Mongolia travel advice
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Mongolia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Mongolia
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. This is common:
- in Ulaanbaatar and other major cities
- in popular tourist areas
- on public transportation
- in open-air markets
- at the central post office
- at the Gandantegchinlen Monastery
- at the State Department Store in Ulaanbaatar
While in Mongolia:
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Exercise caution in crowded areas
There have been incidents of violent crime, such as assaults and robberies. Incidents occur more frequently in major cities. In Ulaanbaatar and other large cities such as Erdenet and Darkhan, be extra vigilant in the weeks leading up to and during major holidays, including:
- the Naadam Festival in July
- the Mongolian Lunar New Year (February 21- 23, 2023)
- International Women’s Day (March 8)
- Soldiers’ Day in March
Do not walk alone after dark.
Individuals posing as police officers have robbed foreigners, particularly in Ulaanbaatar’s Sukhbaatar Square area.
If approached, ask to see police credentials or offer to go to the police station.
Business travellers should be aware that foreign companies have received threats of violence.
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers have experienced harassment, verbal abuse and threats of violence.
Tour operators may not adhere to international standards.
If engaging in adventure tourism:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance.
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails
- do not use installation or equipment if you have any doubt about their safety
Roads between the capital city and provinces are poor. Driving can be hazardous, especially in rural areas where paved roads are limited. In Ulaanbaatar the number of vehicles and current transportation infrastructure produce chronic traffic jams.
Access to rural areas can be hampered by heavy snowfalls during the winter months.
If travelling to remote areas:
- Plan your journey
- Travel in a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is well-equipped with provisions, fuel and water
- Avoid driving after dark
Traffic drives on the right but many cars have right-side steering. This can lead to collisions on two-lane roads when drivers attempt to pass slower vehicles.
- Drivers do not respect traffic laws and do not practice safe driving.
- Exercise caution while driving and anticipate potential hazards.
Accidents are common.
- Traffic laws are not consistently enforced.
- Drivers are sometimes aggressive and drinking and driving is prevalent.
- Use a GPS navigation system, if possible.
Taxi drivers have robbed passengers, sometimes violently. The use of “shared taxis” is discouraged because they are not reliable.
- Only use licensed taxis equipped with meters.
- When possible, book taxis through your hotel.
Pickpocketing is common on public buses. Overcrowding is common and women have reported inappropriate physical contact on buses.
The rail network in is limited. Thefts occur frequently on trains between Mongolia and Russia.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Mongolian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Mongolia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Visitors who plan to stay for more than 30 days in Mongolia must register with the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens within 48 hours upon arrival.
Travel to and from China
If you travel to Mongolia through China, or plan to transit through or travel to China from Mongolia, you must meet China’s entry and exit requirements.
Travellers arriving in or departing from Mongolia through China should be aware of Chinese visa regulations. The Chinese embassy in Ulaanbaatar does not always grant visas to foreigners in Mongolia. If you plan to travel to Mongolia and then onward to China, obtain your Chinese visa before the start of your trip.
Travel to and from Russia
If you travel to Mongolia through Russia, or plan to transit through or travel to Russia from Mongolia, you must meet Russia’s entry and exit requirements.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.
Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.
Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is inadequate.
A few hospitals in Ulaanbaatar are suitable for foreigners, but there is often a shortage of safe medicine and reliable medical staff.
You will likely need medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury. The number of medical evacuation service providers is limited. Medical evacuation is very expensive.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Carry adequate identification at all times, such as your passport and registration documents. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it is lost.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Mongolian law does not criminalize sexual acts or relationships between individuals of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not legally recognized by Mongolian law.
According to the Mongolian National Human Rights Commission, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals have faced police harassment and surveillance.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Mongolia.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Mongolia.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Mongolia, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Mongolia.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Mongolia by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Mongolia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must carry an international driving permit.
Train travel to and from Russia
If you travel to Mongolia by train from Russia, you may experience difficulties with border and customs agents. Make sure you declare all goods and cash, and complete all required paperwork.
The currency in Mongolia is the tugrik (MNT). U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted in hotels and some restaurants, mainly in Ulaanbaatar. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are accepted at some hotels and can be converted at several banks.
Carry local currency, especially in rural areas.
Natural disasters and climate
Mongolia is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes and landslides occur.
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains, particularly from mid-July to mid-September, can cause severe flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Dust storms occur in May and June.
If you decide to travel to the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia during the dust storm season:
- know that you may expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
Mongolia is subject to extreme temperatures (from minus 35° to 40° Celsius in the winter to plus 35° Celsius in the summer).
Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is at its peak during the winter months.
During periods of high pollution:
- limit outdoor activities
- monitor local media and air pollution levels
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Consult your doctor before booking your trip if you have lung, heart or respiratory problems
Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar - World Air Quality Index
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 102
- medical assistance: 103
- firefighters: 101
Ulaanbaatar - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Mongolia and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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