When is the best time to fly to Ulan Bator?
The best time to visit Ulan Bator is during the summer, from around May to September. Whilst this region isn't known for its sunshine, this time of year sees the best weather conditions, especially if you want to visit the Gobi desert or the Naadam festival in July. As school term time usually falls within May and September, these months are considered off-peak, with several tour operators, airlines and hotels offering much cheaper rates.
Offering a unique landscape filled with rolling hills of lush, unspoilt countryside, vast mountain ranges and brutal deserts, Mongolia is one of the most pristine natural places in the world. But outside of this nomadic ideal lies the city of Ulan Bator. A vast metropolis, it's the capital of Mongolia, and the epicentre for all of the region's commercial and cultural activity.
Get your fill of the rich Mongol heritage when in Ulan Bator. Both the Gandan and the Choijin Lama Monasteries are particularly impressive examples of ornate Buddhist architecture. The Bogd Khan Palace Museum is also incredibly beautiful, especially its interior which features several rooms dedicated to private collections of art, sculpture and silk. Follow up this day of sightseeing with a visit to the vast Sukhbaatar Square, complete with a statue of this famous figure, as well as a seated monument to the great Genghis Khan.
The nearby Natural History Museum should be the next addition to your itinerary, especially for those interested in palaeontology or the museum's unique pre-historic artefacts. Wind down your event-filled day with a shopping spree. You'll find a number of great souvenirs in the various department stores or the Naran Tuul market, including cashmere and camel hair, paintings, jewellery and traditional Mongol clothing. But before the end of your trip, make sure you head outside the city to the Zaisan Hill Memorial. A spectacular commemorative mural of WWII, overlooks this lively city and the never-ending landscape beyond.