Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re venturing to the heart of Mongolia to explore the vibrant and bustling city of Ulan Bator. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating destination, you’re in luck, as I’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Ulan Bator that will make your visit truly unforgettable. From historical sites to modern attractions, there’s no shortage of things to do Ulan Bator. So, strap on your adventure boots and join me as we delve into the must-see sights and experiences that await you in this captivating city.
Exploring Ulan Bator’s Rich History
Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia, is a city with a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. There are many things to do in Ulan Bator that allow visitors to explore the city’s fascinating past.
Visit the Gandan Monastery
One of the top things to do in Ulan Bator is to visit the Gandan Monastery. This is the largest and most important monastery in Mongolia, and it has a history that dates back to the 19th century. The monastery is home to over 150 monks and is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Mongolia.
Explore the National Museum of Mongolia
The National Museum of Mongolia is another must-visit attraction in Ulan Bator. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts that showcase the country’s rich history, including exhibits on Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Visitors can also learn about the country’s traditional way of life and see displays of traditional clothing, tools, and weapons.
Walk through Sukhbaatar Square
Sukhbaatar Square is the main square in Ulan Bator and is named after the country’s revolutionary hero, Damdin Sukhbaatar. The square is surrounded by important government buildings and is a great place to take a stroll and soak up the city’s history.
Visit the Choijin Lama Temple Museum
The Choijin Lama Temple Museum is a beautiful temple that was built in the early 20th century. The temple is now a museum that showcases the country’s religious and cultural history. Visitors can see stunning Buddhist artwork and learn about the country’s traditional religious practices.
Take a trip to the Bogd Khan Palace Museum
The Bogd Khan Palace Museum is another great place to learn about Mongolia’s history. The palace was the home of the country’s last king and is now a museum that showcases the country’s royal history. Visitors can see the king’s throne room, as well as displays of traditional Mongolian art and artifacts.
In conclusion, Ulan Bator is a city with a rich history that offers visitors many things to do. From visiting the Gandan Monastery to exploring the National Museum of Mongolia, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the country’s fascinating past.
Cultural Immersion: Museums and Galleries
If you’re looking for things to do in Ulan Bator that will give you a deeper understanding of Mongolian culture, visiting museums and galleries is a must. Here are some of the best places to immerse yourself in Mongolian art, history, and culture:
National Museum of Mongolia
The National Museum of Mongolia is a great place to start your cultural immersion journey. This museum houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Mongolia. From ancient artifacts to modern art, there’s something for everyone here. Don’t miss the impressive collection of traditional Mongolian costumes and the exhibit on Genghis Khan.
Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts is a must-visit for art lovers. This museum is dedicated to the works of Zanabazar, a famous Mongolian artist and religious leader from the 17th century. The museum houses a collection of his sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. You’ll also find works by other Mongolian artists here.
Choijin Lama Temple Museum
The Choijin Lama Temple Museum is a unique museum that’s housed in a former temple. The museum showcases the history and culture of Mongolia through its collection of religious artifacts, including thangkas (Buddhist paintings on silk), statues, and other objects. The temple itself is also worth exploring, with its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery
For a taste of modern Mongolian art, head to the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery. This gallery showcases the works of contemporary Mongolian artists, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions, so be sure to check what’s on during your visit.
Visiting museums and galleries is one of the best things to do in Ulan Bator if you want to immerse yourself in Mongolian culture. These four museums and galleries are just a few of the many cultural attractions that the city has to offer.
Outdoor Adventures in and around Ulan Bator
If you’re looking for things to do in Ulan Bator, the city has plenty of outdoor adventures to offer. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to try in and around the city:
Hiking in the Bogd Khan Mountain National Park
One of the most popular things to do in Ulan Bator is hiking in the Bogd Khan Mountain National Park. The park is located just south of the city and offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of experience. From easy walks to challenging treks, there’s something for everyone. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and even wolves.
Horseback Riding in the Mongolian Countryside
Mongolia is known for its vast, open landscapes and nomadic culture. One of the best ways to experience this is by horseback riding in the countryside. There are several tour companies in Ulan Bator that offer horseback riding tours, ranging from a few hours to several days. You’ll get to see the beautiful countryside and experience the traditional way of life of the Mongolian people.
Visiting the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Located just an hour’s drive from Ulan Bator, the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. The park is home to stunning natural landscapes, including the famous Turtle Rock and the Aryabal Meditation Temple. You can also go hiking, horseback riding, and even stay in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt) overnight.
Rafting on the Tuul River
For those looking for a more adventurous activity, rafting on the Tuul River is a great option. The river is located just outside of Ulan Bator and offers a variety of rapids for all levels of experience. You’ll get to see the beautiful Mongolian countryside from a unique perspective and have an adrenaline-filled adventure at the same time.
Exploring the Hustai National Park
The Hustai National Park is located just a few hours’ drive from Ulan Bator and is home to the endangered Przewalski’s horse. You can take a guided tour of the park and see these beautiful animals up close. The park also offers hiking trails and the opportunity to see other wildlife, such as marmots and deer.
Overall, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in and around Ulan Bator. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing hike or an adrenaline-filled rafting trip, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these amazing experiences when visiting Ulan Bator!
Savoring Local Cuisine: Top Restaurants and Cafes
When visiting Ulan Bator, one of the best ways to experience the local culture is through its cuisine. Here are some of the top restaurants and cafes to try during your stay:
1. Modern Nomads
Located in the heart of the city, Modern Nomads offers a modern twist on traditional Mongolian cuisine. The restaurant’s menu features a variety of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, including the famous Mongolian barbecue. Don’t miss the chance to try the khorkhog, a traditional Mongolian dish made with lamb cooked in a hot stone pot.
For a taste of Indian and Nepalese cuisine in Ulan Bator, head to Hazara. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and flavorful dishes make it a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try the chicken tikka masala and the momos, a type of Nepalese dumpling.
3. Cafe Amsterdam
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, check out Cafe Amsterdam. This Dutch-inspired cafe serves up a variety of European dishes, including sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The cafe’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.
4. Khara Khorum
For a taste of traditional Mongolian cuisine, head to Khara Khorum. This restaurant serves up a variety of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, including the famous Mongolian dumplings known as buuz. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot to savor local cuisine.
Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Mongolian dishes or international cuisine, Ulan Bator has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss the chance to savor the local flavors during your visit. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out some of the other things to do Ulan Bator has to offer!
Shopping and Souvenirs: Unique Finds in Ulan Bator
When it comes to shopping and souvenirs, Ulan Bator has a lot to offer. From traditional Mongolian clothing to handmade crafts, there are plenty of unique finds to take home with you. Here are some of the best places to shop in Ulan Bator:
State Department Store
The State Department Store is a must-visit for anyone looking for a one-stop-shop for souvenirs. Here, you can find everything from traditional Mongolian clothing to handmade crafts and artwork. The store is also home to a variety of restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
If you’re looking for a more traditional shopping experience, head to Narantuul Market. This bustling market is the largest in Ulan Bator and is home to over 1,000 vendors selling everything from clothing to electronics. Be prepared to haggle for the best prices!
For a luxurious souvenir, head to Gobi Cashmere. This high-end store sells a variety of cashmere products, including scarves, sweaters, and blankets. While the prices are on the higher side, the quality of the products is unbeatable.
Mongolian Traditional Art and Craft Center
For handmade crafts and artwork, the Mongolian Traditional Art and Craft Center is the place to go. Here, you can find a variety of traditional Mongolian items, including felted slippers, hand-painted bowls, and embroidered wall hangings. The center also offers workshops where you can learn traditional Mongolian crafts.
Khuvsgul Lake Woolen Products
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, check out Khuvsgul Lake Woolen Products. This store sells a variety of items made from yak wool, including blankets, scarves, and hats. The wool is sourced from the Khuvsgul Lake region of Mongolia, making it a truly authentic souvenir.
Whether you’re looking for traditional Mongolian clothing or handmade crafts, Ulan Bator has something for everyone. Don’t forget to add shopping to your list of things to do in Ulan Bator!
Nightlife and Entertainment: Unwind After a Day of Exploration
After a long day of exploring the city and experiencing all the things to do in Ulan Bator, it’s time to unwind and enjoy the city’s nightlife and entertainment scene. Here are some of the best places to visit:
1. The Grand Khaan Irish Pub
Located in the heart of the city, The Grand Khaan Irish Pub is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The pub offers a wide selection of beers, cocktails, and pub food. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with live music performances on weekends.
2. The UB Jazz Club
If you’re a fan of jazz music, then the UB Jazz Club is a must-visit. The club features live jazz performances every night, with a mix of local and international musicians. The intimate setting and cozy atmosphere make it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy some great music.
3. The Mongolian National Circus
For a unique entertainment experience, head to the Mongolian National Circus. The circus features a variety of performances, including acrobatics, contortionists, and animal acts. It’s a great way to experience Mongolian culture and entertainment.
4. The Sky Lounge
Located on the 23rd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, the Sky Lounge offers stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or two while taking in the breathtaking views. The lounge also features live music performances on weekends.
5. The State Opera and Ballet Theatre
For a more formal entertainment experience, check out the State Opera and Ballet Theatre. The theatre features a variety of performances, including opera, ballet, and classical music concerts. It’s a great way to experience the arts and culture of Ulan Bator.
No matter what your preference is, Ulan Bator has something to offer for everyone when it comes to nightlife and entertainment. So, after a day of exploring the city and experiencing all the things to do in Ulan Bator, make sure to unwind and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.
In conclusion, my time in Ulan Bator has been nothing short of extraordinary. From the rich history and culture to the breathtaking landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to do Ulan Bator. As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many incredible destinations, but Ulan Bator has truly left a lasting impression on me.
If you’re planning a trip to this remarkable city, I hope my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to explore the many things to do Ulan Bator. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique adventure, Ulan Bator has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, and get ready to create your own unforgettable Suitcase Stories as you discover the countless things to do Ulan Bator.
Until our next adventure, this is Journeying Jack, signing off from Ulan Bator – a city that has captured my heart and imagination, and I’m sure it will do the same for you. Happy travels, and may your Suitcase Stories be filled with the amazing things to do Ulan Bator!