Is Dhaka Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has areas that are safe as well as troublesome. The city is often populated and bustling, so it is always advised to stay vigilant and mindful of your surroundings. Theft and scamming can occasionally occur, mainly in crowded places. However, people are generally helpful and the city is increasing in infrastructure and safety measures, especially in tourist-friendly zones. Nonetheless, it is recommended to arrange reliable transportation and avoid traveling alone at night. Like anywhere around the world, personal safety comes down to personal decisions and cultural understanding of the local area.

Safety rating

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How safe is Dhaka?

Safety at nightUnsafe

Dhaka, as with many other large metropolitan cities, experiences its share of crime and it tends to rise after dark. Things may look lively and bustling during the day, but late into the night, streets become less crowded and certain areas could pose safety risks. Unfamiliar streets or areas can be risky to wander alone as a solo female. Also, culturally it's not common to see women out alone at night, which might raise unwanted attention. Thus, it is advised to be cautious and not to wander alone after dark in Dhaka.

Public transportationUnsafe

Public transportation in Dhaka, can be challenging to navigate for solo female travelers. Buses are often crowded and chaotic which can lead to discomfort, and the rickshaw system can be confusing if you don't speak the local language. Furthermore, taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber are available but, for security and convenience, booking through your hotel or a reputable company is recommended.

Street harassmentHigh

In Dhaka, female travelers may experience a significant degree of street harassment. It's common for locals to stare, especially at foreign women, and verbal comments can also be a frequent occurrence. However, while it can be uncomfortable, it is rarely physically threatening. It's advised to dress conservatively and avoid roaming alone at night to mitigate this issue. Some women find it useful to wear a ring, suggesting they are married, which can sometimes reduce unwanted attention.

Petty crimesHigh

As a solo female traveler in Dhaka, you might experience increased susceptibility to petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially in crowded areas and public transportation. Be cautious and take preventative measures like keeping your belongings near you and secure in zipped bags or front pockets at all times. Street crime is relatively common, and tourists are often seen as easy targets so always remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings to deter potential criminals.

Tap waterVery unsafe

The tap water in Dhaka is generally not considered safe to drink. Contamination is widespread due to factors such as poor sanitation and infrastructure. It is advisable to always drink bottled or adequately treated water to avoid any health-related issues.

Is Bangladesh safe right now?

Travel to Bangladesh should come with increased vigilance. Visitors are advised to stay alert due to crime and the threat of terrorism. Be aware that political demonstrations and national general strikes can happen, often leading to violent confrontations. The upcoming general elections may also stir up civil unrest. Exercise a high degree of caution, stay informed about the current political situation, avoid large gatherings or protests, and follow the advice of local authorities.

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises to exercise increased caution in Bangladesh due to crime, terrorism, and the upcoming general election. Some areas present an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: October 12, 2023

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Bangladesh. This is due to threats of terrorism, political demonstrations, national general strikes, and violent clashes. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 26, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian government advises to exercise a high degree of caution overall in Bangladesh, due to the threat of terrorism and civil unrest. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 14, 2024

Is Dhaka safe to visit?

Is Dhaka safe to live?

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Safety in Bangladesh