Ulaanbaatar (Улаанбаатар), also known as Ulan Bator or simply just UB, is the capital of Mongolia. With a population of around 1.3 million , it is the largest city in Mongolia, standing as its political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub. For business and pleasure trips alike, you will find yourself coming to the city at least once. Knowing and exploring the city properly can help you understand the country’ history and its wonderful people. One will often see the past and the present are still living side by side.
The city is officially divided into 9 districts with 7 of them located within or around the city area. Nalaikh and Baganuur are the two districts that have their own city infrastructure located within 138 km radius of the city. Both of these cities are located on the east side of UB and were originally built as mining towns. On any eastbound journeys, travelers will find themselves stopping traveling through these cities. In the capital city, the four original districts are Sukhbaatar, Songino Khairkhan, Bayanzurkh and Bayangol where majority of the city population live today. Most downtown premises are located in the Sukhbaatar district.
Parliament Building of Mongolia
In the history of the Mongolian people, there have been several well-known cities built as capital cities such as Kharakhorum during the 13th century Great Mongolian Empire. But none of them survived as an active capital city until the 16th century. With the active introduction of Lamaism in Mongolia from the 16th century, permanent monastic establishments started to emerge when Tibetan Buddhism flourished. The most important of such settlements was the residency palace of Mongolia’s first spiritual leader named Zanabazar or Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in the year 1649. The year is now considered as the founding date of Mongolia’s modern capital city, Ulaanbaatar.  The city was first named Ikh Khuree, literally meaning “large circle” as the city was circular shaped. After changing locations in the central part of Mongolia over 20 times, it settled at its current location in the year of 1778.
Much of the modern architecture of Ulaanbaatar started to shape in the 20th century with the influence from Russian architecture. The modern day UB showcases a mix of Soviet architecture, ger settlements, Buddhist monasteries and 21st century high rises. Among Buddhist temples, most notables are the Among Buddhist temples, most notables are the Gandan Tegchinlen Monastery, Choijin Lama Temple and Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum .
Travelers who take the time to get to explore the city will discover a hospitable and warm-hearted people. The demographics of city are divided into two major parts. One part of the population lives in condominiums in the central part of the city while the majority of the population lives in what is called as ger districts . These districts, traditionally a home to many of the city’s blue and white collared workers, became lately a home to many migrating ex-nomads who in recent years have come to the city to find work after severe winters have killed their livestock. 
Peace Avenue (Enkh Taivny Örgön Chölöö) is the main street and it stretches from east to west through the center. It's the main shopping street and many of the restaurants are found alongside it. The street also passes by the southern edge of the central square, Chinggis Square. Tourist Information Centers are located on the first floor of Ulaanbaatar Bank Small Ring#15 and at Seoul Street.
Although summer temperatures can be over 30°C, the city shivers in sub-zero temperatures for five months of the year, with January and February being the coldest months with temps hovering between -15°C to -40°C. The duration of heating season is 180 days. As a result of these prolonged periods of intense cold, the city has an average annual temperature of -1.3°C, giving it the dubious distinction of being the world's coldest capital. If you have breathing problems, be aware that Ulaanbaatar has high levels of Air Pollution . Ulaanbaatar has a population just over a twentieth of Beijing; yet according to the World Health Organization, Ulaanbaatar is considered the second most polluted city in the world in 2013 - behind Ahvaz, Iran. But the countryside air, away from the cities, is gorgeous. The majority of the pollution comes from coal burning as 92% of households use stove for heating and cooking. 
Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia’s largest city. In 1956, it had 14.4% of total population of Mongolia. As of 2012, around 45.8% of the Mongolian total population was living in the capital.  It has a density rate of 272/km2. 
Ger district in Ulaanbaatar city has been expanding due to income level of families moved from rural areas to the city and newly established family, and also a lack of apartments connected with centralized sub-structure.  According to the statistical information, 47.2% of Ulaanbaatar’s total population were born and raised in the city without moving and living anywhere else, indicating that almost 50% of the other part have migrated to the city after 1990. About 40% of the city’s population lives in the housing districts and remaining 60% live in ger districts. 
Ulaanbaatar city is a center of Mongolian political, economic, society and culture. Around 45% of total population and 65% of total companies are only in Ulaanbaatar. Therefore, majority of deposits and loans granted to individuals and companies, cars and doctors are in Ulaanbaatar city. Role of Ulaanbaatar to Mongolian economy is massive as the country’s best health, education, production and financial operations are centered in the city. 88.5% of total universities of Mongolia locate in Ulaanbaatar city and 95.3% of total students of the country study also in the city. Thus, the city is the center of social, economic, administrative and cultural activities.
The Chinggis Khan Airport
Currently, the only airport for international arrivals is through the Chinggis Khaan International Airport (IATA: ULN), which is located 18 km to the southwest of downtown Ulaanbaatar. It was formerly called as "Buyant Ukhaa", which is the name of the hill it was built upon. The airport was reconstructed in 1986, and the immigration, customs formalities and luggage delivery are relatively efficient. A facility for transit flight was recently added.
MIAT (Mongolian Airlines) offers direct international flights to the city from Berlin, Moscow, Frankfurt, Seoul, Beijing,Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka and Tokyo. 
Hunnu Airlines offers flights from Chinese cities of Erlian, Manzhouli and Hailar as well as to domestic cities of Hovd, Ulaangam, Uliastai, Choibalsan, Muron and Dalanzadgad (http://www.hunnuair.com/en/timetabled).
Aero Mongolia flies from Hoh Hot of Inner Mongolia and Russian Irkutsk. Domestically, it flies to Ulgii, Ulaangom, Hovd, Ovoot, Muron and Dalanzadgad
Korean Air also flies daily from Seoul to ULN. Air China flies to and from Beijing. The Russian airline Aeroflot flies daily between Moscow and Ulaanbaatar. Turkish Airlines fly direct from Istanbul, stopping at Kyrgyzstan en route.
Direct (but long) journeys are possible from Moscow, Russia and Beijing, China on the Trans-Mongolian line of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Trains also run to the Chinese border towns of Erlian and Jining 3-4 times a week. There's also a daily train to/from Irkutsk in Russia, which can also be reached from Vladivostok at the eastern end of the Trans-Siberian.
Trains from Beijing run once a week (on Tuesdays) and seats can be reserved in person only at the Beijing Railway Station or at the International Hotel in Beijing (a ten-minute walk north of the Beijing Railway Station. The journey takes about 26 hours. Past travellers have recommended brining a facemask as sandstorms in the Gobi desert may bring dust into the train.
Train entries from Russia are also possible from Moscow, Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude. Daily train leaves from Irkutsk  at 1635 Moscow time, arriving two days later in Ulaanbaatar. Train from Ulan-Ude departs at 0140 Moscow time, arriving next day in Ulaanbaatar. Both tickets can be booked through travel agencies in Irkutsk or Ulaanbaatar.
There are three port entries, which is open to third country citizens to make an entry. All but two has a direct linage to Ulaanbaatar via a paved road. If you are coming from Russia, you can make an entry through Altanbulag of Selenge province. From China, one can enter through Zamyn Uud in Dornogobi province. Both roads will connect at Ulaanbaatar. If you are coming from Kazakhstan, a local Tsagaannuur port is the entry point through it is located the farthest and only connected by a dirt road to Ulaanbaatar.
Coming from the north the paved road starts at the Russian Border.
Coming from the south (the Gobi) the paved road starts at Choir.
Coming from the north-east the paved road starts at Bulgan .
Once in the country, any small or big towns will have a local bus or van traveling to UB. Buses used to be notorious for being late and on some routes for not even arriving on the scheduled day. But due to more bus companies emerging and competition, the service and quality of buses have improved drastically lately. Domestic buses usually go to Dragon Center (СХД18-р хороо, 18072 Улаанбаатар), Teevriin Tovchoo (near Main Railway Station ) and the eastern bus station near the Botanical Gardens (the Gardens are completely destroyed, but the location is well known to the locals).
Generally, there are two types of taxi services you can use in the city. There are cabs that carry the designated taxi symbols and there are non-marked private cars driven by their owners who pull over to pick passengers. Don’t be surprised if any car just stops and offers a ride. It is the most commonly available taxi service at the moment, a practice that started in early 1990s when there were fewer cars in the streets.
Taxis are cheap, charging around T800 per kilometer, but a foreigners have often been overcharged. After midnight charge goes up to T1,000 per kilometer. A ride from the airport to the city center should cost you no more than T30,000, but most drivers will try to charge you a minimum of T40,000. You may get a better and more reliable deal by seeking out older drivers in their own cars, rather than the official yellow cabs, now there are new white cabs with large square meter LCD on the dash. Younger drivers can sometimes get extremely opportunistic and try to hold you or your luggage at ransom until you pay them extraordinary amounts of money. Always negotiate the fare in advance and don't be fooled by tricks like "I meant 3,000 for each of you."
- Tip: carry a small memo of MNT amounts (500 MNT, 1000 MNT, 1500 MNT etc) and show them exactly what you are willing to pay before you get on.
Please note that few taxi drivers speak English, so it's best to have the name and destination written in Mongolian to the driver.
- Tip: If you want to get a ride with one of the aforementioned budget-friendly drivers, a recent tech startup called EasyRide is used by local drivers to find customers. They offer support in the English language, and their app is available on both the Android and iOS platforms.
There is also an English speaking taxi service called Help Taxi, ☎ +976 9965 2371. editThey operate a small fleet of black taxis with gold lettering, and when booking they will give you the license plate of the car picking you up if you request it. While they are not as inexpensive as a normal taxi, they are cheap by Western standards and are a low-stress way of getting to important places like a medical clinic or airport.
Taxi drivers can be rented for some hours and show your around. Some hotels are glad to organize such for you (incl. the handling of payment). It is fairly easy to organize a driver speaking Russian. Other languages available on request (even though rarely found and thus more expensive) include German, English and Mandarin Chinese
Most attractions in the city are located closer to the Peace Avenue, which is the city’s main horizontal avenue. Therefore, by taking a bus from one end to another will take you close to most of these sites. From example, in order to visit Gandan Monastery, take a bus along the line that stops at the West Junction (in Mongolian: baruun 4 zam) junction, which is a popular landmark for directions. It is where Ramada Inn hotel is also located. Gandan Monastery is visible just to the north side of it.
Buses are regular and have a fixed charge of T500 per ride. Electric trolley-buses cost T300 but are slower and run fewer routes. After midnight, only trolley-buses are available at a rate of T1,000 per ride. But they go for only two main routes. Smaller buses (really just vans), called micro-bus, are equally accessible at T500. These have someone who hangs out the window at each stop shouting the name of the destination in rapid Mongolian. A bit hard to understand.
Many of the city buses go out to the edge of the city. Route 22, goes southwest to the Bird Farm along the Tuul River. Catch the bus at the Ard Cinema bus stop, the Cinema has been replaced by a Khas Bank. This bus stop is located on Bagatoiruu Street, from the central Post Office walk west along Peace Ave. At the intersection with the traffic lights, cross the street and turn right (north) half a block and you will reach a small square with the bus stop.
Bus #11 and #22 go close by the Airport. Get out at Nisekh, and walk 500 mtr across the field. As in any city, be wary of pickpockets on the buses, especially when the buses are
Beginning from November, 2015, in order to travel by bus, you need Bus Card which you can purchase near the bus stops from stores and kiosks with the sign “U money”. You can still pay cash but it will be about twice the amount. You are also required to pay the exact amount so if you end up giving higher domination bills, no change will be provided. Across Peace Avenue, the bus is a convenient and cheap way of traveling. 
Walking is also an option as the city center is quite compact. Having only one main avenue, Ulaanbaatar stretches from east to west and it's also easy to draw a mental map. But getting around ger districts can be puzzling. Get a good city map at the Mongolian Government Map shop, located on Ih Toiruu Street. West from the State Department Store three blocks, the first intersection with traffic lights, turn right (north) about one-half block, on the east side of the street you will see a yellow and blue Elba Appliance store. The Map Shop is behind and inline with the North wall of the Elba. But purchasing a map from the airport would help save you a lot of time. Finding specific places or offices by address is quite challenging because locals will usually tell you the places by nearest landmarks such as West Junction (supposed to be Undsen Huuliin gudamj) and Urt Tsagaan (which is Tourist Street1) and along the department store (Peace avenue). Sometimes locals will not know any better than you as they too never seen some street names put on the streets. Especially when you buy guide books, look for books with pictures printed so that it would help you ask locals about places rather than only showing written addresses with postal codes.
Ulaanbaatar is notorious for hectic traffic and rude drivers which pose dangers for crossing roads. Tougher traffics laws have been introduced lately as a result of which, the driving culture is getting better.
The central square named after Chinggis Khan
Like many capital cities in the world, Ulaanbaatar offers variety of sightseeing options ranging from historical sites to monasteries, museums, monument, parks and night clubs. Most of the historical sites, monasteries and museums are with in a walking distance from the central square Chinggis Khan. Note that most tourist sites have a separate camera/video fee (typically ₮10000-25000) in addition to the entrance fee.
The city features many landmarks representing different periods of its history. From Soviet style relics to modern high rises, UB now has many attractions for different tastes and interests.
- Chinggis Khan Square (formerly known as Sukhbaatar Square) is one of the largest squares in Asia.  It has an equestrian statue of the 1921 revolution hero Sükhbaatar, and seated statue of Chinggis Khaan and his sons and 2 military generals (Urlugs). During the summer time, especially around mid July, variety of rock and folklore concerts, as well as parades and other cultural events take place regularly.
- In the southern side, you can see a small hill with a monument on its top, called, Zaisan Memorial. A huge communist-era monument is located on a hill in the south of the city. It represents the Russian and Mongolian heroes who fought together during WWI and WWII. Nowadays it is a popular viewpoint where you can see over the whole city. There's also a huge Buddhist statue at the bottom.
- Moving to the central west part of the city is the State Department Store, locally known as Ikh Delguur, literally translated as “mega shop”. It was the largest shopping mall in Mongolia during the communist period and still is one of the largest outlets for imported goods, grocery store and souvenir shop. Across the State Department Store is Mongolia’s circus, which was a popular family place in the communist period.
- Gandan Monastery (Gandantegchinlen Khiid), Gandan Monastery District, Ulaanbaatar 16040 (011 36 0354). Moving to the north west side of the city, one will see a large Tibetan known as Gandan Monastery or Gandantegchenlen Khiid. Daily sessions start at 0900 am and continues to about midday. Approximately 150 monks do services here but the most important icon of the monastery ground is its 26.5 meter tall statue of Megjid Janraisag (Sanskrit: Avalokiteśvara). After being sacked and destroyed during the 1930s political purge in Mongolia, the statue was re-built in 1996 as a result of 4 years of national effort for fundraising and renovation works. Today, it is often seen as the symbol of Mongolia’s democracy and independence. Gandan Tegchenling Monastery was officially re-approved by the First Buddhist Congress of Mongolia held in 1992 as the main centre of Mongolian Buddhists. (“Introduction”, Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, 2010) Taking photographs in the main temple requires the payment of ₮5000 but no photos are allowed in the temples with monk performing ceremonies. Entrance ₮3500. edit
Museums and galleries
UB has several compact but outstanding museums showcasing its natural and cultural heritage. They are informative and helps to understand and learn about Mongolia’s history and culture.
- The Mongolia Museum of Art, Ulaanbaatar, Bayanzurkh district, Ikh toiruu-93 Barilga Mega Store (B1 floor), ☎ 976-99994682, . 12:00-19:00. The museum has mongolian modern masterpieces, bronz age artifacts, ethnographic and buddhist rare exhibits.. ₮10,000. edit
- The National Museum of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Juulchin Street -1 (on the west of the Government House), ☎ 7011 0911. 09:30-17:00. Formerly the Museum of the Revolution, the National Museum of Mongolia, was built in 1971 and is one of the best-displayed museums in the city. Featuring 10 halls, it showcases Mongolia’s past history, archeology and culture at large through some of the rarest and interesting art crafts, monument pieces and models. It is believed that over 30% of Mongolia’s total museum displays are kept at this museum. ₮8,000. edit
- The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, Ulaanbaatar, Chingeltei district, Barilgachdiin Square (Two blocks west of the Government House). 10:00-17:00. The collection includes items from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Particularly interesting is the collection of Buddhist art beginning in the 17th Century. The collection includes items from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The present museum building, located in central Ulaanbaatar, was constructed in 1905 by a Russian merchant. Among the most significant holdings are sculptures, paintings, and related materials by Zanabazar (1635-1723), the First Bogd Gegen and Mongolia’s greatest artist, and members of his school. In addition, Zanabazar produced a series of sculptures classified today as belonging to the style of the “Zanabazar school”, characterized as hollow yet seamless brass castings expressing the ideals of philosophy, beauty and mercy. Examples of such works exhibited here are the “Dhyani Buddhas”, “White Tara”, and “Bodhi Stupa”.  The museum has more than 10,000 objects in its permanent collection, of which approximately 500 are on display in its second-floor galleries. Organized thematically, the galleries are devoted to pre-historic art, work by Zanabazar, painted thangkas, silk appliques, the Buddhist tsam dance, nomadic traditions, and paintings by the early twentieth-century master B. Sharav. ₮5,000. edit
- Bogd Khaan Palace Museum, Khan-Uul District, Chinggis Avenue, Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, Ulaanbaatar. 09:00-17:00. This palace known as the Green Palace was built between 1893 and 1903 by Mongolian masters and dedicated to the VIII Bogd Gegeen, the head of lamaist religion & last khaan of Mongolia. In 1911 there was formed the Bogd Khaan state and the VIII Bogd Gegeen assumed political authority over Mongolia as the Bogd Khaan or "Holy King" and continued to govern as a constitutional monarch from the time of the Mongolian People's Revolution in 1921 until his death of illness in 1924. After Bogd Khaan's death, his winter palace was turned into a museum. Bogd Khaan Palace was founded as the first national historical museum of Mongolia. In 1954, the State Central Museum was founded, and the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum became a branch museum. Since 2000 the museum is activiting as Bogdo khan palace museum.Now the Bogd khan palace museum consists of seven Summer Prayer temples and the winter palace. The collections of the museum include unique and valuable objects related to Mongolia's political, religious, and artistic history from the 17 to early 20-th centuries: bronze castings, silk paintings, mineral paintings, and paper icons made by well-known artists and artisans of the period, among others the first Bogdo Javzundamba Zanabazar and his school; as well as objects owned and used by the YIII Bogdo Javzundamba and his wife queen Dondogdulam, including royal clothing and equipment, gifts from domestic and foreign guests or representatives, and items purchased by the king for his own diversion. The collection of the museum is consists of a great number of original objects and works of art from the Bogdo khan palace and is divided into 12 parts: sculpture, scrolls paintings/thangka/, applique, wood carving, religious objects, clothes, furniture, decorative arts, collection of stuffed animal, special collection, support collection and architecture.. Also all exhibits is divided into: high level category, valuable category and original category. Nowadays we have 68 exhibits of high level category and 23 exhibits of valuable category. The number of these categories will be increasing. Exhibits of high level category includes gilded bronze sculptures made by the famous master Zanabazar and school of Zanabazar, thangka paintings from the XIX-XX centuries, the painting shown the capital city of Mongolia 1912 made by Jugder, original paintings made by founder of Mongolian modern painting B.Sharav and expensive clothes of khan and queen. Admission T8000. edit
- Choijin Lama Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Chingeltei district, west of Central Library, ☎ 11 324788, . 10.00am-17.00pm. Choijin Lama Temple Museum is a unique showcase of religious art and the history of Buddhism in Mongolia. This museum is a gem of the historical and cultural heritage of the previous century. The monastery was active until 1938. According to the decree of the Peoples Khural, November 1941, the monastery was included in the list of historical and cultural monuments and was taken charge by the Committee of Sciences in 1942. It was then turned into a museum. The museum is an ensemble of Buddhist architecture and consists of 5 temples and 5 arched gates. In the main temple there is the sculpture of Choijin Lama and the embalmed mummy of his teacher. It also contains the great coral mask of Begtse, created under the direction of protectors using over 6000 pieces of coral. Yadam temple and Amgalan temple contain rare artifacts made by the famous Mongolian artist and sculptor, Zanabazar. In total the museum has over 5000 items out of which 12 are unique and 200 are particularly valuable. adult – ₮8000. edit
- Military Museum of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Bayanzurkh district, south of the East Center. Every day except Tuesday 09:00:-14:30. This often overlooked museum’s collection consists of two permanent exhibition halls, showcasing the war history of the country from the pre-historic times to the modern era. In the first hall, one can see various tools and weapons from Paleolithic age to the times of Manchu empire. The exhibition hall of the modern history showcases the history of the Mongolian military starting with the Bogd Khan period /19111924/ up to Mongolia’s most recent military involvement in peace keeping operations. Adult-₮3,000, Children-₮500. edit
- Victims of Political Persecution Memorial Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Olympic Street, on the west side across the Ministry of Health and Sports. Monday-Friday 10:00:-17:00. The museum building is unfortunately in a fragile condition but tells about one of the most tragic history of Mongolia's 20th century. It is dedicated to those fallen under the political purge that took away lives of over 32,000 statesmen, herders, scholars, politicians and lamas. Adult-₮2,500. edit
- The Ulaanbaatar City Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Peace Avenue, on the east side of the Indoor Wrestling Palace, ☎ 11 450960. Monday-Friday 08:00:-17:00. Museum offers a brief but insightful view of Ulaanbaatar’s history through old maps and photos. The most interesting item is a huge painting of the capital as it looked in 1912, in which you can clearly make out major landmarks such as Gandan Khiid and the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan. A portion of the museum is dedicated to special photo exhibits that change frequently. Adult-₮2,500. edit
- Mongolian Railway History Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Narny Zam, under the Peace Bridge, ☎ 21-244493. Monday-Friday 08:00:-17:00. In the exposition of open-air loco museum there are 6 models of locomotive, which were used during 65 years period of Mongolian Railways history. Adult-₮2,500. edit
- International Intellectual Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Bayanzurkh district, south of the East Center. Monday-Saturday 10:00-6:0. The museum’s collection includes many Mongolian puzzle toys and world-famous, rare and precious exhibits. The museum is a manufacturer of Mongolian puzzle toys, logic games, handcrafted products and souvenirs; and it exports most of its products abroad. The museum has exhibited at over 80 international exhibitions and fairs in 50 countries. Adult-₮8000, Children-₮500. edit
- Natural History Museum (closed indefinitely), Ulaanbaatar. Northwest of the Government house. 10AM-5.30PM, last admission 4.30PM. When the first national museum was established in Mongolia in 1924, the natural historical museum was founded, consisting of the choicest exhibitions of Mongolian nature. Since the national central museum was put into its present location in 1956, it has been enriching its exhibitions and expanding as a big natural department, which has various kinds of geographical, flora, fauna and paleontology exhibits. The government resolution to classify the museums in different fields, as in developed countries, was passed and the national central museum was abolished in 1991. In 1992, a new museum was established in the place of the national central museum with the purpose of being the lead natural central museum for further development, entertaining foreigners on the international level, showing the geological history such as locations of planets and earth establishment and formations and show the biological characteristics of earth's central zone and named as Museum of Natural History. Natural history involves the historical process of 4.7 billion years from the origin of the world until the origin of plants, animals and humans. Thus the museum shows the briefness of these events by exhibitions and contributes knowledge to people's minds. Museum colleagues always enrich their treasures and exhibitions, renovate the exhibition halls and improve the museum arrangement so that the museum has become a big museum, which is capable of attracting foreign and domestic visitors. The museum is one of the largest museums in Mongolia, with 40 halls with 2,700 square meters and 12,000 exhibits. More than 50,000 visitors visit to the museum each year, and a tour of the exhibitions lasts about 1.5-2.0 hours. Closed summer 2013 for renovation, and may reopen elsewhere in the future. As of late 2013, items have begun to be moved into storage, as the structure of the building has been deemed unsound. edit
Arts and Culture
Ulaanbaatar features excellent mix of traditional and western style theatres, offering world class performances. Many of the traditional folklore bands play regularly around the world including in New York, London and Tokyo. In the summer season, you may com across world's top ballet dancers from Boston Balet theatre, performing at at Opera House. Turn into local art information sites such as Art Council and you may enrich your travel experience of Mongolia.
- Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Ulaanbaatar. Changes Khan Square, ☎ 70110389 , 99194570 , 99024933 , 88044508. The theatre offers year around opera and ballet performances, some of them are in collaboration with world ballet houses such as Boston Theatre. The repertoire of State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet has more than 100 national and world classical works including 56 ballets, 54 operas. edit
- The Mongolian State Grand National Orchestra, Ulaanbaatar. Seoul street, ☎ 11-323954. The Grand National orchestra, established during Kublai Khan, went through a long and distinguished history in becoming the foundation for the “Mongolian State Grand National Orchestra”. It has the largest orchestra of traditional instruments in the country with a repertoire going beyond national music, encompassing dozens of international musical pieces. From June 1 – October 15, it performs daily traditional folklore concert at 1800. edit
- The Moon Stone Folk, Song & Dance Ensemble, Ulaanbaatar. Seoul street, ☎ 976 99288399; +976 99181885; +976 99092558. consists of the creative professional artists of song and dance representing the Mongolian national art. Over 90 young artists perform under the umbrella of this dynamic ensemble comprising folk music orchestra, dance group, classical music band, throat singers, contortionists and nationally renowned choreographers. Show for traveler, and foreigner most of the time only during summertime. edit
- Tumen Ekh Ensemble, ☎ 11 32 2388. comprises artists who perform all types of Mongolian song, music and dance. They play traditional instruments including the morin khuur (horse head fiddle) and perform Mongolian long song, epic and eulogy songs, a ritualistic shaman ritual dance, an ancient palace dance and a Tsam mask dance. Their performances are highly professional but retain the authenticity and traditions of nomadic culture. It performs daily evening shows at its theatre located on the west side of the “Children’s Park”. edit
- Morin Khuur Ensemble of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Changes Khan Square, ☎ 11 323672, 99068244. is part of the Mongolian State Philharmonic located at the Chinggis Khan Square. It is a popular ensemble featuring the national string instrument Morin Khuur and performs various domestic and international works. edit
- The Art Council of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Juulchin street, ☎ 11 319017. The Art Council of Mongolia, established in 2002, is often a good source of information for the town’s cultural events and calendar. It was founded in 2002 with a goal of supporting sustainable development of Mongolian arts and cultural organizations and artists through supporting their innovative and creative projects, building their capacity and expanding their international collaboration and exchanges. Well-connected organization with the international artists. Good information source for the art and culture calendar of the month edit
Science and technology
Hurel Togoot observatory, Ulaanbaatar. Boyd Khan Mountain (20 km from city downtown at the altitude of 1,600 km), ☎ 11 458849, 453683. It is the country’s only public facility available for space observation and has a Soviet period built motel. Can be a great summer evening activity. It also has a budget type accommodation where one can do hiking in the surrounding mountains. ₮7,000. edit
The National Park is a popular hang out place for families
- National Culture and Recreation Center (Children's Park), Ulaanbaatar. Chinggis Avenue, ☎ 11 326020. The "Children's Park" is an amusement located in the downtown section, south of Shangri-La Hotel. It is also a popular place for youngsters to hang out. This small amusement park features rides, games and paddleboats. For the rides you buy individual tickets, around T3000 to T5000 a pop. It’s open year round; in winter there’s ice skating for T2000 per 90 minutes. edit
Gorkhi Terelj National Park
- The National Park of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Changes Avenue, ☎ 98986805, 98986803. The National Park of Mongolia opened its doors in the southeastern outskirts of the city in 2009, becoming a popular summer park for the UB goers. It has a total area of 55 hectares with over 100K trees planted. The park is geared towards becoming educational center for healthy responsible living as well as environmental education. It has pedestrian and bike trails, ideal for jogging and biking anytime of the year. edit
- Gorkhi Terelj National Park, (East of Ulaanbaatar). Located at 50 km, the park is a gorgeous area for nature walk, hiking, sleeping, biking and horseback riding. Almost every travelers get to visit the park. It offers dozens of sleeping options, from inexpensive guest gers to tourism class ger camps with 3 daily meals and the 5 star Terelj Hotel. It is advisable to hire a car and guide to enjoy the place fully. edit
There are many things to do UB from exploring monasteries and museums to watching, dancing and hiking in its parks.
Theater and Performing Arts
UB hosts a wide array of domestic and international plays and performances during their fall, winter and spring seasons. Staying in tuned to the schedules and available shows, you can have very entertaining stay in the city. Mongolia’s best rock and pop performers also stage their performances at the city’s key venues during this period. Information on their schedule can be obtained by contacting the sales offices of the following venues. You can also use Easyticket.mn schedule and tickets reservation for many of these performances.
- Blackbox Theatre Mongolia located on the north-western part of the city hosts regular mono plays, jazz and other performing artists from both home and abroad. Tel: 9905 9161
- The Drama Theatre at Chinggis Avenue is where full-scale plays and national folklore operas and dance shows are performed. Information about the upcoming shows can be found at http://www.drama.mn. Ticket office 976-70128999 70115154
- The Opera House at the Chinggis Khan Square hosts rich collection of Mongolian and international ballets and operas. Website: http://www.opera-ballet.mn. Contact: Managers: 70110397 Ticket office: 70110389, 99196609,
- The City Cultural Center at the Chinggis Khan Square hosts variety of shows, comedies and fashion shows. Website: http://stu.ub.gov.mn
Ticket office: 32-88-33, (976-11) 32-14-44
- Ulaanbaatar Philharmonic at the Opera House performs variety of international work throughout the year. Ticket office: 70110389, 99196609
There are several modern cinemas that offer some of the latest blockbuster movies. Depending on which side of the city you are in. You can check for your favorite movie at one of the nearest cinemas. Most of them are also equipped with 3D screening and VIP rooms for private groups.
- Urgoo Cinema is located on the 3rd micro-district shopping area, west of Gandan Monastery. Website: http://www.urgoo.mn Tel: 77117711
- Tengis Cinema is located at Freedom Square, north of the State Department Store Website: http://tengis.mn Tel: 313105
- Gegeenten Cinema is located opposite Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum. Website: http://www.gec.mn Tel: 75776699
- Hunnu Mall Entertainment is a cinema located inside Hunnu Mall on the main road to the Chinggis Khan airport. Website: http://hunnumall.mn Tel: 77212222
Events and festivals
- Attend Naadam - the largest and most famous festival in Mongolia, which consists of competitions in the three traditional Mongolian sports of wrestling, horse racing and archery. The festival is an annual event and runs from July 10th to 12th.
- Traditional Costume Parade. On July 13 every year, Mongolia’s national summer festival, ethnic parade is organized at the Chinggis Khan Square. People from different tribes wear their uniquely designed costumes, making it a colorful spectacle to watch.
- Hike in the Bogd Khaan Uul Strictly Protected Area in the mountains just south of UB, South of Zaisan Memorial (South of Zaisan Memorial, Take the #7 or #33 bus from the Bayangol Hotel). To get to the mountain ridge south of UB, take the #7, #33 or #43 bus from in front of the Bayangol Hotel going south. Get off at the stop after the University of Agriculture. The road continues south of the bus stop. After about 1 km, you will come to the Bogd Uul Resort, which is a combination night club and ger camp. Enter the resort and hike downhill (not up to the night club) until you reach a parking lot. Cross the footbridge, and follow the path along the small stream flowing north, the path starts on the left (east) side of the stream. At the top, branch to the west and you will come to a high point maybe 500 meters through the woods. This will take about 2 to 3 hours of easy walking. From where you branch west, you can go straight and slightly east and follow the path to Bogd Uul Mountain. The path here is marked with orange paint marks on the trees. This trip is quite long with another down and up section, about 10 km each way. free. edit
- Look around the Narantuul (AKA Black) Market: it is an interesting place and you can get great deals. They sell pets, souvenirs, cloth, shoes, socks, meat, fruits etc. Some people claim it is dangerous but outside of a few pickpockets (as in all large markets) it seemed quite safe.
- Sky Resort, (13 km from the city center, go south to Zaisan, then east along river, past the President's Residence), ☎ 976-11 320345, . 8am - 11pm. Downhill skiing, snowboarding, lifts, equipment rental, ski/snowboard school, restaurant. Free bus leaves from the Drama Center (next to the Grand Khaan Irish Pub) weekends 8, 8:30, 10, 11, 12 ,14, 17:30, 18, 19:30; weekdays 8:30, 12, 17, 18, 19. Check schedule to verify bus times. (47 52.676N,107 2.663E) edit
- Mountain Biking - Bikes can be rented in town if you have not brought your own. Head into the hills directly to the south of the city (just south of the bike shops) for some great trails and excellent views of the city.
- Mongolian - there are several language schools in the city.
- The Mongolian National University, (Northeast of the Government House.), . International programs edit
- The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), Natsagdorj Library, Seoul Street-7, Sukhbaatar District, Ulaanbaatar (Located inside the East Entrance of Natsagdorj Library), ☎ (976) 7711-0486 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Internet access, study room, and the largest library of English language material on Mongolia, including volumes on history, politics, society, culture, and archaeology. Mongolian language materials are also available. Can also provide advice for Mongolian language lessons, houses the Books for Asia Program, and hosts a regular Speaker Series event which is open to the public. edit
- Peace Corps*. For US citizens, Peace Corps positions in Mongolia are available. Peace Corps has been sending volunteers to Mongolia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Volunteer jobs last 27 months and include 4 sectors: Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Community and Youth Development (CYD), Community and Economic Development (CED), and Health. Applications are available at peacecorps.gov
- Volunteer. Work is available for overseas visitors in the volunteer sector. New Choice, . can place potential volunteers in appropriate workplaces edit.
- English. Teaching English as a second language is an option for native English speakers. Mostly positions are in Ulaanbaatar, though they could be anywhere in the country. Those who find a teaching position after arriving in the country will need to leave the country to apply for a working visa. The school may or may not pay for this.
UB has a host of souvenir shops aimed at Korean/Japanese and European/American tourists. While the quality of the goods varies, the price tends to be high at the downtown stores but on the outskirts, you can find some good deals. Most prices are at their actual value and haggling is discouraged. You'll likely just get a discount of 10-15%.
- Traditional clothes, boots and hats, cashmere garments, jewelry, leather wall hangings, miniature gers, bow and arrow sets and paintings.
- Peace Avenue and the Circus area are the main shopping areas.
- The 6th floor of the State Department Store has a section with souvenir paintings, but prices are higher than in some of the smaller stores.
- The Narantuul (AKA Black ) Market, known to locals simply as zach (зах), is the place to haggle over cheap clothes, toys, swords or Soviet propaganda pins. Only take a minimum of cash with you in a money belt or inner jacket pocket and leave all valuables at your accommodation, as pickpockets are common here. It's a ten-minute bus or taxi ride from the city center. Don't expect a tourist market though. This is primarily a huge open-air market for locals to buy clothing. Difficult to locate items of interest to tourists.
How to get cash
Tellers at the Golomt Bank can give up to USD500 per day cash advance on MasterCard and Visa.
Most ATM's accept most international cards, including Maestro and Plus. An earlier report mentioned that Cirrus cards are only accepted at the airport, this is probably untrue.
It is relatively easy to find an ATM to withdraw cash. As long as your ATM, debit or credit card has the VISA logo, you can withdraw tögrög, the local currency. Other card types are also accepted, simply not as widely, for example, the machines in the central Post Office and main street will not accept foreign MasterCards although they bear the logo. The machines in Golomt Bank branches are more reliable. Also on the 2nd floor of the State Department Store you can find an ATM accepting foreign cards. Many shops take credit cards, but some establishments run strictly on cash. Note that most credit card companies will pass on the 3% "foreign currency conversion fee" to you.
There are many exchange offices in the center along Peace Avenue to change your currency into tugrugs. One is on the ground floor of the State Department Store. Better rates are at the Exchange Center on the second floor of the Flower Center. The Flower Center is located on Peace Ave. one block west of the Post Office, at the corner with traffic lights between the Post Office and State Department Store. Large hotels like the Ulaanbaatar Hotel one block east of Chinggis Square will exchange money 24/7 at the reception, which may be your only option if you arrive very late in the day.
- Bars Food Market, (Only a few hundred meters east of the railway station on the same side of the street). This market is the cheapest place in town to buy dry goods (rice, pasta, canned food), fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and meat, as well as a host of other food stuffs. The vendors are all fair and charge standard prices. The meat and produce is inside a relatively unmarked building which you wouldn't expect to be a market. Outside are a bunch of shipping containers where grains and other non-perishable supplies are sold. edit
- Dalai Eej market, (west of the circus building). The market has wide array of western as well as Japanese, Korean and Chinese food and various spices. UB doesn’t have a fish market but a small part at it corner, sell various fresh water fish including graylings and perch. Mostly pricy items. edit
- Bayanzurkh market, (On the eastern outskirt, just south of the Indoor Wrestling Palace). While no fish is available here, the meat and other basic food items are reasonable priced edit
There are number good stores for finding books in the city. The bookstore on the 6th floor of the State Department Store could be looked for some books. Internom book store, located behind Ulaanbaatar Hotel has a corner as well. Az Khur, a large bookstore opened not long ago, has one of the best collections of English books. The store is located in the first floor of Munkhiin Useg publishing house, located opposite of the Mongolian Railway History Museum.
- Librairie Papillon. If you want to find very high quality books about Mongolia or the Mongolian language in European languages (French and English mostly), this place has a very large selection. They are located on University Ave., just past the main Mongolian National University building. The atmosphere is very nice, and is almost like taking a little break from Mongolia and entering France. They also have a large selection of European-language classics if you would like reading material for your journey.
- Mike's Bookstore, (South of the Bayangol Hotel, West of the New Century Building), . See their website for details. They sell many used books and sometimes buy books; there is a buyback policy. Mostly English books, but some in other languages. edit
The old notion of “nobody travels to Mongolia for the food” might change soon as more and more good quality restaurants are opening in Ulaanbaatar, offering a good range of Western, Asian and Mongolian delicacies. You can get perfectly reasonable pizza for $3, even a night out at a fancy French cafe shouldn't pass $20. Consider splurging on a couple good meals here, especially if headed out for a long trek into the country. Fresh vegetables, especially in winter, are hard to come by and expensive.
Korean (solongos khoolnee gazar) and Chinese restaurants dominate the city. As Asian restaurants in America tend to tailor their menu to the American palate, so in Ulaanbaatar do the East Asian restaurants tailor their menu to the Central Asian palate (meaning more meat!).
Throughout Ulaanbaatar are many small Гуанз (eateries) and Цайны Газарs (cafes.) Try one of these for cheap Mongolian food. Buuz usually costs ₮350-400. Most universities have a good cafeteria for cheap eats for ₮1800 (less than $1) - ₮2500 ($1.30). Khuushuur, which is a fried meat pie, is another popular street or fast food Mongolians love. Try them at one of the local cafeterias you might visit.
Mongolian National University and Mongolian University of Science and Technology (both near the North East block from the Parliament Building) have good cafeterias. All university cafeterias have nutritionists so at least you know you are getting all the basic nutrients when you eat there.
- Ursgal Khuushuur, Peace Ave (2 blocks north of the State Department Store, in a parallel, small street), ☎ 11461687 (email@example.com). 10 to 9. is one of the best and reasonable priced local food cafeteria for khuushuur, traditional soup and fried noodle called tsuivan. Staff is friendly and more over, it is clean and has good hygiene. Closed on weekends. under $5. edit
- Papa Cafe, Peace Ave (Go east from the British Embassy to 2nd building, next to a parking lot. Name in the right side of the second floor window. Entrance in the back or north side.), ☎ 11461687 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 10 to 9. Free wifi, burgers, chicken burgers, espresso and bakery goods. Closed Sunday. under $5. (N47 55.153,E106 56.506) edit
- Ba Shu 888, (On Peace Avenue adjacent to and east of the State Department Store). A Chinese-Mongolian restaurant. Good sized portions and inexpensive eating. edit
- My Homemade Khuushur, (On Peace Avenue near the State Department Store). Serves a favorite Mongolian dish, mutton fried in dough. One khuushur is ₮500, and three is a pretty adequate meal. edit
- Stupa Cafe, (Across the street from the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum in the center of the city). 10am to 8pm daily. Vegetarian dishes vary daily, coffee, tea and traditional Mongolian drinks, fresh cakes. There is a large white stupa in the front yard. under $4 (probably higher now). edit
- Cola and Kebab, (On the southwest corner of the square in front of the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum). 10am to 8pm daily. Two versions of a meat pita bread sandwich, meat grilled Turkish style on a vertical rotisserie, meat with tomato and lettuce and some sauce under $4. edit
- Русское Бистро Избушка (Russian Bistro Izbushka), (On the northeast corner of the square in front of the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum). 10am-8pm. Small Russian restaurant, various dishes, Piroshki (small pies with meat or vegetarian filling). USD5. edit
- The Food Court at the State Department Store, Peace Ave (6th floor of the State Department Store). 9 to 9. 5 kiosks with Mongolian, Asian, Chicken and Hamburgers. Hamburger with tomato and lettuce $1.70. This is self serve. Mostly local Mongolians. $4. edit
- Vegan Lounge (Vegan Food), (Between Peace Avenue and Sunny Street (near the Central Railway Station). Walk east from central station until you get to the flyover, turn north for 200 m and look for the purple building on your left), ☎ 9907 0969. 09:00-21:00 (22.00 in summer). Great Mongolian vegan food in nice atmosphere. If you're lucky they have homemade cakes too. They also sell things like vegan sausages, etc. Average ₮5,000 for mains ($2.50). edit
- Luna Blanca (Vegan Food), (In a Buddhist meditation center south of the Zanabazar Museum), ☎ 976-99251131, 55159651, 98209894, 976-11-327172 (email@example.com), . 11:00-20:00. Top rated by TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, Happy Cow, etc. Featured on international news (KBS-Korea, JPK- Japan, Christian Science Monitor, etc. They also sell some ingredients, vegan sausages, etc. Around ₮4.000. edit
- Modern Nomads, ☎ 70151616. Mongolia’s first national chain restaurant with over 21 branches in the city and the countryside. Excellent national variety and quality for both locals and tourists. Good, clean toilets, an added bonus. edit
- Broadway, ☎ 11-32 0124. another privately owned chain restaurant that offer good selection of Mongolian and European type food. edit
- The Bull restaurants, ☎ 70111212. Located on Seoul Street and on the third floor of Blue Mon building are family style restaurants that offer excellent hot pot. You order the choice of your broth and the ingredients to go along with it so that you can cook them by yourself season it to your tasting. edit
- Blue Fin, (2 branches one across the Post Office and another south of Kempinsky Khan Palace), ☎ 70002227, 88112506. American-style steakhouse, which also offers burgers, lunch specials, sushi bar and pastas. Average meal cost about $10. edit
- Bojangles Restaurant and Grill, Narnii zam, 1st Floor of the Jiguur Grand Office Centre (Opposite the train museum on the Sun Road. Walk west along the road under the Peace Bridge for about 500 meters. On the right at the ground floor of the Jiguur Grand Office Centre), ☎ Rizal (English) 9923-6082 Jojo (Mongolian) 8882-0392 Boko (All) 9918-4465, +976-11-325830, . 10.00am till late. International cuisine under one roof: Mongolian, Singaporean, Thai, Malaysian, Korean, American, European, Vegetarian or Rizal will cook to your order, with beverages from around the world, exceptional wines,and free WiFi. Sunday is homemade roast lunch, Saturday is Salsa instruction and dance night with live music, followed by Disco (from 8.30PM till late). All sports are broadcast live on a big screen at any time. Play American pool & Darts while enjoying an ice cold beer. Mains average $10 to $15. (47 -54' N,106-54'E) edit
- City Cafe, (across the street from Sukhbaatar Square). Great food and location, wonderful staff. Malaysian/Chinese food. edit
- California Restaurant, (on Seoul Street not far from the State Department store). Extensive foreign and Mongolian menu. Beautifully decorated. It's a bit small, but in the summer there is additional outside seating. Reservations are advised. edit
- Ko-hyang-shik-dang, (next to Metro Mall there is a BBQ chicken and facing that second restaurant on your left). Korean food. 6000 MNT ~ 7000 MNT. edit
- Turning Point Cafe, Tserendorj Street, 4th Khoroo, 97611 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, ☎ 7011 9940. Conveniently located Jazz-theme restaurant and bar featuring modern decor, international cuisine, wide range of alcoholic beverages and cocktails, piped music and regular live entertainment. edit
- Millie's Espresso, (West side of the Choijin Lama Monastry), ☎ 330338. 8am-8pm. Good selection of American style cafe food with some vegetarian, coffee, Free WiFi. At lunch you will find this place full of Expats enjoying the steak sandwiches and burgers. Also does breakfast. $10. (N47 54.860,E106 55.074) edit
- BD's Mongolian BBQ, (Sukhbaatar District, Seoul street – 9, in the right side of Ayanchin Outfitters). 12pm. The first US franchise restaurant and it offers a lively interactive and celebratory atmosphere. The food is cooked to a very high standard and works as an interactive buffet: diners select ingredients from an open buffet and give it to the grillers who cook it up on a Historical Mongolian Style grill and add a dash of one of the many, tasty chef’s own sauces. All ingredients are sourced locally and the menu reflects the franchise’s BD’s Mongolian Barbeque moniker. Its unlimited “Create Your Own Stir-fry”, features fresh vegetables, meats, sauces and spices. One bowl is approximately $7.50 and all-you-can-eat is approximately $13.50. Check your bill before you pay because guests are charged for all-you-can-eat unless specified otherwise. edit
- Sansar Asian Food (Cancap Azi Xool), Ikh Tooyruu St (From the East Crossroad, North past the Kempinski Hotel, on the East side of the street, about 400 meters), ☎ 88080005. 24 hours. $10. edit
- Nayra Cafe, 35-1 Tourist Street (2 blocks west of the Government House), ☎ 317098, . 8am. Good pizza and sandwiches, good coffee, very large brewed coffee under $2 , open daily so one of the few places open on Sunday. Nice Omelets, pancakes, cookies, brownies. Free WiFi. Under $6. edit
- Chinggis Club, Sukhbaatar St. 10 (On the street that passes on the west side of Sukhbaatar Square, from Sukhbaatar Square go north past the second traffic light, on your left about 40m north of the intersection.), . 10-24. Co-located with the Chinggis Brewery, German style cooking and beer. Their own locally brewed light and dark beer on tap. USD10. edit
- Hishig Mongol 2 (Khshig Mongol 2), 10th District, 46th Building (On Peace Ave, several km west of the Department store, near the 3rd hospital), ☎ 70180585. A Mongolian restaurant, no foreign language menu or staff, if you want to experience modern Mongolia cuisine this is the place. Roasted Sheep head, roasted ribs, buuz, dried meat soup. USD6 - 10. edit
- Budweiser Bar, (Across from the NW corner of Suhbaatar Square). Fish and chips, steak, English breakfast. USD6-10. edit
- Hazarah, (Located on the south side of the Indoor Wrestling Palace), ☎ 11 480214. lunch, dinner. One of the best Indian food restaurants in towns. The name Hazarah is derived from the Hazarah tribe of Afghanistan who has their origin from Mongolian. According to the restaurants, the meals are prepared in accordance with Mughlai Cuisine, which refers to dishes developed during the Mughal Empire. US$10. edit
- Los Bandidos. Mexican-Indian fusion food sounds terrible until you taste the spicy chicken masala or crispy taquitos. They are at a new location not far from Sukhbaatar Square. The prices are higher now, but the atmosphere has improved and most main dishes are still in the $7-10 range. edit
- Sakura Restaurant, ☎ 11-463485. Located on the second floor of the Kempinski hotel. The meals are prepared by a Japanese chef. Highly appreciated by Japanese. edit
- Ivy restaurant, Seoul street, ☎ 76111176, 96031111. Ivy is the most elegant restaurant in Ulaanbaatar. Located on the south side of Seoul Street opposite the Khan Bank, it offers delicious European cuisine. Waiters provide excellent service. The Ivy is a short walk from the State Department Store and the National Circus. edit
- Monet restaurant, Seoul street, ☎ 11-310707. Monet restaurant is located on the 17th floor of the Central Square Tower at the Chinggis Khan Square offers excellent mix of French and western cuisine with a good collection of wine. The view is superb in the evening at sunset. edit
- Guantanamera, UNESCO street, ☎ 7768 6868. Guantanamera is the first Cuban restaurant to open in Mongolia, offering good mojitos and some of the best representatives of Cuban dishes. Located on the UNESCO street east of Children’s Park. edit
- Le Bistro Francais, University Street, ☎ 9605-9014, 8818-5710. In a typical French ambiance, you will find famous French pastries and traditional French cuisine. Enjoying the glorious summer weather the restaurant has opened up terrace. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is nice, and the service is outstanding. edit
Nightlife in Ulaanbaatar is surprisingly wild but is best not experienced alone — try to get a local to join you. Most of the nightclubs play Trance, Techno, Electronic and House music, a few clubs play hip-hop music. The small clubs in the 3rd district and the Sansar micro district are best avoided. Be sure to apologize if you hit someone or step on his or her feet accidentally, because some Mongolians can be offended by it.
Beer in clubs costs about ₮3500 (less than $2), other drinks such as vodka depend on measurements, for example a 100 g Vodka costs about ₮4500 ($2.25) The club life is very active on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Fridays, it is very hard to find a seat in a club. According to state law, all clubs and pubs (bars) must be closed after midnight, but some clubs run until 4:00 AM. Never go alone in the dark, especially on Fridays. Also never walk by yourself when you are drunk, or you may be arrested and end up in the drunk tank, not a pleasant place to be.
- Mint is located at Home Plaza Shopping Center, Ikh Mongol Ulsyn Street Mostly, offering electro dance. It houses feature three interconnected rooms: VVIP, Club and Lounge. Every room has its own special features for specific atmosphere, decoration, music, and service etc. Tel:77335555
- Marquee 27 is located at 14220 Ulaanbaatar, 13th district. It specializes in local music and dance, featuring in-house dancing team. Cover charge at the venue will sent you back a tidy Tax: ₮20,000
- Strings is a somewhat notorious club frequented by foreigners. It is very popular with Korean and other East Asian businessmen.
- Ikh Mongol is a cavernous club just south of the State Department Store. Choose between the main dining area, the fancy VIP upstairs, or secluded tables in the back. Most weekends have concerts from Mongolian acts. The restaurant brews several beers on tap, or get some of the more popular Mongolian brands for around ₮2000 a half-liter.
- Brauhaus goes for a German brewhouse look and succeeds. This bar is big but usually not noisy. It serves X Beer, a quite tasty local brew. Half-liters run around ₮2,500.
- Dublin Irish Pub It is known as the first small pub taking on Irish theme. Mostly friendly staff and cozy atmosphere. Located on the Amar Street.
- Grand Khaan Irish Pub Is located on Seoul street and is the largest Irish pub in the city. You can get Guinness here as well as other local beers. A mix of local and international diners gather.
- CSS Pub is a hole-in-wall pub across from the Ulaanbaatar Department Store (not the State Department). Though slightly worn around the edges, it offers a no-frills place to have a quiet drink. Try the fish.
- Hazara North Indian Restaurant, (behind the wrestling palace on the corner of Peace Street and Tokyo Street), ☎ 9919 5007. noon to 10 pm. English speaking staff, great "jewel korma." under $10. edit
- Le Bistrot Francais, University Street, . On se croirait dans un restaurant parisien. Enjoy a pastis and have a nice dinner. edit
- Le Triskell, Ulaanbataar. French restaurant a few doors up from Le Bistrot Francais. Good portions and plenty of French spoken. Inhabited by expats who all seem to know each other. edit
- Chinggis Club (On the street that passes on the west side of Sukhbaatar Square, from Sukhbaatar Square go north past the second traffic light, on your left about 40m north of the intersection.). Co-located with the Chinggis Brewery, German style cooking and beer. Their own locally brewed light and dark beer on tap. USD10.
Nowadays, budget accommodation in Ulaanbaatar tends to give the best deals for a traveller. Usually a bed in a clean dormitory costs about $5-10 and a double room should be under $30 a night. Good mid-range options are sparse.
Note that during the annual Naadam festival it is almost impossible to get any kind of accommodation in UB without prior reservations.
Guest homes may not respond to email (only 2 of 5 responded to us).
Be aware that in August 2009 the government passed a law requiring domestic transactions to be priced in the Mongolian currency (MNT).
Some guest homes attempt to charge more than the price on their website saying their website is out-of-date. Some may change a price higher than the price you have agreed to pay from your on-line reservation, citing that the exchange rate has changed.
Many guest homes operate also as Tour Guide/Operator/Agency and be more interested in selling a tour and devote less attention to the guest house facilities in room size/space, limited number of bathrooms/showers relative to the number of beds, internet WiFi service shut off at 22:00 and turned on at 09:00, and so forth.
Budget private rooms are often located in rented apartments in complexes away from the main guesthouse. Guesthouses rent these from nomadic families during the summer peak season and return them when the family return to the city for the winter months. Dark and dirty stairwells are the norm in Ulaanbaatar.
It's possible to spend your night in a ger, even in Ulaanbaatar - here it's inside the rooftop gers of Gana's guesthouse
- Camel Track, Building 14-b apartment, floor number 1-4, door code 16, Seoul street, Khoroo 3, Sukhbaatar district (In the center next to State Circus, 10 minutes walk to the State Department Store), ☎ +976-99794114, +976-88949697 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Price includes free pick up services, breakfast, tea, coffee, internet facilities, hot shower, laundry and self catering kitchen. The Guest house is very new (open April 2015) and warm, the rooms and the bathroom are very clean and comfortable. The place is run by a Mongolian couple; they are very friendly and have 9 years of experience in tours so during your stay in UB they can help you to organize a tailored tour around Mongolia. Dorm US$8, Double or twin US$25. edit
- LG Guesthouse #1 and #2, (1) Across the street from the train station (2) South of State Department Store on Seoul Street. Clean, free Internet, water provided, simple breakfast of a fried egg and toast included $8 for a dorm. edit
- Chinggis Guest House and Tours, Sukhbaatar district building-33 door-67, Chinggis Ave (back behind the National Academic Drama Theater and Bayangol Hotel), ☎ 976-99271843, 976-11-325941 (email@example.com). Price includes breakfast, internet, hot shower, kitchen facilities. Very central located and quiet, rooms are clean and comfortable. Dorm US$8, Double or twin US$10. edit
- Green Steppe Mongolia Guest House, Chingeltei District I, 40 myangt, Building 12 door 7. (50 m east of the State Department Store), ☎ 88033080, 88038388, . checkin: anytime; checkout: 12.00pm. A small and quiet guesthouse with a couple of dorm rooms and two fully-furnished one-bedroom apartments, very friendly staff and very central location (near State Department Store). We can organize tours to all parts of Mongolia. We also have free lockers for our guests, free breakfast, free tea all day, free WiFi (and 2 computers), free secure area for motorbikes and bicycles, peaceful patio and picnic area, free hot showers and cheap laundry service. US$6/night. edit
- Ganas Ger, Gandan tuul 2-22, ☎ +976 9911 6960 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This guesthouse stands out from the rest, with dorm beds in roomy gers on an airy porch overlooking downtown UB, instead of the usual bunk beds. Run by a friendly, helpful family. And an excellent location 2 minutes walk from Gandan Monastery. Excellent security, family lives on 1st floor and there is 24 hr guard watching the gate. Like most guesthouses it also doubles as a tour operator. from $5 in 6 bed Ger to $25 for a double in the newly build wing. edit
- Happy Camel Guesthouse (http://guesthousemongolia.com), Opposite the railway station, ☎ 99112075 (email@example.com), . checkout: 12. An excellent guest house run by some young Mongolians in a central location - hot showers and western style toilets - a very nice place to stay. edit
- Idre's Guesthouse, Bayangol disrict 1, ☎ +976 99112575 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Family-run guesthouse with $7 dorms - very strict on price - the male worker responded with an angry, aggressive attitude to asking for price excluding "breakfast" (bread, jam). Rooms are clean, staff are helpful, and tickets and tours can be arranged without hassle. edit
- Mandukhai Hotel, near State Department Store. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. A nice inexpensive hotel located in UB city center. The hotel staff speaks little English but rooms are large and include TV. Bathrooms are shared. 20-2500. edit
- Mr. Gomez's Hostel and Tours, Davkhar # 16, Khoroo 1, Bayangol district (Across the street just 200 m from the Ulaanbaatar Railway Station), ☎ 976-99282459 (email@example.com, fax: 976-11-327503), . They arrange train tickets for Beijing, Datong, Irkutsk, Moscow, and Hohhot. Clean, safe, shower, laundry, kitchen, free Internet and good breakfast.Mr. Gomez provides tours to Terelj National Park & Chinggis Tourist Camp. Languages spoken: English, Spanish, Russian, German. US$10/night. edit
- Oasis Guesthouse, (Southeastern UB, near the Catholic Church), ☎ 976-11-463693 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 976-11-463693), . A modern styled and lovingly furnished guesthouse with a public cafe and a big garden with gers to stay in. Run by a friendly German-Austrian couple who speak German, English, and Mongolian. Serve very good western food and home made cakes. Laundry service and hairdresser at the back of the building. It's THE meeting point for 'overlanders' in Mongolia (travellers by car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.). €10. (N47°54.706',E 106°58.857) edit
- Petite Marmotte, Ikh Toiruu, Sukhbaatar district, Building #10, door entry #1, Floor #7, Flat #27/28, ☎ (00976) 70 11 03 02 (email@example.com), . Friendly atmosphere, dedicated English and French speaking staff, traditional Mongolian decoration, well located, quiet. Breakfast included. No internet. The boss lives there. He used to be a chef and cooks sometimes for his guests. Arrange also all kinds of trips in the country. He doesn't accept credit cards. Bed dorm = €5; Double room = €15, family room = €25. edit
- UB Guesthouse. A clean, well-organized and centrally located youth hostel that also arranges tours around the country. E-mail ahead for a free pickup from the train station. A light breakfast, tea and coffee are included. Has received some criticism for being a bit impersonal, and the welcoming is a bit cold. Although it's written you can phone from there from 10:00 to 18:00, don't rely on it. No oven in the kitchen (not even a microwave). Mongolians are not accepted! It is strictly forbidden to receive any non-client. DO NOT BUY TRAIN TICKETS FROM HERE. They lie about ticket prices (charge almost twice as much as the train station) and have been caught lying about train ticket availability, always check the price printed on the official ticket and ask the guesthouse exactly what their commission is, or better yet buy at the train station directly. AVOID THE TOURS unless paying $40/day to drive 9 hours a day and see nothing is your idea of a good time. Dorms beds, $6; Single room, $15; Twin room, $18; Double room, $20. edit
- Youth Mongolia Guesthouse, Door no. 67, 1st floor 5th entrance, building 14-b. (Near the circus), (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This smaller and nice guest house has a nice location in the center of the city. Close to a large food market (25 meters away). Russian style building. edit
- Lotus Guesthouse, Apt 15, 2nd floor, Entrance 2 Baga Toiruu St. (From the west side of Chinggis Square, north past Government House, Left at the large intersection, 1 block to traffic light turn right, going north, street angles to the right or east, small street enters from right, the 5th school is on west side of street, look for building 17), ☎ +976 11 325967, . Guesthouse run by the Lotus Foundation. Not very clean, not very friendly. In winter, can decide to close suddenly without previous notice. No high table except the very small one for the computer. The shower room doesn't lock. The biggest dormitory has no outside window. WiFi. Doesn't accept credit cards. US$10 (₮14,000 MNT) - US$30. edit
- Zaya Guesthouse, Tserendorj Street Bld 63, App 10,11,12 (Just off Peace Ave), ☎ +976 11 331 575 (email@example.com), . Zaya has two locations in the city center, and both are in modern recently renovated apartment buildings. The place is more suitable for a person looking for clean and calm place to sleep than a backpacker looking for a rowdy and noisy dorm. Minimum stay is 3 nights. Free wireless internet in the rooms. Also organizes tours. US$20 for a single and US$27 for a double room. edit
- Golden Gobi, Chingeltei district, 1st subdistrict, building 13 (Close to the State Department Store), ☎ 976-11-322632, 976-96654496 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 976-11-322632), . Another cheap and friendly place with dorm and free breakfast. Out of all the budget options the private rooms are some of the better and cleaner. $8 in 2014. Dorm $6, rooms from $19. edit
- Sunpath Hostel, Chingeltei District, Baga Toirog, Building 37-56 (2nd floor) (Across the street from the Central Post office and Sukhbaatar Square.), ☎ 976-99143722 (email@example.com, fax: 976-11-326323), . checkout: 24. Sunpath Hostel is a very friendly, family-driven hostel. They love foreigners, and they can give a lot of information about Mongolia. They organize tours, having very good contacts with people living in the countryside. Washing and laundry is included, but you have to pay for them ($3 and $5 in 2012). They provide free internet access (WiFi, you can also use their computer, which helped me a lot), and free breakfast if needed. Cooking is also available there - they have a very cool kitchen. :) The hostel is very well situated, just 10 minutes of walking from the very center of the city. US$6/night. edit
- Mongolian Vision Guesthouse and Tours, Sukhbaatar district, building 33 (3 minutes south-west of the Sukhbaatar place), ☎ 976-11-322369 95119399 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Small but comfortable guesthouse in the center of the city. Free breakfast is included, and they can arrange tours. Dorm $7, double rooms $25. edit
Ulaanbaatar generally does not offer great value for money in the mid-range accommodation market. Many mid-range options can be found along Embassy Rd and UNESCO Rd.
- Ulaanbaatar Hotel, Sukhbaatar Square 14, ☎ +976 11 320 620, 976-70116688 (email@example.com, fax: 976-11-324485), . The centrally located Mongolia's first 5-star hotel is showing its age already. ₮150,000-1,800,000. edit
- Bayangol Hotel, Chinggis Khan Avenue-5 (2 blocks south of Chinggis Square), ☎ (976)-11-312255 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (976)-11-326880), . Close to the bars and central square, but rooms are small and the internet is patchy. edit
- Chinggis Khaan Hotel, Tokyo Street - 10, ☎ (976) 7000 0099 (email@example.com, fax: (976) 11 312788), . checkin: 1300; checkout: 1200. Free high speed internet is very reliable. Rooms are spacious and "wannabe luxurious." The best feature was the breakfast that was included in the price of the room. ₮300,000-1,400,000. edit
- Red Rose Hotel. The Red Rose Hotel, one of the leading hotels, is located in downtown Ulaanbaatar surrounded by major business and commercial centers. The hotel offers comfortable environment and high quality services complying with world standards. Red Rose hotel has 34 rooms, including luxurious and highest standard rooms, deluxe, semi-luxe and standard. edit
- Amarbayasgalant, Embassy Rd, ☎ 976-11-312427. checkout: 12:00. One of the best mid-range options. Clean bedding, clean bathrooms, TV and WiFi. $40 for single, $55 for double. (47.914843,106.927898) edit
- EPOS Hotel, Peace avenue 19/2, Khoroo-1 Sukhbaatar district, ☎ 976-11-331070, . checkin: 1300; checkout: 1200. Across the road from the Amarbayasgalant. Rooms appeared smaller and less clean than Amarbayasgalant but slightly more expensive. $49-$180. edit
- Sant Asar Hotel, Seoul Street (around the corner from Ikh Mongol), ☎ (97611) 315152; 315359, . checkout: 12. Great location and friendly staff that speak English. No air conditioning, but television with approximately 100 channels, including many in English. Room cleaning apparently only occurs on check-out (was not cleaned during a nine-day stay, for example). $50. edit
- Voyage Hotel, Bayangol District, north side of Railway Station (Just northeast of the train station, across the expressway.), ☎ 976-11-327757, . checkout: 12. Friendly staff that speak English. Private shower and toilet in your room. Clean. Continental breakfast (fry your own egg!). $40-$100. edit
- Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, 19 Olympic Street, Sukhbaatar District-1, Ulaanbaatar, 14241, Mongolia, ☎ (976) 7702 9999 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +(976) 7702 7799), . The newest 5-star hotel opened in May 2015. Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, is located right in the heart of the city centre. It is an ideal base for both business and leisure travellers and within walking distance of the famous Government House, Great Chinggis Khaan Square and main offices and embassies. Chinggis Khan International Airport is just a 40-minute drive away. The train station is only 20-minutes away by car. edit
- The Blue Sky Hotel and Tower, Peace Avenue 17, Sukhbaatar District, 1 khoroo, Ulaanbaatar 14240, Mongolia, ☎ (+976) 7010 0505 (email@example.com), . The Blue Sky Hotel and Tower is an elegant luxury hotel with spacious and exquisitely designed guestrooms, complete with fine dining restraunts presenting delectable Western and Asian cuisines, perfect with specialized one and only service philosophy, and strategically located at the heart of Ulaanbaatar's bustling shopping and business district, commanding spectacular views. edit
- Ramada Ulaanbaatar City Center Hotel, Bayangol District 17th Khoroo, Gandan Peace Avenue 35/1, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, ☎ +976-7014-1111 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The hotel is 4 star international hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Ramada UB offers spectacular views of the first scared mountain Bogd Khan of Mongolia and glamorous city street views. The property is located across from the city center, and nearby Ulaanbaatar`s fascinating sights and premier attractions. edit
- Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, Prime Minister Amar's street 15, ☎ +(976) 11 323162 (email@example.com, fax: +(976) 7000 0026), . The newest 5-star hotel opened in July 2013, stunning location right next to Great Chinggis Khaan Square, it's a 25-floor tower so you also get amazing views. edit
- Kempinski Hotel, Khan Palace, East Cross Road, Peace Avenue, ☎ +976 11 463 463 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +976 11 463464), . checkin: 1400; checkout: 1200. Offering UB's highest quality accommodation and good restaurants. (47.92103,106.943572) edit*
- The Corporate Hotel, Khoroo 1 (located 7 minutes walk south from Chinggis Square), ☎ +(976)-11-334411, (976)-88113601 (email@example.com, fax: +(976)-11- 334422), . High level of rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and free internet. $170-850. edit
- HS Khaan Resort Hotel, Khui doloon hudag, Argalant soum, Tov aimag, ☎ +976-9908-5311, . checkin: 1500; checkout: 1200. About 40 km northwest of Ulaanbaatar near the famous Naadam Festival horse racing area, about 50 min from the city by car. This is a “Ger” style resort, all rooms are 120 m^2 with views over the steppes. ₮598,000-808,000. edit
- Wi-Fi - Most guesthouses, hotels, cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs have free Wi-Fi. When you are in the downtown area, look for a free Wi-Fi coverage under the name of Tourism_UB
- Internet cafes - might be a good option if you are in the outskirts area which cost around ₮400-800 per hour.
- Mail - the Central Post Office is located on the southwest corner of Chinggis Square, and besides stamps it also sells a wide variety of reasonably priced postcards (though they may take up to two months to reach their destination!), some very large, decorative collections of stamps (which are not for use) and a few nice calendars.
- Telephone - the city has an international call center. However, if you have access to a private phone, the most convenient way to make an international call is to use a prepaid card, such as BodiCom.
Cell phone operators offer both prepaid GSM sim cards and handset rentals (currently Mobicom) as well as extensive roaming options for your convenience.
The crime rate in Ulaanbaatar is "low" and it is relative safe places to visit. However, pickpocketing and violent muggings are a higher risk in the capital than in rural areas so it is advisable to avoid walking alone after dark. Street lighting is unreliable and visitors will occasionally come across drunks and stray dogs. The places where pickpocketing is the most frequent are buses and the Narantuul market (alias Black market), especially the entrances of them. The bus stops close to the State department stores are hot spots for this activity. If you've been attacked or pick-pocketed, please take time to make a deposition at the district police station and to notify your embassy if you have one.
Walking on the streets at any time is a hazardous affair as one needs to contend with ice from about October to March, open manholes and extremely chaotic and wild driving habits. Drivers (including buses and police) pay no attention to pedestrian crossings and will not reduce speed but simply sound their horns. The automobile culture in this city is too new to have developed safe driving systems and habits.
Unmarked taxis are common and shouldn't be feared. Locals simply stick out an arm and hitchhike anywhere around town. However, it is wise to get a local to interpreter if possible and explain the fare system.
Child beggars may be seen, but watch out for groups of them, as one may be trying to pick your pocket. Also be aware that any money you do donate will go straight to their teenage "pimps", and so you may not be helping them as much as you think.
Walking at night in company shouldn't be too great of a concern; it isn't for the locals. But stick to areas where you can see lots of locals (especially women). Coming out of bars late at night is a little dangerous if you are alone; try to have several males in your group.
- In the event of a medical issue, SOS Clinic, 4a Building, Big Ring Road, 15th Micro District, 7th Khoroo, Bayanzurkh District, ☎ +976-11-464325/ 26/ 27 (English speaking) Emergency: +976-91913122 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +976-11-454537), . Monday-Friday 0900-1800. editprovides both "Expert Doctors" (about $220 per consultation) and "Mongolian Doctors." The expert doctors are very experienced, first language English speakers, who go to the trouble of calling you the next day to see how you're feeling. The clinic has first-rate facilities including ultrasound, and in the event of needing additional equipment (such as a CT Scan) they provide a nurse and ambulance transport to the Ulaanbaatar General Hospital and back.</listing>
- UB Songdo Hospital, Ulaanbaatar Songdo Hospital, Choidog street Sukhbaatar district, 1st khoroo, Ulaanbaatar, . Monday-Friday 0900-1800. edit First private general hospital in Mongolia that provides comprehensive medical services including outpatient, inpatient services surgery, radiology, clinical and pathological laboratory, to meet primary through tertiary healthcare needs of our customers.</listing>
- GrandMed Hospital, Zaisan 1, 11st Horoo, Khan-Uul District, Ulaanbaatar, ☎ 7700-0066, 7711-1094, 7711-1095, 7711-1096, 7711-1097, . Monday-Friday 0900-1800. edit Mongolian owned private general hospital with latest med technology and located in Zaisan valley. </listing>
- China, Zaluuchuudyn Urgun Chuluu 5, ☎ +976 11-323940, 320955, 311903 (email@example.com, fax: +976 11-311943), . As of June 2014 it was possible to obtain a Chinese visa in Ulaanbaatar without a Mongolian residency permit, although this situation could change.. edit
- United States, (just off Big Ring Rd in 11th District), ☎ +976 11-329095 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +976 11-320776), . M-F 8:30AM-12:30PM, 1PM-5PM. edit
- Russia, Enkhtayvany gudamzh, A-6, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, . 14:00-15:00 visa application, 12:00-12:30 visa collection (Mon-Fri). $96 for express (1-2 working days) transit visa of between 7-10 days (July 2014), about half that for regular 4-7 day processing. Citizens of many countries can apply for a tourist visa (as opposed to a limited transit visa) in Ulaanbaatar without a Mongolian residency permit, although not citizens of most western European countries (July 2014).. edit
- France, 3, Peace Avenue, BP 687, Central Post Office, ☎ (976-11) 32 45 19 (email@example.com), . For visa application, one has to contact via firstname.lastname@example.org to get an appointment first. edit
There is a train that originates in Ulaanbaatar and departs for Moscow twice a week, taking 94 hours to make the trip and costing ₮308,606 for second class or ₮479,498 for first class. Another weekly train departs Beijing for Moscow, passing through Ulaanbaatar. There are two trains weekly originating in Ulaanbaatar and terminating in Beijing, and a further weekly train that passes through Ulaanbaatar on its way from Moscow to the Chinese capital. Daily trains leave to Irkutsk in Russia, Hohhot in Inner Mongolia and Erlian, just over the Chinese border, from where there are further rail and bus connections.