Arshan Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Arshan with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best places to stay, things to do, and where to go next from this Siberian gem.

Your Complete Guide to Arshan, Siberia

Arshan is a hidden gem located in the far east of Russia. Nestled within the Buryatia region of Siberia, it is home to natural hot springs, scenic hiking trails, and authentic Buryat culture. In this guide, we will explore the must-see attractions, best places to stay and eat, how to get there, and local customs to ensure you make the most of your visit to Arshan.

List of Places to Visit in Arshan

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

1. Arshan Ethnographic Museum: This small museum showcases the history and culture of the Buryat people who have lived in the region for centuries. The museum features traditional clothing, household items, and various artifacts used in everyday life.

2. Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha: A beautiful Buddhist temple nestled against the mountainous landscape of Arshan. Visitors can explore the temple grounds and catch a glimpse of monks going about their daily rituals.

Natural Attractions of Arshan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

1. Tunka Valley: Tunka Valley is a stunning region of the southern Siberian mountains that features hot springs, crystal-clear rivers, and breathtaking views. Visitors can swim in the natural hot springs and book hiking tours to explore the valleys and mountains.

2. Sayan Mountains: The Sayan Mountains stretch across the border between Russia and Mongolia, offering a stunning backdrop to Arshan. Visitors can book guided tours to explore the mountains or enjoy the scenic views from afar.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Arshan

1. Mount Arshan: Mount Arshan is one of the most popular destinations for hikers in Arshan. The trail up the mountain takes about 4 hours and rewards visitors with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

2. Tunka Valley: Tunka Valley is also a popular hiking destination and offers a variety of trails for different skill levels. Visitors can book guided hiking tours to explore the region or venture out on their own.

Best Things to Do in Arshan: Activities and Tours

1. Hot Springs: Arshan is known for its natural hot springs, which are perfect for relaxing after a long day of hiking or exploring the town. Visitors can soak in the hot springs at one of the local resorts or book a private hot spring experience.

2. Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is a popular activity in Arshan, with various tours available to explore the surrounding valleys and mountains on horseback.

Week-Long Itinerary for Arshan

Day Activity
1 Check-in and explore Arshan town
2 Hiking up Mount Arshan
3 Explore Tunka Valley and swim in the hot springs
4 Visit Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha and other cultural attractions
5 Go horseback riding in the nearby valleys
6 Private hot spring experience
7 Departure from Arshan

Food and Drink Scene of Arshan

Must-Try Dishes

1. Buuz: Buuz are steamed dumplings stuffed with meat, onions, and spices - a must-taste dish when visiting Arshan.

2. Udun: Udun is a traditional Buryat dish made with boiled lamb or beef cooked with vegetables and served over noodles or rice.

Local Beverages

1. Airag: Airag is a traditional fermented mare’s milk and is a staple beverage in Buryat culture.

2. Russian Vodka: Vodka is the drink of choice for many Russians and is readily available in restaurants and local shops in Arshan.

Where to Stay in Arshan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

1. Arshan Resort: Arshan Resort is one of the most popular hotels in Arshan. It features a natural hot spring pool and offers outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and skiing.

2. Guesthouse Shuvaloff: Guesthouse Shuvaloff is a cozy guesthouse located in the center of Arshan. It offers comfortable rooms with views of the surrounding mountains and valley.

What to Buy in Arshan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

1. Buryat Traditional Clothing: Buryat traditional clothing is unique and beautiful, and can be bought in local shops in Arshan.

2. Handmade Souvenirs: Handmade souvenirs such as wooden carvings, pottery, and jewelry are available to purchase in local markets and shops in the town.

Local Culture and Customs of Arshan

Buryat culture is deeply rooted in shamanism and Buddhism, and visitors to Arshan can witness these traditions in daily life. Visitors should be respectful of local customs, such as removing shoes before entering a home and avoiding taking photographs of religious ceremonies without permission.

Best Time to Visit Arshan

The best time to visit Arshan is in the summer months from June to August when the weather is pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities. The off-season from September to May can be challenging due to harsh winters and limited outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Arshan


  • Learn some local phrases in Buryat or Russian
  • Pack appropriate clothing for the weather and activities
  • Respect local customs and traditions


  • Take photographs of religious ceremonies without permission
  • Leave litter or damage the natural environment
  • Disrespect local customs and traditions

Safety and Health

Safety in Arshan

Arshan is a safe place to visit, but visitors should be cautious while hiking or participating in outdoor activities due to the rugged terrain and steep inclines.

Health in Arshan

Visitors to Arshan should ensure they are up-to-date on recommended vaccinations and carry adequate travel insurance. It is also advisable to bring any necessary prescription medications, as medical facilities in the area can be limited.

Getting to Arshan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Arshan

The closest airport to Arshan is Baikal International Airport, located in the city of Ulan-Ude, about 200 kilometers away. From there, visitors can take a taxi or bus to Arshan.

Bus Stations Near Arshan

The bus station in Arshan offers regular connections to nearby cities and towns. Buses from Ulan-Ude to Arshan run daily, taking around 4 hours.

Other Options

Private transfers can also be arranged from Ulan-Ude or other nearby towns if preferred.

How to Get Around in Arshan

The town of Arshan is small and easy to navigate on foot. However, to explore the surrounding areas, hiring a car or bike is recommended.

Where to Go Next from Arshan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

1. Lake Baikal: Lake Baikal is about a 3-hour drive from Arshan and is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Visitors can swim, kayak, or hike in the surrounding areas.

2. Ulan-Ude: Ulan-Ude is the capital city of Buryatia and is a melting pot of Russian, Buryat, and Mongolian cultures. Visitors can explore the city’s museums and historical landmarks or hop on the Trans-Siberian Railway to continue their journey.


Arshan is a unique and beautiful destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Siberia. Whether you are seeking adventure or simply a relaxing getaway, Arshan has something for everyone. With this guide, you can plan your trip to Arshan with ease and discover all that this hidden gem has to offer.