How to Spend 1 Day in Ulaanbaatar
One day in Ulaanbaatar is enough time to experience several of the top attractions in the city. From monasteries to museums to markets, here’s how to make the most of just one day in the capital city of Mongolia.
Morning: Museums and Temples
Start by watching monks chant at Gandantegchenling Monastery, the city’s main Buddhist center. Explore the vast complex, home to multiple temples and one of the most famous Buddhist statues in the country. If you have a particular interest in Buddhism, stop by Dashchoilin Monastery too. Otherwise, head to the National Museum of Mongolia, home to a fine collection of Mongolian artifacts. Alternatively, visit the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Art or the Choijin Lama Temple Museum. Wrap up the morning exploring the palaces, temples, and museums at the Bogd Khan Palace Museum, the winter palace of the last king of Mongolia.
Afternoon: City Views and Shopping
Enjoy views of the city from Zaisan Memorial, atop a hill. Afterward, head to Sukhbaatar Square, surrounded by important government buildings. It also features a massive, bronze monument of Chinggis (better known as Genghis) Khaan, along with other Mongolian heroes. Next, go shopping for cashmere and felt products at the State Department Store Shop or the specialty shops along Chinggis Avenue. For a more local experience, opt for the Naran Tuul Market, known as the Black Market, selling everything from horse saddles to traditional Mongolian clothing. To see a different side of Ulaanbaatar, opt for a tour of the ger residential districts.
Night: Experience the Culture
Wrap up your full day of sightseeing with a cultural performance. Choose from a number of shows, which typically feature traditional folk song and dance, khoomei throat singing, contortion, and acrobatics. For dinner, sample Mongolian dishes, such as dumplings ( buuz ); deep fried mutton ( khuushuur ), and traditional roast ( boodo g), and wash it all down with some fermented milk of mare ( airag ) or vodka. Those with more energy can dive into Ulaanbaatar’s energetic nightlife scene.