Given its unique cultural and economic development, and linguistic differences (Greater Sylhet region was a part of Assam and Surma Valley State for much of the British Raj in comparison to the rest of Bangladesh), and given that Sylhet has, for most of its recent history, been a region of a larger entity. As so many Sylhetis are resident abroad, Sylhet has a major flow of foreign currency from non-resident Bangladeshis. The major holidays celebrated in Sylhet include traditional and religious celebrations, Muslim festivals of Ramadan and then after, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Colourful Hindu festivals celebrated by the Hindu community, are the Raspurnima, Jhulan Jatra and Roth Jatra. Cultural or nationalistic celebrations include the Language Movement Day, this is where wreaths are laid at the Shaheed Minar paying tribute to the martyrs, the Bangladeshi Independence Day, Victory Day celebrated with parades by school and academies, and the Pohela Baishakh—celebration of the Bengali New Year.

All Bangladeshi television channels are available as in throughout the country via cable or satellite, such as Channel i, NTV or ATN Bangla in the Bengali language including many other Indian channels. There are no national television stations based in Sylhet or broadcasting programs in Sylheti, however the British-owned Channel S has a team, correspondents and reporters based in the city and the region mostly with Sylheti programs. The main newspapers produced in the city includes Sylheter Dak, Jalalabad, Manchitra, Probasha Protidin, Daily Sylhet Sanglap, and Aajker Sylhet. The first Grameenphone Centre opened in Sylhet on 20 May 2007, which was the first telecommunication centre in the city. The most celebrated personalities in Sylhet include Shah Jalal, who was one of the greatest saints in the region, credited for the conversion of people in the Bengal region. His tomb lies in the Shah Jalal Dargah Mazar Sharif in the north, which is still as used as a place of pilgrimage, M. A. G. Osmani was the commander-in-chief of the Bangladesh Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War, and Abdus Samad Azad, was the first politician from Sylhet to be a member of the cabinet in the government. Sylhet has also influenced much of the music in Bangladesh, notable legends include Hason Raja, Radha Romon and Shah Abdul Karim who have produced Bangladeshi folk music.

Sylheti attachment to their regional identity also continues in the efforts of many Sylhetis to keep marital relationships within the same regional cultural background. Sylheti people are considered as a distinct ethnic group in Bangladesh; this is mainly because of language differences between the standard Bengali and Sylheti, and they are fiercely protective of their language. There are also many cultural and customary differences between Bengalis and Sylhetis. Many Sylhetis only marry within the Sylheti-speaking community, and not people from other regions of Bangladesh. They are also more family-orientated and follow a community type of culture, and are more conservative Muslims. These stereotypes have led to some rivalry between non-Sylhetis and Sylhetis, due to differences of cultural customs. Marriages are practiced in a traditional Bengali Muslim style, with the gae holud ritual, and the holy prayers.