Mongolia in Spring


Mongolia in Spring: Top Experiences and Weather Guide for Travelers

Exploring Mongolia in spring is an experience like no other. As the country sheds its winter coat, you’ll engage with age-old traditions and witness nature’s grandeur blooming. This guide offers an honest lens into what to expect from Mongolia’s weather, scenery, and cultural festivities during this pivotal season of growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Spring in Mongolia showcases the country’s remarkable transformation with melting snow revealing vivid landscapes and allowing travelers to witness traditional herding practices and newborn animals.
  • Spring season cultural events include the Nauryz Festival and Tsagaan Sar, offering visitors a deep immersion into Mongolia’s rich cultural traditions and springtime celebrations.
  • Visitors should prepare for variable spring weather conditions, ranging from chilly to warm temperatures, and can choose from a variety of accommodations from ger camps to upscale hotels in Ulaanbaatar.

Springtime Splendor in Mongolia: A Season of Awakening

A vibrant landscape in Mongolia in spring

As the harsh winter bids farewell, Mongolia’s vast steppes and wildlife flourish, revealing the country’s scenic beauty in a stunning spectacle. The snow melts away, uncovering vibrant, colorful landscapes that signal the vibrant season of spring, paving the way for the warmth of summer.

Travelers visiting Mongolia in spring are in for a treat. A culturally significant season, spring marks the time when nomadic herders care for newborn animals, offering an authentic glimpse into traditional Mongolian lifestyle.

Embracing the Freshness of Mongolian Spring

Spring weather in Mongolia heralds a time of fresh air and pleasant weather, replacing the chilling winter atmosphere. A gradual warming trend sets in, announcing the arrival of spring. This warming trend leads to a transformative spectacle across Mongolia. The snow cover recedes, unveiling a vibrant, colorful environment.

Spring in Mongolia is like a painter’s dream come true, as the country transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, making it a perfect time to visit Mongolia.

Spring Festivities and Traditions

The spring season in Mongolia is not just about natural beauty; it’s also a time for cultural immersion. The Nauryz Festival, a significant spring celebration, is a testament to this. During Nauryz, Mongolian Kazakhs engage in lively customs like music and dance, reflecting the communal nature of the festival. The Nauryz traditions aim to bring good fortune for the upcoming year.

It is a time when Mongolians celebrate new life and the spring equinox among the Mongolian Kazakhs, a testament to Mongolia’s rich cultural heritage.

Venturing into the Vast Steppe: Activities & Attractions

Observing wildlife in Mongolia during spring

Mongolia in spring offers a plethora of activities and attractions for every type of traveler. From the majestic Ice Festival on Lake Khovsgol to the Thousand Camel Festival in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia will enchant you with its cultural highlights and natural beauty. As Mongolia summer approaches, the landscape transforms, offering a new set of experiences for visitors.

The Hulunbuir Grassland and Arxan National Forest Park in East Inner Mongolia provide a chance to experience primitive nature and in-depth nomadic tribe culture. For those seeking an adventure, the White Stupa offers a view of multi-colored sand mounds with picturesque sunrise views, ideal for camping and sightseeing.

Nomadic Herders and Their Livelihoods

A trip to Mongolia would be incomplete without meeting the country’s nomadic herders. These herders move periodically throughout the year with their herds of sheep and other livestock, living a lifestyle deeply rooted in traditional Mongolian culture.

Spring in Mongolia is a crucial time for them as it marks the arrival of newborn baby animals. This presents a unique opportunity for visitors to:

  • Observe traditional herding practices
  • Engage with local herders
  • Learn about the care and raising of livestock
  • Experience the beauty of the Mongolian countryside during this vibrant season

For an authentic cultural experience, travelers can stay in a ger camp, closely experiencing the day-to-day life of nomadic herders.

Wildlife Watching Opportunities

Spring in Mongolia is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. It’s an exceptional time for bird watching, as Mongolia hosts a variety of species in vibrant breeding plumage, along with numerous migrant birds journeying to Siberia. Some of the birds you can spot during this time include:

  • Endangered cranes nesting in the northeastern wetlands
  • White-tailed Eagles in western Mongolia
  • Great Black Woodpeckers in western Mongolia
  • Black-throated Loons in western Mongolia

Beyond bird watching, travelers can discover rare endangered animals such as the Ibex in the Yolyn Am Valley, adding an adventurous element to their springtime Mongolia visit.

Spring Weather in Mongolia: What to Expect

Mongolia's spring weather and temperature

When visiting Mongolia in March, it’s important to understand Mongolia weather patterns to prepare accordingly. Here is what you can expect:

  • Temperatures ranging from -15°C at night up to +5°C during the day
  • Transition from winter to spring
  • A significant warming trend as the season progresses

By April, the average daytime temperatures range from -2°C to +22°C. In May, the average temperature rises further, ranging from 8°C to 28°C during the day and from 0°C to 16°C at night. Despite the temperature fluctuations, spring in Mongolia is known to be windy, especially in areas like the Gobi Desert.

March Winds and Warming Trends

With the arrival of March, Mongolia transitions from the cold grips of winter to the warmth of spring. This period is characterized by windy conditions and a gradual increase in daily average temperatures. During this month, temperatures can vary widely from chilly lows around -8°C to warmer highs up to +15°C, which travelers should bear in mind while planning their visit. Despite these warming trends, May can still bring occasional snowfalls, and a persistent spring chill is common, especially in the northern, western, and central regions until around the 20th.

Visitors to Mongolia in early spring should pack warm clothing, as the transition from winter to spring does not immediately dispel the cool temperatures.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

As Mongolia moves deeper into spring, April brings an increase in rainfall as well as occasional heavy snow. This surge in rainfall results in early blooms of wildflowers, such as the Yellow Pasqueflower, especially noticeable near Ulaanbaatar. This rainfall plays a vital role in transforming Mongolia into the lush, green landscapes that characterize the country in May.

Journeying Through Mongolia: Travel Tips for the Spring Season

Preparing for variable spring weather in Mongolia

A springtime visit to Mongolia offers an opportunity for more authentic interactions with locals due to it being the off-tourist season. However, to make the most of your trip, knowing a few travel tips for this season can be helpful.

Preparing for Variable Spring Weather

Mongolia’s spring season brings varied climate conditions, including cold nights and potential rainfall. Therefore, travelers should prepare by packing accordingly. A layering system for clothing is essential to adapt to Mongolia’s spring temperature changes. This should include:

  • Medium-weight clothing
  • Light coats
  • Hats
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Warm socks
  • Lightweight long underwear
  • A fleece jacket
  • A windbreaker
  • A rain jacket

Also, pack essential non-clothing items such as:

  • sunscreen
  • lip balm
  • insect repellent
  • a sunhat
  • sunglasses
  • personal toiletries
  • a first-aid kit with personal medications
  • a travel lamp for areas with limited electricity

Proper preparation can make your Mongolian spring adventure more comfortable and enjoyable.

Navigating the Country: Transportation and Accommodation

Navigating Mongolia’s vast landscapes can be an adventure in itself. Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from luxury 4-star hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, providing easy access to city attractions.

Beyond Ulaanbaatar, Ger camps are commonly used for accommodation, offering guests an immersive experience in traditional felt-covered Gers with shared facilities that may be situated away from the sleeping areas. Ger camps often include additional amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and outdoor sports facilities, which are separate from the sleeping quarters.

For a personalized journey, tailor-made adventure tours in Mongolia can provide a travel experience that aligns with your interests and preferred comfort levels.

Cultural Highlights: Spring Events and Celebrations

Cultural highlights of spring events in Mongolia

Mongolia’s spring festivals and events offer a window into the country’s cultural traditions, often celebrating the natural world and the coming of spring. From the Mongolian Lunar New Year, Tsagaan Sar, embodying traditional Mongolian celebrations to the Nauryz Festival symbolizing new beginnings, there’s a multitude of cultural experiences to explore.

The Ice Festival: A Chilly Celebration

One of the unique events you can attend is the Khövsgöl Ice Festival, held on the frozen Khövsgöl Lake. This festival transforms the lake into a stunning spectacle with its clear, dark-blue ice creating a remarkable backdrop. The Ice Festival is characterized by a diverse range of activities such as:

  • ice-skating
  • ice sumo wrestling
  • tug of war
  • ice ger building
  • dog sledding
  • horse-sled racing
  • ice rally-driving

Apart from sports, the Naadam Festival is also a cultural congregation where participants from Mongolia’s 21 regions wear vibrant traditional costumes and local shamans perform customary rituals.

Tsagaan Sar: Mongolian Lunar New Year

Another important event in the Mongolian spring calendar is Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian Lunar New Year. This celebration embodies traditional Mongolian rituals and serves as an opportunity for tourists to immerse themselves in local practices. The eve of Tsagaan Sar is marked by preparatory rituals where families clean their homes, settle debts, and engage in activities to discard negative influences in anticipation of a positive and clean new year ahead.

Central to Tsagaan Sar feasting are white-colored foods, symbolizing purity, and a lavish feast featuring mutton, horse meat, dumplings, and a tower of cookies representing respect among family and community. Visitors have the opportunity to engage in traditional games, experience local shamanistic rituals, and participate in the special first-day greetings extended to the eldest family members.

Planning Your Spring Adventure: Itineraries and Destinations

Mongolia offers a variety of spring tours that cater to different interests and timeframes, from comprehensive options like the Mongolia Overland Tour, lasting several weeks, to shorter tours like the Weekend Tour, highlighting key attractions for time-constrained travelers.

A Week in the Gobi Desert

For those seeking a unique adventure, a week-long tour through the Gobi Desert offers a comprehensive exploration starting from Ulaanbaatar and includes a variety of landscapes and unique geological formations. Notable places on the itinerary encompass:

  • The White Stupa
  • Yolyn Am Valley
  • Khongoryn Els (also known as the Singing Sand Dunes)
  • The Flaming Cliffs

Each of these places offers distinct natural beauty.

Accommodation at ger camps near key attractions such as Yolyn Am and Khongoryn Els provides an authentic and immersive experience in the desert landscape. Visitors can engage in a variety of activities, including marveling at the Flaming Cliffs’ red-orange glow at sunset and hearing the eerie sounds of the Singing Sand Dunes at Khongoryn Els.

The Best of Ulaanbaatar in Three Days

If you’re short on time, a three-day exploration of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, could be perfect. This exploration includes historical sites such as the Gandantegchenling Monastery and the Bogd Khan Palace Museum, which offer a deep dive into Mongolian spiritual and royal heritage. The National Museum of Mongolia, Choijin Lama Temple Museum, and Zanabazar Museum of Fine Art are key cultural stops that highlight Mongolia’s rich history and artistic achievements.

Chinggis Avenue and the Naran Tuul Black Market are prime spots for visitors to purchase traditional Mongolian goods and savor the local flavors through various culinary delights. Exploring the historical Zaisan Memorial and the pivotal Sukhbaatar Square provides insight into Mongolia’s past and present, offering a narrative of national pride and civic identity.

Where to Stay: Accommodations for Every Budget

From traditional ger camps to mid-range hotels, Mongolia offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget. Ger camps offer a cultural sleeping experience for visitors, with traditional yurt-style tents complete with beds, linens, and heating. Accommodations in ger camps include a group dining lodge and communal bathrooms, reflecting the traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle.

For those seeking more privacy and upgraded amenities, mid-range three-star hotels in Ulaanbaatar blend comfort with affordability. And for budget travelers, the Golden Gobi guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar presents a cost-effective solution and a chance for solo travelers to connect.


From the vibrant landscapes and flourishing wildlife to authentic cultural experiences and unique spring festivals, Mongolia in spring is truly a season of awakening. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the vast Gobi Desert, immersing yourself in the cultural heart of Ulaanbaatar, or simply experiencing the day-to-day life of nomadic herders, Mongolia in spring offers an unforgettable journey. Now that you’re equipped with all the necessary information, why not start planning your spring adventure in Mongolia?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather like in Mongolia in spring?

In spring, Mongolia experiences wind with an average daily temperature of 12°C (53°F), and it transitions into summer, which can be quite rainy with an average daily temperature of 21°C (69.8°F), while autumn brings the changing colors and the first snowfall.

What is the best month to visit Mongolia?

The best month to visit Mongolia is between mid-June and late August, during the summer season when you can enjoy sunny days and lush green scenery.

What is Mongolia like in April?

Mongolia in April is characterized by unpredictable weather with average day temperatures of 10°C to 14°C and night temperatures of 1°C to 6°C, along with strong winds occurring 3 to 5 times per month, and occasionally reaching higher speeds.

What is the weather like in Mongolia in March?

In March, Mongolia experiences winter festivals and events, with temperatures ranging from -8°C to +15°C during the day and -15°C to +5°C at night.

What are some notable spring festivals in Mongolia?

Some notable spring festivals in Mongolia are the Nauryz Festival and Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian Lunar New Year. These celebrations provide insight into the country's rich cultural traditions.

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