Fly to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of the beautiful and dramatic country of Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN)
Ulanbaatar Airport (ULN) is the largest international airport in the country, and services the most populated city in the country, Ulaanbaatar. Situated only 18km out of the city, ULN airport does not have exhaustive facilities. It does offer passengers access to free WiFi and there are business class and a VIP lounge areas also.
Airlines to Ulaanbaatar
There are only a few international carriers that fly to ULN Airport. These are Mongolian Airlines, Hunnu Airlines, Areo Mongolia and Korean Air.
If you are travelling outside the Asian continent, then you will most likely have to connect in transport hubs that operate flights to this destination. The international airports that run flights to Ulaanbaatar are Singapore (SIN), Tokyo (NRT/HND), Beijing (PEK), Hong Kong (HKG) and Seoul (ICN) in Asia. With Berlin (TXL), Moscow (SVO) and Frankfurt (FRA) also offering flights to ULN with Mongolian Airlines.
Getting into Ulaanbaatar
You will find two types of taxis run in the city, the official marked kind and private cars. There is an English speaking taxi service called Help Taxi which you can book if you are nervous about getting around (many drivers do not speak English, so it’s advised you have the name of your destination written in Mongolian). A ride into town from the airport should cost around 30,000MNT ($20).
By public transport
There is mass transit you can use, though the public buses only run close to the airport and not all the way to it. The routes are 11 and 22, and cost 500MNT (35 cents).
The car hire company Sixt rents out vehicles in Ulaanbaatar, but the options are few and the price is fairly high for rentals. We recommend if you want to hire a car for the duration of your stay you do this in advance using our car hire search tool.
What can you do in Ulaanbaatar?
The largest city in Mongolia by a long way, Ulaanbaatar makes a perfect counterpoint to the pristine landscape of the rest of the country.
Get to grips with the cultural and political heart of Mongolia by touring the National History Museum, which charts the past of this nation from its pre-Mongol beginnings, through to its Empire and the country under the Qing rule. Then see a traditional folk dance by the Tumen Ekh Ensemble, the most prestigious dance group in the city.
Once you know a little of the town’s history, make your way to the fascinating Bogd Khan Palace Museum, built in the late 19th century and the home of the last king and eighth living Buddha of Mongolia, Bogd Khan. You can also walk around the spectacular Winter Palace, where he would retreat in the colder months.
The fine arts museum of this city, Zanabazar, is also worth some of your time. It houses a staggering collection of art by the renowned artist the museum was named for, but includes art from generations past, and will give you a unique insight into the Mongol character.
The city is of course, an ideal for use as a base to explore some of Mongolia’s unique landscape, such as planning trips out to the Gobi desert, where you can sleep beneath the velvety sky replete with millions of stars. Or explore the Darhad Valley where you will be in with a chance to meet the indigenous nomadic communities of this region.
When should you go?
Summer is generally the recommended time to see this stunning country, which runs between mid-May and the end of September. This is when the sun is shining, and the frigid weather has (for the most part) departed. Don’t be fooled though, Mongolia is generally fairly cool; Ulaanbataar considered the coldest capital in the world. Temperatures range dramatically in these months from lows of 12°C to highs of 26°C.
What do you need to know?
Currency: The Mongolian Tugrik (MNT)
Visas: Many visitors travelling to Mongolia need a visa. For those that do, there is a helpful travel advice website on Mongolia that runs through the requirements for entry. Please note, you will not be allowed on the flight without a valid visa.
Please note all information is current as of December 2015.
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