Mongolia Naadam Festival Tour 2024


Naadam Festival Tour

  • Duration:July 10th to July 14th
  • Available in 2024
  • Begin and end: Ulaanbaatar city
  • Tour type: Naadam Festival Tour
  • Price: 650$ p/p

Our highlights

  • Witness the “three manly sports” of wrestling, archery, and horse racing
  • Experience the vibrant opening ceremony with traditional music, dance, and costume displays
  • Opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, and other cultural activities
  • Visit central Mongolia, including ancient monasteries, experiencing nomadic culture, and traditional meal


The Naadam Festival is one of Mongolia’s largest and most significant celebrations, often referred to as the “Three Manly Games” because it features traditional Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery.


The festival typically takes place from July 11th to July 13th each year, coinciding with Mongolia’s national holiday.


The main celebration occurs in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, at the National Sports Stadium. However, smaller Naadam festivals are also held in various provinces across Mongolia. Visitors can also explore Terelj National Park, known for its wildlife and trekking opportunities, which is located near Ulaanbaatar.

Key Events:

  1. Opening Ceremony:
    • The festival begins with a vibrant opening ceremony featuring parades, traditional music, dance performances, and cultural displays.
  2. Wrestling (Bökh):
    • Mongolian wrestling is the most popular event, with hundreds of wrestlers competing. The matches are held in the National Sports Stadium.
  3. Horse Racing:
    • Unlike Western horse racing, Mongolian races are long-distance events held in the open countryside. The jockeys are typically children aged 5-13, showcasing their riding skills.
  4. Archery:
    • Both men and women participate in archery competitions, using traditional Mongolian bows. The targets are small leather rings or cylinders placed on the ground.
  5. Anklebone Shooting (Shagai):
    • This traditional game involves flicking sheep anklebones at a target from a distance.


Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

  • Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia.
  • Visit Sukhbaatar Square and the National Museum of Mongolia.
  • Overnight in Ulaanbaatar.
  • Deeltei Mongol festival

Day 2: Opening Ceremony and Wrestling

  • Attend the grand opening ceremony at the National Sports Stadium.
  • Watch the wrestling matches and enjoy cultural performances.

Day 3: Horse Racing

  • Travel to the countryside to witness the horse races.
  • Experience a traditional Mongolian picnic lunch.
  • Enjoy horse riding as part of the countryside experience.
  • Return to Ulaanbaatar for an evening cultural show.

Day 4: Archery and Anklebone Shooting

  • Spend the day at the stadium watching archery competitions.
  • Learn and participate in anklebone shooting games.
  • Explore local markets and try Mongolian delicacies.

Day 5: Cultural Exploration

  • Visit the Genkhgis khan statue
  • Take a trip to the Zaisan Memorial for panoramic views of the city.
  • Enjoy free time for shopping and relaxation.

Day 6: Departure

  • Transfer to the airport for your departure.

Tour Price Includes

  • Accommodation (hotels in Ulaanbaatar, ger camps in rural areas)
  • Meals (full board during the tour)
  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation (comfortable vehicle with driver)
  • Entrance fees to all attractions and parks.

Tour price excludes

  • Personal needs
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratitude
  • Optional activities

Travel Tips:

  • Book in Advance: The festival is very popular, so book flights and accommodations well in advance.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Weather: July can be hot, so bring sunscreen, hats, and light clothing. However, nights can be cool, so pack some warm layers.
  • Language: Learning a few basic Mongolian phrases can enhance your experience, though English is spoken in tourist areas.
  • Local Tours: Consider joining a guided tour for a more organized experience and deeper insights into the festival and Mongolian culture.

Tour details:

Layered Clothing:

  • Light, breathable clothing for the daytime.
  • Warm layers for the evenings (sweater, jacket).
  • A waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain.

Comfortable Shoes:

  • Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots for exploring the countryside.
  • Comfortable shoes for walking around Ulaanbaatar and attending events.

Hat and Sunglasses:

  • A wide-brimmed hat to protect from the sun.
  • Sunglasses with UV protection.


  • Useful for protection against dust and sun.

Travel Essentials:

  1. Travel Documents:
    • Passport (with copies), visa, travel insurance.
  2. Cash and Cards:
    • Local currency (Mongolian Tugrik) and credit/debit cards.
  3. Backpack or Daypack:
    • For daily essentials and exploring.
  4. Camera:
    • To capture the memorable moments of the festival.
  5. Portable Charger and Adapters:
    • For charging electronic devices. Mongolia uses C and E type plugs.

When traveling to Mongolia for the Naadam Festival, it’s important to be prepared for varying standards of toilet and shower facilities, especially if you plan to explore rural areas. Here’s what you need to know about toilet and shower facilities and how to be prepared:

In Ulaanbaatar:

  1. Hotels:
    • Most hotels in Ulaanbaatar have Western-style toilets and showers with hot water. Mid-range and luxury hotels will provide good facilities.
  2. Restaurants and Public Places:
    • In the city, restaurants, cafes, and malls typically have clean, Western-style restrooms. Carrying hand sanitizer and tissues is recommended, as some places may not provide toilet paper.

During the Naadam Festival:

  1. Event Venues:
    • At the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar, there will be portable toilets (similar to those at large outdoor events). These may not always be very clean, so having hand sanitizer and tissues is crucial.

In Rural Areas:

  1. Ger Camps:
    • If you stay in a traditional ger camp, facilities can vary. Some camps have communal shower and toilet blocks with Western-style amenities, but others might only offer basic pit toilets and no showers.
  2. Guesthouses and Homestays:
    • When staying with local families or in guesthouses, you might encounter pit toilets (outhouses) and have limited access to showers. In these situations, it’s good to have a supply of wet wipes and dry shampoo for personal hygiene.
  3. Wild Camping:
    • If you’re camping or trekking, be prepared for no toilet or shower facilities. A portable camping toilet or a small shovel for digging a latrine hole might be useful, along with biodegradable toilet paper.

Packing List for Toilet and Shower Needs:

  1. Toilet Paper:
    • Carry a roll or two of toilet paper, as it might not always be provided.
  2. Hand Sanitizer:
    • Essential for maintaining hygiene when soap and water aren’t available.
  3. Wet Wipes/Baby Wipes:
    • Useful for quick clean-ups and maintaining personal hygiene.
  4. Travel-sized Soap and Shampoo:
    • If you have access to water but no shower facilities.
  5. Dry Shampoo:
    • For keeping your hair clean when showers are unavailable.
  6. Small Towel:
    • Quick-dry travel towels are lightweight and dry fast.
  7. Portable Shower:
    • If you’re camping, a solar shower bag can be useful.
  8. Biodegradable Toilet Paper:
    • Better for the environment if you’re using outdoor facilities.
  9. Ziplock Bags:
    • For carrying out any used toilet paper if there are no proper disposal options.

By preparing for these varying conditions, you’ll be more comfortable and better able to enjoy your experience at the Naadam Festival and while exploring Mongolia.

During the tour you will visit the places that are famous to the locals and are an important part of the city’s culture.

We are responsible for picking you up at the time we have arranged. We are responsible for visiting the places and seeing the attractions that we have mentioned on our itinerary. We are responsible for guiding you with pleasure and giving you a great Naadam tour.

We are not responsible for any unplanned inconvenience during the tour. We are not responsible for the traffic in the city and finally we are not responsible for the bad weather conditions that you have to be prepared for in advance.

 Our guide is a tour leader, we kindly ask you to follow his/her instructions and respect his/her job. Please do not hurt the feelings of the locals and respect their traditions.

Please be prepared for the trip and get ready on time.

Please remember that we are happy to meet you and it is our pleasure to guide you today.  It is going to be a great day, so please enjoy your trip

Understanding the weather during your visit to Mongolia for the Naadam Festival is essential for proper planning and packing. Here’s a detailed overview of what to expect:

Weather in July:

  1. Temperature:
    • Daytime temperatures in Ulaanbaatar typically range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F).
    • Nighttime temperatures can drop to around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), so evenings can be cool.
  2. Rainfall:
    • July is one of the wetter months in Mongolia, with occasional rain showers. While rain is not constant, it’s good to be prepared for sudden showers.
  3. Humidity:
    • Mongolia generally has low humidity, but during the summer months, humidity can increase slightly with the rain.
  4. Sunshine:
    • Expect long hours of daylight and plenty of sunshine. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are essential to protect against the strong sun.
  5. Wind:
    • Mongolia can be quite windy, especially in open steppe regions. A windbreaker or light jacket can be useful.

We kindly ask you to pay a deposit to confirm your trip.

The remein balance can be paid 7 days before the start of the tour (but we are very flexible with payment terms)

Here is our cancellation policy that we recommend our clients follow.

Cancelling the tour within more than 2 months, 50% of your deposit payment will be reinbussed

Cancelling the tour less than one month, the deposit payment will not be reinbussed

Book Early:

  • The Naadam Festival is a peak travel time, so book your accommodation well in advance to secure your preferred options.

During the tour you will have the opportunity to taste the traditional meals. If you are vegetarian or vegan please let us know in advance. There is a wide choice of meals so we hope you will enjoy the traditional meals. In the evening we will take you to one of the best restaurants in town.

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FAQ for Naadam festival

The Three Manly Sports

  1. Horse Racing: The most impressive spectacle, featuring races of different distances based on the age of the horses, with hundreds of horses participating in each race. The winning horses are honored with ceremonial offerings.
  2. Wrestling: 512 wrestlers compete in a tournament for the prestigious title of “State Titan”. The rules are simple – the wrestler who touches the ground with any part of the body except the soles of the feet loses.
  3. Archery: Archery competitions are held, showcasing the traditional skill.

The Three Manly Sports

  1. Horse Racing: This is the most spectacular event, featuring races of different distances based on the age of the horses, with hundreds of child jockeys participating. The highlight is the Soyolon (five-year-old) horse race, a 23km marathon held early in the morning on the second day.
  2. Wrestling: 512 wrestlers compete in a tournament for the prestigious title of “State Titan”. The wrestling bouts take place over the two main days of the festival at the National Stadium in Ulaanbaatar.
  3. Archery: Archery competitions showcasing the traditional skill are held in the days leading up to the main festival.

Other Events

  1. Opening Ceremony: A vibrant opening ceremony with traditional music, dance, costume displays, and the ceremonial display of the nine tugs (banners) honoring Genghis Khan’s legacy.
  2. Knucklebone Shooting: A traditional game involving shooting small animal bones at targets.
  3. Cultural Experiences: Opportunities to experience traditional Mongolian cuisine like khuushuur (fried pastry) and khorkhog (barbecued meat), try airag (fermented horse milk), visit nomadic families, and attend cultural performances and exhibitions.

Wrestling Rules

  • There are no weight classes – all wrestlers compete against each other regardless of size.
  • The basic rule is that the wrestler who touches the ground with any part of their body except the soles of their feet loses the bout.
  • Matches have no strict time limit, but some bouts can be over in a matter of seconds.
  • If a bout lasts over 20 minutes with no clear winner, judges will draw to determine which wrestler chooses their preferred starting grip for the next round.

Tournament Structure

  • 512 wrestlers compete in 9 elimination rounds over 2 days until only one champion remains. In special anniversary years, there may be 1,024 wrestlers over 10 rounds.
  • In the 1st, 2nd, and 4th rounds, wrestlers are matched according to their rank from top down.
  • In other rounds (3rd, 5th-9th), higher-ranking wrestlers choose their opponents from the lower ranks.
  • Winners advance to the next round while losers are eliminated.

Titles and Rankings

  • National titles like Falcon, Elephant, Garuda, Lion, and Champion are awarded from the 5th round onwards based on performance.
  • Wrestlers’ hats have symbolic decorations indicating their current title and rank.
  • Lower-ranked wrestlers can earn provincial/town titles at smaller Naadam events to improve their ranking for the State Naadam.

The lack of weight classes and the elimination format with wrestlers choosing opponents makes the Naadam wrestling tournament extremely competitive and exciting to watch.