Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is one of the most populated cities in the world. It’s also known for being one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world today. Dhaka is a great melting pot of many cultures, and is home to more than 12 million people - locals and expats a like. Dhaka is charming, multicultural and a cheap place to live for any traveller or expat. If you are considering finding work abroad, or if you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer abroad, Dhaka is the perfect place to start.
Here’s what you can expect to pay, when living in Dhaka...
The cost of housing in Dhaka
The cost of housing in Dhaka varies depending on your budget. Apartments can range anywhere from $26 to $778 per month. You can expect to pay less for unfurnished rooms on the outskirts of the city. You will pay more if the apartment is furnished and closer to the heart of the metropolitan area.
Here is a at some housing options in Dhaka...
- Guesthouses: $26 - $194 per month
- Guesthouse’s in Dhaka are in abundance, and usually separated by gender. The price depends on whether you will be sharing your room with other guests or alone.
- Hostels: $15 - $45 per night
- Hostels can be a traveller’s best friend, and luckily, hostels in Dhaka are cheap and luxurious. The cheaper hostels are bordering the outskirts of the city and in the village areas while the more expensive hostels are nearer to the city center. The price also varies depending on whether you will share a room with other guests or stay alone.
- Bed & Breakfasts: $14 - $35 per night
- Bed & Breakfast’s are charming and unique housing arrangements, but unfortunately, are few and far between in Dhaka.
- Hotels: $17 - $195 per night
- Hotels tend to be costly in Dhaka, however there are cheap hotels if you know where to look. Stay away from tourist hot-spots and the busy parts of the city, and you will be able to keep costs down.
How much does food cost in Dhaka?
Food in Dhaka is spicy, delicious and so diverse. Street food is sold on every corner for under $1. A full course meal costs anywhere from $1 to $5 at any local hotel or restaurant. Specialty restaurants can charge as much as $60 upwards, per meal.
A fast food combo meal can cost $4 to $6.
It’s cheapest to buy groceries to cook at home. A weeks worth of groceries can cost about $6 on average, or $24 for a month’s worth of groceries.
Cooks are available to hire at a cost of $2 to $4 per hour.
How much does transportation cost in Dhaka?
Transportation in Dhaka is extremely cheap. Taxis in the metropolitan area of the city charge about $4.75 per 5 miles. Rickshaws and Auto-rickshaws charge less than a dollar for short, one-way distances.
A monthly metro ticket costs about $14.50, which is the cheapest and best option.
Healthcare in Dhaka
Dhaka’s healthcare expenses are fairly low. A visit to the doctor can cost about $2. To see a private doctor, expect to pay about $12. This is low for expats, but considerably high for locals.
To rent a room, shared with one other person, at a luxury hospital costs $52, with a deposit of $156. To rent a room that is not shared with another guest, you are looking at $84, with a deposit of $250.
The average cost of entertainment in Dhaka
Dhaka, despite its rural appearance, has a surprising array of entertainment to offer. Local theaters offer exciting cultural experiences and lasting memories for only $6 per ticket, and this is for the best of the best seats. A ticket to the movie theater costs only $3.50 and they are usually air-conditioned.
Dhaka is bursting at the seams with holidays and cultural festivals, such as the annual Kite Festival, which offer entertainment for free and are genuinely spectacular.
How much does it cost to volunteer abroad in Dhaka?
Volunteering is usually free in Dhaka, but some volunteer programs may ask you to pay a small fee for food and accommodation. As an example, one volunteer program will charge $14 per night for a furnished room including breakfast. Volunteers may wish to arrange their own accommodations, but long-term volunteers are offered a cheaper monthly rate.
Most volunteer programs do not pay for the flight or any travel arrangements. Some volunteer programs charge more, but provide full food and accommodation, especially for long-term volunteers.