About Ulaanbaatar: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ll be discussing the frequently asked questions about Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Apart from the beautiful steppes and mountains, the heart of Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar, is the most prominent tourist attraction in the country.

Is Ulaanbaatar safe or dangerous to travel to?

Safety is the most important priority when traveling. No country is a hundred percent safe, whether it’s about the citizens or tourists. Ulaanbaatar is no exception. But the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar could be a dangerous area where I don’t suggest you visit unless necessary.

The center of the UB is relatively safe, but there is stealing & pickpocketing here and there. You have to be mindful of your belongings all the time, especially in crowded areas. Running into troubled people like alcoholics at night seldom happens.

Other than those common issues, Ulaanbaatar city is a safe city. You’ll immediately notice that the city is filled with energetic, more cultured, polite, and ethical young people.

Is Ulaanbaatar worth visiting?

Tourists often visit Mongolia to experience the vast mountains and steppes with their eyes. It’s undeniably an excellent opportunity to see the nomadic lifestyle of Mongolian herders, which is something we’re proud of. But Ulaanbaatar is also worth the visit as more than half of the population lives here.

There are restaurants that serve all types of foods, museums that preserve the entire history of Mongolia, parks, and avenues filled with kids playing despite lacking some green space. You will immediately fall in love with the city and the local people. Plus, it’s easy to get around UB with cheap bus fares and reliable taxi applications like UB Taxi.

Is Ulaanbaatar expensive?

In short, Ulaanbaatar is not an expensive city if you compare it to the world standard. But for the locals living here, life is not easy due to inflation rising. On the other hand, foreigners might save a bunch while living in Mongolia because the living cost in Mongolia is 48.22% lower than in the United States.

To give you an idea, the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is MNT 930,000, while the price per square meter to buy an apartment in the city center is MNT 3,600,000. The cost of essential monthly utilities ranges from MNT 150,000 to MNT 300,000 and so on.

When you convert these average costs to USD dollars, it’s far less than the cost of living in developed countries and most developing countries. But the average salary of Mongolians is MNT 1,400,000 or USD 504.7 in 2022. So there are many people who struggle to make ends meet. Whether you’re touring Mongolia for a few weeks or decide to live here – it’s relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world.

Is Ulaanbaatar a good place to live?

Aside from a few severe issues like pollution and traffic jams, Ulaanbaatar is an excellent place to live. More than 24,000 foreigners from 122 countries live in Mongolia with official residence permission.

Most job opportunities are in Ulaanbaatar, and it’s not competitive or difficult to find a job as long as you have the skills. Most foreigners here teach English as a full-time job. Due to rising inflation, consumer goods and apartment rental prices have also been increasing. But it’s still relatively cheaper than most countries.

There are sports and entertainment places, good restaurants, and good job opportunities. However, the air pollution, extreme traffic jam, and high density in the capital city frustrate a lot. But here are numerous natural places to escape from the city for a few days to calm the mind.

Overall, Ulaanbaatar city has pros and cons like the other cities. Some foreigners unexpectedly fall in love with some aspects of the town. So you could never tell unless you experience the contrasting lifestyles of Mongolia.

Is Ulaanbaatar poor?

Mongolia is a developing country with little economic independence. Plus, the country’s economy is heavily dependent on its land resources, weakening financial safety and worsening the quality of life. However, the poverty in Ulaanbaatar is relatively less than in other parts of the country due to its abundant job and education opportunities. But there are myriad poor households on the city’s outskirts, especially in the Ger Districts.

According to the 2020 Household Socio-Economic Survey (HSES), the national official poverty rate in 2020 was 27.8 percent – which means about 903.4 thousand people in Mongolia are living in poverty as of 2020. Among the poor, 64 percent lived in the urban areas in 2020, with 43 percent living in Ulaanbaatar. And the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the poverty situation even more.

Is Ulaanbaatar in Inner Mongolia?

Ulaanbaatar is the capital city of Mongolia, which is a modern sovereign state. Mongolia is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, and people sometimes confuse Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. But Inner Mongolia, aka Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is a landlocked autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.

When Mongolia broke apart into four different regions, now called Inner Mongolia was inhabited by the indigenous Mongolians in southern Mongolia. However, after the revolution of 1911, Inner Mongolia became an integral part of the Chinese Republic.

So Ulaanbaatar is a city located at the heart of Mongolia, while Inner Mongolia is a landlocked autonomous region located in the People’s Republic of China. In short, they are separately located in different countries.

Why is Ulaanbaatar so polluted?

People usually know Ulaanbaatar is one of the most polluted cities in the world. And it’s not just air pollution, there is soil and water pollution too. The air pollution is caused by the excess number of cars and trucks on the road, the fact that half of the citizens rely on fossil fuels to stay warm, heavy mining activities, smoking, etc.

Ger district is also the cause of soil pollution because people use wooden toilets where wastewater is absorbed into the ground. Thus polluted soil leaches into the groundwater, affecting the water quality. These are all directly related to each other, hence causing severe long-term health effects for Mongolians.

Why is Ulaanbaatar cold?

Mongolia is prominent for its brutally cold winter. It’s because the country is situated far from the sea or ocean as a huge plateau. The winds blow overland throughout the country. So it’s due to the geographical features of the country.

What is Ulaanbaatar famous for?

Unlike other capital cities, Ulaanbaatar doesn’t have many attractions or prominent landmarks. But the city is definitely famous for its freezing cold winter, busy streets filled with people, heavy traffic, and beautiful buildings. More than half of the Mongolian population lives in Ulaanbaatar, making it the industrial center of Mongolia. Every type of restaurant, hotel and entertainment center can be found here. Some must-see famous places include Sukhbaatar Square, Shangri-La center, Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, Zaisan Memorial Hill, and so on.

What is the Ulaanbaatar zip code?

The zip code for Ulaanbaatar city is 11000. But zip codes of each area, and district of Ulaanbaatar city are different. You can find out about the zipcodes of different areas of Mongolia in more detail here.

What does Ulaanbaatar mean?

Ulaanbaatar, also known as Ulan Bator was found its current name in 1924 after being declared a people republic. The literal meaning is “Red Hero”. The largest city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar had previously been named Urga, Niislel Khuree throughout history.

What is Ulaanbaatar’s time zone?

Time in Mongolia is officially represented by the Mongolian Standard Time (UTC+8:00). So Ulaanbaatar timezone is also UTC/GMT+8:00. Interestingly, the far western provinces of Khovd, Uvs, and Bayan-Ölgii use UTC+07:00.

What is the population of Ulaanbaatar?

The latest statistics show that Ulaanbaatar city’s population is 1,644,544. More than half of the Mongolian population resides in Ulaanbaatar, making it the most densely populated city in Mongolia. Thus, the population growth each year is higher, even though people don’t see the city as a sustainable and healthy environment to raise kids these days due to the high level of pollution.

What is the climate in Ulaanbaatar like?

Ulaanbaatar has four different seasons throughout the year. The climate is quite continental: you will experience cold, dry, long winter and warm, comfortable, yet short summers. Each season is surprisingly different from the other, with its unique weather. Ulaanbaatar is a great place to experience freezing winter filled with snow, and hot summer with lots of sunny days. Overall, the weather is dry and windy all year round, which can be irritating at times.

What province is Ulaanbaatar in?

Ulaanbaatar is located at the heart (north-central part, to be exact) of Mongolia – Töv province. The name of the province literally means “center”, because it’s located exactly at the center of Mongolia. Mongolia is divided into 21 provinces or aimags and one provincial municipality.

When does sunset in Ulaanbaatar?

Sunset time in Ulaanbaatar depends on the season. During the winter, the day is short and night is long, thus it sunsets early – around 16:00-17:00. On the other hand, the sunset is quite late during the summer – around 20:00-21:00. In fact, the shortest day occurs on December 21-22, while the longest day occurs on June 22 in Mongolia.

When was Ulaanbaatar founded?

The history of Ulaanbaatar begins in 1639 when the construction of a palace started in Shireet Tsagaan Nuur started as the Tusheet Khan Gombodorj’s son Zanabazar was proclaimed as the head of the Khalkha Shar religion and earned the sacred title of “Gegeen”. Urgu city was called Nom Khuree, Ikh [Da] Khuree, and Niislel Khuree.

After moving multiple times, the Urgu city finally settled at where is now Ulaanbaatar. On October 29, 1924, the day when the first constitution of the People’s Republic of Mongolia was approved – Ulaanbaatar was officially announced as the capital city of the People’s Republic of Mongolia and found its name “Ulaanbaatar”.

Where is Ulaanbaatar located on a map?

Ulaanbaatar can be found in the north-central part of Mongolia. Mongolia is also located in the north-central part of Asia on the map. Mongolia is bordered by China to the south, east, and west, and Russia to the north. It is easily found on the map as it covers an area of 1,564,115 sq km, which is not small.

Where is Shangri-La Center in Ulaanbaatar?

Shangri-La center is located at the heart of Ulaanbaatar, south of the Sukhbaatar/Central square of the city. Shangri-La center is not only famous among citizens but is an ideal place for business and leisure travelers. The 5-star hotel, office building, luxury residence, shopping mall, sports club, and 400 parking spaces definitely make the center the best place to stay for a longer period or just spend your free time at.

Where is Sukhbaatar / Chinggis square in Ulaanbaatar?


The Sukhbaatar / Chinggis square is the central square of Ulaanbaatar city. So obviously, it’s at the center of the city. There is an equestrian statue of Damdin Sukhbaatar, who is a Mongolian revolutionary hero. A large monument dedicated to Genghis Khan sits at the north of the square, directly in front of the Government Palace.

Blue Sky, a tall glass building, is located on the south, while Galleria Ulaanbaatar is located on the east side of the central square. If you’re traveling by bus, you can ride the bus number “1” to reach the Sukhbaatar square because the main road is on the south, directly parallel.

How big is Ulaanbaatar?

Ulaanbaatar covers an area of 4,704 km². It’s a municipality located at an elevation of about 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River, bordering the Bogd Khan Uul National Park. In fact, The territory of Ulaanbaatar is larger than 96 countries in the world such as Luxemburg, Monaco, and Singapore. However, since more than 1.4 million people live in the city, the population is too dense, causing many issues, including traffic jams, inaccessibility of schools/kindergartens to children, etc.

How cold is Ulaanbaatar?

Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital city in the world during winter. The cold temperature is caused by its high altitude and its location far from any sea/ocean. Plus, the wind makes it even colder. During the winter, the temperature can drop to less than -30 degrees Celsius at night. It’s even more freezing around the western provinces.

How to pronounce Ulaanbaatar in Mongolian?

Ulaanbaatar, aka Ulan Bator, is not a difficult word to pronounce. The latter spelling is easier to pronounce: it sounds like “OO-LAAN-BAA-TOR”. You can watch pronunciation videos on Youtube to quickly learn to pronounce it.

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