8 Cultural Shows to See in Ulaanbaatar (Summer 2024)

Throat singing, traditional dance, horse headed fiddle concerts, and more. Daily schedule and show times, how to buy tickets, and locations.

Seeing a cultural show in Ulaanbaatar is one of my favorite ways to introduce people to the rich arts and culture here. Each show is entertaining and mesmerizing.

Whether you’re watching contortionists move their ways you never knew a body could, being entranced by a Shamanistic dance, or getting lost in the art of throat singing (khoomei), each show will leave you ready and wanting to experience more of Mongolia’s rich arts.

I’ve listed my favorite cultural shows in town below.

Please note that this schedule is for summer 2024 and that most shows on this list will stop playing and will offer limited performances starting in September. Be sure to check their links if you plan to visit Mongolia after September.

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Cultural Shows in Ulaanbaatar

As soon as you arrive in Ulaanbaatar, watching a cultural show should be at the top of your list. Here’s where to see the best shows in and around town.

Tumen Ekh Ensemble

Tumen Ekh Ensemble is one of Mongolia’s most famous cultural shows and collaborations. Their shows include a mix of traditional throat singing, classic morin khuur music, Tsam Buddhist dancing and rituals, contortionists, storytelling about life in Mongolia, and more. Their shows are a well rounded experience that are great for travelers of all ages.

Shaman Show Ulaanbaatar

Tsagaan Lavai Ensemble

Tsagaan Lavai Ensemble’s Nomadic Legend show is a beautiful blend of folk art and heritage performance. With performances that focus on folk art, including a traditional Mongolian Shaman’s dance, Western Mongolian national dances, an Altai harp dance, ancient long songs, as well as contortionists, this show does not disappoint.

Mongolian Traditional Show

Mongol Khuur Center

With a museum dedicated to the horse violin, called the morin khuur, the Mongol Khuur Center is the perfect place for music lovers. They offer a 40 minute folk art concert featuring this beautiful instrument daily, as well as a 5 minute documentary about the instrument. They really focus on the details and things that make this Mongolian instrument so unique and special.

It’s also a great place to visit if you’re looking to purchase a morin khuur instrument, or take a lesson, while in the capital.

Mongol Khuur Center Cultural Show Ulan Bator

Altangadas Restaurant

If you’re more of a dinner and show person (who isn’t?), Altangadas Restaurant is a great place for just that. Their show isn’t as dynamic as the others on this list, but it’s also more budget friendly. The performances start around 19:00 and go through the evening. Shows include short performances from a contortionist and morin khuur ensemble. The restaurant is great for large groups and their meat platters are hearty and delicious. Wash it down with a draft Chinggis or Altan Gobi and you have the perfect all-encompassing Mongolian cultural experience.

They also have a very cool private wrestler-themed ger that’s great to book for large, private parties and special occasions.

Cultural Show Ulaanbaatar

Private Buddhist and Cultural Performance at Dashchoilin Monastery

For groups that are particularly interested in Buddhism and spirituality, a private cultural performance can be arranged at Dashchoilin Monastery in Ulaanbaatar. The performance takes place inside one of the monastery’s temples, adding an otherworldly feel to the singing, harp playing, and more that is a part of this experience.

Cultural Shows Near Ulaanbaatar: Terelj National Park

Located 50 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar, Terelj National Park is Mongolia’s most famous national park. Whether you’re staying the night in Terelj or just visiting for the day, don’t miss these cultural shows inside the park.

Tsagaan Lavai Ensemble

If you miss the chance to catch the Tsagaan Lavai Ensemble while you’re in Ulaanbaatar, you’re in luck. For the first year ever, the ensemble is offering performances inside Terelj National Park.

With daily shows at 14:00 and 17:00 inside Terelj Glory Resort’s Great Mongolian Room, this performance is more like experiencing Mongolian Cirque de Soleil. (BTW, did you know Mongolia is where some of the world’s greatest contortionists come from?)

Tsagaan Lavai Ensemble Terelj Glory Resort

Mongol Culture Park

The nomadic lifestyle show at Mongol Culture Park is one of the most well-rounded and immersive experiences you’ll find in Mongolia. Since the show is held outside, traditional Mongolian mounted archery, wrestling, horse racing, eagle flying, ger building, and more are a part of this dynamic experience. The show is 6 hours in total, and you can also step inside traditional Kazakh and Mongolian Gers, or visit the park’s bar, when you need a break from the action.

Plus, horse and camel riding and trying your hand at traditional Mongolian games, including knucklebone shooting, round out the experience there. You can even go up in a hot air balloon!

This year, the park is open until October 1st, 2024.

Mongol Culture Park

Cultural Shows Near Ulaanbaatar: Khustai Nuruu National Park

If you’re driving to Khustai Nuruu National Park or Kharkhorin from Ulaanbaatar, a stop at the Mongol Nomadic Cultural Heritage Center is a great way to ease into Mongolian living.

Mongol Nomadic Cultural Heritage Center

A deep-dive into Mongolian nomadic life, spending the day at the Mongol Nomadic Cultural Heritage Center is the perfect travel experience. Learn how felt is made, ride a yak, horse, or camel, eat traditional Mongolian food, milk sheep and goats, try your hand at archery, and drive a cow carriage, yak cargo, camel or horse-cart. Also try your hand at processing dairy products and learn how to make traditional Mongolian vodka (Shimiin Arkhi).

With a full day of activities available at the heritage center, break up your journey and stay overnight in one of the center’s gers.

Mongol Nomadic Cultural Heritage Center

Author: Breanna Wilson

Hi! Sain uu! I’m Breanna, an American travel writer and adventurer living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for more than 5 years. I’ve written for and been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Forbes, and the New York Times, among others. Read more of my Mongolia travel articles here.

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