How to Spend 2 Days Ulaanbaatar
With two days in Ulaanbaatar, there’s enough time to explore the main attractions of the city and get outside and see one of the nearby national parks, reknowned for their scenic beauty, wildlife, and outdoor activities. Here's how to make the most of 48 hours in Ulaanbaatar.
Day 1: Visit a National Park
Morning: Head out to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, known for its picturesque alpine scenery and being easily accessible from Ulaanbaatar. On the way, stop at the Genghis Khan Statue Complex to enjoy sweeping views. To see more wildlife, and in particular the tahki, or wild horses, head to Hustai National Park instead.
Afternoon: Horseback riding has a long tradition in Mongolia, and visitors can saddle up at most parks. Or, explore in a vehicle, take a hike, ride a camel, or enjoy other outdoor activities such as swimming or rock climbing in summer or cross-country skiing in winter.
Night: To best experience the parks, and get a taste of the traditional nomadic lifestyle, visitors should spend a night in a yurt or ger, either in a camp or with a nomadic family. Spending the night in the park also affords a better opportunity to see wildlife, many of which are best spotted around dusk or dawn.
Day 2: Explore Ulaanbaatar
Morning: Head back to Ulaanbaatar and then to Gandantegchenling Monastery. An important and active monastery, it’s also home to one of the most important Buddhist statues in Mongolia. Afterward, learn about Mongolian history from the vast collection at the National Museum of Mongolia. Alternatives include the Bogd Khan Palace Museum and the Choijin Lama Temple Museum.
Afternoon: Visit Sukhbaatar Square, the main square in Ulaanbaatar, and its massive bronze Chinggis (Genghis) Khaan Monument. Enjoy lofty and expansive views at the Zaisan Memorial, and then go shopping for cashmere products and souvenirs at the Naran Tuul Black Market, State Department Store Shop, or specialty shops along Chinggis Avenue.
Night: Experience traditional Mongolian art forms, such as khoomei throat singing, folk song and dance, acrobatics, and contortion at a cultural or folk performance, a popular visitor attraction. Afterwards, sample local dishes, such as dumplings ( buuz ) and fried noodles ( tsuivan ), and local drinks such as fermented milk of mare ( airag ).