The division of Chittagong boasts some of the highly ranked tourist hotspots in Bangladesh. Out of the 11 districts in Chittagong division, Cox’s Bazar is the most prominent followed by Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban. However the second most important city of the country is in Chittagong district, which is surrounded by lesser known and highly enjoyable tourist places. Although more and more Bangladeshis have started flocking around these regions, they still need more highlights to the eyes of foreign tourists.
Chittagong district is well linked with one of the busiest highways of the country: The Dhaka Chittagong Expressway (N1). Of 250 kilometres in length, this highway connects two of the most important cities in Bangladesh: Dhaka and Chittagong. It’s also undergoing severe renovation by pulling in better infrastructural support from government.
Other than road network, the district is highly accessible via trains and flights from different parts of the country. However before public holidays it’s important to book the tickets in advance due to their unavailability. For understanding and planning a trip in a better way,
the tourist places are divided into two categories in this article- ‘Places along Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway’ and ‘Places around Chittagong City’.
Places along Dhaka- Chittagong Expressway:
The Dhaka-Chittagong expressway, as discussed above, connects many important sites in Chittagong district. Nearly all the tourist sites other than Chittagong city lies within Shitakunda and Mirsharai Sub-district. Mentioned below are some notable places for tourists to consider.
1. Guliakhali Beach:
(Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
For those who are interested in green beaches, Guliakhali can be considered a great choice. This beach looks best during Monsoon, a month or two before or after Monsoon. Other than those times, the beach remains not very accessible due to high amount of mud piling up across the entire path, making it nearly impossible for boats to
give you a ride to the island. It’s located in Shitakunda, which lies about 30km before Chittagong while travelling from Dhaka. (Read in details here)
2. Chandranath Hill and Temple:
(Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
Chandranath Hill is one of the best choices for travelers once they reach Chittagong district. It’s also within close proximity of Chittagong city and located near Shitakunda Bazar area. Normally the place takes about a day to explore. For those who love trekking hills and mountains, this is one of the most ideal places in Bangladesh.
The maximum height is 1020 foot and takes about an hour to reach on top. After reaching the peak you will find Chandranath Temple, considered a very sacred sight for Hindu pilgrims. The temple is one of its kinds and one of the very few in the world. However there have been few incidences of security issues in this beautiful area. (Read in details here)
3. Shitakunda Eco Park and Botanical Garden:
This is one of the largest Eco Park and Botanical gardens in Bangladesh. Located in Shitakunda and not far from Chandranath Hills, the place is prominent for its variety of plant and animal species. 150 species of flowers, 50 species of Orchids and different kinds of animals and birds are displayed in this huge Eco Park. Also the place is home to two of the prominent waterfalls in Shitakunda.
4. Shuptodhara waterfall, Shahasradhara waterfalls and lake:
There are two prominent waterfalls titled Shuptodhara and Shahasradhara. However there are two Shahasradhara falls in Shitakunda. The first Shahasradhara, along with Shuptodhara falls is located inside Shitakunda Eco Park. From the entrance of the park, one needs to walk between 1.1 and 2.8 kilometers to reach the waterfalls.
The Shahasradhara Lake and Second Shahasradhara waterfall are adjacent to each other. They are located near “Choto Darogarhat” bus station in Shitakunda and can be accessed on foot.
5. Boro Komoldoho waterfalls and Trail:
One of the prominent waterfalls of Shitakundo is Boro Komoldoho. There is another, named Choto Komoldoho, which isn’t very popular. The entire Komoldoho Trail consists of few other waterfalls which trekkers love to explore. Chagolkanda Falls(called Ruposhi Falls by some) and
Patharvanga falls are some of them. This trail is located within 40 minute eastward walking distance from brick-manufacturing site near Boro Darogarhat Bazar bus stop.
6. Banshbaria Beach:
(Recommended for foreign tourists)
If you have seen a video on the internet about a floating walkway on the ocean within Bangladesh, you have possibly seen Banshbaria site of Chittagong district. This beach is popular for its Cox’s Bazar-like charm and few hundred-metre-long
walkway that floats on the ocean. For quite a few years this walkway attracted thousands of tourists. However these days it remains restricted; although it gets opened and closed at irregular intervals at different times of the year. Other than the walkway, the beach is also nice and always accessible. This prominent sunset beach can be reached from Banshbaria Bus stop on Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway. . (Read in details here)
A lot of Bangladeshi tourists and few foreign tourists have visited Kumira-Sandwip Terminal vicinity which is popularly known as “Kumira Ghat”. A relatively popular inhabited island called Sandwip can be accessed by speedboat and ferry from this pier. Other than Ferry terminal, the place is also popular
for nearly a kilometer-long walkway across the ocean. During the sunset, thousands of local tourists will be seen flocking the site. Also a prominent ship-breaking yard remains visible at all times from the pier zone. Bangladesh is highly popular for its ship-breaking industry. (Read in details here)
8. Bhatiari Lake
(Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
One of the best places to watch sunset from Chittagong district other than its beautiful beaches is Bhatiari Lake. The project features a ‘Sunset Point’ which offers a stunning view of sunset over Bhatiari region. The lake itself is also very beautiful, where you can rent boats to ply on it. Other than that, there is opportunity of fishing with permission and payment of fees. In addition to this, the ‘Café 24’ restaurant is also highly popular.
Bhatiari Lake can be easily accessed from Boro Dighir Par bus stop on Dhaka Chittagong Expressway with local transportation system. (Read in details here)
9. Mohamaya Eco Park
(Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
Although Bhatiary lake remains highly popular for its better infrastructure and entertainment features, Mahamaya lake looks rather stunning if it’s visited at appropriate time of the day. Located in Mirsharai, Mohamaya Eco Park features an 11-square-kilometer lake, which remains open from morning till sunset. Although Kayaking is one of the most notable things to do in the park, one can also camp in the territory and visit
Mahamaya falls at the farthest corner of the park. Entry fee applies to enter the park. (Read in details here)
10. Khoiachara Cascade and trail (Recommended for foreign tourists)
Although Bangladesh is not considered a heaven for waterfall visitors, the country has only a few good waterfalls to offer which can be accessed easily; and Khoiachara is one of them. With its 9-step setting, Khoiachara cascade is a very popular place for many local travelers. However the trail features another cascade named Shimultoli. Khoiachara Cascade can be accessed from Borotakia Bazar bus stop in Mirsharai with public transportation and walkway. (Read in details here)
11. Napittachara Waterfall and trail
The Napittachara trail is the second most prominent waterfall trail in Chittagong district after Khoiachara. However it offers more varieties in terms of waterfalls. There are 3 other waterfalls of different sizes, named- Tipra(some call it Norduari or Ujilla), Kupikatakhum and Baghbiani waterfall. To be noted, no waterfall in this trail is as big as Khoiachara. The final waterfall in the trail is Bandarkhum which is popularly known as Napittachara. The trail is easily accessible from Noyduari Bazar bus stop in Mirsharai sub-district. From there anyone can find public transport toward this route and local tour guides are available at 300-500 taka only.
12. Bawachara Lake and Waterfall
Not very popular, the Bawachara lake is quite beautiful and a place to camp overnight. Some say it looks wonderful during moonlit night. There is a waterfall on the other side of the lake, the sound of which is sometimes heard from far away. This site can be accessed from Choto Komoldoho bus stop in Mirsharai sub-district.
13. Jhorjhori Waterfall and trail
Jhorjhori waterfall is gaining its popularity slowly. Located in Shitakunda sub-district, the trail can be accessed on foot from Ponthichila bus stop on Dhaka Chittagong expressway. Furthermore, this place can also be accessed via Komoldoho trail near Boro Darogarhat region. The waterfall is relatively small but offers a good trail to explore.
14. Mirsharai Coastal Forest Reserve and Korerhat Forest Reserve
These are relatively less visited forests in Mirsharai upazilla. The coastal forest reserve is quite beautiful which sometimes is considered by few as the second Sundarbans of Bangladesh. It can be accessed from Mirsharai Sub-district headquarters with public transport. Another beautiful forest reserve in Mirsharai is the Korerhat Forest Reserve. This can also be accessed via public transportation from Mirsharai Sub-district headquarters.
15. Other notable places
Other than the ones mentioned above, there are many other tourable places which are enjoyed by local travelers. The Shonaichari trail and waterfall is relatively hard to access due to its tough trail. However many adventure seekers follow this trail on regular basis. Few other waterfalls in similar range called Boalia, Baushya, Uthan, Omormanikyo are notable. The Nilambor Lake is also a beautiful place to explore and it offers three different waterfalls along the trail which are called Horinmara, Hatuvanga and Shorpopropat. Also an opening to the Bawachora lake is found from here.
Places in and around Chittagong City:
Chittagong city houses a lot of tourist places. However, some prominent ones have been picked for discussing in this article.
1. Patenga Beach (Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
Patenga beach is currently the top tourist attraction in Chittagong city. Although no beach in Chittagong city is as serene as the ones in Shitakunda, the Patenga has its own specialty. It features a new urban decoration as of 2019 with colourful symmetric plates beautifying about a kilometer-long seaside walkway. Tourists can choose to swim, watch sunset, ride speedboat or other beach motor
vehicles, get on horseback, rest on bench, watch the ships ply on the sea, take a stroll around local shops or eat food from local restaurants. But be careful about pickpockets and high volume of crowds.
2. Naval Road (Highly recommended for foreign tourists)
The Naval road is another hotspot for tourists in Chittagong city. It’s a great place for locals to hangout, take a walk or eat food. The meals served in Naval road restaurants are considered better by many who also ate and compared with the ones in Patenga beach. However the specialty of Naval road is it offers a stunning view of ships. And there’s
not one but hundreds of them, busy in their turn of duties. Naval beach and naval road is close to Patenga beach and at the same time, very close to Chittagong airport.
3. Foy’s Lake Amusement Park (Recommended for foreign tourists)
Once called Pahartali Lake, the current Foy’s Lake complex is a historic park located in Khulshi region of Chittagong city. The lake is an artificial one and was initially built as part of a dam project to supply water to the railway colony. Later Concord group developed an amusement park centering the lake and now it’s considered one of the finest places to be in Chittagong city.
4. Shrine of Bayezid Bostami
Bayezid Bostami was a famous Persian Sufi and his shrine remains in Nasirabad, Chittagong which is a controversial topic. However commemorating his name and works, a tomb was created along with a mosque and a large pond. Many locals and few foreigners have visited this historic place.
5. Mini Bangladesh (Shadhinata Complex)
(Recommended for foreign tourists)
The Shadhinata Complex commemorates the independence of the country and features a stunning view of the most remarkable landmarks of Bangladesh in miniature version. Located in Kalurghat, the complex also features an amusement park with a watchtower to have a better view of the complex and surrounding landscape. There’s also a restaurant on top of the tower. Anyone can enjoy a fresh walk within this 16.31 acres of land covered with greeneries.
6. Chittagong Old Circuit House and Zia Memorial Museum (Recommended for foreign tourists)
The Circuit House of Chittagong was built in 1913 during British colonial period. The architecture of the building is influenced by somewhat British style. It was used as a luxurious residential building for British officers in duty and their family. While he was alive, former President Ziaur Rahman used to spend his nights here during his Chittagong visits. In 1981, as part of a military coup, President Zia was murdered here, making this place a historic venue in Bangladesh.
7. Parki Beach
Somewhat new in terms of tourism, the Parki beach is now a popular place for local tourists. It’s located in the Southwestern corner of Chittagong city and Karnafuli River has to be crossed to reach here. An interesting fact about the beach is, sometimes a medium sized ship can be spotted on the beach, which gives it a good topic of photography. In addition to that, horse and speedboat rides are popular as well.
8. CRB Hills
The Central Railway Building(CRB) of Chittagong was built in 1872, making it one of the oldest buildings in Chittagong. It’s located on top of a scenic hilly landscape known as CRB Hills. With its tall trees, green hilly pasture and cows grazing all around the place, CRB hills charm a lot of Chittagong settlers to visit and spend quality time in nature. A very prominent place next to CRB hill is “Shirish Tola” which houses the annual “Pahela Boishakh”/Bengali New Year celebration.
9. Jamburi Park
With over 4000 square metres of waterbodies and 2400 metres of walkway, the Jamburi Park has now become one of the most attractive sites in Chittagong city. Located in Agrabad, the Jamburi park replaced the old Jamburee playground. Nearly a thousand lamps emit the park in a wonderful manner.
10. Batali Hill
With a height of 280 foot Batali hill is considered the tallest hill in Chittagong city. Locals also call it ‘Zilapi Pahar’ for its curved roads leading to the top. The peak offers a good view of the city. Since it’s located in close proximity of the Chittagong railway station, visitors can also watch the train movements from top of the hill.
11. World War ii Memorial Cemetery
(Recommended for foreign tourists)
This cemetery was built during British Colonial period in memory of the Commonwealth Soldiers who lost their lives. Primarily 400 burials were made and later increasing it to 731. Some foreign soldiers from Dutch navy, Japan and British regiment are buried here.
12. South Kattali Beach
The South Kattali beach is a prospective tourist hotspot in Chittagong city. Once a grazing land, a part of the beach transformed into a mangrove forest in last 3 decades. It’s located near Zahur Ahmed stadium in Pahartali. Although tourism hasn’t flourished here yet, but locals have already started flocking the beach during sunset and on weekends.
13. Chittagong Ethnological Museum
Located in Sabdar Ali Road, Chittagong Ethnological Museum is a place to understand the historic lifestyle of indigenous people of Bangladesh. In its four galleries you can watch tools and clothings used by indigenous people of Bangladesh and some tribes of India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Australia, Russia and others.
One of the oldest places in Chittagong is its Sadarghat. Visitors can find hundreds of boats and ships plying on the river along the place. Crossing the river on a boat, you can enter the fish harbor and market. Early Portuguese colonization affected the economy of this place.
15. Chittagong University
Although it’s a university, there lies plenty of greeneries and serene landscapes within the perimeter of Chittagong university. This educational institute is considered one of the best
public universities in Bangladesh. The campus can be accessed via train, which is a popular journey that many local students take to reach their classes.
The Chalanda Giripath is a beautiful natural trail located within the vast campus of the university. It’s a good experience for adventure seekers. The trail remains wet and a bit slippery. Moreover it’s a narrow passageway between hilly slopes; therefore proper precaution is needed while taking this trail.
16. The Shaheb Bibi Mosque
Located in Rauzan, the Shaheb Bibi mosque is nearly 500 years old. During the Mughal period this small mosque was built with materials consisting of lime and others. Recently the structure has been renovated to give it a slightly modern and refurbished look.
17. Anandabazar Beach(Also known as Chouchala Beach)
The Anandabazar/Chauchala beach is another beautiful green beach in Chittagong district. Not as beautiful as Guliakhali, however, this beach offers a stunning view of Chittagong’s sunset. There are symmetrical blocks of concrete, giving it a distinctive appearance.
18. The Banshkhali Beach and Eco Park
The Banshkhali Beach and Eco Park are relatively new attraction sites near Chittagong city and within Banshkhali sub-district. Although the area was inhabited for long time, people started knowing about it only as of late. The Tea Garden of Banshkhali
is very popular for ages though to the locals. The Banshkhali Eco park houses the longest hanging walkway of Bangladesh. Although only less amount of tourists knew about this information and considered the Rangamati walkway to be the longest.
19. Khejur Tola Beach
It’s a beautiful beach in Chittagong city. Not very far from Patenga beach, the Khejurtala beach is relatively serene. There’s a large open place suitable for playing sports. As other beaches of Chittagong, sunset is the best time to be here. Within 30 minute walking distance, one can reach Jaillapara Beach, which is a good place to buy local fisheries in cheap price.
20. Faujdarhat seaside and shipbreaking yard
There is no tourist sea beach in Faujdarhat. In fact, what’s mostly accessible is the part of sea, visible from Raja Shipbreaking Yard. In addition, there’s a mangrove forest and if somebody wants to get to the western side of it, a serene landscape can be found with forest to the East and Sea to the west.
21. Halishahar Beach
The Halishahar Beach is also partially green in nature. The place is less visited by tourists. The main Halishahar Beach has few points which also includes Anandabazar and Chouchala points and some say the South Kattala is part of the greater Halishahar beach. However a specific point of it is called Halishahar point, which is mostly visited by locals.
Other notable places
Dhoompara is another beach in Chittagong city known by lesser tourists. Marine Fisheries academy, Old Portuguese church, Central Bazaar, Chandanpura Mosque are some of the places in Chittagong city that can be visited.
Medhoshmunir Asrom is a sacred place in Boalkhali, Chittagong. Located within natural landscapes, many Hindus revere the place considering it to be an originating factor for Bashanti Puja.
The Zamindar Bari of Nandirhat is a good place to spend part of the day. A popular landlord, musician and poet known as Shotto Shaha lived here.
Fatikchari Tea Garden is relatively less popular. Located within Fatikchari upazilla, this tea garden is not far from Shitakunda and a nice place to visit.
The Sandwip is a popular tourist attraction for local tourists. It can be accessed from many parts of Chittagong. However, Kumira Sandwip Ferry terminal is popular for offering rides to and from Sandwip.