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Traveling from Germany to Mongolia: A Journey Across Continents

Map with German Mongolian flag
Germany to Mongolia route

Germany and Mongolia may seem worlds apart, but with the right planning, you can embark on an exciting adventure that bridges cultures, landscapes, and historical legacies. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious explorer, this guide will provide essential information on how to traverse the vast expanse between these two fascinating countries.

1. Choosing Your Route

Before you pack your bags, consider the various transportation options available for your journey. Here are the primary ways to travel from Germany to Mongolia:

1.1. By Air

  • Recommended Option: Fly from Frankfurt to Ulaanbaatar (UBN) in approximately 11 hours and 10 minutes. The flight covers a distance of around 6,638 kilometers.

  • Airlines: MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air China operate flights between Frankfurt (FRA) and Ulaanbaatar (UBN).

  • Prices range from $459 to $1,025.

  • Cheapest Option: If you’re on a budget, consider flying from Frankfurt to Bayankhongor (BYN) with a layover. The total travel time is approximately 37 hours and 10 minutes, covering a distance of 6,538 kilometers.

  • Prices range from $326 to $1,209.

1.2. Overlanding Adventure

  • For the intrepid traveler, overlanding through Mongolia offers a unique experience. Instead of flying or taking the train, embark on a vast loop that connects some of Mongolia’s most treasured hotspots and wilderness hideaways. This land-based journey allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and local culture.

2. Practical Tips and Considerations Mongolian tour

Now that you’ve chosen your route, here are some practical tips to make your Germany-to-Mongolia adventure smoother:

2.1. Visa Requirements

  • Check the visa requirements for both countries. Obtain the necessary visas well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.

2.2. Packing Essentials

  • Pack lightweight clothing suitable for both warm and cool climates. Mongolia experiences extreme temperature variations, so layering is essential.

  • Don’t forget essentials like a sturdy backpack, comfortable walking shoes, and a reliable travel adapter.

2.3. Cultural Etiquette

  • Familiarize yourself with Mongolian customs and traditions. Respect local norms, especially when visiting monasteries and interacting with nomadic communities.

2.4. Health Precautions

  • Consult your doctor regarding vaccinations and health precautions specific to Mongolia.

  • Carry a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications.

Once you arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, get ready to explore the vast steppes, ancient monasteries, and nomadic lifestyle. Here are some must-see destinations:

3.1. Terelj National Park

view of Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park

Terelj National Park, also known as Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, is a captivating wilderness area located just 60 kilometers southeast of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. This park, covering 2,864 square kilometers, offers a mesmerizing blend of high mountains, rugged cliffs, lush forests, and pristine rivers. From the iconic Turtle Rock to the soothing Yestii Hot Water Springs, Terelj beckons travelers with its natural wonders. Whether you’re an intrepid adventurer or a seeker of tranquility, let the rugged beauty of Mongolia’s wilderness leave an indelible mark on your soul. 🌿🏞️🇲🇳

3.2. Kharkhorin (Karakorum)

Stupas
Stupas of the Erdenezuu temple in Kharkhorin

Kharkhorin, also known as Karakorum, is an archaeological site and former capital of the Mongols, located in the Orkhon Valley in the present-day Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia. It served as the capital of the Mongol Empire from 1235 to 1260, during the period of the United Mongol Empire. Although initially a yurt town, it transformed into a thriving trade center under Ögödei Khan, attracting merchants, missionaries, and diplomats. With a population of around ten thousand people, Karakorum was cosmopolitan for its time. However, its significance waned when Qubilai Qa’an moved the capital to Daidu (Beijing) in northern China. Despite its decline, the area remains historically important, with the Erdene Zuu Monastery built on the site of Ögödei Qa’an’s palace12.

3.3. Gobi Desert

Camels in Gobi desert
Camels of Khongor sand dunes

The Gobi Desert, spanning parts of southern Mongolia and northern China, is a vast and arid expanse known for its shifting sand dunes, dramatic canyons, and unique desert flora and fauna. It is the largest desert in Asia and the sixth largest in the world. The Gobi’s name originates from the Mongolian word “Govi,” which refers to all waterless regions on the Mongolian Plateau. However, in Chinese, “Gobi” specifically denotes rocky, semi-desert areas like the Gobi itself rather than sandy deserts12. Despite its reputation as a sandy desert, much of the Gobi consists of exposed bare rock. Its climate is cold, with frost and occasional snow on its dunes. The average annual rainfall is about 194 mm (7.6 in), and it sits at an elevation of approximately 910–1,520 meters (2,990–4,990 feet) above sea level1. The Gobi’s historical significance extends beyond its harsh terrain—it served as a reservoir of dinosaur fossils and played a role in the Silk Road trade route34. 🏜️🌵🇲🇳🇨🇳

3.4. Khuvsgul lake

Lake and boat
Khuvsgul lake - pearl of Mongolian tour destination

Lake Khuvsgul, also known as Lake Khövsgöl, is the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia by volume and the second largest by area after Uvs Lake. Located near the northern border of Mongolia, approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of the southern end of Lake Baikal, it is often nicknamed the “Younger sister” of these two “sister lakes.” At an elevation of 1,645 meters (5,397 feet) above sea level, Lake Khuvsgul stretches 136 kilometers (85 miles) in length and plunges to a depth of 262 meters (860 feet). Remarkably, it holds nearly 70% of Mongolia’s fresh water and about 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world. The town of Hatgal lies at the southern end of the lake. Lake Khuvsgul’s pristine waters are potable without any treatment, making it a significant drinking water reserve for Mongolia. Its watershed is relatively small, and it is drained at the southern end by the Egiin Gol, which ultimately flows into Lake Baikal. Surrounded by several mountain ranges, including the Bürenkhaan / Mönkh Saridag peak (3,492 meters or 11,457 feet), Lake Khuvsgul freezes over completely in winter, allowing transport routes on its surface. An elliptical island named Wooden Boy Island adds to the lake’s allure. This ancient lake, more than 2 million years old, remains a pristine gem in the heart of northern Mongolia, where the dominant tree is the Siberian larch. 🏞️💙🇲🇳

Western Mongolia and Eagle hunters

horseman with eagle
Mongolian eagle hunter

Mongolia’s Eagle Hunters in the western part of the country, particularly among the Kazakh ethnic group, practice an ancient and awe-inspiring tradition: hunting with golden eagles. For over 4,000 years, these skilled hunters have trained these revered birds of prey to capture small mammals like hares and foxes in the harsh mountainous terrain of the Altai region. The bond between the eagle and its hunter is profound, rooted in mutual respect and a deep understanding of the natural world. Historically, this practice was handed down from father to son, but some remarkable women have risen to excel in this male-dominated field. Today, however, there are only 10 female Mongolian golden-eagle hunters left, including huntress Zamanbol. These hunters dress in traditional garb, ride on horseback, and form an almost symbiotic relationship with their eagles. The eagles, captured at around four years old, bond with their human partners over a decade of hunting together. During the hunt, the silent hunters perch atop vantage points, release their golden eagles, and watch as the birds swoop down to capture prey. This ancient art, preserved through festivals and competitions, offers a glimpse into a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries12. 🏞️🦅🇲🇳

Conclusion of Traveling from Germany to Mongolia

Traveling from Germany to Mongolia is an adventure of a lifetime. Whether you choose the skies or the open road, embrace the journey, connect with locals, and create memories that will last forever.

Bon voyage! 🌍🛫🗺️

 

References:

  1. Flight Distance Calculator

  2. Personal travel experiences and research.

  3. Lake Khövsgöl - Wikipedia

  4. Is Khuvsgul Lake in Mongolia Worth Visiting? | The Nomadic Vegan

  5. Khuvsgul lake: Interesting 7 facts You May Not Know - all about Mongolia

  6. Khuvsgul Lake - Escape To Mongolia

  7. The Best 7-Day Itinerary to Khuvsgul Lake - Meanwhile in Mongolia 🏞️💙🇲🇳

  8. Gobi Desert - Wikipedia

  9. Gobi Desert - Simple English Wikipedia

  10. Gobi Desert - New World Encyclopedia

  11. Gobi Desert | Map, Plants, Animals, & Facts | Britannica 🏜️🌵🇲🇳🇨🇳

  12. Mongolia’s Eagle Hunters - The Last Nomads 2024

  13. Mongolian Eagle Hunters from Western Mongolia

  14. Hunting with Eagles | Golden Eagle hunter in Mongolia

  15. Mongolia’s Fascinating Eagle Hunting Tradition and the Golden Eagle Festival

  16. An Introduction To The Eagle Hunters Of Mongolia 🏞️🦅🇲🇳

 

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