Temperature-wise, Sylhet manages to avoid the baking heat recorded on other parts of the sub-continent with average highs peaking at 31C between May and August, although variations throughout the year are minimal. More importantly, bear in mind that Bangladesh is affected by a wet season, with the rains coming in earnest between April and October, so this could be a better time to find cheap flights to Sylhet.
Surrounded by tea estates, rolling hills, rain forests and river valleys, Sylhet is one of Bangladesh’s most striking settlements as well as one of its most popular tourist destinations. Arriving by air, visitors will be treated to a memorable patchwork of greens and blues, before being struck be a city chracterised by ancient wonders and a heritage that goes back at least two millennia. Be sure to visit the picturesque tea gardens, Ali Amjad’s Clock Tower, Kean Bridge and the widely celebrated Osmani Museum.
Sylhet is also a major spiritual centre for Muslims and Hindus, and is home to numerous Sufi Islam shrines, including the culturally significant memorials to Hazrat Shah Jalal, and Hazrat Shah Farhan. Pilgrims are also drawn to the enormous Islam prayer hall of Shahi Eidgah, just off Electric Road. On the flip side, Sylhet continues to have a large concentration of important Hindu shrines, being as the city is the ancestral home of the celebrated 16th century monk, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sylhet is also two of the seven places in Bangladesh where body parts of the Goddess Durga are believed to have fallen on earth, and the associated mandirs attract thousands of visitors from across the world each year. Some of these mandirs also have limited accommodations for out of area visitors.
Looking further afield, connoisseurs in search of the perfect cuppa might want to explore Sree Mangal, the world’s largest tea gardens, before stretching their legs at Lawacherra Rain Forest, one of the best preserved in the country. Expect to see gibbons, deer, leopards and python, as well as a healthy population of brightly coloured birds. Finally, get your cameras ready at head to Tamabil-Jaflong, a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong Road set among a heartstopping panorama of waterfalls and tea gardens.
Public transport isn’t Sylhet’s strongest suit. The city offers neither buses nor trams, with the only viable option being auto rickshaws. Having said that, since there are no auto rickshaw stops in the big residential areas, people have to walk all the way to the highway to hail a ride. Alternatively, use taxis or your own transport. The city is also navigable on foot, but this is not an ideal situation for a place as large as Sylhet.
Sylhet is served by Osmani International Airport (ZYL). Visitors can choose from a number of transport options to the city centre, including taxis, microbus, and auto rickshaws. Car rental is also available.