The Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar feels surprisingly built-up for such a far-flung destination. Founded in 1639 as a monastic Buddhist centre, this city of skyscrapers and Soviet-era buildings is an interesting mix of traditional life and 21st-century living.

A stop along the Trans-Siberian Railway (and the Chinese rail network), Ulaanbaatar is a vibrant place with nightlife, museums and heaps of culture to explore. Staying in a hostel here means keeping things budget-friendly, but also connecting with local families who run them.

To inspire your trip, here’s our selection of the very best hostels in Ulaanbaatar.

Quick Answer: Best Hostels in Ulaanbaatar

Best Hostels in Ulaanbaatar
Discover urban Mongolia

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The Best Hostels in Ulaanbaatar

Golden Gobi – Overall Best Hostel in Ulaanbaatar

Golden Gobi, Ulaanbaatar

This welcoming guesthouse is the perfect way to kick off your backpacking adventure to Mongolia. It’s run by a family who is originally from the Gobi Desert (hence the name), and it boasts a great atmosphere – the sort of place you arrive at and instantly feel part of the family.

This is easily best hostel in Ulaanbaatar, with an epic free breakfast and plenty of comfy common areas to kick back in. The central location is also pretty unbeatable. It’s close to museums, the central square, and Peace Avenue – the main street in the Mongolian capital.

Mongolian Vision Tours – Best Cheap Hostel in Ulaanbaatar

Mongolian Vision Tours, Ulaanbaatar
Simple, convenient, and cheap!

If you’re traveling on a shoestring budget, then look no further than this super cheap hostel. This place really is great value for the money – you get a lot for the nightly rate. Beds in the dorms are spacious and capsule-style, complete with privacy curtains. The showers and bathrooms are clean too, which is always a plus.

Staff at this hostel are friendly and helpful, offering plenty of restaurant recommendations and information for your onward adventures. Coupled with nice social spaces and an outdoor terrace, it’s no wonder this is so highly rated.

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Aether Backpack

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Top Tour Guesthouse Mongolia – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Ulaanbaatar

Top Tour Guesthouse Mongolia
Sometimes a hostel doesn’t quite cut it

For those of you who are looking for a bit of privacy during your stay in Ulaanbaatar, Top Tour Guesthouse Mongolia provides just that. The private rooms here are comfortable, clean and tastefully decorated with touches of traditional style.

Elsewhere, things are modern, cozy, and pretty cool-looking. The amenities are contemporary – from the fully equipped kitchen to the friendly lounge area. And in terms of location, you’ll be within easy walking distance of the city’s major tourist attractions.

Town Yard Hostel – Best Hostel for Couples in Ulaanbaatar

Town Yard Hostel Garden

Town Yard Hostel provides the perfect backpacking getaway in the city for you and your partner. This is another one of Ulaanbaatar’s awesome hostels that are run by a family who’ll make sure your stay runs smoothly. The free breakfast is another major perk.

The hostel comes complete with an outdoor terrace and common room. Everything is spotlessly clean, with private rooms that would suit couples wanting their own space. With a central location close to pubs, restaurants, and museums, you’ll have plenty to do during your stay.

UB Guesthouse & Hostel – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Ulaanbaatar

UB Guesthouse and Hostel
This hostel has some of the best reviews!

Coming highly recommended (from Lonely Planet, National Geographic, New York Times, etc.), this top Ulaanbaatar hostel has been in operation since 2000. It’s owned by a friendly couple who’ll make sure your stay is hassle-free from the moment you arrive.

Owing to its long-established status, all sorts of international travellers find themselves here – from backpackers to American Peace Corps – meaning you’ll get to meet some interesting people during your stay. There’s plenty of space where you can get your head down and do some work when you need to, making this a great place for digital nomads.

Sunpath Mongolia – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Ulaanbaatar

Sunpath Mongolia

Run by a local Ulaanbaatar family, the staff here really take care of their guests. They’re always on hand for offering tips and advice for the capital and beyond, and provide an insight into Mongolia’s culture.

Staying here puts you in good hands, which is partly why it’s our top pick for the best hostel for solo travellers in Ulaanbaatar. Throughout this hostel, everything is clean and tidy, with dorm rooms that offer good security and great value for money. 

Khuvsgul Lake Hostel – Best Party Hostel in Ulaanbaatar

Khuvsgul Lake Hostel
The liveliest hostel of the lot

Although Ulaanbaatar isn’t the most party-centric destination, Khuvsgul Lake Hostel is a great option for those looking to stay somewhere fun during their visit. The stylish shared kitchen and common room come complete with a bar area, where you can pick up a beer or two.

It’s not just the beer fridge and the atmosphere that make this a fun party hostel. It’s located close to a few good local bars, so you’ll be able to enjoy some drinks and experience what makes the Ulaanbaatar nightlife tick.

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Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

What to Pack for your Ulaanbaatar Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

Ulaanbaatar Hostels FAQ

How much do hostels in Ulaanbaatar cost?

Hostels in Ulaanbaatar is pretty cheap. A dorm bed just costs around $6-$20 per night and private rooms is just from $13-$30 per night.

What are the best hostels in Ulaanbaatar for couples?

Mongolian Vision Tours is my recommended hostel for couples. It’s strategically located at the heart of the city and top attractions are only a few minutes away from the accommodation. There’s a lot of activities that you can do around like fishing, horse riding, or hiking just to name a few.

What is the best hostel in Ulaanbaatar near the airport?

The nearest airport in Ulaanbaatar is Chinggis Khaan International Airport which is a good 1 hour drive to the city center. Since most hostels are in similar distance. Here are my top accommodations in the area instead (these hostel also have airport shuttles!)
UB Guesthouse & Hostel
Lotus Guesthouse
Top Tour Guesthouse Mongolia

Travel Safety Tips for Ulaanbaatar

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Ulaanbaatar

You can’t omit Ulaanbaatar from your travel plans if you’re visiting Mongolia. Home to over half of the country’s population, the capital city works as a great jumping-off point for adventures further afield.

If you can’t quite decide where to stay, Golden Gobi is an excellent choice.

No matter where you end up going, you’ll be guaranteed some classic Mongolian hospitality, and usually a free breakfast!

Which hostel caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

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