Mongolia travel guide - including map of Mongolia, travel tips, attractions, accommodation, health and safety, culture and weather in Mongolia
Mongolia is vast. This landlocked country (further from the sea than any other on earth), has one of the lowest population densities on earth.
Blue skies and huge expanses of near-empty land epitomise Mongolia. There are few roads, and nomadic herders still roam the steppe as they have for centuries.
Horses are the most common form of transport, while two-humped Bactrian camels are also used for transport in parts of the country.
Not that Mongolia is all grassland as people often imagine; in the south of the country is the magnificent Gobi desert, in the west are the Altai mountains – home to the Kazakhs who hunt with eagles , while the north is known for mountains, rivers and the stunning Lake Khovsgol.
Mongolia is more diverse than people realise. Come here for the unspoilt landscapes and unchanged culture. But be prepared for long distances.
Take plenty of layers, even on summer, a torch and sun glasses/sun protection.
If invited into a family ger, avoid stepping on the threshold as you enter, and then make your way round in a clockwise direction, trying not to turn your back on the altar or religious items.
When you sit down, avoid pointing your feet at the altar, the hearth or another person.
Other etiquette tips; never take food from a communal plate with your left hand; hold cups by the bottom, not the top; avoid touching another person’s hat; keep your sleeves rolled down to avoid exposing your wrist.
Mongolia is known for producing the best cashmere in the world, so leave some space in your bag.
June to September is peak season, although May and October can be good times to visit the Gobi desert.
The Naadam Festival in July is Mongolia’s biggest draw, and features archery, wrestling and horse races. It is celebrated throughout the country, although UB’s is particularly well known.
Winters are very cold, and there can be snow in the Gobi desert. However, hardier folk will find a warm welcome, few visitors and low prices. We’ve had good reports of the Gobi’s annual Camel Festival held in March.
Ulanbaatar (ULN) 15km from the city
Distances are huge. Fly between centres and/or be prepared for long off-road drives. Bactrian (two-humped) camels and horses are the buses and taxis of most of the country.
Lodgings outside the cities are mostly in ger camps. The gers usually have a solid floor, proper beds and a wood-burning stove. Bathroom facilities are usually Western-style and in a separate block. The best hotel in UB is probably the imaginatively named Ulanbaatar Hotel.
Ulanbaatar has a surprisingly wide range of restaurants, both international and local. Ger camps usually serve Western and Mongolian food. Typical dishes are soups and stews made with mutton, served with noodles or bread. Dumplings and pancakes are also popular. Horse, camel and yak meat are all available. Dairy products, from sheep, goat, camel or cow milk are ubiquitous.
Milky tea is the most common drink. Airag (fermented mare’s milk) is refreshing but don’t forget it’s alcoholic. As well as lethal homebrews, vodka is the most common drink but beer, such as Mongol or Chinggis, is becoming more popular. Wine is increasingly available in the ger camp and is usually from Chile from Australia.
Vegetarians will survive but vegetables other than carrots, cabbage an dpotatoes are rare, so dishes can be monotonous.
Consider immunisations against hepatitis A and B, rabies and meningoccal meningitis. However,the biggest hazards are crossing the road in UB, and banging your head on the door of your ger.
Tucked away in some of the most remote corners of the planet, from Ecuador to Cambodia, Australia to the Arctic - these beautiful, isolated hotels are the best way to truly get away from it all... More
Uncover the best destinations to travel to in August, for warm weather, natural wonders, cultural highlights, once-in-a-lifetime wildlife watching experiences and longer-term trips... More
Dark Waters presenter Jeremy reveals the stand-out mysterious and mystical lakes and rivers he’s travelled to in his career, discovering Lake Garda’s hidden monster to the water spirits of the Zambezi... More
This colourful celebration of Mongolia’s traditional nomadic culture made the list in our new bookazine, 77 Ultimate Travel Experiences. Here’s everything you need to know about seeing it for yourself... More
This year, be among the first to experience these freshly opened countries, trails and itineraries, from Iceland and Svalbard to lesser-visited Laos… More
From saving a species to expanding your skills (and your mind), there’s always a good reason to get away – and if you can’t think of one, read on as we round up the trips that may change your life… More
Some of the world's finest travel photographers, including Richard I’Anson, Amos Chapple and Charlie Waite, pick the most rewarding places to focus their lenses on... More
Discover the humbling beauty of some of the world’s most inhospitable corners – from the dazzling white Arctic freezes to Africa's ochre-coloured dunes More
From the timeless Trans-Mongolian to the exhilarating Marrakech Express – hop on board these characterful trains that showcase some of earth's best landscapes More
We take a look at some of the most endangered animals in the world, and recommend where you can see them in their natural habitat. More
From travel writing and photography to working with animals, getting paid to travel is many people’s dream job. Here, 12 experts in their fields tell you the highs, lows and what it takes to succeed... More
Immerse yourself in local culture, learn a traditional skill and get swept up in celebrations. There's something new to learn every day of the journey with these top experience trips More
Catch a rare glimpse into the lives of workers and festival-goers across India, Mongolia, Peru and beyond, with these 10 striking finalist images from our Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year competition... More
The world is a classroom and travel is a great teacher. Nichola West reveals the destinations that will engage, delight and educate your child in ways they will never forget More
For travellers looking for adventure, Mongolia is hard to beat. Climb remote mountains, cycle across epic landscapes, and witness the spectacle of ancient festivals in one of the world’s great wildernesses More
Survival expert Ed Stafford lists the most extreme places on Earth that he's survived, from Mongolia's Altai mountains to Chile's Atacama desert, as well as one place on his Bucket List... More
We all want authentic interactions and a local’s grasp of the cultures we encounter when travelling. Wendy Wu Tours’ new collection of trips do just that, helping you experience the real Asia… More
Aisholpan Nurgaiv and her golden eagle Akkanat are the stars of recent hit film The Eagle Huntress. We caught up with her to find out what life's like in Mongolia's wilds and what's next for her and her bird More
Canadian traveller Savannah Grace, aged 26, is on a mission to see every country in the world as soon as possible. Here, she shares some of the most memorable experiences from her journey so far More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
From: £2999.00More …
From: £16370.00More …
From: £7655.00More …
From: £2749.00More …
From: £Contact usMore …
From: £Contact usMore …
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!