Ulaanbaatar Mongolia is truly a unique capital city. It is the perfect blend of modern and traditional, meaning it is common to see horse-drawn carts alongside luxury European vehicles, and the skyline is a combination of skyscrapers and gers, the Mongolian traditional felt tent. This dynamic makes Ulaanbaatar travel a must for those who are seeking a unique cultural experience. The city serves as the country's economic, political, and cultural center and is the perfect place to begin your travel in Mongolia. Ulan Bator Mongolia, as it is also known, is home to the country's only international airport and is also a central link on the only international rail line through the country, the Trans-Siberian railway. Since you will almost certainly stop here en route to any other destination in the country, it’s well worth taking time to tour Ulaanbaatar when you do.
There is a variety of attractions in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, as well as shopping promenades and historical areas. The main area of the city is Sukhbaatar Square, and it is always bustling. Located in front of the capital building, this area hosts celebrations and events such as concert, and it is also close to the famous Narantuul open-air market, which has more than 2,500 vendors. Just south of the Sukhbaatar Square is Peace Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares of the city and a must-see during Ulaanbaatar travel. The avenue is packed with restaurants, bars, cafes, and numerous shopping spots, and it is another example of how tradition blends with modernity in Mongolia, as designer clothes shops are located next door to local Mongolian craft shops. This part of the city is the best place to dine as well, as the restaurants serve up dishes including French and American cuisine and traditional Mongolian specialties.
In addition to browsing the craft shops and sampling some hearty local food, you can also experience some of the finest theater in the country. The city’s theaters host classical ballet, comedy shows, and world-famous musicals, and there are also cultural venues scattered throughout the city that present traditional Mongolian dance troupes and music performances. After you take in the excellent performing arts, visitors to Ulaanbaatar Mongolia can enjoy the bustling nightlife the city has to offer. There are a variety of clubs, lounges, and restaurants that stay open until the early hours of the morning, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the night and meet a few new people.
The attractions throughout Ulaanbaatar are mostly historical and provide visitors with an understanding of the unique history and culture that exists in Mongolia. During your Ulaanbaatar travel, be sure to include a trip to both the Gandan and Manzushir monasteries. The Gandan Monastery is the only Buddhist monastery that performed religious services throughout the country’s Communist years, and it is a reminder of how important religion is to the population. It also houses the tallest Buddha statue in all of Central and East Asia, the Buddha of Future, which was built by donations from the Mongolian people during the 1990s. The Manzushir Monastery was destroyed by the Communists in the 1930s, and the only surviving temple now houses an informative museum for visitors to explore. The surrounding area is beautiful and is a great starting point for a hike to see the rock paintings that overlook the valley.
While you tour Ulaanbaatar, be sure to make a stop in one of the city's museums. The Natural History Museum is an excellent choice for nature-lovers, as it traces and explains the geology of Mongolia. There are dinosaur bones, samples of minerals, and examples of the various flora and fauna that flourish here on display. The Museum of National History is a must-see for every visitor; it includes exhibits on the history of Mongolia from the Stone Age to the present time and explains the various ethnic groups of the country and past events such as the reign of Genghis Khan. The Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum is also a great attraction as it houses generations of traditional Mongolian art, statues, costumes and religious paraphernalia.
If you are looking to explore some of the country’s unspoiled areas during your trip to Ulaanbaatar, there are numerous national parks and reserves that are located just outside of the city. For instance, the Hustai National Park is unique to the region as it is home to the last species of wild horse in the world, Przewalski's horse. During the hours of dawn and dusk, visitors can catch a glimpse of other wild animals such as gazelle and deer. The Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is ideal for those who are looking to participate in outdoor activities, as the mountains, forests, and the Terelj River make it perfect for activities such as hiking and camping. Whether you want to explore Ulaanbaatar to discover the culture, experience the local cuisine, or observe the wildlife outside the city, the Mongolian capital has something to offer every traveler.