Theme routes around Ulan-Ude

Ulan-Ude is attractive to tourists from different angles. Here you can trace the history of domestic and foreign trade, the life of the merchants and peasants. Here you can study Buddhism and get acquainted with other religions. It is interesting to observe the stages of development of Soviet architecture and the rise of modern art.

We will tell you about tourist routes around Ulan-Ude, where to find an experienced guide and whether it is possible to arrange an educational walk on your own.
Where can you find a guide?

Some of the routes are easy to do on your own. For example, the "Green Line" walking route is marked on the sidewalk of the city center with green arrows and is accompanied by a sketch map at reference points. Moving from point to point, you won’t get lost and explore the historical center in one day of leisurely walking.

You can also use our articles in which we talked about the Old City and Soviet architecture. We also described in detail how to spend one day and three days in Ulan-Ude, and wrote about where to eat, where to work and where to relax.

On the website you can find fascinating audio guides for walking through museums and main attractions. At tourist information centers you can purchase guidebooks and find out what interesting things to see in the city and its surroundings. And if you need a witty interlocutor and an erudite guide, contact experienced guides in Ulan-Ude and Buryatia. In special sections on our website you will find contacts of trusted travel agencies and accredited guides.

For all destinations you will need clothing adapted to the season, comfortable walking shoes, a bottle of water or a thermos of tea and a good mood.

Getting to know the city

The most popular tour route is a walk around the center — an acquaintance with the city. The route runs from Soviet Square and the famous head of Lenin, through Theater Square with a musical fountain, the Triumphal Arch and Arbat with merchant houses to Revolution Square. After this, you will walk along the Trade Rows, reach the Odigitrievsky Cathedral — the first stone building in Ulan-Ude, stroll along Sobornaya, the first street of the city, and look at the unique platbands on wooden houses of the XIX - early XX centuries. A separate tour point, which can be reached by public transport or by guide’s car, is Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan. You will walk a sacred circle around the Buddhist temple and climb to the viewing deck, which offers a beautiful view of the city and the Selenga River.

Sometimes this route is extended by a walk to the place where the city was found — the Udinsky Fort on Batareinaya Mountain. From there, passing by the monumental sculpture of Geser, the hero of Buryat legends, and the building of the Buryat Drama Theater, through the flowering Victory Avenue with houses built in the Stalinist Empire style, you will return back to Soviet Square. This path can be walked either with a guide or independently, following the "Green Line" walking route.

The route will take 2-3 hours, you can do it on foot or by car.

Buddhist Ulan-Ude

Most often people go to Ulan-Ude to learn the basics of Buddhism and get acquainted with traditions and culture. You should start your acquaintance with Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan, which is located on Bald Mountain. Here you will learn the basic rules for visiting the datsan, visit the main temple, see the khurde drums, tie a khiy-morin for good luck, walk along the road of long life, decorated with figures of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar, and, perhaps, ask questions that concern you to the lama.

Not far from the Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of Transbaikalia there is a large Buddhist temple complex — Khambyn Khure. The datsan was founded in 2014 by Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev and became his second residence after the Ivolginsky datsan. Here you can buy unusual souvenirs in the shop at the temple. In the residential area of Ulan-Ude there is the only datsan in Russia where all the lamas are women. Zungon Darjaling is translated from Tibetan as "prosperous and noble monastery". Lama astrologers, healers and chiropractors receive receptions here.

The route will take 2-3 hours, you can do it by car or public transport.

Merchant Ulan-Ude

In the center of Ulan-Ude, the urban development of the XIX - early XX centuries is well preserved. You can see the trading shops, houses of merchants and townspeople on the route dedicated to merchant Ulan-Ude — in those days it was called Verkhneudinsk. The route starts at Soviet Square. Going down Arbat, the pedestrian part of Lenin Street, you will come across Kapelman’s two-story house with Atlanteans, where the city’s first pastry and coffee shop opened, and the house of the merchant Borisova, where the first electric theater “Illusion” was located. The house of the merchant Kurbatov, who was considered the richest man in Verkhneudinsk, and the house of the merchant Goldobin, where the City History Museum is now located, face each other.

Then you will come to the site of the largest fair in Siberia and learn the history of the Trading Rows and Revolution Square. And after that you will have a walk through the old city — the historical center, where wooden and stone houses with authentic shutters have been preserved, along the restored Sobornaya Street to the St. Odigitrievsky Cathedral, a Siberian Baroque architectural monument of the XVIII century.

The route will take 2-3 hours, you can do it on foot.

Museum Ulan-Ude

A trip to a museum can be a great addition to a walk around the city, or even replace it if you're short on time. In the Museum of the History of the City of Ulan-Ude, you will learn about how Verkhneudinsk appeared, who funded it, how the Ulan-Ude people lived before the revolution and in Soviet times. The private gallery of Lev Bardamov collects ancient maps, household items of citizens and rare books. In the halls of the Museum of the History of Buryatia named after M.N. Khangalov, you will learn about the Buddhist treasures of the republic, plunge into the traditional world of the Buryats, and even visit a traditional dwelling — a yurt.

The Art Museum named after C.S. Sampilov presents paintings by Shishkin, Kuindzhi and Aivazovsky, as well as the works by Buryat painters from different times. The Museum of Nature of Buryatia is located in the same building, which shows you all the diversity of the nature of Buryatia and Lake Baikal. The "Zaluu" Center for Contemporary Art and the "Heb-Hub" art cluster present works by young Ulan-Ude artists. And in one of the largest Russian open-air museums — the Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of Transbaikalia — you will visit the ancient buildings of the Buryats and Old Believers, and examine the ancient artifacts of the Hunnic settlement.

During a tour you can visit not only museums, but also theaters. If you agree in advance, the custodians of the Opera and Ballet Theater, the Buryat Academic Theater and the Russian Drama Theater will tell you the secrets of the backstage.

Ulan-Ude remembers

If you are interested in the war legacy, you will enjoy to visit places associated with the memory of wars. The route runs from the Victory Memorial with an eternal flame, a Soviet T-34 tank and a bas-relief where the "Book of Memory" is kept with the names of soldiers from Buryatia who died in the Great Patriotic War. You will see monuments dedicated to Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Borsoev, as well as soldiers of Buryatia who died as heroes during the Great Patriotic War. The tour ends in the "Peers Who Went into Battle" garden square, where a sculptural composition dedicated to the war in Afghanistan and a monument to Hero of Russia Aldar Tsydenzhapov are installed.

The route will take 2-3 hours, you can do it by car or public transport.

Industrial and craft Ulan-Ude

City tours can be not only cultural, but also industrial. With guides, you can get to the Jade Factory and learn everything about the deposits, mining, processing and beneficial properties of jade. You can visit the "Naran" Boots-felting Factory and get acquainted with the process of making felt boots. The LCRP Museum and the Russian Railways Depot Museum, the MES station and even the tram depot are available for visiting by organized groups. In addition, you can visit the "Darkhan Jeweler" workshop and learn a lot about the tradition of minting and wearing silver jewelry among the Buryats.

Other tours

Many city guides have their own routes that are interesting not only for tourists to follow, but also for the townspeople themselves. For example, employees of the City History Museum organize the "Searching for a Merchant’s Treasure" quest. During the journey, you need to solve puzzles and complete tasks to solve the crime and find the stolen treasure. Moreover, in the museum you can book tours to the places where the Decembrists stayed in Verkhneudinsk or to the ancient district of the city — Zaudinsky Suburb.

Guide Natalya Myasnikova can talk about the symbolism of house carvings and the traditions of building wooden manors along the "Wooden Lace" route. And Darima Togosheeva conducts an educational tour about famous women of Buryatia. Every summer Natalya and Darima hold the "Khoto" tour festival. In a week you can take part in original walking, tram and bus tours, visit the roof of the National Library and look behind the scenes of the Opera and Ballet Theatre, try the Verkhneudinsk cuisine, raft down the Selenga River, learn to dance Yohor and square dance and much, much more.