Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m going to share with you my personal top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar, the vibrant and bustling capital of Mongolia. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating city, you’re in for a treat, as there’s no shortage of amazing experiences to be had. So, without further ado, let’s dive into my top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar and discover the hidden gems that await you in this unique destination.
From exploring ancient monasteries to sampling delicious local cuisine, my top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar will take you on a journey through the city’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this diverse and captivating city. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure as we explore the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar.
Discovering Ulaanbaatar’s Rich History
Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is a city with a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The city has undergone significant changes over the years, from being a nomadic settlement to a thriving metropolis. Here are the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar to discover its rich history:
Visit the National Museum of Mongolia – This museum is a great place to start your journey to discover the history of Ulaanbaatar. It has a vast collection of artifacts that showcase the country’s history, culture, and traditions.
Explore the Gandan Monastery – This is the largest and most important Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It was built in the 19th century and has survived the Soviet era.
Visit the Zaisan Memorial – This memorial is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers a panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar. It was built to commemorate the Soviet soldiers who died during World War II.
Discover the Choijin Lama Temple Museum – This museum is located in the heart of the city and is a great place to learn about the history of Buddhism in Mongolia.
Explore the Bogd Khan Palace Museum – This palace was the residence of the last Mongolian king and is now a museum that showcases the country’s history and culture.
Visit the Sukhbaatar Square – This is the main square in Ulaanbaatar and is named after the country’s revolutionary hero, Damdin Sukhbaatar.
Discover the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan – This palace was built in the early 20th century and was the winter residence of the Bogd Khan, the last king of Mongolia.
Explore the Museum of Natural History – This museum has a vast collection of fossils, minerals, and other natural history artifacts.
Visit the Chinggis Khaan Square – This square is named after the legendary Mongolian warrior, Chinggis Khaan, and is located in the heart of the city.
Discover the Ulaanbaatar Opera House – This opera house was built in the 1960s and is a great place to experience Mongolian culture and history through music and dance.
These are the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar to discover its rich history. Don’t miss out on these amazing experiences when you visit the city.
Exploring the Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene
If you’re looking for a city that’s rich in arts and culture, Ulaanbaatar won’t disappoint. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar that will give you a glimpse into the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene:
1. National Museum of Mongolia
The National Museum of Mongolia is a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s history and culture. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including traditional costumes, weapons, and religious objects. You can easily spend a few hours here, learning about Mongolia’s past and present.
2. Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts is named after the famous Mongolian sculptor and artist, Zanabazar. The museum houses a collection of his works, as well as other Mongolian and international art pieces. The museum is a great place to appreciate the beauty of Mongolian art and culture.
3. Gandantegchinlen Monastery
Gandantegchinlen Monastery is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Mongolia. The monastery is home to over 150 monks and is a center for Buddhist learning and practice. Visitors can witness the daily rituals and ceremonies, and even participate in meditation sessions.
4. Choijin Lama Temple Museum
The Choijin Lama Temple Museum is a complex of five temples that were built in the early 1900s. The temples are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and paintings, and house a collection of Buddhist artifacts. The museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Mongolia.
5. Mongolian State Opera and Ballet Theatre
The Mongolian State Opera and Ballet Theatre is a great place to experience the country’s performing arts scene. The theatre hosts a variety of shows, including opera, ballet, and traditional Mongolian performances. Be sure to check the schedule and book your tickets in advance.
Ulaanbaatar’s arts and culture scene is diverse and vibrant, and these are just a few of the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar that showcase it. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or performing arts, there’s something for everyone in this city.
Delighting Your Taste Buds with Local Cuisine
When you visit Ulaanbaatar, you can’t miss the opportunity to try the local cuisine. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar that will delight your taste buds:
One of the most popular dishes in Mongolia is Khorkhog, which is a traditional Mongolian barbecue. It is made by cooking meat (usually lamb or goat) with hot stones in a metal container. The meat is marinated with onions, garlic, and other spices, and then cooked until it is tender and juicy.
Buuz is a type of dumpling that is filled with meat (usually beef or mutton) and onions. It is steamed and served hot, and is a popular snack or meal in Mongolia. You can find Buuz in many restaurants and street food stalls in Ulaanbaatar.
Khuushuur is another type of dumpling that is filled with meat and onions, but it is fried instead of steamed. It is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and is a must-try when you visit Ulaanbaatar.
Tsuivan is a traditional Mongolian noodle dish that is made with meat (usually beef or mutton), vegetables, and handmade noodles. It is a hearty and filling meal that is perfect for cold winter days.
Aaruul is a type of dried curd that is made from milk. It is a popular snack in Mongolia and is often served with tea. You can find Aaruul in many markets and shops in Ulaanbaatar.
Airag is a traditional Mongolian drink that is made from fermented mare’s milk. It has a slightly sour taste and is often served cold. It is a popular drink in Mongolia and is said to have many health benefits.
Boortsog is a type of fried dough that is often served as a snack or dessert in Mongolia. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and is often sprinkled with sugar or honey.
8. Suutei tsai
Suutei tsai is a traditional Mongolian tea that is made with milk, salt, and tea leaves. It is a popular drink in Mongolia and is often served with Aaruul.
9. Shimiin arkhi
Shimiin arkhi is a type of Mongolian vodka that is made from fermented milk. It has a strong taste and is often served with meat dishes.
10. Guriltai shul
Guriltai shul is a traditional Mongolian soup that is made with meat (usually beef or mutton), vegetables, and noodles. It is a hearty and filling meal that is perfect for cold winter days.
Make sure to try these top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar to delight your taste buds with local cuisine.
Unwinding in Ulaanbaatar’s Natural Wonders
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Ulaanbaatar has plenty of natural wonders to explore. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar that will help you unwind and connect with nature.
1. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Just an hour’s drive from Ulaanbaatar, this park offers breathtaking views of the Mongolian countryside. You can hike, horseback ride, or simply relax and take in the scenery.
2. Hustai National Park
Hustai National Park is home to the endangered Przewalski’s horse, as well as other wildlife such as marmots and deer. Take a guided tour to learn more about the park’s conservation efforts and enjoy the stunning landscapes.
3. Bogd Khan Mountain
Bogd Khan Mountain is a sacred site for Mongolians and offers a peaceful retreat from the city. You can hike to the top for panoramic views of Ulaanbaatar and the surrounding countryside.
4. Tuul River
The Tuul River is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Take a day trip from Ulaanbaatar to enjoy the river’s natural beauty and try your hand at catching some fish.
5. Terelj River
Terelj River is another great spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping. You can also visit the nearby Turtle Rock and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
6. Khustain Nuruu National Park
Khustain Nuruu National Park is home to the wild takhi horses, also known as Przewalski’s horses. Take a guided tour to learn more about these magnificent animals and the park’s conservation efforts.
7. Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex
The Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex is a must-visit attraction for history buffs. The complex includes a museum and a 40-meter-tall statue of the famous Mongolian leader.
8. Zaisan Memorial
The Zaisan Memorial is a Soviet-era monument that offers panoramic views of Ulaanbaatar. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset and take in the city’s skyline.
9. Nairamdal Park
Nairamdal Park is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Ulaanbaatar. Take a stroll through the park’s gardens and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
10. Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue
The Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue is located just outside of Ulaanbaatar and is one of the largest equestrian statues in the world. Take a guided tour to learn more about the famous Mongolian leader and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
No matter what your interests are, Ulaanbaatar has something to offer. These top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar will help you unwind and connect with nature while exploring the city’s natural wonders.
Shopping for Unique Mongolian Treasures
When it comes to shopping in Ulaanbaatar, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, if you’re looking for unique Mongolian treasures to take home with you, there are a few places you should definitely check out. Here are our top 3 picks:
Gobi Cashmere – This store is a must-visit for anyone looking to buy high-quality cashmere products. From scarves and sweaters to blankets and socks, Gobi Cashmere has it all. Plus, their products are made from the softest cashmere you’ll ever feel.
Naran Tuul Market – This is the largest outdoor market in Ulaanbaatar and is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts. You can find everything from traditional Mongolian clothing and accessories to handmade crafts and artwork. Be sure to bargain with the vendors to get the best prices.
State Department Store – If you’re looking for a more upscale shopping experience, the State Department Store is the place to go. Here, you’ll find a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and home goods. The store also has a section dedicated to traditional Mongolian products, such as cashmere and leather goods.
No matter where you choose to shop in Ulaanbaatar, be sure to keep an eye out for unique Mongolian treasures that you won’t find anywhere else. And don’t forget to check out our other recommendations for the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar!
Experiencing Ulaanbaatar’s Exciting Nightlife
If you’re looking for a vibrant and exciting nightlife scene, Ulaanbaatar won’t disappoint. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar at night:
1. Visit the Sky Lounge
The Sky Lounge is a rooftop bar located in the heart of Ulaanbaatar. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two with friends. The bar is open until late, so you can enjoy the view and the atmosphere well into the night.
2. Check out the local music scene
Ulaanbaatar has a thriving music scene, with many local bands and musicians performing at various venues throughout the city. Check out venues like the UB Palace or the Ulaanbaatar Opera House for a night of live music.
3. Enjoy a night of karaoke
Karaoke is a popular pastime in Ulaanbaatar, and there are many karaoke bars throughout the city. Gather some friends and head to a karaoke bar for a night of singing and fun.
4. Experience the traditional Mongolian dance
The traditional Mongolian dance is a must-see when in Ulaanbaatar. Head to the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet for a night of cultural entertainment.
5. Visit the Black Box Theatre
The Black Box Theatre is a popular venue for theatre performances, concerts, and other cultural events. Check out their schedule and catch a show during your visit to Ulaanbaatar.
6. Explore the city’s night markets
Ulaanbaatar’s night markets are a great place to experience the local culture and cuisine. Try some traditional Mongolian dishes and shop for souvenirs while enjoying the lively atmosphere.
7. Dance the night away at a club
Ulaanbaatar has a number of clubs that cater to different music tastes. Whether you’re into techno, hip-hop, or pop, you’re sure to find a club that suits your style.
8. Take a night tour of the city
See Ulaanbaatar in a different light by taking a night tour of the city. Many tour companies offer night tours that take you to some of the city’s top attractions, including the Sukhbaatar Square and the Gandan Monastery.
9. Enjoy a drink at a speakeasy
Ulaanbaatar has a few hidden speakeasies that offer a unique and intimate atmosphere. Look for the unmarked doors and enjoy a drink in a cozy setting.
10. Watch a movie at the cinema
If you’re looking for a more relaxed night out, head to one of Ulaanbaatar’s cinemas. Many cinemas show both local and international films, so you’re sure to find something that interests you.
Ulaanbaatar’s nightlife scene is diverse and exciting, offering something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar at night.
In conclusion, my fellow travelers, this incredible city has so much to offer, and I hope my list of top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar has inspired you to pack your bags and embark on your own Mongolian adventure. From the breathtaking natural beauty of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park to the rich cultural experiences at the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, there’s no shortage of unforgettable experiences waiting for you in Ulaanbaatar.
As you explore the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the unique blend of ancient traditions and modern city life that makes this destination so special. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply a curious traveler, Ulaanbaatar has something for everyone.
So, my friends, as Journeying Jack always says, “Adventure awaits!” I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and dive into the top 10 things to do in Ulaanbaatar. And when you return, don’t forget to share your own Suitcase Stories with me and the rest of our travel-loving community. Until next time, happy travels!