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Shopping & souvenirs

Ulaanbaatar offers wide variety of shopping opportunities; best buys including paintings, cashmere, camel wool products, leathers, traditional clothing, national handicrafts, boots, carpets, jewelry, souvenirs, and national costumes. Most of the shopping is possible to accept international credit cards such as VISA, Master Card, American Express and JCB

State department store

Established in 1921, the State Department Store, known as ikh delguur (big shop), is a local institution and virtually a tourist attraction in itself. Here the best products from around the city are squeezed into one building, and it’s the place to come for quality cashmere (2nd floor), Erdenet carpets (4th floor) and a wide range of souvenirs, traditional clothing and books about Mongolia (6th floor).

Narantuul market

Also known as the Black Market (Khar Zakh), this is a must-see spot for those wanting to pick up traditional Mongolian clothing, carpets, horse-riding gear and souvenirs. It’s notorious for pickpockets and bag slashers, so wear your backpack on your front and stash valuables in your money belt.

Dunjingarav market

Just south of Naran Tuul is this similar market, but with the difference of being indoors and organised in a more orderly layout. It’s less atmospheric (and photogenic) than Naran Tuul, but a good alternative if it’s raining. There’s a decent food court serving Mongolian-style fast food.

Egshiglen musical instrument shop

A great little shop for those interested in buying handmade Mongolian instruments. It sells morin khuur (horse-head fiddles; from T180,000), yattag (zithers) and two-stringed Chinese fiddles, as well as CDs of traditional Mongolian music. All instruments are made instore.

Gobi cashmere store

Has slightly lower prices than the cashmere shops in the city centre, although much of it is last year’s stock. Next door is the flagship shop with a full range of items, and regular fashion shows during summer. It’s in the industrial suburbs, so it’s best to get a taxi here.

Lhamour beauty shop

– Set up by a Mongolian woman, this classy cosmetics store specialises in organic body products and accessories made using local products from sea buckthorn to sheep’s tail.

Tsagaan alt wool shop

This nonprofit store, which sends money directly back to the craftspeople, has all manner of wool products, including toys, clothes and artwork.

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