Once home to the Bogd Khaan, Mongolia’s spiritual leader and last king, the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum (Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan) combines a European-style winter palace with a series of Chinese-style pagodas. Besides Buddhist artworks, the museum features a wealth of taxidermied animals, unusual royal gifts, and an exhibition hall showcasing Mongolian culture.
Tickets to the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum are moderately priced, with discounts for students and children (under-5s get in free). Set toward the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, on the road to the Zaisan Memorial, it’s typically visited as part of an Ulaanbaatar day tour. Combine it with religious attractions such as the Choijin Lama Temple Museum or the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, cultural sights such as the National Museum of Mongolia, and landmarks such as Sükhbaatar Square.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum is a must for history buffs.
- There are significant fees for photography and videography. Think twice before using a camera.
- Parts of the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum are wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum is located in southern Ulaanbaatar, about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) south of Sükhbaatar Square. If you have a U Money card, catch bus 8 or 52 from the Bayangol Hotel on Chinggis Avenue; both continue on to the Zaisan Memorial. Many travelers, however, will find an organized tour easier than piecing together public transport in Cyrillic script.
When to Get There
During summer (mid-April to mid-September), the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum stays open from morning until evening seven days a week. In winter, it operates on reduced hours from Thursday to Monday only. Avoid visiting at the beginning of March, when the Mongolian government offers free admission to all museums and they become unpleasantly crowded.
Who Was the Bogd Khaan?
Born in Tibet and appointed, like the Dalai Lama, by reincarnation, the Bogd Khaan was the spiritual leader of Outer Mongolia’s Buddhists. He became constitutional monarch of Outer Mongolia when the region broke away from China in 1911, but was a powerless figurehead by the time he died in 1924.