Mongolian tour guide
top of page

Destinations Around Ulaanbaatar

Updated: Jun 17

What are the destinations around Ulaanbaatar?

Turtle rock - Destinations around Ulaanbaatar
Turtle rock - Destinations around Ulaanbaatar

Terelj National Park - destinations around Ulaanbaatar

One of the highlights of Mongolia, Terelj National Park, is a picturesque place of high granite cliffs that were eroded by natural forces creating a wonderful landscape of granite tors as if sculpted by some giant sculptor. Terelj is only 60-70 km east of Ulaanbaatar. Terelj National Park was established in 1993 and covers an area of 2932 square km in the southern Khan Khentii Mountain Range. This park has a landscape of transition from Siberian taiga forest to grass steppe. In summer the meadows, carpeted with colorful flowers, mountain pine forests and broad streams make this one of the most beautiful areas in Mongolia. The most visited places in the park are Turtle Rock formation and Aryabal Meditation Temple. Hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing are common activities in Terelj.

Mongolia wild horses
Mongolia wild horses

Khustai National Park - destinations around Ulaanbaatar

Khustai National Park is located in Altanbulag Sum, Tuv Province and 90 km west of Ulaanbaatar. Khustai has 506 square km area and was established in 1993. The park protects the wild horse “Takhi”, also known as Przewalski’s wild horse, found nowhere else in the world, and a bio-diversity of other rare wild animals and plants. The quantity of various ecosystems within the park assures an abundance of wildlife. Till now 46 mammals, 172 bird, 2 amphibia, 3 reptiles, 16 fish and over 289 insect species have been recorded. Many of these are mentioned in the Red Data Book as globally threatened with extinction such as the Przewalski’s horse, Mongolian gazelle, red deer, Argali sheep, gray wolf, fox, marmot and much more. See the Takhi wild horse and other wildlife.

Chinggis Khaan Statue
Chinggis Khaan Statue

Chinggis Khaan’s Statue

Chinggis Khan Statue complex is located in “Tsonjin Boldog”, a historical place where Chinggis Khaan found his golden whip. The statue was created as a memorial to the Man of the Millennium “Chinggis Khaan”. The 40-meter high stainless steel statue of Chinggis Khaan on the horseback is the largest of its kind in the world. Visitors can climb to the top of the horse’s head and have a farseeing and panoramic view over the complex area.

The 13th Century Theme Park
The 13th Century Theme Park

The 13th Century Theme Park

This is the only place you can visit the old time micro kingdom of the 13th Century and experience the genuine way of living and working during that time. Park visitors can enjoy craftsmen artwork, Mongolian calligraphy, learn to write Mongolia traditional scripts, try on traditional Mongolian clothes, ride a horse and a camel and take a lot of unforgettable pictures. All camps are open to you and free to experience.

Bogd Khan Mountain
Bogd Khan Mountain

Bogd Khan Mountain

Bogd Khan Uul strictly protected area is the first protected place in the world, since 1778. The Bogd Khan Uul, in the south of Ulaanbaatar, has an area of 416 square km and the highest point is Tsetsee Gun which is 2256 meters above sea level. The Bogd Khan Mountain has over 220 species of plants, some rare animals like red deer, musk deer, Siberian deer, Siberian ibex, wild boar and many species of birds such as common buzzard, woodpecker, stork, and others. The mountain is great for hiking and it is popular for its forest with larch trees, grasslands, stunning plants and its animal life. Climbing to the top of the tops of the granite cliff peak, Tsetsee Gun for splendid views is really challenging. The peak is a three-hour hike away and five-six hours for the roundtrip hike.

Manzushir Temple
Manzushir Temple

Manzushir temple

Manzushir Khiid or “Monastery” is located in the southern part of the mountain Bogd Khan Uul, at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. The monastery enjoys a beautifully stunning setting surrounded by a forest of Siberian larch with a backdrop of natural granite cliffs eroded into tons of huge rounded boulders. Many thousands have fallen from the cliffs to make a grassy spreading out to the forest. The monastery had over 20 temples and was once home to at least 300 monks but was destroyed in the 1930s. A reconstruction project is underway. The main temple has been restored and converted into a museum but the other buildings in the area remain in ruins. The ruins of the original monastery, dating from 1733, are clearly visible. A god image, carved in the granite rock at the monastery, is a unique historical and cultural exposition. There is a big boiling kettle with a diameter of 2.15 meters, a depth of 1.4 meters and capacity of one ton that is known to have been used here to cook food for 1000 people at one time. A brief visit to a small but interesting nature museum will introduce you to some of the wildlife and natural beauty of the area. This place is ideal for trekking/hiking and taking pictures.

Summary of destinations around Ulaanbaatar city

Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is not only a hub of cultural and economic activity but also a gateway to some of the country's most stunning and unique destinations. Here's a look at some popular destinations around Ulaanbaatar and their approximate distances from the city:

1. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: Approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the east.

  • Highlights: This national park is known for its scenic landscapes, featuring rocky formations, green meadows, and a rich array of flora and fauna. It's a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. The famous Turtle Rock and the Aryabal Meditation Temple are must-visit attractions.

2. Hustai National Park

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: About 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the west.

  • Highlights: Famous for its successful reintroduction of the Przewalski's horse (Takhi), this park offers a chance to see these wild horses in their natural habitat. The park's diverse ecosystem and beautiful landscapes make it ideal for wildlife watching and hiking.

3. Bogd Khan Mountain

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: Roughly 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the south.

  • Highlights: One of the oldest national parks in the world, Bogd Khan Mountain offers hiking trails leading to the Manzushir Monastery ruins, offering a glimpse into Mongolia's religious history and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

4. Khustain Nuruu National Park

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: Approximately 95 kilometers (59 miles) to the west.

  • Highlights: Similar to Hustai National Park, Khustain Nuruu is known for its population of Przewalski's horses. The park's rolling steppes and valleys provide excellent opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.

5. Genghis Khan Statue Complex

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: About 54 kilometers (33 miles) to the east.

  • Highlights: This complex features a colossal 40-meter high statue of Genghis Khan on horseback. Visitors can climb up to the head of the horse for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The complex also includes a museum and a tourist center.

6. Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake (White Lake)

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: Roughly 600 kilometers (373 miles) to the west.

  • Highlights: Located in the Khangai Mountains, this stunning freshwater lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings. It's ideal for camping, fishing, and hiking.

7. Chinggis Khaan International Airport

  • Distance from Ulaanbaatar: About 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the southwest.

  • Highlights: While primarily a travel hub, the area around the airport offers a few interesting spots, including the Zaisan Memorial, which provides a panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar.

These destinations offer a mix of natural beauty, wildlife, and a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Mongolia. Whether you're looking for a short day trip or a longer excursion, the areas surrounding Ulaanbaatar provide a range of options for travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ulaanbaatar

1. What is Ulaanbaatar?

  • Ulaanbaatar, often abbreviated as UB, is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. It serves as the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country.

2. Where is Ulaanbaatar located?

  • Ulaanbaatar is located in north-central Mongolia, in the valley of the Tuul River, surrounded by four sacred mountains.

3. What is the population of Ulaanbaatar?

  • As of 2023, Ulaanbaatar has a population of over 1.5 million people, making it the most populous city in Mongolia.

4. What is the climate like in Ulaanbaatar?

  • Ulaanbaatar experiences a continental climate, characterized by cold, harsh winters and warm, short summers. Winter temperatures can drop below -30°C (-22°F), while summer temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F).

5. How can I get to Ulaanbaatar?

  • Ulaanbaatar is accessible by air through Chinggis Khaan International Airport, which offers international and domestic flights. Additionally, the city is a key stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting it to Russia and China.

6. What are the main attractions in Ulaanbaatar?

  • Notable attractions in Ulaanbaatar include the Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square, the National Museum of Mongolia, the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, and Zaisan Memorial.

7. What is the main language spoken in Ulaanbaatar?

  • The official language of Ulaanbaatar, and all of Mongolia, is Mongolian. However, many people, especially in the tourism industry, speak English and Russian.

8. What is the currency used in Ulaanbaatar?

  • The official currency is the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT).

9. Is Ulaanbaatar safe for tourists?

  • Ulaanbaatar is generally safe for tourists. However, like any large city, it's advisable to take common safety precautions, such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night and keeping an eye on personal belongings.

10. What is the best time to visit Ulaanbaatar?

  • The best time to visit Ulaanbaatar is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warm and many cultural festivals take place. The Naadam Festival in July is a particularly popular event.

11. What traditional foods should I try in Ulaanbaatar?

  • Some must-try traditional Mongolian foods include buuz (steamed dumplings), khuushuur (fried dumplings), and boodog (meat cooked inside an animal's skin). Dairy products and mutton are staples of the Mongolian diet.

12. How can I get around Ulaanbaatar?

  • Public transportation options include buses and minibuses, which are inexpensive and widely used. Taxis are also readily available, and many visitors choose to hire a private driver or guide for convenience.

13. Are there any cultural etiquettes I should be aware of?

  • When visiting religious sites, it's important to dress modestly and act respectfully. Removing your shoes before entering a home or temple is customary. Additionally, offering and receiving items with both hands is considered polite.

14. What souvenirs can I buy in Ulaanbaatar?

  • Popular souvenirs include traditional Mongolian clothing (deel), cashmere products, leather goods, felt items, and traditional artwork.

15. Do I need a visa to visit Ulaanbaatar?

  • Visa requirements for Mongolia vary by country. Many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival or enter visa-free for a limited period. It's best to check with your local Mongolian consulate or embassy for specific requirements.

For more detailed information on Ulaanbaatar and planning your visit, check out MongolianTour.Guide.

Mongolian Tours