A landlocked country with no sea to moderate its climate, visitors to Mongolia can expect a pretty extreme continental climate and dramatically varying temperatures throughout the year.
Mongolian winters are known to be very harsh. Ulaan Baatar, the capital, takes home the title as the coldest capital city in the world, whilst temperatures across the country can plummet to a freezing -30°C (and below!). Due to the severity of the winters, most choose to avoid travel to Mongolia between December and March.
By April and May, while there may still be some frost on the ground, Mongolia will be well and truly into spring. The countryside will be green and dotted with wildflowers. This is a wonderful time to stay in a ger camp and experience Mongolia’s traditional nomadic lifestyle.
In stark contrast to the frosty winters, temperatures can soar to 40°C in the Gobi Desert in the months of June, July and August. Elsewhere, summer is when Mongolia is at its liveliest, with the Nadaam Festival (a major event celebrating Mongolian culture and sports) occurring around mid-July. Availability can be hard to come by during this period, so booking ahead is essential.
Come August and September, there’s a little more rain and temperatures in Ulaan Baatar and the surrounding countryside start to fall. By October the freezing temperatures of winter make their reappearance, closing off the country until the following spring.