Best Places to Live in Mongolia

The Southeast Asian country of Mongolia is often overlooked by travelers because of places like Japan, Korea, and China’s popularity. But the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky” is a wonderful hidden gem worth seeing.

Make no mistake. Mongolia is one of the best places to live in Asia for nature lovers seeking to retreat to unspoiled landscapes. It offers an array of landscapes from semi-arid deserts to lush rolling hills as well as well-laid out cityscapes.

Best Places to Live in Mongolia for…

  1. English Speakers: Sukhbaatar District, Ulaanbaatar
  2. Best Place for Shopaholics: Narantuul District, Ulaanbaatar
  3. Groups: Chingeltei District, Ulaanbaatar
  4. Expats:Zaisan District, Ulaanbaatar 
  5. Best City for Families: Darkhan
  6. History Buffs: Kharkhorin

Top 10 Places to Live in Mongolia

1. Sukhbaatar District, Ulaanbaatar

Best Place for English Speakers

best places live in mongolia Sukhbaatar Square

Cost of Living: $$

English isn’t as widely spoken in Mongolia, but that doesn’t mean it’s not spoken at all. That said, you’ll have a better chance in the city’s capital — Ulaanbaatar.

Sukhbaatar is the most central part of the capital city. So, naturally, it is where most embassies and many English speakers are. The top attractions in this district are the National Museum of Mongolia and the gathering quad of Sukhbaatar Square.

Tip: Sukhbaatar Square comes alive during the Lunar New Year and Naadam Festival with displays of traditional clothing, dancing, and fireworks.

Who Would Like to Live There: English Speakers


  • There are a lot of events that happen in summer.
  • There are many cafés and restaurants within walking distance.
  • Not too expensive.


  • Because it’s in the capital city, it experiences a lot of air pollution.
  • There are lots of scammers near Sukhbaatar Square.
  • Sometimes, Sukhbaatar Square has protests during which tourists should avoid the area.

2.  Narantuul District, Ulaanbaatar

Best Place for Shopaholics

best places live in mongolia Narantuul Market

Cost of Living: $$

While Ulaanbaatar is quite popular, the Narantuul district is one of those hidden gems in Asia that few know about. The most popular draw for this district is the Narantuul Market on the east end of the city. It is partly covered and a place you can buy almost anything here, from food and clothes to furniture.

Tip: Be careful of scammers claiming you need to pay an entrance fee to the market.

Who Would Like to Live There: Shopaholics


  • There are many restaurants
  • Goods are cost-effective.
  • Easy to reach from the city center.


  • Narantuul Market can be a bit dangerous due to pickpockets.
  • There isn’t much to do here besides visit the market.
  • The area can become crowded.

3. Chingeltei District, Ulaanbaatar

Best Place for Groups

best places live in Mongolia Chingeltei

Cost of Living: $$

Chingeltei sits at the foot of this district and is wonderful for groups and young professionals because it’s so vibrant and full of life. There are many things to do as group activities, like visiting sports facilities, the Central Museum Of Mongolian Dinosaurs, and The Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum.

Tip: Download these essential apps for digital nomads to make your visit easier with helpful tools like Tripit and Nomad List.

Who Would Like to Live There: Best Place for Groups


  • Well-connected from the city center.
  • Has many activities for groups or families.
  • It is a cheaper part of the city.


  • Bad traffic.
  • It gets high air pollution in winter.
  • Winters are frigid.

4. Zaisan District, Ulaanbaatar

Best Place for Expats

best places live in mongolia Zaisan district

Cost of Living: $$$

Zaisan is one of the more upscale neighborhoods with modern apartments and villas. It has private schools, high-end shopping centers, and parks, which many love — especially those with a stronger currency.

When you want to escape the noise, retreat to Zaisan Hill, which has a large mural, a local market, a memorial park, and a museum. As a bonus, entrance is free!

Tip: You should save money for long-term travel as it can be more pricey here.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats


  • Has many shopping opportunities.
  • Impeccable landscapes surround you.
  • This part of town has an excellent public transport system.


  • Lots of traffic jams.
  • Apartments can be marked up for tourists.
  • This neighborhood is pretty far from the city center.

5. Darkhan, Darkhan-Uul

Best Place for Families

best places live in mongolia Darkhan

Cost of Living: $$

Darkhan is a city northwest of Ulaanbaatar and the second-biggest city in the country. The city has open spaces showcasing its rugged beauty. One of these that your family will love is Gorkhi Terelj National Park, where visitors can go horse riding, try archery, or camp in a yurt.

The city also has many higher-education opportunities for young adults, like, the University of Science and Technology STDA and the School of Agroecology and Business, which are highly rated in the country.

Tip: If you travel by public transport, you must allot about 30 minutes.

Who Would Like to Live There: Families with younger kids.


  • There are almost no traffic jams
  • Fixed traffic prices.
  • Great primary and high schools.


  • There aren’t as many social events.
  • It is a city but a bit more rural than the capital.
  • Not a very good job market. 

6. Kharkhorin, Övörkhangai Province

Best Place for History Buffs

best places live in mongolia Kharkhorin

Cost of Living: $

This is an interesting city steeped in history that dates to Ghengis Khan’s era in the 13th century. It was Mongolia’s former capital and holds its oldest monastery. You can see remnants of this at Erdene Zuu Monastery, King’s Monument, and the Kharkhorin Museum.

Tip: Visit the King’s Monument at sunset for unbeatable views.

Who Would Like to Live There: History Buffs


  • Taxi fares are affordable.
  • Some cultural attractions are free.
  • Close to Ulaanbaatar.


  • Might be boring for some.
  • Not many English speakers.
  • Many places are only worth visiting with a guide.

7. Bulgan, Bulgan province

Best Place for Nature Lovers

best places live in mongolia Bulgan

Cost of Living: $

Bulgan is the least visited city in the province. As a result, its landscapes are nearly untouched and flooded with lush green landscapes. You’ll often see wildlife running around or riders on their horses in the fields.

Tip: If you don’t have time to visit the Gobi deserts, visit Elsen Tasarkhai’s dunes instead.

Who Would Like to Live There: Nature Lovers


  • Lush fields and semi-desert spaces.
  • Has its own airport.
  • Rent and utilities costs are low.


  • Because it’s in a rural area, the internet connection can be a bit slow.
  • Undeveloped compared to cities.
  • Salaries are low.

8. Mörön, Khövsgöl Province

Best Place for Adventurers

best places live in Mongolia Moron Memorial

Cost of Living: $$

Mörön or Murun is the Khuvsgul Province’s capital. It sits along the Khangai Mountains, with the Mörön River flowing through it. The most beautiful place you can’t miss is Hustai National Park, where you can learn archery, go on hikes, and do birdwatching.

Tip: Try to get an early start in the park to get more done.

Who Would Like to Live There: Adventurers


  • Wonderful outdoor areas worth exploring.
  • Easy to take a solo trip.
  • Great hiking opportunities.


  • Limited public transport.
  • Some attractions are dangerous without guides.
  • Need a tough car to handle all terrains.

9. Olgii, Bayan-Ölgii Aimag

Travelers Seeking to Stay off the Beaten Track

best places live in Mongolia Olgii

Cost of Living: $

Olgii (also spelled Ulgii) is in west Mongolia in the province of Bayan-Ölgii. It has been affectionately nicknamed “the city of Kazakhs” because most people’s primary language is Kazakh.

While it is a city, it is still reasonably rugged, with mountains encircling it from every angle and the occasional unpaved roads. This makes it a wonderful escape to the countryside as it sits next to the Khovd river, which flows into the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.

Tip: If you visit around October, you can be in time for the Olgii Eagle Festival.

Who Would Like to Live There: Travelers seeking to stay off the beaten track


  • Peaceful views of the mountains and landscapes.
  • It has its own airport.
  • You can walk the whole city in under 40 minutes.


  • It is very isolated.
  • There are no addresses.
  • Taxi drivers tend to take advantage of foreigners and ask more for their fares.

10. Erdenet, Orhon Province

Best Place for Cultural Lovers

best places live in mongolia erdenet

Cost of Living: $$

Erdenet is the third largest city in Mongolia, a major industrial center, and a big producer of copper and molybdenum ore. The city gives its visitors a fantastic look into the country’s culture.

It is the best place to buy an authentic Mongolian carpet at Erdenet Carpet Factory. If you’d like to look deeper into the mining industry, tour the Mining Museum. Are you looking for something more exciting? Visit the amusement park instead.

Tip: Most cultural events take place between June and August.

Who Would Like to Live There: Cultural Lovers


  • There are many cultural attractions in the city.
  • Has a wide variety of ethnic foods.
  • Easy to reach from Ulbaantaar.


  • Other areas in the country are more pretty.
  • Winters can be extremely cold.
  • The roads aren’t that well maintained.

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