How much does it cost to travel in Mongolia

How much does it cost to travel in Mongolia

Mongolia was the third country we visited on our travels, from 3 to 31 July 2014.

  • We stayed 29 days and each spent:  £906 / $1,343
  • Per person daily average is therefore:  £31 / $46
  • Exchange rate was: £1 = 3,093 tugriks ($1 = 2,000 tugriks)

This is our breakdown of our Mongolia travel costs:

Mongolia travel costs

Mongolia travel costs: full breakdown of our costs in Mongolia in July 2014

 

Our tours in Mongolia

There are only dirt roads outside of the big cities, so you need to hire a driver and jeep, or go as part of a tour. Tours usually include all food, accommodation, car, driver and guide.

Wheel breakdown during our tour in Mongolia

Wheel breakdown during our tour of the Gobi desert in Mongolia

Accommodation costs in Mongolia

  • We spent £567 / $840 for 29 nights
  • Our per person average was £20 / $29 per day
  • This figure is inflated because it included all our tours
  • We stayed at the excellent Sunpath Hostel in Ulan Bator owned and run by Doljmaa, who also booked all our tours.
Doljmaa and Sebastien at Sunpath Hostel

Doljmaa and Sebastien discussing tours at Sunpath Hostel, Ulan Bator

Transport costs in Mongolia

  • Total transport costs per person:  £79 / $117
  • This included our train ticket from Ulan Bator to Beijing:  £70 / $104 each
  • We did not include our travel into Mongolia as this is part of our Trans Siberian Russia costs

The train ticket from Ulan Bator to Beijing is significantly cheaper if booked with an agent in Ulan Bator, compared to one in Russia or London who charge a lot more.

The train ticket is much cheaper if booked last minute, but they get sold out quickly and we needed it in advance for our China visa.

Our Nomadic Boys train selfie

Our train from Ulan Bator to Beijing

Food and drinks costs in Mongolia

  • We each spent a total £189 / $280 in our 29 days in Mongolia
  • We spent an average of £7 / $10 per person per day
  • This heading is under inflated because the cost of our tour included all food and is included in the accommodation heading above.
Food during our Gobi desert tour in Mongolia

Stefan stealing this nomadic family’s freshly made khuushuur (fried mutton dumplings) during our Gobi desert tour in Mongolia

 

Activities and Other costs in Mongolia

  • Activities in Mongolia included our tickets to the Naadam Festival in Ulan Bator, booked via Sunpath Hostel and cost £12 / $18 each.
  • Other miscellaneous expenses included laundry, ATM charges, SIM cards purchased and unused currency for Stefan’s currency collection.
A 1 tugrik note for Stefan's currency collection

A 1 tugrik note worth around 0.00032 pence for Stefan’s currency collection

 

Watch our travel video diary of our month in Mongolia, including our Gobi Desert tour, watching the brilliant Naadam Festival in Ulan Bator and our Central Mongolia tour.

17 Comments

  1. Stacey Valle

    thank you for the breakdown for Mongolia! I’m not sure when we will ever go there, but we would love to go! I hope your trip there was fun!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Oh you must – it’s one of the most incredible places I’ve been to in my life 🙂

      Thanks for your comment Stacey.

      Reply
  2. Ferna Mae

    Awesome, I can now know how much should I have in my pocket and how much to prepare. Thank you Stefan and Sebastien. I have a question, do they speak English? Is it hard to communicate with them? Thanks much!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Hi Ferna, most people in Ulan Bator spoke English – but of course out in the countryside and desert, you’re relying on your guide for communication with the nomad families.

      Reply
  3. Stefan

    It seems you guys had an amazing trip 🙂 Do you perhaps know what are other cheap ways of getting to Ulan Bator?

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      We took the train from Ulan Ude and then left by train to BJ. Our advise is to turn up and buy it yourself (though risky as train tickets sell out so you’d be relying on cancellations). Or get a good agency like Sunpath Hostel in UB to book it for you – they will “only” charge 50% of the ticket price (as opposed to up to 200% of the ticket price which other agencies do!)

      Reply
      • Stefan

        And how much the ticket itself cost you?

        Reply
        • Stefan Arestis

          Bus (not train sorry) from Ulan Ude to UB was £23 per person and train UB to Beijing £70 pp.

          Reply
          • Stefan

            Thanks so much! And one more question- did you have any problems being gay on the trip?

          • Stefan Arestis

            Never! But we don’t wave rainbow flags or kiss/hold hands in public 🙂

  4. Amy

    Hi guys, so glad I came across this article as we’re currently debating whether to visit Mongolia or not – basically as we can’t find a suitably priced tour. However, your tours mentioned above are really well priced and the cheapest I’ve seen.
    Can I ask, did you arrive at the hostel and THEN book the tours or organise them ahead of time? And the tours you went on, are they a standard itinerary or are there options to customise – like stay a bit longer, etc.
    Also, could you pick the date you started or was that set?
    Would really appreciate if you can let me know – thanks so much!
    Amy

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Hi Amy – yes we emailed Doljmaa of Sunpath before but arranged and agreed/paid for everything when we arrived there. They can be flexible/customizable. It’s just if you go in July for Naadam, best book in advance via Sunpath.

      Reply
      • Amy

        Fantastic – we’re looking to go late July/August. Do you happen to have any contact details of his that you can send me?
        Also, were your tours all inclusive – transport, accommodation, food, activities (camel riding, horse riding etc) ?

        Reply
          • Amy

            Thanks SO much Stefan, really appreciate it. I’ll contact Doljmaa right away!

  5. Pabi

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your story, I liked it very much.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Pabi

      Reply

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