Siberia Spotlight: Ulan Ude’s Top Attraction – Lenin’s Head
If you are ever in Ulan Ude, Siberia, you can’t miss the enormous Lenin head – the biggest in the world – in the town square. The bronze sculpture is 25 feet tall and weighs 42 tons.
The head was unveiled in 1971 to mark the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth and ever since, it’s been Ulan Ude’s claim to fame, meeting place, and most photographed attraction.
And while you’re in Ulan Ude…
In the middle of Russia just east of Lake Baikal is one of Siberia’s coolest cities, Ulan Ude. A smallish city of some 110,000, Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia with a decidedly Mongolian flavor.
Lenin’s head is certainly a main draw in Siberia’s Ulan Ude, but there is much more to experience in this city and region:
- Visit the open-air Ethno Museum of Transbaikal Peoples, which recreates a traditional Siberian village of the 19th century.
- Stop in at the Ivolginsk Datsan, a Buddhist monastery that is the center of Russian Buddhism. If the timing is lucky, you may witness the monks chanting prayers in Tibetan.
- Have lunch in a traditional Buryat ger and dine onmilky Buryat tea and a plate of juicy posy, the savory Buryat meat dumplings.
- Set off into the countryside for a visit to a village of Old Believers.
More Photos, Videos, and Info:
Siberia is huge and phenomenal, with swathes of taiga forest, northern tundra underpinned with frozen earth called permafrost, mighty rivers rushing north to the Arctic, and grand Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest freshwater lake on earth. When there, a visit to Ulan Ude (and Lenin’s head) is a must. Here’s more information and photos about this part of the world.
- Doug’s Travel Picks: 13 Favorite Things to Do at Siberia’s Lake Baikal
- The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ulan Ude: Why This Siberian City Will Surprise You
- Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – Siberia Has It All
- What To Know Before You Go: Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region (VIDEO)
- Good Manners and Good Food: A Home-Cooked Meal in Siberia
- MIR’s 30 Years: Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal (VIDEO)
Travel to Siberia with MIR
MIR has 30 years travel experience to Russia, with an affiliate office in Ulan Ude, as well as in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Irkutsk, offering on-the-ground support. MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
There are a number of ways you can visit Ulan Ude and see Lenin’s head for yourself:
- A rail journey by private train
- Adventurous small group tours
- An independent trip itinerary
- A custom, private trip, handcrafted to your pace, budget and interests
Top photo: Lenin’s head is a towering presence in Ulan Ude, Siberia. Photo credit: Eileen Bjorkman
PUBLISHED: January 27, 2016