Dorm Room
3.5Overall Score

Idre’s Guesthouse in Ulan Bator  provides a friendly, comfortable base for either a short layover in Mongolia, (which we did on our journey from China to Russia), or a much longer visit, (which we wish we had done instead). 😉

We were greeted at the train station by a friendly member of the staff, who drove us to the hostel and quickly got us settled in our eight-bed dorm room. There we enjoyed a very lively atmosphere with a gang of other travelers visiting for a variety of reasons, all enjoying this wonderful country.

Many of them were taking advantage of the numerous tours around Mongolia that Idre’s Guesthouse provides and both Britnee and I grew envious of these excursions, which we didn’t have the time for. But now we know exactly where to start our adventure when we return to Mongolia for a second time.

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Britnee and I roomed with six other travelers in an eight-bed dorm room. The weather in Ulan Bator was mild so the temperature was pleasant throughout our stay, day and night. The beds provided nice, soft mattresses, clean sheets and comforters, but were incredibly short and I couldn’t fit. Both bottom and top bunks have planks at each end so be warned — if you’re tall like me, you will not be able to stretch out at all and you might struggle to get comfortable. I had one leg bent with the other straightened and hanging out where the ladder entered my top bunk.

The room felt spacious at first, but with eight messy travelers things soon started to feel crowded. This made it hard to sort and pack belongings without getting mixed up with others. The hostel is small, the doors are thin and it sits next to a busy road, so bring earplugs. We were there for the World Cup finals, which took place at 3 a.m. local time, so attempting sleep that night was pointless.


There was a kitchen and spacious dining area for travelers to use, which was wonderful after not having that option throughout China. The toilets were all western toilets, which were common in Ulan Bator, (but no flushing TP), and were always clean. The showers, however, were quite cramped, making the whole cleaning-my-tall-self thing quite difficult. Plus, there was only three of them for the whole building.

Wifi was available and incredibly fast. There were also two computers in the front lobby with internet access, a book trade, laundry service and very comfortable couches next to a flat-screen television.

What Idre’s was best known for was the tours it provided. Whether a guest wanted to hire a driver for the day to visit nearby sights, or cross the country on a 28-day epic, Idre’s had a travel agent ready to arrange it. They had brochures laying around the hostel with itineraries of various tours to the Gobi Desert, Altai Mountains and home stays with locals, to name a few. It was difficult to have so little time there as we did, while watching others pack up and disappear for weeks at a time exploring the country.

One other note: Idre’s Guesthouse provided us and fellow travelers with a printer and paper. Might not sound like much, but many travelers using the same agency were required to have printouts of their Russian train vouchers to be traded for tickets later in country. Wandering around Mongolia looking for a printer to do this would probably suck, so we were happy to find this service available right at the hostel.

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We each paid $7.30 a night for our mixed dorm room, which seemed to be one of the cheapest options in the city. Be warned though, the tour prices are what get you. Our one-day Naadam Festival tour cost $120, which didn’t really seem worth it, and some of the longer, cross-country tours got very pricey. To hire a driver for a day to explore Gorkhi-Terelj National Park was more reasonable, costing $90 which we split four ways.


Idre’s Guesthouse was only a 10 minute walk from the train station, almost a straight shot, (but they’ll still offer to pick you up). It was also very close to the downtown area and the busy Peace Avenue, which we frequently walked to find restaurants and shop for souvenirs. There was a mini-mart and ATM across the street. If you plan on visiting Ulan Bator strictly for Naadam, the hostel is about a 30 minute walk from the main stadium where most of the events occur.

Next hostel on our route: TRANS-SIB HOSTEL IN IRKUTSK, RUSSIA. 

About The Author


Mark quit everything to travel the world for a year with his wife, Britnee. Along the way, he picked up a love for many other things, including illy coffee, Nepal, Bolivianos bills, and Thai beaches. Now happily home in Utah, Mark is a balding marketing professional with a mountain biking addiction.

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