If you’re looking for the cheapest hostels and guesthouses in Ulaanbaatar, these are them. Find photos, my review of each, and what to know about booking a cheap tour through your hostel.
While Mongolia isn’t always the cheapest destination when it comes to travel, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Indeed budget-conscious travelers can still find an authentic experience. However, choosing the best hostel or guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar for your travel style is the first step to having an affordable and comfortable trip in Mongolia.Let me start with the benefits of staying in a hostel or guesthouse versus a hotel.
It’s this sense of community that makes staying in a hostel a memorable experience. Especially since everyone lands and departs from Ulaanbaatar when traveling to Mongolia.
If you plan to land in Mongolia without a plan and you like to book your adventures spontaneously, this is the way to do it. Every hostel and guesthouse offer their own tours and experiences for cheap. Probably cheaper than any tour you’ll find online, in fact.
They can be arranged quickly and edited to your liking. They can arrange a private driver and car, translator, and route. The more people you can get to join you on your trip, the cheaper the cost per person.
Specifically, you’ll be responsible for the driver and translator’s meals and sleeping arrangements, and gas for the car. Typically, this is how it works. You can also choose to travel without a translator, to save on costs.
Traveling like this is manageable, and Google Translate now helps a lot, but there will be certain cultural nuances you will miss. It’s up to you how important that is to your travel style and what you’re looking to get out of your Mongolia trip.
Now that you know my tips for booking a cheap tour through your hostel, let’s get into the hostels and guesthouses in Ulaanbaatar I recommend.
Price per Night: $16 USD
Until I started renting an apartment permanently in Ulaanbaatar, Zaya Hostel was always where I stayed. In addition to the shared rooms and bathrooms they have, they also have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. For someone like me who enjoys their quite time and privacy after a long day of being in an unfamiliar city like Ulaanbaatar, having a private room is heaven.
The hostel is not a party hostel, and it usually attracts an older, more well-traveled crowd. I’ve met so many fascinating people staying here that I still stay in contact with still today.
Anand, who runs the hostel, is extremely friendly and helpful and is one of the best people to know if you need anything in Ulaanbaatar. He can easily set you up with tours and experiences and having done many of them myself, his team is trustworthy and reliable. Two things that I can’t stress when booking a tour in Mongolia enough.
Price per Night: $9 USD
Run by a family from Central Mongolia, Town Yard Hostel has all those special little touches and details that remind you you’re in Mongolia. They are also the best choice if you’re looking to plan a route around Mongolia that includes family homestays and experiences.
When it comes down to it, for solo travelers and travelers looking to plan their trip once they land in Ulaanbaatar, Town Yard Hostel is a top choice. If you’re driving into Ulaanbaatar, the hostel also offers free underground parking. Something you will really appreciate once you realize how congested Ulaanbaatar is.
They also offer free transfers to and from the train station and you can arrange a transfer from Ulaanbaatar airport with them, as well.
Price per Night: $9 USD
Located on one of my favorite streets in the city, Tourist Street, Top Tour Guesthouse is central, clean, and cozy. Stepping into their shared living room is like stepping into a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt). You feel more like family here than a guest.
With large windows, the bright space is great for anyone who needs to get some work done during their stay. The kitchen is small but functional and always exceptionally clean. Additionally, the guesthouse provides towels, security lockers, and free breakfast.
A common complaint is that the layout of the guesthouse is inconvenient. Two apartments make up the guesthouse and keep in mind that Mongolians prefer harder mattresses. Unfortunately, this is something you’ll find everywhere.
Mogi, a friendly female who owns the guesthouse, is exceptionally good at arranging tours to the north to meet the reindeer tribe, the Tsaatan. If you want to plan a cheap tour to the reindeer riders, you can easily do it through the guesthouse once you land in Ulaanbaatar.
Price per Night: $20 USD
Hostel One is one of my favorite hostels in Ulaanbaatar. It’s clean, modern, and the staff is attentive and friendly. The rooms are small 4-bed mixed dormitory rooms with bunk beds, privacy curtains, bedside plugs, and fast Wi-Fi. The hostel offers free breakfast and has a small, but usable kitchen. You won’t want to cook an elaborate meal in this kitchen, but it works.
Centrally located, Hostel One is in walking distance to the State Department Store, Sukhbaatar Square, and there’s a Korean restaurant, coffee shop, KFC, and underground bar in the building. Additionally, they have a 4th floor outside lounge that is a nice place to relax and unwind.
Price per Night: $8 USD
With what I would call the best location in Ulaanbaatar, the Golden Gobi is one of Ulaanbaatar’s most popular hostels. And it has been ever since I started coming to Mongolia in 2018.
Travelers looking to round up a group to go out on an adventure with seem to flock here. Even if you aren’t staying at the hostel, you can still stop in and see if there’s a group traveling out to the countryside anytime soon you can join. It’s a welcoming atmosphere which is what has made it so popular.
The hostel is clean and comfortable, but by no means spacious. Luckily you won’t spend much time there anyways since their location is unbeatable next to the State Department Store and budget-friendly bars and restaurants like Green Zone, Potala Coffee Shop, Revo bar, Khaan Buuz, and, my personal favorite, Turning Point bar.
Price per Night: $5.60 USD
Simple and cheap. Mongolian Vision Tours guesthouse is the cheapest hostel on this list.
The 6-bed mixed dorm rooms are clean, comfortable, and at $5.60 USD, affordable for every budget. Beds are bunk-style with privacy curtains and there’s a kitchen, common room, and private rooms using the shared bathroom can be booked for $16 USD.
If you’re looking for the cheapest stay in Ulaanbaatar, this is it.
Price per Night: $10 USD
Bolod Guesthouse is a small, cozy guesthouse that is one of the more accommodating hostels for families with kids. The staff is able to speak English, French, Italian, or Russian. The kitchen is comfortable for cooking meals with two stoves and two refrigerators available for guest’s use.
The guesthouse is located on the far side of Sukhbaatar Square, near the Museum of Modern Art and National University of Mongolia. Travelers can easily walk to the square, visit the Chinggis Khaan Museum, and the Choijin Lama Temple and Museum from here.
Price per Night: $15 USD
In my search for the best hostels and guesthouses in Ulaanbaatar, Khongor Guesthouse can’t be left off the list.
The guesthouse has private rooms available, but bathrooms are always shared. The guesthouse has a budget double room that goes for $19 USD per night but be warned it’s a tight fit. The regular double room with a balcony is a much better option, especially at only $24 USD per night.
Khongor Guesthouse is another great hostel for families traveling with kids.
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