Mongolia is a diverse land with many beautiful places to discover, from the capital Ulaanbaatar, to its sweeping natural wonders. Whether you want to take in some culture or see what Mother Nature has to offer, you’ll find it in any one of these top places to visit.
Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia with about 1.3 million residents. It’s a fascinating city that combines old and new beautifully. Visitors will find a vibrant city brimming with modern buildings, shopping, art, a thriving nightlife scene and restaurants; a contemporary contrast to the timelessness of the country’s vast scenery outside it.
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Situated on the borders of Russia and China in western Mongolia, Altai Tavn Bogd National Park features five of the tallest mountain peaks in the country. From glaciers to lakes to a 10-meter waterfall and archaeological sites that include the UNESCO World Heritage Site Petroglyph Complexes of the Mongolian Altai, the area is rich in natural wonders.
Not yet a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amarbayasgalant Monastery, with its 28 temples and incredible surroundings, is on the tentative list, meaning that it could very well be on its way to being nominated. Nestled in the Ivon Gol River Valley, a verdant, hilly landscape, the natural theatre around is is nothing short of amazing. In addition to the compound, there are also some lovely sculptures to look out for in the green baize of the scenery.
Erdene Zuu Monastery
Located a little over a mile from Kharkhorin, the Erdene Zuu Monastery once had somewhere between 60 to 100 temples at its peak. Established by Altai Khaan in 1586, the monastery is now open to visitors who can roam the grounds and take in the scenic beauty of the 16th-century temples. For a small fee, they can also take a guided tour of the interiors.
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Located northeast of Ulaanbaatar, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is a natural treasure and outdoor adventurers’ paradise. Its stark, sweeping landscape and numerous natural attractions draw tourists from all over the world who want to explore the unspoiled land, often on horseback or camels.
Dornod Mongolia Steppe
Located in eastern Mongolia, the Dornod Mongolia Steppe is a large, protected grassland ecosystem; one of the largest on earth. The vast landscape is impressive enough, but it also sees about 40,000 Mongolian white-tailed gazelles migrate through the area each year, making it a wildlife photographer’s dream.
The fifth largest desert in the world, the Gobi Desert spreads across both China and Mongolia, specifically the southern portion of the country. It is a stunning site and a great contrast to most other parts of Mongolia; be sure to visit the vast Khongor Sand Dunes while you’re here.
‘The Dark Blue Pearl’; is how Lake Khövsgöl is often described. A gorgeous fresh water lake that is frozen for almost half of the year, these deep waters are surrounded by forests of pine trees, verdant meadows, and, of course, an abundance of wildlife such as reindeer, moose, ibex and yaks.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape should definitely be on your list of beautiful places to explore when visiting Mongolia. Situated in central Mongolia, southeast of Ulaanbaatar, the area is steeped in history. The landscape is home to architectural ruins that date all the way back to the 6th century, including Kharkhorin, Genghis Khan’s capital in the 13th and 14th century.
Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve
The Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve is a smaller area of 200 square meters located approximately 80 miles southeast of the capital. Situated in the Tuv province, this landscape is full of rivers, lakes, mountains and wetlands. Because the area is made up of such diverse landscapes, it is also home to some incredible wildlife, much of which is endangered; therefore, the reserve is a protected site.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.