Ulan Ude is the capital of Buryatia republic. Originally the city was called Verkhneudinsk, the current name was given to the city in 1934 and means “red Uda” or “red gate” in Buryat language reflecting the communist ideology of the Soviet Union. The city is located in a valley formed by the Selenga and Uda rivers, approximately 120 km from Lake Baikal. The Ulan-Ude Region is a land with unique wildlife and unspoiled nature, endless steppes and taiga, Buddhist temples, nomads and shamans. Visit the main Buddhist temple in Russia – the Ivolginsky Datsan in Ulan Ude. Experience the traditional culture of the Old Believers, explore the old Siberian architecture and meet the city’s friendly residents. The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude and Buryatia makes this region a unique place where wonderful discoveries await every visitor that stop here on a trans-mongolian railway trip.

Here is a part of our city tours in Ulan-Ude:

Ulan-Ude City Tour

Ulan-Ude Lenin head Statue During this tour you will see the historical center of Ulan Ude located along the river banks like a fancy amphitheater with its 1- and 2-storey houses that belonged to merchants of the 18th-19th century, the main square with the most extravagant monument to Lenin, the Holy Trinity and the Hodigitria Cathedrals, the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater and other historical monuments.

Lenin Head Ulan ude: On the main square sculptured in 1971 is quite possibly the largest in the world. It is one of the city’s symbols and one of the most popular post card objects.
Buryat State Opera and Ballet Theater: This is possibly one of the greatest bargains you will find on your trip. Recently performed ballets and operas include Faust, Swan Lake, Carmen, Barber of Seville, 1001 Nights and Madame Butterfly. Built on a hill by Moscow and Buryat architects, the theater looks very attractive with its beautiful exterior decorations and ornate interiors.
Cathedral of Hodigitria: This old Russian church is the first stone building of Verkhneudinsk (1741). Now the church is visited by believers.
Great Merchants’ Rows: An architectural monument of the early 19th century decorated with wood and stone carvings is a beautiful example of Russian classicism.

Package price per person

1 PAX 2 PAX 3-5 PAX 6-9 PAX 10-14 PAX
70€ 45€ 30€ 25€ 20€

Services included: transportation, guide’s assistance, entrance fee

Excursion to Open-Air Ethnographic Museum

Ulan-Ude Open-Air ethnographic museum folk dance The Ethnographical Museum of the People of Trans-Baikal region. Operating hours: in summer – 10am to 5pm, in winter – 10am to 4pm, closed on Monday and last Tuesday of each month. Opened on July 6, 1973. Located 8 km from Ulan Ude. The museum has expositions on the history of ethnic groups living in the region: Evenks, Western Buryats, Eastern Buryats, Cossacks, and Old Believers.

Evenks Exhibition: An Evenk camp of several birch-bark and hide tepees: summer tepees of birch bark and winter tepees of fir tree bark. A shaman’s dwelling with two galleries of wood carvings depicting animals, birds and fish having spiritual significance in shamanism. Two wooden storage cabins containing hunting and fishing gear, skis, sledges, sacks, and traps.
Prebaikalian Buryat Exhibition: The exhibition displays eight-sided wooden yurts used by the 19th century Western Buryats (Buryats of Irkutsk region). The interior has seats for honorable guests, the wife’s and the husband’s quarters, and household equipment. There is a Russian-style oven near the yurt. Religious articles are those of Orthodox church as most of the Western Buryats were converted to Christianity.
Ulan-Ude Open-Air ethnographic museum reception Transbaikalian Buryat Exhibition: The exhibition includes a winter house and summer yurt of a rich Eastern Buryat family, two felt yurts and a dugan (small Buddhist temple). The winter cabin, built in 1912, was brought to the museum from the village Arbigil in the Zaigraevo Region. The Tibetan-style temple was transferred from the Gusinoozersk Buddhist Monastery. The majority of Eastern Buryats became followers of Buddhism.
Russian Cossacks Exhibition: This exhibition includes an estate of a wealthy Cossack ataman (chieftain), his main house, stables, storehouses, etc. Here you will also find a house of a poor peasant and a log cabin called an “exile shelter.” In the 18th century Siberia became a place of exile for criminals and political rebels. Along the Trans-Siberian Railway, there were hundreds of such shelters.
Old Believers Exhibition: This exhibition tells about lifestyles of the Old Believers exiled to Siberia after the Church reforms of the seventeenth century. The houses of poor, middle class and wealthy families, a small chapel, and colorfully decorated gates give you an idea of the exciting history of this religious group.
Old Verkhneudinsk Exhibition: The exhibits of this section launch visitors on a voyage through the history of Ulan Ude (Verkhneudinsk) in the 19th-the beginning of the 20th century. Here you will find an early 20th century church, a wooden house with a mezzanine and staircase, and a 1-storey house with ornate carvings.
Wildlife Park: This section of the museum occupies a territory of 35 acres and features native wildlife of Transbaikalie. Here you will see wolves, bears, horses, sheep, deer, camels, yaks.

Package price per person

Tour Options 1 PAX 2 PAX 3-5 PAX 6-9 PAX 10-14 PAX
Excursion to Open-Air Eth. Museum 3h 92€ 55€ 45€ 37€ 30€
Excursion to Open-Air Eth. Museum + folklore concert 4h 250€ 130€ 105€ 75€ 58€

Services included: transportation, guide’s assistance, entrance fee

Tour of Ivolginsky Datsan monastery, 4 hours

Ulan-Ude Ivolginsky-Datsan monastery Built in 1946, Ivolginsky Datsan is located 25 miles from Ulan Ude, near the village of Ivolginsk. Till 1995 the Datsan was the residence of Bandido Khambo Lama (the leader of the Buddhists in Russia). The main building of the Datsan was built and consecrated in 1972. Inside the temple, right in front of the main entrance is the biggest and the most worshipped statue of Buddha, next to it – 16 naidans. Below the statue is a portrait of Dalai Lama XIV and his throne on which nobody else can seat. In the grounds of the monastery you will also see the Small Temple, the library of Buddhist manuscripts (the largest one in Russia), a winter garden with the sacred Botkha tree, Khurde (the prayer wheels every turn of which means that the prayer has been repeated many times). 50 lamas live in the monastery. The service is held in Tibetan language. The best time to visit the monastery is between 9am and 11am, this way you will have a chance to see the monks in their morning prayers.

Package price per person

Tour Options 1 PAX 2 PAX 3-5 PAX 6-9 PAX 10-14 PAX
Tour of Ivolginsky Datsan 4h 120€ 67€ 55€ 35€ 30€
Tour of Ivolginsky Datsan + obo sacred shaman place 5h 146€ 78€ 66€ 40€ 34€

Services included: transportation, guide’s assistance, entrance fee

Tour of Atsagatsky Datsan monastery, 5 hours

Located in a picturesque valley, about 35 miles from Ulan Ude. Built in 1991. The temple has been visited and consecrated by Dalai Lama XIV. 8 miles from Atsagatsky Datsan is the village of Khara-Shibir – the birthplace of Agvan Dorzhiev. This man is known as a researcher of Buddhism and Tibetan culture, the teacher of Dalai Lama XIII. His log house has been rebuilt in a beautiful pine and larch forest near a mineral spring 2 miles from the Datsan. It was here that Agvan Dorzhiev established the only school of Tibetan Medicine in Russia.

Package price per person

1 PAX 2 PAX 3-5 PAX 6-9 PAX 10-14 PAX
146€ 78€ 64€ 50€ 40€

Services included: transportation, guide’s assistance, entrance fee

Tour of Tamchinsky Datsan monastery, 10 hours

Tamchinsky (Gusinoozersky) Datsan is located 70 miles from Ulan Ude. It is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Russia, the third oldest in Buryatia. In 1741 the temple was set in a big yurt, and by the year 1848 the complex consisted of 17 temples. The main 3-storey temple was built in 1858-1870. From 1809 till 1927 Tamchinsky Datsan was the main Buddhist temple in Buryatia (Buryat-Mongolia at the time). 500 lamas lived in the monastery and 400 more came for prayer services. In 1957 the restoration crews started working on the Tamchinsky complex and in 1990 two temples were consecrated and opened to the public.

Package price per person

1 PAX 2 PAX 3-5 PAX 6-9 PAX 10-14 PAX
305€ 165€ 137€ 80€ 74€

Services included: transportation, guide’s assistance, entrance fee

City package ULAN UDE

Hotels Price in EUR / Person 2 nights
Hotel Geser 3 stars EUR 320

Minimum 2 Persons
Package price includes:

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure (from/to train station)
  • Walking city tour of Ulan Ude with local guide (English speaking, 4h)
  • Visit to the Ivolginsky Datsan, a Buddhist temple.
  • Accommodation in chosen hotel in double room incl. breakfast

Ulan-Ude Museums

Natural History Museum: Operating hours: in summer – 10am to 6pm, in winter – 10am to 5pm, closed on Monday . The museum is located 500 feet from Soviet Square (the main square of the city). Its collections are displayed in six exhibition rooms, each dedicated to a different aspect of the natural history of the area. Among its exhibits you can find a petrified tree, a mammoth skeleton, other paleontological items, mineral samples, displays about flora and fauna of the region, historical documents. One of the main attractions is the display about Lake Baikal. The building of the museum also houses a puppet theater.
Museum of Minerals: Operating hours: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm, on Tuesday and Friday only. The museum’s collection consists of minerals found by geological expeditions in Buryatia. See Nature’s amazing creations – stones of all kinds, some with patterns of gold and quartz – you will be surprised at the diversity of shapes and colors that exist in this world!
Hangalov Museum of History of Buryatia: Operating hours: 10am to 6pm.One of the oldest museums in Siberia. Houses more than 100,000 exhibits depicting lifestyles of indigenous peoples (Buryats, Evenks) and Russians in the Trans-Baikal region, archaeological discoveries on the territory of Buryatia, history of religion (Buddhism, Russian Orthodox Church, Shamanism). Here you will find rare books, archive documents, chronicles as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. The museum is proud to have in its collection the two precious Buddhist manuscripts – Ganjur and Danjur and the ancient Atlas of Tibetan Medicine.
Sampilov Museum of Fine Art: Operating hours: 10am to 6pm, closed on Monday. The museum contains private art collections, paintings and sculptures by local artists, Buddhist tankas (icons) and folk handicraft items made from wood, horse hair, bone and silver, contemporary art exhibits.

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