Located in East Siberia, Ulan-Ude is the home to many iconic sites in Russia. It is known for all the things it offers to both tourists and locals alike, such as the majestic 18th-century Odigitrievsky Cathedral, the charming main square of Ploshchad Sovetov, the Buddhist temple of Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha, the Ethnographic Museum, and more. From scenic landscapes to exploration of Russian cultures, and from a wide selection of outdoor activities to indulging in some of the fine-dining local cuisines, the city promises a good time. Also, Ulan-Ude ensures that upon visit of travelers, they feel right at home. It makes sure that vacationers will have a stress-free vacation while in the place. If ever you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life, listed down below are the best things to do in Ulan-Ude, Russia, which you can try out when you visit this destination.
1. Explore the fascinating Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Standing high above the far north part of the city, Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha is a modern Tibetan temple that looks like a Buddhist-themed bus terminal. It’s one of the iconic sites that tourists and locals love going to because of its beauty and grandeur. Upon arrival at the place, visitors will see some of the monks playing their drums, cymbals, and chanting making the atmosphere lively and electric. The temple features golden pavilions containing representations of the Chinese Zodiac Signs.
Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha
Address: Streletskaya Ulitsa, 1, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
Website: Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha
2. Check out the sights in Sovetov Square
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Witness the biggest Lenin Head in Ulan-Ude’s main square. It is one of the main sights of Russia where most tourists go to whenever they visit Ulan-Ude. It is an ideal place to visit for people who are into unique sights. It is known as the largest Lenin head in the world which has amazing architecture. If you’re one of those people who loves photography, this is one of the spots you will want to visit. You will surely have a lot of good images during your exploration.
Address: Sovetov Square, Ulan-Ude, Russia
3. Tour the Ethnographic Museum of the People of Transbaikalia Culture Gau
If you’re starting to plan your itinerary, you might want to include the famous Ethnographic Museum of the People of Transbaikalia Culture Gau located in Ulan-Ude. You can ask for a local guide to take you around the place. You’ll see a lot of unique art pieces and native materials while touring the museum. Also, you will learn the history and the culture of the locals as you continue exploring the whole museum. The museum has a victorian vibe all throughout.
Ethnographic Museum of the People of Transbaikalia Culture Gau
Address: Etnograficheskiy Muzei, 1, Ulan-Ude 670045, Russia
4. Watch a concert at the Buryat State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater
Are you looking for something different to do other than explore the city? Indulge in watching a beautiful concert at the Buryat State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. It’s the perfect bonding activity with your family especially if you’re with kids. It’s classy and entertaining, to say the least. From costumes down to the performances of the artists, it surely is worth your penny. Moreover, tickets on the shows are cheap and budget-friendly. Its architecture and decoration will remind you of the Soviet Period.
Buryat State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater
Address: Ulitsa Lenina, 51, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
5. Stroll along Arbat pedestrian street
The Arbat pedestrian is one of the best places you can visit for an entire day, for it offers a plethora of activities to do. Upon arriving at the place, you will see different clothing stores lining the streets of the Arbat. There are also many cafes and restaurants where you can choose to dine after a long stroll around the place. Exploring the street will also allow you to interact with the locals and learn about their ways of living.
Address: Moskva, Russia
6. Admire the Face of the Goddess Yanzhima
One of the most popular goddesses in Buryatia is Goddess Yanzhima who is known as the patroness of motherhood, children, and families. Upon arriving at this beautiful place, you will see the shape of what could be the image of the Goddess. But, not everyone is able to see the face of the Goddess yet she still gives inspiration to those who do not see her. People from different nations often visit this place to make their wishes come true while feeling the incredible ambiance of the place. One of the main reasons why people, especially couples, visit this place is because they hope that that goddess will give them children. It’s an ideal place to visit if you believe in the myth.
Face of the Goddess Yanzhima
Address: village Yarikto, Ulan-Ude 671601, Russia
Website: Face of the Goddess Yanzhima
7. Explore the Buryatia History Museum
Browse through the rich collection and information of Tibetan Buddhism and the culture of Buryats at the Buryatia History Museum. If you want to know more about the culture and history of Ulan-Ude, a tour around this well-maintained museum might help you. You’ll learn a lot about the place. It was once a house but it soon became the Cultural Heritage of Ulan-Ude. The place has a warm and inviting ambiance. On top of that, there are a lot of spots you can take your pictures. The museum contains mainly artifacts and other locally made artworks.
Buryatia History Museum
Address: Ulitsa Lenina, 46, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
Website: Buryatia History Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 6am; Sun: 10am - 12am (closed on Mon)
8. Witness the beauty of Holy Odigitrievsky Cathedral
If you have an interest in architecture, marveling at the spectacular architecture of the Holy Odigitrievsky Cathedral might give you inspiration in designing buildings in the near future. It’s a beautiful cathedral circa during the 1750s, which can be reached by strolling through the pedestrian walkways through the center of Ulan-Ude. It survived the Bolshevik purges as an “anti-religious” museum. Its restoration took place after the fall of the Soviet Union wherein it came back to its former architectural glory. It is one of the destinations that tourists from different countries go to whenever they are in the area.
Holy Odigitrievsky Cathedral
Address: Ulitsa Lenina, 2, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
Website: Holy Odigitrievsky Cathedral
9. Learn about the city's history at the Museum of History of Ulan-Ude
If you’re a fan of history and you want to get to know the place better, then there’s no better way than by visiting the Museum of History of Ulan-Ude. It is a quaint looking museum that tells the story of the culture and history of Ulan-Ude through exhibits. You’ll find here numerous artifacts and artworks pertaining to the said topic. Also, the museum is a popular event spot that holds lectures, meetings, social functions, and more. Make sure to visit the museum before you head back home.
Museum of History of Ulan-Ude
Address: Ulitsa Lenina, 26, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
Website: Museum of History of Ulan-Ude
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
10. Reignite your love for geology at the Geological Museum
Are you one of those people who wanted to be a geologist during your early childhood days? If yes, one of the places that will make that dream alive again is Russia’s very own Geological Museum. It is on the upper level of the All-Russian Geological Science and Research Institute. It is a big and well-maintained museum containing thousands of gems, rocks, and fossils. Also, the museum is home to the famous huge map of the Soviet Union, which contains precious gems. It is a truly interesting place to be that will let you learn more about geology. Bring your friends and family with you when you visit, so you can have a little discussion about what you learned afterward.
Address: Ulitsa Kuybysheva, 39, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovskaya oblast’, Russia, 620014
Website: Geological Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 5:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
11. Visit the contemporary Saint Nicholas Church
Saint Nicholas Church is one of the most beautiful temples you’ll see in Russia. It’s a rare example of how the aesthetic impression is created not by the use of standard architectural elements, but by the special emphasis on decorative details. The decor and furnishing of the church are minimal, making the place look neat and pleasing to the eyes. It’s unique how the colors green and red look well together, which makes the church livelier and brighter.
Saint Nicholas Church
Address: Ulitsa Bol'shaya Moskovskaya, 5, Veliky Novgorod, Novgorodskaya oblast’, Russia, 173000
Website: Saint Nicholas Church
12. Admire the artwork at the Ethno Gallery Orda
Ethno Gallery Orda contains unique art pieces that you will enjoy seeing for yourself. You can take lots of pictures while touring the gallery or even bring a cup of cold coffee from the famous Ethno Cafe, which is just across the gallery. It’s the haven for coffee and art lovers. You can also enjoy trying out its sweet pastries and flavorful pasta after your exploration in the gallery. It’s not only your eyes that will be satisfied but also your tummy.
Address: Ulitsa Lenina, 25, Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya Republits, Russia, 670000
Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)
13. Enjoy some fantastic performances at Ulger Puppet Theater
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Are you looking for the perfect event where you can satisfy your artistic side? If yes, Ulger Puppet Theatre is the place to be. Ulger Puppet Theatre is both known to locals and tourists alike for it showcases artistic works of the locals. It’s a child-friendly event perfect to bring your kids with you where their young minds will be satisfied watching these unique puppets come to life. Everything about the show is great, from the props to the script, it is something that the youngsters will surely relate to and learn something.
Ulger Puppet Theater
Address: Lenina St., 46, Ulan-Ude 670000, Russia
14. Satisfy your foodie soul with Russian staples at Orda
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Indulge in local food only here at Orda Restaurant, where every dish it serves is with the freshest ingredients grown by the local farmers. The place has a great ambiance, and the staff is all friendly, which makes asking for things easier. Its interior and decor are more on the intimate side; with dim lightings and dark walls. Also, the price of the dishes lean on the cheap side, but they still taste good. You can enjoy good food with good music when you dine here.
Address: Ulan-Ude, Pushkin Str.4a,
15. Be fascinated by the Music Fountain
One of the experiences you shouldn’t miss while you are in Ulan-Ude is its famous music fountain show, especially at night. It’s a magical experience where you can bring your partner with you and enjoy the show. It is truly fascinating how the fountains dance and how the lights illuminate the water. If ever you find yourself having nothing better to do in the evening, watching the show is always a good alternative. It’s also the perfect time to interact with the locals and learn about their culture.
Address: Lenina St., 51, Ulan-Ude, Russia
16. Enjoy drinks at Churchill Pub
Located at Leningradsky Prospect, Churchill Pub is the go-to bar for most locals and tourists in Ulan-Ude. It’s the best spot to spend your time with friends catching up or simply having a good rest after long hours of work. It’s also a grill bar and steakhouse wherein it serves juicy meat fillets that will make your taste buds burst. Also, you can request to have your drinks mixed depending on your preference. On top of that, the place has a great ambiance and lighting.
Address: Leningradsky Ave, 66, Moskva, Russia, 125315
Website: Churchill Pub
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 2am; Sat & Sun: 12pm - 2am
17. Shop for unique souvenirs at Zam Shop
If you’re looking for the perfect shopping spot, look no further, Buryad Ethno Market ZAM is the right place to go. Zam has everything you’ll want, from chic to locally made items inspired by local Buryat culture. From fashionable clothing, unique jewelry, art pieces, cute little souvenirs, to a wide selection of books, it truly has everything you’ll want to have for yourself. You can even enjoy a cold drink while browsing around.
Address: Sukhe-Batora St., 16A
Website: Zam shop
Ulan-Ude is known as one of the beautiful cities in southern Siberia in Russia. It’s an interesting place to be for many travelers looking for a place where they can immerse themselves in the culture and traditions. If ever you want to get lost, Ulan-Ude is always a good choice for its numerous stunning architecture, interesting historical sites, vibrant food scene, and more.
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