Capital Ulaanbaatar

The capital city Ulaanbaatar /or Ulan Bator/ is a roaming metropolis with 1.3 million residents. It is by all means the heart of the country, on top of being cultural, economic and industrial centre, it is located in the eastern center of the country landscape, by the Tuul river valley and Bogd Khan Mountain on its south. First founded in 1639, name of the city had been changed several times. In 1924 the current name “Ulaanbaatar” meaning Red-Hero in English was given, replacing “Urgoo” (Urga).

Historical Gandan monastery, established in 1809 played an important role in forming the city, as it became the largest learning center of Tibetan Buddhism at that time. In 1930, Ulaanbaatar was still a town of gers and small wooden houses, but following the end of WWII Soviet Russian wave rushed through Mongolian land and started the majority of western styled building operations which continued until the democratic revolution of 1990. Although most of the residential apartments, offices and factories are identical with that of any Soviet era cities, Ulaanbaatar’s skyline has dramatically changed following the boom of modern high rise buildings in 2010’s.

The Trans-Mongolian Railway, which completed in 1956 started to operate as a connecting route to European continent to Asia. Today, Moscow-Ulaanbaatar-Beijing (two ways) passenger trains are running every week to facilitate the needs of international travellers, in addition to daily departures to the bordering cities of Russia and China, making it more convenient to travel to/from Ulaanbaatar by ground.

By air, the international airport Chinggis Khaan (former Buyant Ukhaa) serving the capital is located in 18 km southwest of the city with following operating carriers:

The airport is due for replacement in 2017 by the new Khöshig Valley Airport under construction at the Khoshig Valley, 52 kilometres (32 mi) from Ulaanbaatar city centre.