Landing in the concrete jungle of Ulaanbaatar, you might wonder where Mongolia keeps its famous wide-open spaces.

But just wait until you catch your first glimpse of sunrise over the famous Mongolian steppe. There’s no other view on Earth quite like it: mile after mile of rolling grassy plains, dotted with the white domes of gers and broken up with golden dunes or the craggy peaks of Tavan Bogd and the Altai mountains. It’s probably no surprise that our Mongolia tours are mostly about the getting out into the wild – soaking in the hot springs of Tsenkher or hiking through the Khogno Khan – but you’ll find there’s more to this country than just good views. With its epic history, brief communist past and a (proudly) democratic future, Mongolia is ready to greet the 21st century with plenty to offer the traveller.

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Transport in Mongolia

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Mongolia, you may find yourself travelling by:

A camel ride across the deserts of Mongolia


Enjoy a short but memorable ride through the Mongolian desert on the back of a camel.

Mongolia's Naadam Festival

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Take a sleeper train across the heart of Mongolia

Overnight Sleeper Train

Watch the Mongolian steppe whiz past while rumbling through the countryside by train.

Accommodation in Mongolia

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in Mongolia you may find yourself staying in a:

Woman sitting at entrance of ger camp

Tourist Ger Camp

Spend the night sleeping in a quintessential Mongolian icon, the ger. Built to withstand the harsh elements, these portable structures of circular beauty are surprisingly comfortable.

Mongolia's Naadam Festival

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Man throws bucket of water in backyard of Mongolian homestay cabin

Family Stay

Get in touch with Mongolian culture and cuisine while staying with a local family in their ger. Pick up some local language and learn about the Mongolian way of life while enjoying warm hospitality.

Mongolia's Naadam Festival

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Mongolia holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit Mongolia
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Natural Wonders of Mongolia
Festivals and Events in Mongolia
Health and Safety
Further reading

Mongolia travel FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most EU countries will need a visa to enter Mongolia as a tourist for up to 30 days. Citizens of Canada will not need a visa for visits up to 30 days and citizens of the USA will not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. If a visa is required, you will need to obtain it in advance. There is no visa on arrival in Mongolia at land or air borders.

Most embassies do not require a LOI. However, should you be required to present one with your visa application please contact us. There may be a fee for this service. In order for us to provide a LOI through our local partners we will require a clear, colour scan of your passport along with an indication of at which embassy you will be applying for your visa. Please allow up to 3 weeks for your LOI to be processed after which you will be able to apply for your visa.

You may be able to apply for your Mongolian visa in Beijing en-route if you have time here before your trip. Please plan carefully and check the current embassy requirements. You will need to organise this yourself and ensure you have all the correct documentation to obtain the Mongolian Visa.

You will need to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa (J) that covers the duration of your stay in Mongolia. Visas are usually valid for 3 months from the date of issue and enable to you to stay for up to 30 days from date of entry.

You may be required to provide a copy of your itinerary, indicating the dates of your tour, along with your application.

Tipping isn’t a local custom in Mongolia; however, the bars and cafes of Ulaanbaatar are used to receiving tips from tourists. Use your discretion and tip if you feel like it.

Internet access is widely available in Ulaanbaatar. Some cafes have WiFi, while many hotels and guesthouses have internet connectivity. Internet availability is far less common outside of Ulaanbaatar, so expect no access when leaving the city.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Mongolia, although coverage may be patchy in remote or mountainous areas.

Flushable, European-style toilets are common in the hotels and restaurants of Ulaanbaatar. Throughout the rest of the country, squat toilets are the standard, with the exception of some ger camps and homestays, where toilets may be simple holes in the ground. Please be aware that, in most cases, soap and toilet paper aren’t provided, so make sure you come prepared.

Can of beer = 1500 MNT
Simple meal in a local restaurant = 4000 MNT
Dinner at an international restaurant = 10,000 MNT

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Mongolia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and to peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Major credit cards are usually accepted by most large hotels and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar and some other cities, however smaller establishments may not have credit card facilities. Ensure you have other payment options when visiting small shops and markets, and when travelling through rural areas.

Travellers can access ATMs in Ulaanbaatar; however, rural regions run on a cash economy, so prepare for this when leaving the city.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Smiling local man with yaks in front of rainbow in Mongolia

How we're giving back

In Mongolia, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.