If you are traveling to Mongolia, there are many things you should keep in mind. From finances, to preparation, knowing where you are going, etc, a trip to Mongolia will take some planning to get the full experience.
You don’t want to just stay in the city Ulaanbaatar, because there isn’t much you can do besides a few things. 3-4 days is more than enough for the average tourist, though you can hire a private guide to show you around Ulaanbaatar and go to places where the locals go.
The real beauty however lies out in the countryside and the steppes of Mongolia.
How Expensive Is It To Travel to Mongolia?
If you have been to Thailand or Southeast Asian countries, Mongolia is a little more expensive, comparatively 10-20% more expensive.
Meat is comparatively a lot cheaper, especially beef, mutton, goats, and horse (if that is your thing). It’s because Mongolia has over 70 million livestock, which is huge for its human population of only 3.1 million.
You can find quality grass-fed meat for $4/per kilo out in the market districts.
Dairy products are quite cheap as well due to the number of livestock that Mongolia has. Out in the countryside, you can even ask the locals and nomads to sell you some milk or fresh products for even cheaper.
Imported goods however are quite expensive, especially fruits and vegetables that are not locally grown.
Dining-out can be reasonably cheap. A small diner can be around $3-4 a meal. A more expensive restaurant can be $10 per person, which is not that bad considering the value you get out of it.
Pricing for services
Taxis are quite cheap comparatively to Western standards. 1 km or half a mile is about $ 0.5, even cheaper if you get an unofficial taxi. However, if you obviously look like a foreigner, people might try to take advantage of you and rip you-off, so it’s your choice.
Other services such as massage, going to the movies, etc you can expect to spend $20-$40 or so per day when you are traveling around the capital and being liberal with your money.
Hotel and Accomodation pricing
Hotels and accomodation varies depending on where you are going.
It’s usally $7-$10 per night for hostel and cheaper accommodation.
AirBnB varies between $15-$30 per night usually for reasonable accomodation, but if you want to stay in Zaisan or the up-scale neighborhoods, it’s around $40 and up.
Hotels such as Shangri-La, Blue Sky, Tuushin, etc are obviously more expensive. Depending on the room it can be $70-$100+ per night.
Outside the capital, it’s going to be a bit cheaper, but if you are traveling to a resort, it can be around $40-$100 per night depending on where you stay.
Find Hotel & Accomodation Deals, Discounts & Promotions
Some travel agencies can negotiate a deal for you and give you a discount. Other times such agencies actually charge extra for referring you to the hotel or accommodation, so it depends.
You can search online for the hotels and visit their own website and compare pricing between Booking.com, AirBnB, and such if you are savvy.
If you know someone in Mongolia, you could ask them if they could help you rent a place for a reasonable price. In the capital rent for a 2 bedroom apartment with furnishing is around $300-$400 per month.
Find Travel Tours and Trip Deals, Discounts, Promotions
Depending on the tour, it can be $400-$1000 per person to go through a travel agency, but did you know that you can arrange everything yourself and travel for much cheaper?
If you have friends in Mongolia, it can be even better, however it does require some planning and knowing the routes to take.
A week’s trip to some cool destinations can cost you only $200 if you travel with friends and someone who knows where they are going.
If you don’t have such friends, you can hire a personal or private guide to take around Mongolia for an agreed price. In the end it can end up being cheaper than going with the usual tour agency.
Best Travel Destinations
Khuvsgul – Khuvsgul is one of the most beautiful places in Mongolia, especially Khuvsgul lake. You can expect to arrive within the day by car from Ulaanbaatar. Compared with the rest of Mongolia, Khuvsgul actually has forests, lakes, and is more lush, not as dry.
Bayanzag – If you want to see prehistoric dinosaur remains, the Flaming Red Cliffs is a destination you should consider.
Altai Mountains – The Western provinces of Mongolia, you will find the Kazakhs and other sub ethnic groups of Mongolia. The people can have very distinctive features and look about them. It’s more mountainous and can be colder due to the geography.
Book a Tour Now
The best season to travel to Mongolia is during the summer, but prices for flight tickets might be higher. If you like the cold, the winter is also a possible season because we have the ice festival and Tsagaan Sar.
The worst season to travel is during Fall and Spring. It’s windy, cloudy and not very pleasant like the summer months.
A tip to mention is during the winter, it’s best advised to stay away from Ulaanbaatar the capital because the smog can get pretty bad.
Should you know Mongolian?
You can get by with English as some people know some basic phrases and sayings, but there is nothing wrong with learning Mongolian.
It’s flattering for the locals to know that you took the time of your day to actually learn more about the language and the culture. The pronunciation might be hard and difficult for some people, but Mongolian people are open to learning about other people and very hospitable.