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Mongolia

Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, known for its vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, is the cultural, economic, and political heart of the country, housing a significant portion of Mongolia's population.

Mongolia's landscape is diverse, featuring the Gobi Desert to the south and cold, mountainous regions to the north and west, making it a destination for adventurers and those interested in its rich history, including the era of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Ulaanbaatar

morning:Start your day with a visit to the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia. Afterward, head to the Green Zone restaurant for a delightful breakfast.

afternoon:Stroll through the stunning Sukhbaatar Square, and visit the National History Museum to learn about the rich history and culture of Mongolia. For lunch, try the traditional Mongolian dishes at Modern Nomads.

evening:Experience the vibrant nightlife at the Irish Pub in Ulaanbaatar while enjoying live music and a great selection of drinks.

day 2

Nomadic Lifestyle

morning:Embark on a guided tour to a nearby nomadic family's ger (traditional dwelling) and learn about their everyday life. Enjoy a cup of refreshing Mongolian milk tea and homemade dairy products.

afternoon:Explore the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback and take in the breathtaking landscapes. Stop by the local market to shop for authentic souvenirs and handcrafted items.

evening:Relax by a cozy bonfire and savor a traditional Mongolian barbecue under the starry sky with the nomadic family.

day 3

Gobi Desert Expedition

morning:Embark on an exhilarating journey to the Gobi Desert and witness the stunning Flaming Cliffs. Pause for breakfast at the renowned Nomad's Dream café along the way.

afternoon:Discover the hidden treasures of the Yol Valley, and take a scenic hike through the dramatic canyon. Enjoy a picnic amidst the picturesque landscape.

evening:Experience a mesmerizing desert sunset from the top of the Khongor Sand Dunes, and savor a traditional dinner at a local ger camp.

day 4

Khuvsgul Lake Adventure

morning:Embark on a serene boat tour on the crystal-clear waters of Khuvsgul Lake and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Indulge in a delicious breakfast at a lakeside cafe.

afternoon:Hike along the scenic trails surrounding the lake and discover the lush green forests and diverse wildlife. Enjoy a delightful picnic in the idyllic setting.

evening:Experience the tranquil evening ambiance by the lake and savor a delectable dinner at a local restaurant offering panoramic views of the majestic lake and mountains.

Mongolia Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Buuz

Buuz are traditional Mongolian steamed dumplings filled with minced meat, onions, and spices. They are commonly enjoyed during Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year) festivities and can be found in many local restaurants and at food stalls in Ulaanbaatar.

Must-Try!

Khorkhog

Khorkhog is a flavorful dish made with mutton, vegetables, and hot stones, cooked in a specialized cooking container. It's a must-try for those seeking an authentic Mongolian dining experience and is often served at traditional nomadic camps or specialty restaurants.

Tsuiwan

Tsuiwan, or Mongolian noodle soup, is a popular comfort food made with hand-pulled noodles, meat, and assorted vegetables. You can find variations of this dish in local cafes and small eateries across the country.

Aaruul

Aaruul is a traditional Mongolian dried curd snack made from fermented dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt. It's widely available in markets, grocery stores, and as a common accompaniment during nomadic travel.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Naran Tuul Market

Naran Tuul Market, also known as the Black Market, is a bustling hub in Ulaanbaatar where visitors can explore a wide range of traditional Mongolian foods, snacks, and beverages. It's a great place to sample street food, pick up local ingredients, and immerse in the lively market atmosphere.

Gandan Khiid Night Market

Gandan Khiid Night Market offers a fantastic array of street food stalls and vendors, showcasing both traditional Mongolian dishes and international flavors. This vibrant market is an excellent spot to taste local delicacies and experience the diverse street food culture in Mongolia.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While traditional Mongolian cuisine heavily features meat and dairy, many restaurants and cafes in urban areas like Ulaanbaatar now offer vegetarian and vegan options to cater to diverse dietary preferences. Be sure to inquire about meat-free dishes or customized plant-based meals when dining out.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Choices

Gluten-free dining options may be more limited in Mongolia, but with increased awareness of dietary restrictions, some eateries are accommodating gluten-free requests. It's advisable to communicate your dietary needs clearly and seek recommendations from local residents or restaurant staff for suitable dining establishments.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Mongolia

Bd's Barbeque

Bd's Barbeque is a popular restaurant specializing in Mongolian barbeque, where guests can enjoy an interactive dining experience by selecting their preferred meats, vegetables, and sauces to be grilled on a large, centrally located hot plate. The restaurant's lively atmosphere and traditional Mongolian cooking style make it a standout dining destination.

Modern Nomads

Modern Nomads provides a contemporary take on Mongolian cuisine, offering a blend of traditional flavors and modern culinary techniques. The restaurant presents a diverse menu featuring local dishes, and the stylish setting makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a fusion of heritage and innovation in their dining experience.

Things to do in Mongolia

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Mongolia

Explore local food, attractions and more!

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