Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital, is home to almost half of Mongolia's three million citizens. Often referred to simply as "the city," it is Mongolia's political, religious, financial, cultural and industrial center.
Ulaanbaatar traces its roots to the yellow ger of the first Bogd Gegeen, Mongolia's spritual and political leader. After moving several times, the Bogd Gegeen's seat settled along the Tuul River, surrounded by four sacred peaks. The past one hundred years have seen this Buddhist center of temples and gers transformed into the cosmopolitan center of democratic Mongolia.
Strolls through Gandan Monastery, the center of Mongolian Buddhism, and Sukhbaatar Square, the city's central plaza, offer a chance to see a cross-section of Mongolia, from businessmen to herders to young fashionistas.
The city boasts vibrant contemporary and traditional music and dance, excellent art galleries and several museums. Ulaanbaatar is also the country's best place for shopping. International luxury brands, bustling markets, boutiques with traditional handcrafts, and great restaurants fill the city.