Ulaanbaatar (UB) is the capital and also the biggest town in Mongolia. We propose to stay a few days in UB in order to acclimatize and readjust after the long flight. You can explore the city and prepare for the next trips.
We suggest you use a taxi or to rent a car (with driver or translator). With the taxi each kilometer costs 250 Tugrik (about 0.25 EUR). It is better to show the driver the requested destinations in a written form. Some drivers will try to get additional money due to misunderstandings or a long way round. It is better and easier with a translator or guide. You will have more fun and you don't have to worry about those things. Even if you are very economical, we don't advise the bus because of pickpockets. Generally it is better to pay entry fees in Tugrik.
National History Museum
Here you get an impression of history and nomad life of the Mongolian. Additionally you will find in the palaeontologic section complete skeletons of Jurassics in good repair.
Bogd Khan Museum
It is the winter residence of the last Mongolian head of state and religious leader Bogd-Khan (1911 - 24). It is a great source of information for Mongolian Buddhism.
Choijin Lama Monastery Museum
This monastery consists of five temples. It is dedicated to Tschojdshin Lama Luwsanchajdaw, the oracle and brother of the last Bogd-Khan. Most of the Buddhist monasteries were destroyed in the thirties. But here you can see some rare exhibits.
Gandan is the biggest and most important centre of Buddhism in Mongolia. Even if you are a tourist you can visit religious ceremonies which take place in the late morning. Or you can participate in prayer meetings with other believers. Near the temple buildings you will find in the north east the statue of Megdshid Dshanrajsig, a 26.5 m high and golden statue of Buddha.
Museum of Fine Arts
Here you will find products of Mongolian handicraft and pictures of the classic and modern Mongolian painting. For example, here is the most famous picture called "One Day in Mongolian Life" which shows native style typical activities.
"Tumen Ech" Ensemble
It is located in the children park in front of the Bajanol hotel. Every evening you can see traditional dance and singing especially the unique laryngeal singing. The show is colourful and nice to see and hear. The duration of the show is about one hour.
Additionally you can visit the national dance and singing ensemble and the state opera. The program changes often. The show normally begins at 8 p.m.
Modern Art Gallery
In the south of the main place beside the Khanbräu, you find alternating exhibitions of young Mongolian artists in the first floor. Most of the samples are for sale.
For souvenirs we suggest the shop in the central museum or the shops in front of the Gandan monastery or in other museums where you can buy cheap and nice bracelets and other trivia. In the museums you can buy ancient (and normally expensive) articles of virtue.
If you want to wear a traditional Mongolian deel (coat) during your trip you should buy cloth at the black-market or in a store in the main street near the big department store. The cloth is cheap. Then you should go to a tailor. She takes your measurements and after a few days you can pick up your deel. You will have to pay the tailor between 20 and 40 EUR. Besides a deel the tailor makes nice silk jackets or dressing gowns. One meter of good silk costs about 6 EUR at the black-market. If you are searching for something really exciting then try a silk evening gown. But you need plenty of time. And not every tailor is able to make such modern things.
In the south-east of UB you find the large black-market. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Mondays. There are more than 3.000 suppliers and you can buy nearly everything (but not food). The salesmen like to negotiate. In every case you should compare the prices. If you are accompanied by a Mongolian, you will get better prices also because he knows the local prices. Even if you don't want to buy anything it is really interesting. But never take too much money with you and look after your valuables.
Gobi Cashmere Factory
In an industrial zone, a few kilometers away to the south-west of UB you will find the state company called Gobi. There you can buy cheap (compared with European prices) pullovers, caps and gloves made of Cashmere wool. They have different models in different colors. A pullover costs about 60 EUR.
Merkuri/Dalai Eedsh (supermarkets)
These two supermarkets are located near the national circus. Besides Mongolian products you will find European products. The market consists of different shops and you will have to pay at each one. Compare prices and try to negotiate if the products are not declared.
Mini Zach (supermarket)
We find this is the best supermarket. It is similar to a European one. Here you can find e.g. real German Aldi marmalade, Kellogg's corn flakes and normal staple foods for fair prices. You find it in the 10th quarter directly in the main street next to a gasoil station.
It is a small market in the centre of UB. In summer they offer special fruits and herbs.
Central Post Station
It is located at the main place. Postcards cost 0.20 EUR and stamps 0.40 EUR. The postcards need about one week for Europe.
The best internet café in UB is in the main street near the central post station. They have many computers and a DSL connection. You have to pay about 0.80 EUR per hour.
In Mongolia they love karaoke bars. In addition there are some dance halls.
Riversound (dance bar)
Not far away from the main place, behind the foreign ministry you find hot rhythms. The entry fee is about 5 EUR but it depends on time and number of visitors. The music is danceable. It is even possible to drink German canned beer, for 0.80 EUR each.
This well know brewery was founded by a German. There are several pubs in UB. The most beautiful is located downtown near the central post office. If you want to drink good old German beer and meet other tourists, it is the right place.
Chingis Beer (Ih Huraldai)
Chingis Beer is a popular German-Mongolian beer You find the most beautiful Chingis pub with a beer garden, near the tank monument. Another one is located near the academy of art. Here you can see the original brew kettle.
Near the main place, in the same building as the art gallery you find our favorite restaurant. The food is good and opulent. The staff is friendly. All meals are shown by picture in the English card. The main meal is about 7 EUR.
You find the restaurant near the Gandan monastery (see above). If you walk from the main crossing to the monastery it is on the right side in a pink building. The restaurant offers different good Chinese food from 3 to 5 EUR. The waiter is very obliging.