You can’t get much more of a mysterious and offbeat destination than Mongolia, and there is certainly plenty there to keep travelers happy. Ulaanbaatar, the capital, is an intriguing blend of old and new, with lots of museums, historical sights and monuments to keep you busy for weeks. Deciding when to visit Ulaanbaatar can be pretty tricky, though; due to its geographical position, Mongolia is a country of extreme climate conditions. To help you, here is a guide to Ulaabaatar’s climate.

The Bogd Khan Palace,Ulanbaartar,mongolia
The Bogd Khan Palace, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar has what is known as a continental climate, with long, dry and cold winters followed by short, mild and relatively wet summers. That being said, it is possible for temperatures to hit 30°C during these summer months, although the average temperature is 21°C. Average winter temperatures are around -20°C, but have been known to drop to as low as -40°C. Because of these massive extremes in temperature, the overall annual average temperature is -1.3°C, making it the coldest capital in the world.

Guilgaim Amantai The Golden eagle huntress in competition golden eagle festival winter. ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
Guilgaim Amantai The Golden eagle huntress in competition golden eagle festival winter. ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA

If it is the best weather you are aiming for when planning your trip to Ulaanbaatar, early June has lovely temperate and sunny days and is also just before the hordes descend on the city for the summer holidays.

The Wulanbutong grassland of summer in Mongolia
The Wulanbutong grassland of summer in Mongolia

If you don’t mind the crowds and want to experience an important part of Mongolian culture, head to Ulaanbaatar mid-July. It is at this time that the Naadam Festival takes place. The Naadam Festival has an incredibly long history, dating back to before the time of Genghis Khan, and consists of wrestling, horse racing and archery contests. It’s really fun to watch and is worthwhile making the trip to Ulaanbaatar just for this reason. If you are visiting at this time and do get a little bit bored of the sport, you can go to the main square – Sukhbaatar Square – and enjoy the vast array of cultural events which take place here during the festival, such as live concerts, opera performances, dance performances, and even throat singing contests.

Horseback archers during Nadaam Opening Ceremony the most important festival of the year held throughout ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
Horseback archers during Nadaam Opening Ceremony the most important festival of the year held throughout ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA

August is the time when you will get the best of the summer weather. If you are planning on combining your trip to Ulaanbaatar with other destinations around the country, September is also a good month to visit. It is neither too hot nor too cold, and the changing of the seasons means that you will see lots of colour within the parks and the countryside.

Ride a horse in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park at Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia
Ride a horse in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park at Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar is really a wonderful destination to consider taking a trip. To experience the best of what this fantastic city has to offer, book your vacation here in the summer months.