Mongolia travel guide

Mongolia Tourism | Mongolia Guide

You're Going to Love Mongolia

From wide open landscapes and deserts to fascinating traditions and wildlife, Mongolia is unlike anywhere else in the world. Prepare to feel the magic.

What to do in Mongolia

1. Visit the Gobi Desert

Take it all in with a hike or a ride on a camel. The city of Dalanzadgad is a good base for those who wish to explore over a few days.

2. Go Horseback Riding in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Horse riding has been a traditional method of transport in Mongolia for thousands of years and even today it is not uncommon. A horse trek in the national park is a special experience.

3. Visit Buddhist Monasteries

Buddhist monasteries tell a piece of history and are usually full of paintings and Buddha icons. The best preserved one is the Amarbayasgalat Khiid monastery.

4. Attend the Eagle Festival

Eagle hunting and training is an ancient tradition in the Bayan-Olgii area of Mongolia. Those who go there in October will have the chance to attend the festival, which takes place in Olgii city.

5. Relax and Meditate at Khovsgol Nuur Lake

Located in the very north of the country, this is a highlight in Mongolia. Enjoy plenty of fishing, kayaking, hiking and swimming.

1. Visit the Gobi Desert

Take it all in with a hike or a ride on a camel. The city of Dalanzadgad is a good base for those who wish to explore over a few days.

2. Go Horseback Riding in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Horse riding has been a traditional method of transport in Mongolia for thousands of years and even today it is not uncommon. A horse trek in the national park is a special experience.

3. Visit Buddhist Monasteries

Buddhist monasteries tell a piece of history and are usually full of paintings and Buddha icons. The best preserved one is the Amarbayasgalat Khiid monastery.

4. Attend the Eagle Festival

Eagle hunting and training is an ancient tradition in the Bayan-Olgii area of Mongolia. Those who go there in October will have the chance to attend the festival, which takes place in Olgii city.

5. Relax and Meditate at Khovsgol Nuur Lake

Located in the very north of the country, this is a highlight in Mongolia. Enjoy plenty of fishing, kayaking, hiking and swimming.

When to visit Mongolia

Mongolia in June
Estimated hotel price
£37
1 night at 3-star hotel
Mongolia in June
Estimated hotel price
£37
1 night at 3-star hotel

The most pleasant time to visit Mongolia is in the summer from June to August, when it's warm and dry. September and October are a good option but offer unpredictable weather and possible rain.

How to Get to Mongolia

Entry requirements

Citizens of around 20 countries, including the USA, Germany and Japan, can enter Mongolia without a visa for periods of 14-90 days. Citizens of any other countries will need to apply for a visa prior to traveling.

Plane

Mongolia has one international airport located close to the capital Ulaanbaatar. Local airline MIAT Mongolian Airlines operates international flights to 13 destinations, including Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow.

Train

The famous Trans-Mongolian train links Mongolia with both its neighbors. The train line goes through Moscow, Vladivostok, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. Local trains are also available from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, Jining and Hohhot.

Car

The only road entering Mongolia from China is via the town of Erenhot at the border, from which you can cross into Zamiin-Uud in Mongolia. Border crossings for vehicles from Russia are available from Tashanta in the west and Kayakhta in the central area.

Bus

Direct daily buses are available from Ulan-Ude in Russia to Ulaanbaatar, leaving at 7:30 am and with the trip taking about 15h. Buses are available from Beijing to Erenhot at the border. From there passengers will need to cross the border to Zamiin-Uud, from which trains are available to other destinations in Mongolia.

Entry requirements

Citizens of around 20 countries, including the USA, Germany and Japan, can enter Mongolia without a visa for periods of 14-90 days. Citizens of any other countries will need to apply for a visa prior to traveling.

Plane

Mongolia has one international airport located close to the capital Ulaanbaatar. Local airline MIAT Mongolian Airlines operates international flights to 13 destinations, including Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow.

Train

The famous Trans-Mongolian train links Mongolia with both its neighbors. The train line goes through Moscow, Vladivostok, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. Local trains are also available from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, Jining and Hohhot.

Car

The only road entering Mongolia from China is via the town of Erenhot at the border, from which you can cross into Zamiin-Uud in Mongolia. Border crossings for vehicles from Russia are available from Tashanta in the west and Kayakhta in the central area.

Bus

Direct daily buses are available from Ulan-Ude in Russia to Ulaanbaatar, leaving at 7:30 am and with the trip taking about 15h. Buses are available from Beijing to Erenhot at the border. From there passengers will need to cross the border to Zamiin-Uud, from which trains are available to other destinations in Mongolia.

Popular airports in Mongolia

Popular airlines serving Mongolia

Delta
Good (4,612 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,296 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (924 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (832 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (510 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (773 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (970 reviews)
Air China
Good (31 reviews)
Asiana Airlines
Excellent (266 reviews)
T'way Air
Okay (9 reviews)
Jin Air
Excellent (10 reviews)
Jeju Air
Excellent (23 reviews)
MIAT Mongolian
Excellent (12 reviews)
Air Busan
Excellent (3 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Mongolia

In rural areas, visitors can stay in Gers, traditional cylindrical tents made with a wooden base and covered with waterproof felt or animal skin. Ger camps are privately run and often offer a meal as part of the accommodation.

Where to stay in popular areas of Mongolia

Most booked hotels in Mongolia

Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace Ulaanbaatar
5 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
£99+
Ramada by Wyndham Ulaanbaatar Citycenter
4 stars
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
£66+
Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar
5 stars
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
£275+
The Corporate Hotel
4 stars
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
£79+
Flower Hotel Ulaanbaatar
4 stars
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
£58+
Chinggis Khaan Hotel
4 stars
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
£74+

How to Get Around Mongolia

Public Transportation

Buses are the main mode of local public transport within cities and usually run from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. To pay for the bus, grab a U Money bus card and top it up with some money. A one-way local bus trip is usually around 500 MNT (0.20 USD).

Trains

Aside from the Trans-Mongolian railway that crosses the country, train lines are available from Darkhan to Erdenet, from Ulaanbaatar to Baganuur, and from Choibalsan to the Russian border. Choose between a "Hard Seat," "Hard Sleeper" and "Soft Seat" ticket, the latter being the most comfortable.

Bus

Direct long-distance bus travel is operated by bus companies, with a fixed schedule. Private vans are operated by private individuals, though it leaves only when full and makes stops along the way.

Car

It is possible to rent a car using your driver's license for stays up to 30 days. Otherwise, an International Driver's Permit is required. It is best to get a 4x4 as the roads in the rural areas can be of poor quality.

Plane

Mongolia has many airports and all local flights go to Ulaanbaatar. The local airlines are Hunnu Airlines and Aero Mongolia.

Public Transportation

Buses are the main mode of local public transport within cities and usually run from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. To pay for the bus, grab a U Money bus card and top it up with some money. A one-way local bus trip is usually around 500 MNT (0.20 USD).

Trains

Aside from the Trans-Mongolian railway that crosses the country, train lines are available from Darkhan to Erdenet, from Ulaanbaatar to Baganuur, and from Choibalsan to the Russian border. Choose between a "Hard Seat," "Hard Sleeper" and "Soft Seat" ticket, the latter being the most comfortable.

Bus

Direct long-distance bus travel is operated by bus companies, with a fixed schedule. Private vans are operated by private individuals, though it leaves only when full and makes stops along the way.

Car

It is possible to rent a car using your driver's license for stays up to 30 days. Otherwise, an International Driver's Permit is required. It is best to get a 4x4 as the roads in the rural areas can be of poor quality.

Plane

Mongolia has many airports and all local flights go to Ulaanbaatar. The local airlines are Hunnu Airlines and Aero Mongolia.

The Cost of Living in Mongolia

Eating out in Mongolia will cost around 6,000 MNT (2.25 USD) for an inexpensive meal, and around 30,000 MNT (11 USD) for a mid-range meal. Credit cards are accepted at all the major hotels, and even in some smaller cafes and grocery stores.

Popular cities in Mongolia