Travel Practicalities in Mongolia
GETTING TO MONGOLIAMost travelers arrive to Mongolia via air or rail.
MIAT (Mongolian international air transport) – Mongolia’s national airline connects Mongolia with Russia, China, Japan, Germany and other countries. Other carriers connecting Mongolia with the world include BA, Air China, Lufthansa, Korean airlines, Aeroflot. Flights are limited in winter time with some extra flights operating in summer season.
Mongolia is conveniently located on the Trans Mongolian branch on the famous Trans Siberian railway. Mongolia has good train connection with Russia (Moscow, Irkutsk, Ulan Ude) and China (Beijing).
VISASCurrently many nationalities enjoy visa-free travel to Mongolia as tourists for periods of up to 30 days. More information in our Mongolian visa guide.
MONEY / CURRENCYThe Mongolian unit of currency is the tögrög (T), which comes in notes of T20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of T500, 200, 100, 50 and 20.
Mongolia is a cash-based society. You can use credit cards in some hotels, shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, but not all. US Dollar travelers' checks can be cashed easily and converted to Mongolian Togrogs. Credit cards are accepted by main commercial banks, large hotels and a few shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most aimag capitals. Both Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
HEALTH / SAFETYWhile Mongolia is relatively safe, violent muggings and attacks do occur from time to time. Avoid going out alone on foot at night. Instead use the taxis to return to your hotel.
Petty crime is common in Ulaanbaatar, particularly in markets or other crowded public places. Watch out for pickpockets. Keep your passports, money and other valuables well secured.
Seek medical advice before traveling to Mongolia and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. No vaccinations are compulsory for Mongolia, but please make sure that your polio, diphtheria and tetanus are up to date. The World Health Organization (WHO; www.who.int) recommends that all travelers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination. You should start as early as 6 weeks before your trip start date as most vaccines don’t produce immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given.
For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) https://www.nathnac.org/travel/index.htm or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
Don’t drink tap water, it is not considered safe. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Bottled water is available in Ulaanbaatar and some provincial centers.
WHAT TO TAKE ON A TOUR?Any travel in Mongolia involves spending considerable time outdoors. Even if traveling in summer be prepared for a sudden change of temperature. Nights can be cold with temperature in steppes dropping as low as 0, so you should be ready for all seasons.
The key to clothing is the layering system. Layers can be added or discarded with temperature fluctuations. The first layer is a form of synthetic underwear that draws moisture away from the skin and dries quickly. This is followed by two or more insulating layers, also preferably of synthetic pile and a windproof outer layer. This system applies not only to the torso but also to extremities.
- Hiking boots
- Warm socks: at least few pairs of each
- Lightweight long underwear, top and bottom
- Fleece jacket
- Windbreaker, waterproof/breathable
- Rain jacket/poncho
- Balaclava or something to cover the face like a neck warmer or even a scarf
- Day pack
- Water bottles
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Sunglasses (100% UV)
- First-aid kit (please refer to our “First-aid checklist”)
- Camera and memory cards (film)