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1198822 origIt’s weird looking at international borders and realizing it’s all a big mess, and if things had worked out a bit differently, Buryatia might have been part of Mongolia, and Mongolia may well have been part of modern-day China.

But somehow the Buryats found themselves in Russia. Things seem to be fine, but it’s an odd fate when borders are drawn by political powers rather than geography or other factors.

Perhaps as a result of its multicultural situation, Ulan Ude was closed to foreigners until 1991. It’s even more isolated than Tibet.

Ulan Ude’s other claim to fame is that it’s home to the largest Lenin head ever built. Huzzah!


Ulan-Ude is not only a point of departure to visit Lake Baikal. This small cozy town has its own atmosphere and could itself be the goal of your trip to Buryatia.

Here is a list of 5 Top Tourist attractions in Ulan-Ude for a one day city trip:

1. Lenin’s monument

Lenin's monument attractions in Ulan-UdeOne of the most interesting monuments of Ulan-Ude is standing on the main square of the city (Soviets Square). It is made in the form of the giant head of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. It was constructed in honour of the centenary of his birth in 1970. The huge bronze head of Lenin remains a weighty legacy of the Soviet times – it weighs some 42 tons and is 13,5 meters high.
It’s the biggest sculpture of Lenin’s head in the world. It is one of the local meeting places.

It is interesting:
At the 1900 World Exposition the French President Emile Loubet was willing to buy the Russia sculpture. The negotiations were lengthy but the casters gave him their final answer: “Russia” is not for sale!

Location: Soviets Square

2. Tsar’s Triumph Gates

Triumph Gates attractions in Ulan-UdeAlthough the monument Tsar Gates in the centre of Ulan-Ude might look old, it was built in 2006. It’s a replica of the 19th century arch built by the merchants to commemorate Tsesarevich Nikolay II, who visited Verhneudinsk during his trip to Siberia. The original arch was destroyedduring the Soviet era. The new one is bigger than the original, nevertheless it is an exact copy of the old arch.

Location: at the top of Lenin Street.




3. The place of Ulan-Ude city foundation (Verkhneudinsk)

foundation place attractions in Ulan-UdeA granite cross on the rocky bank of the Uda, where it joins the Selenga River, marks the place where Russian Cossacks founded a wooden fortress in 1666. They went that far east to collect tax – which was usually paid off in furs in that area – and had to stay the winter. Their fortress evolved into a proper city. The stone cross is placed at the initiative of Zabaikalsky Cossacks in memory of the founders of the city.

Location: at the beginning of the Prospekt Pobedy Str. (Prospect of Victory), on the cliffed shore of the Uda, near the road bridge.



4. The sculpture of “Mother Buryatia” (also known as «Hospitable Buryatia»)

Mother Buryatia attractions in Ulan-Ude

Courtesy of

Visitors to Ulan-Ude going from the airport in the direction of the city centre are met by an enormous 16-metrehight Mother Buryatia statue, situated by the Selenginsky bridge. It is the highest monument in the city. This bronze woman with a traditional Buryatian scarf (khadak), a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome, was built in Ulan-Ude in 2002. Originally the Sculpture was established in the centre of Ulan-Ude just behind the Opera and Ballet Theater. In 2008, it was moved to the Selenginsky bridge.

Location: at the beginning of the Selenginsky Bridge.






5. Odigitrievsky Cathedral

odigitrievsky cathedral attractions in Ulan-UdeIt is the main Orthodox temple in Ulan-Ude and the first stone building constructed in the city. The cathedral was built in early 17th century and was named after the icon of Odigitry’s God Mother. In 1960, the cathedral received the status of an architectural monument. It belongs to Siberian baroque style. The gilded carved iconostases were the main decorative elements of the cathedral interior. In the upper temple the iconostasis contained four tiers with eight rows of icons.
The construction of the cathedral started in 1741 and lasted for more than 40 years. The cathedral was built on the money of Verkhneudinsk and Kyahta merchants.
In 1929 the church was closed. Since 1934 an anti-religious museum housed in the cathedral. Then there was a local history museum and a museum of Buryatia History in the church. In 1995 the cathedral was restored and returned back to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Residentsiya Hotel

46241885One of our top picks in Ulan-Ude. Offering a restaurant, Residentsiya Hotel is located in the centre of Ulan-Ude, a 5-minute walk from Sovetov Square, Mongolian Embassy and Opera and Ballet Theatre. Free WiFi access is available.

Each room here will provide you with air conditioning and a minibar. There is also an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and bathrobes. Extras include a safety deposit box and bed linen.

At Residentsiya Hotel you will find a 24-hour front desk and a bar. Other facilities offered at the property include an ironing service and laundry facilities. The property offers free parking.

Both smoking and nonsmoking rooms are available. Baikal International Airport is 10 km away.

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