Skip to content

Mongolia Travel Guide

By Jessie Festa. This guide to Mongolia travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners.

Looking for an in-depth Mongolia travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

This vast and enchanting country, nestled between Russia and China, offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, nomadic traditions, and hospitable people, Mongolia beckons adventurous souls seeking an escape from the ordinary.

Geographically diverse, Mongolia boasts a landscape that ranges from sprawling grasslands and vast deserts to majestic mountains and crystal-clear lakes.

The Gobi Desert, a mesmerizing expanse of endless sand dunes and rugged cliffs, offers a surreal experience like no other.

On the hand, the Altai Mountains in western Mongolia captivate visitors with their snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and abundant wildlife.

Then there is Lake Khuvsgul – aka the “Blue Pearl of Mongolia” – which draws travelers with its pristine waters and surrounding forests.

One of the most striking aspects of Mongolia is its nomadic heritage, a way of life that has endured for centuries. The nomadic people, known as herders, live in traditional felt-covered gers (similar to yurts) and graze their livestock on the vast grasslands.

Immersing yourself in this unique culture offers a chance to witness their timeless traditions, such as horseback riding, eagle hunting, and the art of making dairy products like airag (fermented mare’s milk) and aaruul (dried curd).

The capital city, Ulaanbaatar, serves as a gateway to the wonders of Mongolia. Bustling with energy, it blends modernity with a hint of the country’s ancient past. Explore the National Museum of Mongolia to delve into the rich history and culture of the region, or visit Gandan Monastery to witness the beauty of Buddhist architecture and observe the rituals of the monks.

Venturing beyond the city, you’ll discover a wealth of natural and historical treasures. The Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to ancient ruins, including the legendary Karakorum, once the capital of the Mongol Empire.

For nature enthusiasts, Mongolia presents a playground of adventure. Embark on a multi-day trek through the Khentii Mountains, exploring hidden valleys and encountering rare wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard.

You can also hike to the top of the majestic Khorgo Volcano in the Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, or indulge in a horse trek across the vast steppes, forging a deep connection with the land and its nomadic inhabitants.

Mongolia’s festivals provide a colorful window into its vibrant culture. The Naadam Festival, held annually in July, showcases the “Three Manly Games” of wrestling, horse racing, and archery. It is a celebration of athleticism, skill, and national pride that dates back centuries.

The Eagle Festival, held in the western part of the country, allows you to witness the ancient art of eagle hunting and experience the bond between hunters and their magnificent golden eagles.

Mongolia’s charm lies in its untouched landscapes, its rugged beauty, and the warmth of its people. Traveling through this land of open spaces and vast skies, you’ll be enchanted by the genuine hospitality and generosity of the Mongolian people, whose nomadic spirit is deeply rooted in their DNA.

Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or a spiritual connection with nature, Mongolia has it all. So pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and let the Land of the Blue Sky captivate your heart and soul. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through a land where time seems to stand still and the spirit of the nomad roams freely!

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Mongolia in Asia.

Note: This guide to Mongolia travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Mongolia Map

Use this Mongolia travel map to begin planning your trip!

Mongolia map

Click here for an interactive version of the above map.

Mongolia Travel Tips

Get advice on planning the perfect trip to Mongolia.

Asia Travel Tips

This Asia travel advice can help you plan the perfect trip.

Top Mongolia Tours

Book a Mongolia tour and get to know the culture through a local. A few top-rated Mongolia tours, each departing from Ulaanbaatar, include:

Click here for a full list of Mongolia tours.

Mongolia Hotels

Click here to browse hotels in Mongolia!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays. It’s currently set to Ulaanbaatar, but you can easily change it to your preferred Mongolian destination:

Mongolia Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Mongolia tour. When visiting Mongolia — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Mongolia itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Mongolia Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling Mongolia.

Q) What is Mongolia best known for?

Mongolia is known for its diverse landscapes, nomadic culture, rich history – including Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire – and world-renowned tourist attractions like the Gobi Desert.

Q) Is Mongolia safe?

According to Travel-Safe Abroad, the risk of being the victim of a violent crime in Mongolia is low. That being said, you should be careful of pickpockets and other scams in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

Q) Is Mongolia an expensive country?

While someone’s opinion on a country being cheap or expensive is relative, in general, Mongolia is considered a very budget-friendly country to travel through. Budget travelers can expect to spend around $30 to $50 per day, while mid-range travelers may spend approximately $70 to $100 per day.

Q) What is the best time to visit Mongolia?

While you can visit Mongolia any time of year, summer (mid-June to late August) is typically considered the best time to visit. This is when you’ll experience warm temperatures and pleasant weather and can attend the famous Naadam Festival in July.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Mongolia?

It’s recommended to view your country’s Mongolia International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Embassy of Mongolia.

Q: How do you get to Mongolia?

International airlines fly into Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. From there, it is about an hour drive to the heart of the city, depending on traffic.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Mongolia?

Credit and debit cards are often accepted in big cities, like Ulaanbaatar; however, you’ll definitely want to bring cash when visiting the countryside.

Q: What is the local currency in Mongolia?

The tugrik (MNT) is the national currency of Mongolia.

What would you add to this Mongolia travel guide?