Overland Journeys: Trans-Siberian Railway

Ger Camp in the Mongolian steppeUlaan Bataar

For decades Mongolia, landlocked between Russia and China, was an isolated and mysterious land, rarely visited by outsiders. In recent years that has begun to change however, with the country's popularity among travellers increasing all the time, particularly as perhaps the most memorable and unique stop on the Trans-Mongolian Railway between Moscow and Beijing. Mongolia is the world's least densely populated country, a fact that will be instantly obvious as you travel through the undisturbed open landscapes, deserted save for the odd ger camp and nomadic family. In fact heading to the countryside and staying in a ger tent is the quintessential Mongolian experience as you begin to understand the nomadic life pursued by many Mongolians and explore landscape on foot or horseback. The north of Mongolia is characterised by lush green hills and valleys, lakes and unusual rock formations, while in the south lies the vast expanse of the arid Gobi Desert. Back in town, Mongolia's capital Ulaan Bataar is a unique and fascinating, if not beautiful, city, where there is much to experience of Mongolia's culture and history, and the country's Buddhist traditions are experiencing a resurgence after decades of repression. Explore in depth highlights of Mongolia.

Travel Information for Mongolia
Time zone:GMT +8 (Mongolia standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Mongolian
Other languages:Russian, Turkic, Khalkha, Kazakh
Currency: togrog/tugriks (MNT)

1 = 2491, $1 = 2233, £1 = 2969

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.mnInternational Dialling Code:    976

For help planning your trip to Mongolia including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Mongolia trip planning page.

Further information on Mongolia

Discover more about Mongolia - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of mongolia

Total area: 1,564,116 sq km (9,385 sq km under water)

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Neighbours (border lengths): China (4,677km), Russia (3,543km)

Climate: Continental climate with large daily and seasonal variations in temperature. Best visited between April and October when weather is warm and dry, winters can be bitterly cold.

Highest mountain: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) (4,374m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Mongolia from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFlawed democracy 61/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 96/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 53/179
ILGA LGBT rightsLimited rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 80/174
Overall Ranking:    60/195

Other Data & Links

Status: Independent Country

Population: 2,953,190 (rank: 136/196)     Density: 1.8 people/sq km (rank: 196/196)

Ethnic groups: Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)

Religions: Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40% (2004)

GDP (PPP): $17.03 billion       GDP per capita: $5,900 (rank: 124/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.