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Geography and climate

Ulaanbaatar, known as "the red hero" in English, is the capital of Mongolia. It serves as the political center of a vast territory composed of expansive steppes and mountains, situated on a plateau with altitudes mostly exceeding 1000 meters. This elevation makes it one of the highest capital cities in the world.

Furthermore, being geographically landlocked in the heart of the Asian continent, far from any oceanic influence, contributes to the harsh climate that characterizes both the country and its capital. Ulaanbaatar is renowned as the coldest capital city on Earth, with temperatures plummeting below -20°C during winter.

The city stretches approximately thirty kilometers from east to west and fifteen kilometers from north to south. It is surrounded by four sacred mountains: Bogd Khan Uul, Chingeltei Uul, Bayanzurkh Uul, and Songino Khairkhan. The location of the city was chosen due to the presence of the holy Bogd Khan mountain, located to the south, which is considered the most sacred of them all.

Ulaanbaatar today

The urban landscape of Ulaanbaatar owes much to its years under the influence of the USSR, with a predominantly Soviet-style architecture. Throughout the city, there are numerous references to Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire (the largest empire in history), which serve to strengthen national identity. Another significant aspect of Ulaanbaatar's culture is Buddhism, evident in landmarks such as the Bogd Khan Winter Palace (the reincarnation site of a Buddha), the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, and the Chojin Lama Temple.

Ulaanbaatar is also the cultural hub of the country, hosting important sites such as the National Circus, the Drama Theater, and the Opera and Ballet Academy. Additionally, museums like the National History Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Dinosaur Museum contribute to the preservation and better understanding of Mongolia's fauna, flora, history, traditions, and customs. These museums showcase rare and precious artifacts.

The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, primarily due to its mining industry, which is the country's main resource. As a result, Ulaanbaatar is rapidly modernizing, with contemporary skyscrapers emerging alongside preserved traditions and communist heritage. It's a vibrant mix of preserved traditions, a communist legacy, and a modern city.

In 2023, the Mongolian capital is home to approximately 1.7 million inhabitants, representing around 50% of the country's total population.

The city center is easily explored on foot, with the focal point being Chinggis Khan Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square). The square features a statue of the revolutionary hero Sukhbaatar and colossal statues of Genghis Khan, Ogodei, and Kublai Khan.

Available with the following tours:

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