The paper aims to examine urban poverty in Bangladesh and to explain adaptations of poor households in an adverse urban situation where they have little access to the basic amenities of life. Primary data was collected from five hundred poor households living in three different neighbourhoods in Dhaka City, Bangladesh by a structured questionnaire constructed on various forms of household adaptations eg economic activities, expenditure and consumption, shelter and environmental services, social services, social networks and community participation. To supplement primary data, secondary data was collected from population censuses, household income and expenditure surveys and poverty surveys and other relevant sources. The study reveals that the number of urban poor in an ‘absolute’ sense has increased over the years due to rapid urbanisation and the poor having adopted different strategies in their households. The paper argues that the urban poor adopt such strategies through their household to survive in the city as they have limited access to the existing urban economic and social systems.