Mongolian tour guide
top of page

"Narantuul" the black market

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Narantuul Market: Exploring the Bustling Heart of Ulaanbaatar's Famous Black Market

If you're looking for affordable souvenirs and clothing, Narantuul Market is an excellent choice. However, be aware of the risk of pickpocketing and potentially overpaying. To mitigate these risks, it's advisable to leave your expensive belongings in your hotel or securely store them in an inner pocket. When planning to make a purchase, it's a good strategy to compare prices at 3 or 4 different stalls to get an idea of the going rate. Also, it's wise to carry only a small amount of cash in hand for transactions.

Importantly, ensure you exchange your money before visiting the market. A recommended place for currency exchange is Naiman Sharga, known for offering better rates. This can enhance your shopping experience by giving you more value for your money.

If you feel uncertain about managing these aspects on your own, don't hesitate to ask us for assistance. We're here to help make your visit to Narantuul Market as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.

More about Narantuul Market

Naran tuul open market
Naran tuul open market

Narantuul Market, often referred to as the "Black Market" of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is a vibrant and bustling hub of commerce and culture. This sprawling market is not only a shopping destination but a vivid representation of Mongolian life and society. In this blog, we'll dive into the lively atmosphere of Narantuul, exploring what makes it a must-visit for anyone traveling to Mongolia's capital.

Ulaanbaatar city view from Zaisan Hill
Ulaanbaatar city view from Zaisan Hill

The Essence of Narantuul Market

Narantuul Market is the largest open-air market in Ulaanbaatar and arguably in Mongolia. It's a place where you can find almost anything, from traditional Mongolian attire and household items to electronics and souvenirs. The market's informal name, "Black Market," doesn't denote anything illicit; instead, it reflects the market's vast and varied offerings, often at bargain prices.

A Shopper's Paradise

Inside of the Naratuul Market
Inside of the Naratuul Market

Traditional Mongolian Goods

One of the main attractions of Narantuul is its extensive range of traditional Mongolian goods. Visitors can find beautifully crafted deels (traditional Mongolian clothing), Mongolian boots, and a variety of hand-made accessories. These items not only serve as wonderful souvenirs but also offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Mongolia.

Everyday Items and Curiosities

Beyond traditional goods, Narantuul is a treasure trove of everyday items. From kitchenware to hardware, clothing to cosmetics, the market caters to all needs and budgets. The sheer variety of goods available makes it an exciting place for both locals and tourists to explore.

The Cultural Experience

Visiting Narantuul is more than just a shopping trip; it's an immersive cultural experience. The market is a microcosm of Mongolian society, bustling with local vendors, artisans, and shoppers. It's a place where you can observe the daily life of Mongolians, listen to the local language, and experience the vibrant energy of Ulaanbaatar.

Food and Delicacies

No visit to Narantuul is complete without indulging in some local cuisine. The market is dotted with food stalls and small eateries serving Mongolian delicacies. From hearty meat dishes to freshly baked goods, there's a plethora of options to satisfy your taste buds.

Tips for Visiting Narantuul Market

Traditional Mongolian clothing at the Narantuul Market
Traditional Mongolian clothing at the Narantuul Market

Timing Your Visit

The market is usually open every day except for public holidays. It's best to visit in the morning when the market is less crowded, and the full range of products is available.

Bargaining and Shopping

Bargaining is a common practice at Narantuul, so don't hesitate to negotiate prices. However, it's important to do so respectfully. Also, be mindful of your belongings, as crowded markets can attract pickpockets.

Respect the Culture

While exploring, remember to be respectful of the local culture and traditions. Ask for permission before taking photos of people or their stalls. Narantuul Market is not just a shopping destination; it's a vibrant cultural experience that offers a unique window into Mongolian life. Whether you're searching for traditional crafts, tasting local foods, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere, Narantuul promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Ulaanbaatar. So, when in Mongolia, make sure to add this fascinating market to your itinerary and discover the hidden gems of this extraordinary place.

Mongolian Tours