Selena Travel

5 Things That Will Surprise You About Ulaanbaatar

Posted by Selena Travel / 04 17, 2024

While most people’s first stop in Mongolia is Ulaanbaatar, people often get out as soon as they can. That’s disappointing. It means missing out on a lot of great things in this city.

There’s plenty to see and do in this city of 1.5 million people, from clubbing to relaxing at a spa. We have compiled a list of things that would surprise you about the capital of Mongolia, and some suggestions on places to visit if you visit Mongolia.

  1.  The Nightlife

Mongolians are great at partying. If you are interested in a good time, head out to the numerous clubs in town. While out, you can enjoy cheap drinks and good dancing. Some of the better clubs are also in the skyscrapers in the center of town.

From the top of the Blue Sky building, you can get a great view of the city. If you’re a foreign guy though, don’t get handsy as the Mongolian men can be very protective. Be respectful and you’ll have a great time.

If you’re lucky, you can visit the karaoke places and sing your heart out to English songs as well! Good luck choosing one of the karaoke places though, there are many located throughout the city.

  1. The Restaurant Scene

Before you head out to party, make sure you fill up on dinner first. Ulaanbaatar has a great and growing restaurant scene. In the past 5 years, the city’s eatery scene has changed a lot. For great traditional Mongolian options at restaurants there are Modern Nomads or Mongolians, and Ayanchin.

For some Italian you can visit Veranda, located near the Chojin Temple. In the summer you can sit out on the veranda and enjoy the view of the monastery while you eat delicious pasta. And Rosewood is a fantastic option with a variety of food and a killer brunch.

  1. Traffic

One thing you might not expect though, is the number of traffic and cars. During rush hour, it can take a half hour to get a kilometer away. The city has grown a lot, very quickly. It was originally designed for a half million people, and now has around 1.5 million people living here.

The roads are just not designed to handle this many people. During the rest of the time, though, it doesn’t take very long to get around. Don’t be surprised if you try and take a taxi to get across town in the evening and it takes a while.

  1. Spas

After your adventures throughout the rest of the country, when you get back to Ulaanbaatar, make sure to book yourself in at one of the great spas in town. Gobi Day Spa is a great choice; they have a half or full day spa options to refresh yourself for your flight. Or you could get a great massage.

For another option, you can visit Grease in the Shangri-La Mall, or visit the Encanto Sports Complex to get a workout in before you relax at their spa.

  1. Architecture

The architecture of the city is also surprising. Skyscrapers surround Ancient Buddhist temples, and Communist era buildings line the streets as modern apartment buildings surround them. The very cool State Department Store is a great example of a nice Communist building. It used to be the main place to buy goods.

Now, there are a number of malls throughout the area with more modern example of architecture. The Parliament building is another beautiful building, while the neo-Classical buildings lining Sukhbaatar Square add nice touches of color. The Gandan Monastery is another interesting architectural example, for those interested in Buddhist buildings.

If you visit Mongolia, you’re likely to pass through UB. I hope you give it a chance and see some interesting things there. There are many more exciting things to see and do; check out the dinosaur museum, tour the city, and do some shopping. 

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