From the world’s largest Lenin head to the center of Russian Buddhism!

After a few days spent in Ulan-Ude, and with the benefit of your knowledgeable guide, it becomes apparent that there is a lot to see and do in and around this city.

As the capital of Russia’s Buryatia republic, it is a unique mix of the Buryat and Russian peoples and their culture of Orthodox and Buddhist religions and Soviet industrial planning, giving way to an uncertain new world.

Ulan-Ude is changing rapidly, with a pleasant high street, renovated sites and trendy cafés, while still displaying its cultural diversity.

Ivolginsk Datsan near Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, Russia

Ivolginsk Datsan

For many the highlight of a stopover in Ulan-Ude is this monastery, the center of Buddhism in Russia. Situated 35km outside of Ulan-Ude on a wide plain with a backdrop of mountains the Datsan symbolizes the reemergence of Buddhism in this part of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
It’s importance was highlighted when the Dalai Lama paid a visit in 1992 as well as 4 further times since then. Now there are about 50 lamas teaching here and a growing number of novices join each year.
In a glass sided shrine protected from the elements is a big leafy tree (ficus religios) that is said to be an offshoot of the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment.


2 days – Available all year round

We only offer one tour in Ulan-Ude which covers all the main places of interest in this cultural entrepot, spread over two days.
Included is a city tour, Atsagatski Datsan, Ivolginski Datsan and the Old Believers.

Kids at Ivolginsk Datsan, Buryatia, Russia

Day 1: After breakfast, you start a guided trip by car to Atsagatski Datsan. Lunch  is with a local Buryats family. Then there is time to walk around the village, before returning to Ulan-Ude. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Breakfast. Guided trip to the Ivolginski Datsan. Visit an Old Believer village (50 km from Ulan-Ude), the church and the museum. Lunch at Old Believers house with hosts in traditional outfit. Return to Ulan-Ude. Dinner. Transfer to the train station for your onward journey.