A winter in Mongolia: 10 things to do

A winter in Mongolia: 10 things to do

Dec 24 2015
The cold strikes the capital, which is said to be the coldest of the world. And in this month of December here you are, wrapped up in your duvet, lying around like a couch potato. I admit Ulan Batar doesn’t have Broadway nor its West End, yet there are still quite a few things to do to make your dull days busy and appealing. Let’s go together through them…
  1. Ski resort

The Ski resort opens its pistes from mid-November for those wishing to run away from the city and get a blast of fresh air. You can get there by taking the free shuttle that runs throughout the day from the city center. Count approximatively 30USD for a day full of fun.

  1. Bowling

Willing to spend the evening out with your friends, but no idea ? Then, why not going for a bowling. There are three centers, two in the city center and another one in the south suburbs.

M bowling is close to the Tenghis Cinema, in line with the State department store. Ideal location if you live downtown.

As for the others, you have the Bowling center, which is near the Mongolian National Amusement Park. And, the Big Bowling located near the Tuul river.

  1. Ice Skating

Inevitably, in winter it is a must-do. So put your skate shoes on and let’s go sliding on the ice. A few places are found in the capital. However, the most central and most magical, is the outdoor ice rink set on the central square Genghis Khan. In general it opens mid-December.

Otherwise, an indoor one can be found in the new shopping mall Hunnu, not far from the airport. If you want to get there, you can catch the bus line 11.

Also, expect to see many Mongolians sliding on the Tuul river, which is frozen at this time of the year.

A winter in Mongolia: 10 things to do

  1. Dog sledding

Going out of town to enjoy the snowy landscape is on your bucket list for this winter? Hence, grab the chance to be a musher for a day or more, and slide through the amazing sceneries of the Terelj National Park.

Tours are going from December to April.

  1. Cinema

Personally, I often treat myself for a movie, not only because I love popcorn, which is by the way at a ridiculous price, but also because the price ticket is very attractive. Indeed, count 4USD the seat and 2 USD for popcorns of any kinds .

However, english speaking blockbusters are released at a less frequency as home.

Ulaanbaatar has got 5 main movie theaters:

- Urgoo 1, in the 4th district

- Urgoo 2 near Gengis Khan square

- Tenghis Cinema, at Freedom Square

- Gegeenten Entertainment Center

- Urnoo cinema, on the way to the airport.

  1. Museums

  • The best known and most visited is the National History Museum. Accompanied by our guide, you will retrace the history of the country over 3 floors and through the main periods that marked the country. Also, one floor is devoted to the yurt and traditional clothings of different ethnic groups that made up the former territory.

Open Tuesday to Saturday from 09:30 to 17: 30h

Juulchin Street-1, Ulaanbaatar.

  • Bogd Khan's Palace Museum: Bogd Khan was a leader of Mongolia in the early 20th century and the Winter Palace which was built entre1893-1903.

Opening hours Wednesday to Sunday from 09:30 - 17: 30hrs

Chinggis Avenue. Ulaanbaatar

  • The Museum of Fine Arts Zanabazar:

The museum exhibits ancient and modern masterpieces such as the ones of Zanabazar (1635-1724). Expect half an hour for the visit.

Open: weekdays 10:00 - 17: 30hrs (winter: September 16 - May 14)

Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. hrs (summer: 15 May - 15 September)

Juulchin Street 6, Ulaanbaatar

  1. Shows

  • The State Academic Theatre of Opera And Ballet

This pinkish building, recalls the architecture of the Russians time. Built in 1932, it is here that take place the operas and ballets. A stunning programming with the best classical masterpieces and so many other works to do throughout the year with artists from Russia, Italy, Korea, Japan and Australia.

  • National Academic Drama Theatre

The theater is close to the central square, at the intersection of Seoul Street and Chingisiin Avenue. Throughout the year various events are running such as Romeo and Juliet which was a great success. However, their progam is quite sporadic. Some shows highlight the history of Chinggis Khaan. A great discovery for those who are lucky enough to stay here for a night.

  1. Concert

The UB Palace is the main live performance venue of the capital.

The River Sound Live Music Club is also scenes of office for local bands. The perfect place to discover new talents.

And, if you want to enjoy traditional music and instruments such as the Morin Nuur, or long songs, I invite you to consult the program of Mongolian State Philharmonic.

  1. Karaoke

A must do if you come over here. Your Mongolian friends will undoubtedly take you there for a good part of the night. Mongolians love to sing, and do not get them down by denying the offer. Of course, the directory will be predominantly Mongolian, but international songs are also available.

For an hour of lyrical madness, count in average 10USD for a room.

10. Sports

When it's cold, let’s warm up. Here is a range of ideas to spend an afternoon . The two most popular sports in Mongolia are basketball and volleyball ... and you will be surprised to observe how Mongolians are good at it !

Then, if you want to dispute a basket-ball game with your friends, be aware that you can book a pitch anywhere in town with. Therefore you can ask universities or Century Plaza, which will let you book it a price range of 10 to 20USD per hour.

If you have rather a calm temper, you can practice screen golf at the ski resort complex. Yet the membership fare is quite costly, count around 750USD.

Another sport that requires less physical effort is snooker. You will find many places downtown and will be able to play as long as you want, since you pay hourly.

Finally, if you just want to be a spectator, you can still take part in sports competitions that are often held either at the Buso sports complex not far from the Airport, but also at the Central Sport Palace.

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