What is Ulaanbaatar Known For?

Ulaanbaatar, also spelled as Ulan Bator, is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. It serves as a cultural, economic, and political hub, offering a diverse range of attractions and experiences. This article highlights some of the key features that make Ulaanbaatar a fascinating destination to explore.

The Coldest Capital on Earth

Ulaanbaatar holds the distinction of being the coldest capital city in the world. With an average temperature of -29ยฐC, it experiences incredibly harsh winters. In fact, temperatures can plummet to a bone-chilling -45ยฐC in certain years, making it a testament to the resilience of its inhabitants.

The Gathering Place of Mongolians

Ulaanbaatar serves as the gathering place for Mongolians, with almost half of the country’s population calling it home. This concentration of people in the capital leaves the rest of the country sparsely populated, creating a unique dynamic that shapes the city’s cultural, economic, and social landscape.

A Historic Natural Wonder

Nestled within the city’s boundaries lies the Bogd Khan Mountain, the world’s oldest officially protected natural area. Designated as a protected area since 1778, this majestic mountain offers a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Visitors can explore its pristine landscapes and experience the harmony between nature and human existence.

A Mobile Capital

Ulaanbaatar has an intriguing history of being a mobile settlement. In the past, the city consisted of nomadic dwellings known as gers and ger temples, and its location changed a staggering 28 times. The reasons for these relocations varied, including seasonal considerations, the need for pasture and water, and the demands of nomadic culture. Today, there are discussions about potentially moving the capital once again, reflecting the ongoing connection to Mongolia’s nomadic heritage and the desire to alleviate urban congestion.

Expansive Land Area

Ulaanbaatar is one of the largest land capital cities in the world, covering a vast territory of 4704.4 kmยฒ. It is divided into nine districts, two of which are located 120 km from the downtown area. The Baganuur district lies to the east of Ulaanbaatar, while the Bagakhangai district is situated southeast of the capital. This expansive land area showcases the vastness and diversity of Mongolia’s landscapes.

A Young Population

Navigating the bustling roads of Ulaanbaatar, you’ll encounter a multitude of skilled drivers who effortlessly maneuver through the city’s busy streets. Moreover, Ulaanbaatar boasts a youthful population, with 51% of its residents being below the age of 30. This youthful energy contributes to the city’s vibrant atmosphere and offers a glimpse into Mongolia’s dynamic future.

The Ger District: A Unique Living Experience

A significant portion of Ulaanbaatar’s population, around 60%, resides in the ger district. Named after the traditional felt dwelling known as a ger, this area represents a distinct way of life and provides a fascinating insight into Mongolia’s nomadic culture. Exploring the ger district offers a chance to witness the resilience and resourcefulness of its inhabitants.

Built on a Rich Coal Resource

Ulaanbaatar owes its early development to the coal mining districts of Nalaikh and Baganuur. These areas are abundant in coal resources, which played a crucial role in shaping the city’s growth. Although efforts are underway to transition to cleaner energy sources, the coal heritage remains an integral part of Ulaanbaatar’s history.

Cashmere and Dinosaur Museums

Ulaanbaatar is renowned for its high-quality cashmere products, and visiting the cashmere factory store is a must for fashion enthusiasts. Mongolia’s cashmere is famous for its softness and warmth, and you can find well-fashioned and best-quality cashmere clothing to add to your wardrobe.

Additionally, Ulaanbaatar is home to small dinosaur museums that display rare dinosaur fossils and complete skeletons. These museums provide a fascinating glimpse into Mongolia’s rich paleontological history and its connection to the age of the dinosaurs.

Unique Experiences and Safe Environment

Ulaanbaatar offers a range of unique experiences, such as exploring the vibrant red meat market at Denjiin Myanga, where you can find a variety of grass-fed organic meats, including beef, mutton, goat meat, horse meat, camel meat, and yak meat. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in Mongolian culinary culture.

Despite its size, Ulaanbaatar is considered one of the safest cities in terms of violent crime and physical hazards, offering visitors a sense of security and peace of mind.


Ulaanbaatar, with its captivating blend of rich history, nomadic heritage, and natural wonders, beckons travelers to explore its enchanting streets. From braving the extreme cold to experiencing the unique lifestyle of the ger district, Ulaanbaatar offers a truly immersive cultural experience. With its vast land area, skilled drivers, and youthful population, the city is a dynamic hub of energy and opportunity. Whether you’re fascinated by its coal mining past, eager to discover Mongolia’s renowned cashmere, or interested in exploring its dinosaur museums, Ulaanbaatar has something extraordinary to offer every visitor.

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