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How much does it cost in Mongolia ?

Prices used to be even lower and have somewhat risen recently when it comes to both food and accommodation, but they are reasonable in supermarkets and local restaurants. But some things are the same price as some Western countries. Day-to-day living in Mongolia is easy. Food is much cheaper than in the Western countries and there's accommodation for all budgets.

What is the cost of living in Mongolia?

The cost of living for expatriates in Mongolia as of October 2023 is low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 45.43 (New York =100). We have collected prices for the same items, worldwide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Mongolia is as follows:

Airplane tickets

When it comes to the cost of a trip to Mongolia, it's essential to consider various factors. Flights to Mongolia can range from approximately $800 to $1,500 for a round-trip ticket, depending on the season and departure location and season. Domestic flight tickets cost $250-300.

Sightseeing and activities: In Mongolia, many attractions are free or have a small entrance fee of around $2 to $5 per person. Some popular sites include the Gobi Desert, Terelj National Park, Khuwsgul Lake, and the ancient city of Karakorum. If you're up for more adventurous activities like horseback riding or camel trekking, the cost can range from $50 to $100 per person. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary depending on your travel style, activities, and other expenses. During the peak season, which is typically from June to August, prices tend to be higher due to increased demand. On the other hand, if you're flexible with your travel dates and can visit during the off-peak season, you may be able to find more affordable flights.

Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is low for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and takeaway food and beverages. The average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.82, coke/Pepsi (330ml) is USD$0.94, a burger meal (international franchise or similar) is USD$5.54 and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$36.95. As for food, Mongolian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and influences. Budget-friendly options of meals at local restaurants can cost around $5 to $10 per meal. However, if you're looking to save even more, street food and convenience store meals can be as low as $2 to $5. As for drinks, prices can vary depending on the type and location. A bottle of water can cost around $1, while a local beer might set you back $2 to $4. For 3 days of food and drinks, you can expect to spend approximately $60 to $120.

Household Accommodation: Cost is low for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$1400. Average expatriate house/apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,098 in a central location, and USD$1,214 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities. Accommodation costs vary. When it comes to finding a place to rest your head, budget hotels in Mongolia can be quite affordable. You can expect to pay around $20 to $50 per night, depending on the location and amenities. For a 2-night stay, the total cost for accommodation would range from $40 to $100.


Budget hotels or hostels start at around $15 per night and luxury hotels reach up to $300 per night.

Groceries: The cost is low for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, general food products, snacks, and soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$530. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.66, 1 kg oranges USD$1.78, 1 head lettuce USD$1.42, 1 kg potatoes USD$0.30, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$2.37, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$5.80, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.34, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.75, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.55, and 1.5 L water USD$0.66.

Communication: The cost is very low for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff, and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$84. The average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$12, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$7.08 per minute.

Transport: Cost is very low for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase, and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$370. The average price over the last year for the highest available octane petrol/gasoline (1L) is USD$2.94, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact/small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$17,005./ The country's public transportation system is relatively extensive and efficient, with the cost of a one-way subway or train ticket ranging from $0.20 to $1.50./ For budget travelers, planning ahead and researching activities and costs is crucial. On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $30 to $50 per day in Mongolia, including accommodation, meals, transportation, and sightseeing. However, keep in mind that prices may vary depending on your preferences and travel style. On the other hand, a mid-range traveler can anticipate spending approximately $80 to $120 per day, allowing for a bit more comfort and flexibility. Remember, creating a budget that works for you is key to enjoying a memorable trip to Mongolia without breaking the bank.

Alcohol and/or Tobacco: The cost is very low for items such as beer, spirits, wine, and tobacco-related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$450. The average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$10.15, domestic local beer (500ml) USD$2.03, imported international beer (330ml) USD$1.79, and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$2.03. Clothing: Cost is low for items such as business, casual, and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$590. The average price for an international brand of men's jeans is USD$32, a quality international brand of running shoes is USD$71, men's leather shoes suitable for office wear are USD$85 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$25.

Education: The cost is low for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees, and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$16800. The average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) is USD$10,959 for Primary School and USD$12,196 for High School.

Furniture & Appliances: Cost is low for items such as dining tables and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$1650. The average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$635, and USD$545 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

Healthcare: Cost is average for general health care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$700. The average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visits for an uninsured patient is USD, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,749.

Miscellaneous: The cost is low for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$255. The average price for dry cleaning (1 man 2 pc suit) is USD$4.95, while an international newspaper is USD$1.52. Personal Care: The cost is very high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$570. The average cost for a man's haircut and blow dry is USD$45, while a woman's hair color, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$227. Recreation & Culture: Cost is average for items such as books, cinema, sports, and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$265. The average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off-peak where applicable) for one adult is USD $4.99, and an international fitness, recreation, or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD $72 per month.

How does the cost of living in Mongolia compare?

Mongolia is -34% cheaper than the USA for groceries, -51.8% cheaper for household costs than the UK, and -28% cheaper for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life/hardship in Mongolia?

Mongolia is ranked as an extremely hardship location. The hardship premium for Mongolia for an expat from Australia is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Mongolia) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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