the entrance for your convenience. Additionally, don’t forget to show respect by removing your shoes before entering the mosque. Once inside, you can admire the magnificent architecture and art of the mosque. You can also learn more about the Islamic culture and heritage of Chittagong by talking to the friendly staff or guides at the mosque.
Location of the Mosque
The mosque is located in the Chandanpura area of Chittagong, near the Karnaphuli River. You can reach the mosque by taking a rickshaw, a taxi, or a bus from the city center. The mosque is open to visitors every day, except during prayer times.
The Chandanpura Mosque is a remarkable example of Islamic art and architecture in Chittagong and a testimony to the rich history and culture of the city. It is a place where you can experience the beauty and diversity of Islam, as well as appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity of its builders. The Chandanpura Mosque is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to explore Chittagong beyond its natural attractions.
Experience the shipbreaking yard.
Experience the shipbreaking yard. If you are looking for a place to witness the power and scale of the maritime industry in Chittagong, then you should not miss the Ship Breaking Yard. This yard is one of the largest shipbreaking yards in the world, with hundreds of decommissioned ships being dismantled every year.
Shipbreaking yard location
The shipbreaking yard is located in Faujdarhat, Sitakunda Upazila, about 20 kilometers northwest of Chittagong city. It extends over an area of 18 kilometers along the Sitakunda coastal strip, where workers use torches, cranes, and hammers to beach old ships and cut them into pieces. The yard handles about a fifth of the world’s total shipbreaking and accounts for around half of all the steel in Bangladesh.
The yard is a fascinating place to explore, as you can see a variety of ships from different countries, sizes, and types, such as cargo ships, oil tankers, cruise liners, and naval vessels.
Some of these ships have interesting stories or histories, such as the M.D. Alpine, which was stranded on the shore after a severe cyclone in 1960 and became the first ship to be scrapped in Bangladesh, or the Al Abbas, which was damaged by bombing during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 and later salvaged by a Soviet team.
In conclusion, Chittagong is a city that effortlessly combines the allure of history, culture, and nature, offering an array of experiences for travelers of all interests. From paying tribute to the past at the Commonwealth War Cemetery to basking in the sun at Patenga Beach and delving into the world of wildlife and education at the Chittagong Zoo, there’s something to captivate every visitor. The city’s historical landmarks, such as the Batighar Lighthouse and Chandanpura Mosque, provide unique insights into its diverse heritage. Batali Hill and the Karnaphuli River offer a serene escape for those seeking natural beauty. The newly created Ship Breaking Yard showcases the colossal maritime industry, along with its environmental challenges. Chittagong beckons all to explore its treasures, fostering a profound connection with history, culture, and nature in the heart of Bangladesh.