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As urban capital of a nomadic nation, Ulaan Baatar is something of a paradox, but with the modern world rapidly sweeping away the monolithic remnants of the Soviet era the city has become a forward-looking, if laid-back, base from which to explore this remarkable country.

The city sits in a picturesque location on the Tuul Gol River surrounded by mountains that hint at the scenic splendours beyond its bounds.


A number of impressive and atmospheric sights are dotted around the town, including Mongolia’s largest Buddhist monastery, the Gandan Khiid, and the extraordinary Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan.

Also worth a visit are a number of museums dedicated to Mongolia’s fascinating cultural and natural history.

Around Ulaan Baatar

For those with little time to explore further afield we thoroughly recommend sampling the wonders of Mongolia’s natural heritage and traditional hospitality with an overnight visit to the beautiful Khustain National Park, just a couple of hours’ drive west of the city. Here you can visit the Takhi, Mongolia’s rare and much-loved wild horses.

The breed had become extinct in the wild until they were reintroduced using stock from foreign zoos in the 1990s. This is also an ideal opportunity to spend a night in a traditional nomadic felt tent or ‘ger’, a surprisingly comfortable form of accommodation.

Naadam Festival

Wrestlers at the Naadam FestivalThe annual gathering of the tribes at the great Naadam Festival dates back to the times of Genghis Khan and gives the menfolk, once the most feared warriors on the planet, the opportunity to demonstrate their considerable prowess in the ‘Three Manly Sports’ of wrestling, archery and horseracing.

Even if the sports do not appeal, this is the biggest event in the Mongolian calendar and the colourful crowds and general atmosphere of excitement make it a fine focus for a visit to the country.

The festival in Ulaan Baatar runs annually in mid-July and attracts visitors from across the globe — accommodation can be scarce so it is worth booking ahead.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Chris

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Ulaan Baatar by contacting one of our Mongolia specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Ulaan Baatar

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Ulaan Baatar, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Ulaan Baatar

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Ulaan Baatar

    Accommodation choices for Ulaan Baatar

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Ulaan Baatar. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • The Trans-Siberian

      The Trans-Mongolian Express


      These long-distance trains are warm, comfortable, and offer a great insight into the people and their way of life. The journey tends to be slow and very gentle.

    • Bayangol Hotel, Ulaan Baatar

      Bayangol Hotel


      Located in Ulaan Baatar, the Bayangol has clean rooms with modern facilities, four restaurants serving Mongolian, Russian and European food.

    Ideas for experiencing Ulaan Baatar

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Ulaan Baatar, and which use the best local guides.

    • Terelj National Park
      Terelj National Park, Mongolia

      Terelj National Park

      Terelj National Park

      The imposing cliffs and gentle valleys of Terelj are a wilderness refuge within reach of Ulaan Baatar. The forested slopes are home to moose and brown bear; the skies are filled with the silhouettes of hunting birds; the pure headwaters of the Tuul River abound with whitefish and the Taimen, Mongolia's indigenous salmon.

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    • The Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan
      Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

      The Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan

      The Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan

      The Bogd Khaan Museum consists of a two-storey winter house built for the Mongol ruler by Tsar Nicolas the Second of Russia, as well as a series of temples. Peaceful and serene, it is pleasant to wander round.

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    • Ulaan Baatar City Tour
      Gandan Monastery, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

      Ulaan Baatar City Tour

      Ulaan Baatar City Tour

      The introductory city tour of Ulaan Baatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city.

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    • National Museum of Mongolian History
      Zaisan Memorial, Ulaan Baatar

      National Museum of Mongolian History

      National Museum of Mongolian History

      The Museum of National History has a number of fascinating displays of traditional Mongolian clothing and weaponry, as well as exhibits charting the course of Genghis Khan's empire-building.

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