Mongolia is a vast steppe in Asia where traditional and modern life coexists. There are tons of mystical places to visit in Mongolia for adventure-loving tourists. Moreover, you may love to run horses on the steppes or hunt with eagles with rhesus Mongolian children. You may have read a lot about the Mongols in history books and seen them in movies. So going to Mongolia and meeting Mongols will be a thrilling experience for you.
Yet, Mongolia is a country devoted to its culture and beliefs. The traditional family structure in Magnolia, which leads a nomadic life due to harsh climatic conditions, continues with museums, historical structures, and works of art in developed big cities. Here is a travel guide for the best places to visit in Mongolia and what to see there.
- Capital: Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar)
- Currency: Togrog
- Religion: Buddhism
- Bordered: China and Russia
- International Airports: Chinggis Khan International Airport/Buyant Ukhaa International Airport, Sergelen,
A city spread across the country’s vast plains, Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia’s capital and largest city. Moreover, one of the top places to visit in Mongolia is the national museums located in Ulaanbaatar. This city of Mongolia, which stands out in terms of economy, industry, and culture, Ulaanbaatar is famous as one of the coldest regions in the world.
Hence, you can start your tour of Ulaanbaatar from Cengizhan Square, which bears the same name as Cengizhan, the ruler of Mongolia who left his mark on history.
Genghis Khan Statue
The huge statue of Genghis Khan, which seems to reach the sky on an endless green in a more rural area of Ulaanbaatar, is among the symbols of Mongolia. This monument, erected in the area where Genghis Khan was born, has a total height of 40 meters. You can take the elevator to the horse’s head in the statue, which is a reflection of Genghis Khan’s majesty in history.
Besides, in the museum located on the lower floor of the statue, you can see the largest Mongolian boot and various objects. You can also buy objects from the gift shop to keep your memories alive.
Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
In 1966, the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts was founded, named after a Buddhist teacher, G. Zanabazar. Many artifacts in the museum shed light on prehistoric times. Stones made of deer antlers from the Bronze Age, Buddha statues and paintings, clothes worn in Buddhist ceremonies, masks, and many contemporary Mongolian artifacts are brought together with art and history lovers.
There is also a depiction of nomadic life in Zanabazar. So, if you want to keep a museum piece as a souvenir, you can shop at the small souvenir shop. Above all, tourists can visit the museum between 09:00 and 17:30 by getting detailed information with an audio guide.
Ulaanbaatar City Museum
The City Museum, where you can see the changes of Ulaanbaatar from the past to the present, was first used as a government building. In the museum, which sheds light on the history of Ulaanbaatar, you can encounter permanent works such as old photographs and maps, as well as a temporary exhibition when you go. Most importantly, you can only visit the museum between 08:00 and 17:00 on weekdays.
Mongolia National History Museum
The National Museum, which reveals Mongolian history in all its details in Genghis Khan Square, also has important resources on Turkish history. In the museum, you can observe the replicas of the Orkhon Monuments, one of the first written sources in Turkish, shaman clothes, animal and human remain, a large poster of Genghis Khan, jewelry, clothes, and weapons, accompanied by a guide.
Moreover, tourists aspiring to take photos in the museum need to get a permit card for a certain fee. In this museum, where you will go on a long journey, you can see an example of the burial of the deceased with his horse, weapons, and personal belongings, which is a tradition of shamanism, through a real find.
The museum exhibits ancient finds and documents reflecting the lifestyle of the Soviet Union period and beyond. Thus, the museum is one of the most exciting places to visit in Mongolia.
One of the most impressive Buddhist temples globally, Gandantegchinlen Monastery, means “Great place of complete peace.” This temple, also called Gandan Monastery in short, consists of many sanctuaries starting from a large courtyard. Buddhists perform their rituals in temples, performing various Buddhism rituals in the courtyard. Migjid Jarraisig Temple, located in the monastery, also hosts the world’s tallest statue, Avalokitesvara, which is 26.5 meters tall, in a building.
Surrounded by mountains in the sky country of Mongolia, the Gobi Desert is a favorite of travelers as the world’s fifth-largest desert. The Gobi Desert, which also has medium-sized large and small salty lakes, is also known as one of the rare regions in the world where the best-preserved dinosaur fossils are found.
Since Mongolia is a very cold country, you may not travel individually to all parts of the country. Therefore, you may need to join an organization or a tour plan to visit the Gobi and do a desert safari. In addition, some adventure-loving young travelers cross the desert on foot.
Karakoram lands, which have hosted many civilizations, including Turkish states such as Göktürk and Uyghur, are among the World Cultural Treasures Areas where Orkhon Inscriptions are found. The first examples of Turkish, Bilge Kağan, Kül Tigin, and Tonyukuk Monuments in the museum, founded in Karakum, with funding from Turkey.
In addition, while the originals of the monuments are in the museum to not be damaged, the replicas are exhibited separately for visitors in their real places. Thus, you can see how the stone inscriptions were positioned in history.
The highlight of your Mongolia tour may be staying in a traditional Mongolian tent on an endless steppe under the stars. Before moving to your tent, you should feast on Mongolian dishes accompanied by traditional games of the nomadic people.
When to go to Mongolia?
Due to its dry climate, Mongolia has very cold winters and sunny summers. As the world’s coldest capital city, Ulaanbaatar is a very difficult city to travel to in winter, and there may be difficulties in transportation to other cities.
Especially at night, it may become impossible to stay in a tent when the air temperature drops to minus because you are not used to it. Therefore, planning your Mongolia trip during the summer months will help you have a more comfortable holiday.
What to Eat in Mongolia?
In Mongolian cuisine, they consume meat dishes abundantly, sheep, goat, Tibetan ox, camel, and horse meats are heavily preferred. Among these, the dishes made with sheep are the most common delicacies you will encounter. Similarly, Bodog is a traditional Mongolian dish that is mutton meat inside the skin of a goat over a fire.
Furthermore, Buzz is a Mongolian flavor that combines pastries with meat. Like Turkish ravioli and Chinese ravioli, Buzz is a dish by blending meat with various spices. Also, wrapping it in the dough, and cooking it in oil, which is usually a part of ingredient in feasts and ceremonies.
What is Mongolia famous for?
The country has been famous as “The Land of Blue Skies” because of its natural beauty and low population density. Also, Mongolia remains relatively unknown to the rest of the world. See the Siberian Ibex, Snow Leopard, Gobi Bear, and various mammals if you are a nature lover. In addition, it is home to many large mountains and deserts.
Ulaanbaatar is the largest city, located on the Tuul River, which runs through the city center and divides into two distinct parts. The two parts of the city are the east and west. Above all, there are plenty of places to visit in Mongolia that give lifelong experience.
More Amazing Places to visit in Mongolia
- Terelj National Park (Ulaanbaatar)
- Lake Khovsgol (Sayan Mountains)
- Altai Tavan Bogd (National Park)
- Orkhon Valley
- Khustain Nuruu National Park
- Olgii (Provincial capital of Bayan-Olgii)
- Khovd (north to Olgii)
- Erdenet (second-largest town)
- Moron (northern steppe)
- Tsetserleg (Town)
Mongolia is one of the easiest and cheapest countries to travel to and is well worth visiting. Also, food and living cost is quite affordable there, and the hostel cost in the capital is $11/night. Unlike transportation from town to town may be costly because of minimal public transportation in Mongolia.
Mongolia is usually considered safe for tourists, although it is advised to be aware of your surroundings and remain vigilant at all times. Traveling to Mongolia can be a rewarding experience, but it is not without its risks. There are some street crimes in large Mongolian towns that arise during festivals.
Mongolia has a vast landscape home to some of the most diverse and untouched natural wonders in the world. However, for those interested in visiting this faraway nation, it is important to be aware of the risks of traveling there.
Yes, it is a good idea to discover fantastic places to visit in Mongolia. Moreover, Mongolia is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the ancient capital of Karakorum and Erdene Zuu monastery. Besides, the weather is usually cold in the winter, and the summer is hot and dry. There are also various wildlife species, such as wolves, bears, and big cats. So, if you want to get away from crowded and noisy tourist hot spots, Mongolia is the ideal destination.
Almost no one in the world has not heard of Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Therefore, for tourists, the journey to Mongolia is a suspenseful journey of real observation of the past and present. It is a country with a lot to see and enjoy, but very few tourists explore the Mongol lands. Therefore, in this article, I have made these wonderful places to visit in Mongolia the subject where there is a lot of interest for tourists.
So if you love adventure and love to travel the world, you must visit Mongolia once in a lifetime because there is something you will not find anywhere else in the world.