Top things to do in Southern Buryatiya & Zabaikalsky Territory

Top Choice Museum in Chita

Decembrist Museum

If you’re on the Decembrist trail through Siberia, this small but comprehensive museum is one of the best. It’s housed in the 18th-century Archangel Michael log church, an unexpected sight amid the neighbourhood’s s…
Temple in Around Ulan-Ude

Ivolginsk (Ivolga) Datsan

The confident epicentre of Russian Buddhism owes its existence to none other than Josef Stalin, who reversed the Bolshevik policy of destroying temples and allowed it to be built, in a plot of marshy land 35km from …
Buddhist Temple in Ulan-Ude

Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan

Roosting high above the city’s far north, the inside of this new and unexpectedly modern Tibetan temple looks like a kind of Buddhist-themed bus terminal, though the 6m-high gilt Buddha is pretty impressive. However…
Monument in Ulan-Ude

Lenin Head

Ulan-Ude’s main square is entirely dominated by the world’s largest Lenin head that creates an ensemble with the grey constructivist government building behind it. The 7.7m-high bronze bonce was installed in 1970 to…
Buryat in Ulan-Ude

Orda

An aspiring centre of Buryat cultural renaissance, the 'Horde' elevates coarse nomad cuisine to haute levels. Yes, it is largely meat with more meat and some onions, but the chef knows how to make lamb and even hors…
Bar in Ulan-Ude

Bar 12

Capping off the Mergen Bator hotel, this bar probably offers the best views of any in Russia: the entire Buryat capital and the surrounding mountainscape are laid out dramatically below you. The bar’s party piece is…
Gifts & Souvenirs in Ulan-Ude

Zam

This sparkling new shop doubles as a Buryat culture centre that runs lectures and masterclasses in traditional crafts. Goods include stylish jewellery by local artists, folk-themed clothes, locally produced leather …
Street in Ulan-Ude

Ulitsa Sobornaya

The pedestrianised street abutting Odigitria Cathedral preserves the spirit and the wooden lace architecture of the old downtown, populated by merchants and intelligentsia. Original inhabitants suffered badly from B…
Temple in Around Ulan-Ude

Tamchinsky Datsan

First founded in 1741, this was Buryatiya’s first Buddhist monastery and the mother ship of Russian Buddhism for two centuries. The original complex, 160km south of Ulan-Ude, was destroyed in the 1930s and the moder…
Museum in Ulan-Ude

Ethnographic Museum

In a forest clearing 6km from central Ulan-Ude, this outdoor collection of local architecture plus some reconstructed burial mounds and the odd stone totem are worth the trip. The collection is divided into seven ar…