Planning a journey to Mongolia? Getting there is half the fun! If you’re unsure of how to travel to Mongolia, know that you have a lot of options. From planes to buses to trains, taking a jaunt to the country neighbored by Russia and China has never been easier.
We know that organizing your transportation choices can be tough. Read on for more information and details on how to travel to Mongolia.
Flights to Mongolia
Should you be embarking on your journey to Mongolia from a place that’s rather far away, you’ll have an array of flights to choose from. If you’re unsure of how to travel to Mongolia via plane or where to start with planning, we’ve uncovered the best and most popular flight routes and carriers. In almost all cases, you will arrive via Chinggis Khaan International Airport, which is located in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city, and which is also the most common port of entry for passenger planes. A new airport is expected to open in August 2018, but it is stated to replace Chinggis Khaan (taking on the name as well) rather than add a second port for air traffic.
One of the most popular airlines operating in Asia is Air China. With headquarters in Beijing, Air China is widely used in its namesake country and even operates as its flag carrier, or the preferred transport company of a country. As such, Air China offers several routes all over the world, including ones to Mongolia from other countries in Asia as well as from other continents. Flights from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar are a daily occurrence with Air China. Other popular routes in Asia include departures from Tokyo or Seoul. Outside of Asia, you can catch flights from North America, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. If you do happen to be flying into Mongolia from another continent, expect a stopover somewhere along the way for longer journeys, most often in Beijing.
MIAT Mongolian Airline
Another big name in airlines is MIAT, which is Mongolia’s flag carrier. Naturally, they’re a terrific choice for accessing Mongolia from around the world. From west of the country, hop on a plane in Moscow, Frankfurt, or Berlin. Coming from the south, you have more options, like Singapore, Bangkok, and Perth. Close by, Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing are popular starting points.
In addition to MIAT, a second Mongolian airline is Hunnu Air. Other than one international flight path traveling from Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar to Baikal International Airport in Ulan-Ude, Russia, the airline operates domestically. But, if Ulaanbaatar isn’t your final destination, it might be more cost effective to book a separate flight domestically to get to your desired location. And once you’re in Mongolia, Hunnu Air is a great resource for getting around the country.
For those looking to connect directly from South Korea, Korea Air offers direct flights from Seoul to Mongolia’s capital.
One of the largest and best-connected airlines in the world, Turkish Airlines is of course an excellent option if you want to get to Ulaanbaatar. They offer direct flights from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, as well as Istanbul in Turkey with a layover in Bishkek. The latter option is an excellent choice for people coming from Europe or North America, as Istanbul is a major transportation hub. Flights happen three times a week.
One of Russia’s major airlines, Aeroflot connects Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport with Ulaanbaatar. This is another great option for people coming from Europe, and Aeroflot flies between the two cities four times a week.
Another excellent South Korean option, Air Busan flies from the lovely city of Busan directly to Ulaanbaatar four times a week.
Once you’re in Ulaanbaatar you may want to minimise your long transport days on the road by flying between different towns, and Aero Mongolia is one of the best options for you. Covering almost all the extremities of the country, from Olgii to Ulaangom and even into Russia at Irkutsk and Hohhot in China, Aero Mongolia strives to make travel easier and faster in Mongolia.
If you’re already close to the border and wondering how to travel to Mongolia without dropping money on a plane, opt for a bus instead. While there aren’t many routes from China and Russia that travel into Mongolia, it’s a more affordable means of transportation than flying. Not to mention, it’ll give you a chance to socialize with the locals. From Russia, you can hop on a bus to Mongolia from the main station in Ulan-Ude. The twelve-hour journey winds from the Republic of Buryatia down to Ulaanbaatar. From China, you can take a bus from Muxiyuan station in Beijing to Erlian before crossing the border into Mongolia via a shared jeep. The bus ride itself is at least ten hours, and once the jeep journey is over you’ll have to hop on another bus to your destination in Mongolia, so be prepared for a long journey. Though the options are limited for how to travel to Mongolia via bus, and sometimes require extra steps like booking a separate shared vehicle, don’t let this dissuade you from using this means of transportation. The long and complicated journeys often make for the best stories, and it will be an experience you won’t soon forget. After all, how many people do you know that ventured into Mongolia on a jeep?
Last but not least, you can always travel to Mongolia by train. An option that’s more comfortable than a bus and more scenic than a plane, catching a train just might be the best option, not to mention a great choice for turning your long journey into part of the greater tour.
Trans-Siberian Railway: The Trans Mongolian Train Journey
You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the massive train routes connecting Mongolia, Russia, and China. On the Mongolian route, you can start and end your journey in either Moscow or Beijing, with a stop in Ulaanbaatar along the way. Or, since Mongolia is your final destination, you can buy a ticket ending in Ulaanbaatar. If your journey starts in Moscow, you’ll pass scenic Lake Baikal, also known as the deepest lake in the world, where you’ll get chills gazing over its mirror-like waters. You’ll also travel through the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, the site of several dinosaur fossil discoveries. With so much to see, you’ll be glad you folded this popular train journey into your travels. Trans Mongolian train cars are cozily structured, making the six-day excursion a pleasant one. Keep in mind that departures only happen once a week. So, if you’ve purchased a ticket ending in Ulaanbaatar, you’ll have at least a week to explore Mongolia before the next train rolls through and you can complete your journey. Alternatively, you can also elect not to book a second ticket and exit the country via other means of transportation.
With so many choices, figuring out how to travel to Mongolia is easier than you thought it would be! Take a quick and easy plane ride, roll in on an affordable bus, or sit back, relax, and lounge on a popular, picturesque train journey on the Trans Mongolian Railway.
No matter what route you take, you’re bound to fall in love with all the country has to offer, so go ahead and get started on booking your journey to Mongolia today.