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
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The Best Hostels in Ulaanbaatar

Overall Best Hostel in Ulaanbaatar – Golden Gobi

Golden Gobi, Ulaanbaatar
  • $$
  • Free breakfast
  • Free shuttle service (to train station)
  • Communal kitchen

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.

Best Cheap Hostel in Ulaanbaatar – Mongolian Vision Tours

Mongolian Vision Tours, Ulaanbaatar
Simple, convenient, and cheap!
  • $
  • Free breakfast
  • Laundry service
  • Railway shuttle service

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.

Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Ulaanbaatar – Sunpath Mongolia

Sunpath Mongolia
  • $
  • Tours/travel desk
  • Free breakfast
  • Outdoor terrace

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. 

Best Party Hostel in Ulaanbaatar – Khuvsgul Lake Hostel

Khuvsgul Lake Hostel
The liveliest hostel of the lot
  • $
  • Bicycle hire
  • 24-hour reception
  • Free breakfast

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

Top Tour Guesthouse Mongolia
Sometimes a hostel doesn’t quite cut it
  • $$
  • Bicycle hire
  • Free breakfast
  • Luggage storage

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.

Best Hostel for Couples in Ulaanbaatar – Town Yard Hostel

Town Yard Hostel Garden
  • $
  • Tours/travel desk
  • Free breakfast
  • 24-hour reception

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.

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

UB Guesthouse and Hostel
This hostel has some of the best reviews!
  • $$
  • Free breakfast
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Airport transfers

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.

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What to Pack for your Ulaanbaatar Hostel

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

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

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!

And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

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Do you own or run a kick ass hostel? Want to be featured in this list? Get in touch at [email protected]

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