Ulaanbaatar is the capital and most populous city of Mongolia. The municipality is located in north-central Mongolia at an elevation of about 1,300 meters in a valley on the Tuul River. The city was originally founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic center, changing location 28 times, and was permanently settled at its current location in 1778.
Warnings & Dangers in Ulaanbaatar
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Ulaanbaatar is not the safest place for travelers, but if you use common sense and take precautions, you can avoid most of the troubles.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Public transport is well developed and safe. Keep an eye on your wallets on buses to avoid pickpocketing. Use only licensed taxi services.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing occurs in Ulaanbaatar at every turn, so wear an anti-theft backpack, look after your belongings, and don't leave your phones and wallets unattended. In crowded places, keep an eye on your surroundings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Ulaanbaatar is prone to earthquakes, floods. Study the weather conditions before your visit here.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Attacks and kidnappings can take place in districts of the city center. Avoid places like this. Travel in a group at night, don't be alone. Use a taxi to return to your hotel.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The risk of terrorism is low in Ulaanbaatar. The global risk of terrorist attacks in public areas exists worldwide, so tourists should be vigilant.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Fraud is commonly associated with street vendors offering counterfeit goods to tourists. Don't buy them even if the price is very attractive. Also, only withdraw money from ATMs at banks with cameras to avoid skimming your card.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women traveling alone in this city should avoid late night walks and be very discreet on the city streets. Heightened precautions won't hurt.
How Safe Is Ulaanbaatar for Tourists?
The crime rate in Ulaanbaatar is average.
The main problems are related to corruption, assault, and robbery.
Pickpocketing and violent robberies pose a higher risk in the capital than in the countryside, so avoiding walking alone after dark is advised.
The most common places for theft are buses and the Narantuul Market (aka Black Market), especially at their entrances.
Xenophobia is frequent, and violence against foreigners is frequent.
Violence is part of daily life in Mongolia, especially in the capital; the violent crime rate is one of the highest in Asia.
Avoid staying up late in bars and restaurants, usually drunk locals can stir up quarrels and lead to a fight.
Try not to communicate with Mongols who are intoxicated.
Be careful on the roads.
Drivers (including buses and police) ignore pedestrian crossings and do not slow down but simply beat their horns.
The car culture in this city is too new to develop systems and habits for safe driving.
Use only licensed taxis and do not take the car from the street – it is dangerous.
It is better not to walk along the streets of the city at night, and if you need to return to the hotel, it is better to use a taxi.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Ulaanbaatar?
All visitors to Mongolia require a visa unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or countries that can obtain a visa on arrival. Visitors must hold passports that are valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
Which Currency Is Used in Ulaanbaatar?
The tögrög or tugrik is the official currency of Mongolia. It was historically subdivided into 100 möngö. Currently, the lowest denomination in regular use is the 10-tögrög note and the highest is the 20,000-tögrög note.
How's the Weather like in Ulaanbaatar?
Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital in the world. The winter takes a very long time in this city. The summer months are also the wettest, although, in absolute terms, this period is still not very wet. The best time to visit Mongolia is during the Mongolian summer, from the mid of June till the last week of August.
What Do I Need to Know about Airports in Ulaanbaatar?
Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport is an international airport in Mongolia. It is located 18 kilometers from the center of Ulan Bator, in the Khan-Uul metropolitan area on the opposite bank of the Tuul River from the city center.
Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?
A travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country or city. Make sure you got it before starting your journey; the customs officer may ask for it.
What Are Some Things to Do in Ulaanbaatar?
Ulan Bator is the capital of Mongolia. The city is located in the valley of the Tuul River on the outskirts of the Bogd-Khan-Uul National Park. Initially, it was a mobile center of Buddhist nomads, which in the 18th century finally took root in one place. By order of the Soviet authorities, in the 20th century, almost all religious buildings were destroyed. Surviving monasteries, now home to museums, Soviet-era monuments, and traditional architecture combined with 21st-century buildings, shape the city’s modern look.
Is the Water in Ulaanbaatar Safe to Drink?
Tap water is not drinkable in Ulaanbaatar. You should buy bottled water or boil tap water.
Is Uber Safe in Ulaanbaatar?
There is no Uber taxi in Ulaanbaatar. You can use any other local taxi services.