There is 1 bus station “Selenga” (also known as “Yuzhniy”) in the town. It is located in the center of Ulan-Ude on Korabelnaya str. 32-15, closer to the river Selenga. You’ll see a sign “УЛАН-УДЭ” on the building.
Take either a marshrutka №30 or №29 and go to the stop called “Avtavagzal” (Rus: Автовокзал) (ask a driver).
From the “Selenga” terminal buses depart to Irkutsk, Arshan, and all along the Eastern shore of Baikal lake, as well as Ivolginsky Buddhist datsan, which is in a 30 minutes ride from the city.
The railway station is located in the centre, about 10 minute walk from the main square of the city. There’s a waiting area in the station opened 24 hours a day with free Wi-Fi, to access the area you should show a valid ticket. There are also a few snack shops in front of the station. To get to the city center (ask a driver the bus stop “Ploshchat Savetov”, Rus: Площадь Советов) from the railway station you can take a minibus №4, 23, or 36 (just in front of the station).
As Ulan-Ude stands in the middle of Trans-Siberian route connecting it to the Trans-Mongolian railway, there are a lot of trains passing it by from any direction such as Moscow in the west, UlaanBaatar from the south and Vladivostok from the east.
The famous way among backpackers to get to Ulan-Ude is to take a four day journey from Moscow.
The Airport Baikal is located 15 kilometers from the city center (around a 20 minute drive). The airport can be reached by public transport: marshrutkas №55 and 77. Both routes pass through the center of the city (ask a driver the bus stop “Ploshchat Savetaf”, Rus: Площадь Советов).
There are a few souvenir shops and a small shop where you can buy all kinds of products that you might need during your trip.
Getting from Ulan-Ude:
There is a daily bus service operating to Chita. Buses depart from bus station “Selenga”. The journey takes about 10-12 hours.
Marshrutkas to Irkutsk run every day from the Ulan-Ude train station. You just come to the bus, occupy seats and pay to the driver. The journey takes about 5 hours.
To Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)
The distance between Ulan-Ude and Ulaanbaatar is 657 kilometers.
Most of the foreign tourists get to Mongolia from Russia by railway. Several trains run to Ulaanbaatar from Ulan-Ude. The average travel time is about 23 hours.
In the summer season it is difficult to buy a train ticket to Ulaanbaatar. An alternative to the rail is a regular bus route Ulan-Ude – Ulaanbaatar. Buses depart from “Nacionalnaya Biblioteka” (“National Library”) bus stop on Ranzhurova street, near “The Opera and Ballet House” (with fountain) on the Soviet square and arrive to the railway station in Ulaanbaatar. The journey takes about 10-12 hours.
Approximate price: 1500 rub
Currently there are no direct flights between Ulan-Ude and Ulaanbaatar. Nevertheless, until the end of 2013 Hunnu Air will operate charter flights between the cities.
Most of the tourist sites within Ulan-Ude are easily accessible on foot. Taxi is not very popular in Ulan-Ude but it’s still useful to get to the airport. Intracity Ulan-Ude transport includes tram, bus, and minibus (marshrutka).
Marshrutka (10-12 seat minibus)
It is easy to move around in minibuses, because there are many of them and it takes not long to get to any part of the city. Each route is numbered (on the windscreen). Identify the route you want, flag the minibus down to get on (just wave your hand), pay the driver and indicate when you want to get off. If you sit at the very back of the bus, just pass the coins to the people in front of you, they will pass it to the driver. Change will come back the same way. Just don’t forget to say ‘Adin pazhalusta’ (one please).
There are 4 tram routes in the town. Main tram line is a circle around the whole city. Trams are cheap and easy to use. A conductor will come to you and ask for the fare. Quite slow soviet era wagons will give you the taste of the place from locals’ eyes.