A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Tokyo vs. Ulaanbaatar for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tokyo or Ulaanbaatar?

Should I visit Tokyo or Ulaanbaatar? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is by far the most populous city in the world with a staggering 37 million people. As a worldwide hub for technology and business, it hosts millions of visitors annually. But Tokyo is not just a place for business trips. With its incredible mixture of historical temples and shrines, remarkably beautiful parks, endless shopping malls, and genuinely wonderful people, Tokyo is a terrific place to visit and to explore.

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia's capital city. It has a population of slightly over two million people, or about sixty percent of the country's entire population. You are likely to arrive in Ulaanbaatar either by train, coming from China or Russia, or by plane. Many people use Ulaanbaatar as a stop off while doing the Transsiberian Railway. The city is a great place to organize a tour of the surrounding countryside. It's also good city to relax, so make sure you allow yourself a few days to recover from your tour, enjoy some of the great food options, and see some of the fascinating cultural sights around town.

Which city is cheaper, Ulaanbaatar or Tokyo?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Tokyo is $176, while the average daily cost in Ulaanbaatar is $24. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $166 in Tokyo For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $11. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ulaanbaatar the cost is $22 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $83
    Ulaanbaatar $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $166
    Ulaanbaatar $22

Food

The price of a meal in Tokyo can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $41 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $16 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

In Ulaanbaatar travelers spend around $8.65 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tokyo $41
    Ulaanbaatar $8.65
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tokyo:


  • Late Night Noodles
    $7.28
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.28
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

For Tokyo, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ulaanbaatar

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Ulaanbaatar.

  • Cooking Class in a Traditional Ger Home in the Suburbs of Ulaanbaatar: $50
  • Cooking famous Mongolian dumplings with local nomads: $205

Local Transportation

Tokyo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $22 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.

The cost of a taxi ride in Ulaanbaatar is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $2.82 per person, per day, on local transportation in Ulaanbaatar.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tokyo $22
    Ulaanbaatar $2.82
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Tokyo:


  • Metro from Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

Also for Tokyo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 1 Day Fuji Q Liner Pass with Two Way Transfer from Tokyo: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Haneda Airport HND by Luxury Van: $187
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Haneda Airport HND by Minivan: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Luxury Van: $302
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Minivan: $284
  • Disneyland or DisneySea: 1-Day Ticket and Private Transfer: $138
  • Ferry Roundtrip Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Anei Kanko : $11
  • Ferry Transfers between Naha and Kume, Tonaki by Kume Shosen : $11
  • From Private Transfer to Twin Ring MOTEGI and Hiyama: $569
  • Haneda Airport Grand Limousine Transfer: $194
  • Haneda Airport to/from Tokyo City: Private One-Way Transfer: $129
  • Hello Kitty Puroland Ticket with Transfer: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ulaanbaatar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ulaanbaatar:

  • Departure Private Transfer to New Ulaanbaatar Airport UBN by Business Vehicle: $52
  • Transfer service to Terelj national park: $51
  • Airport transfer service: $43
  • Ulaanbaatar Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $33
  • Ulaanbaatar Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $33
  • Private Pickup Transfer from Chinggis Khaan Airport to Hotels in Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Private Drop off Transfer to Chinggis Khaan Airport from Downtown Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Airport Transfer Service: $25
  • Airport Transfer: $21
  • Arrival Private Transfer Ulaanbaatar Train Station to City by Business Vehicle: $16
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Ulaanbaatar Train Stationby Business Vehicle: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Tokyo or Ulaanbaatar?

Prices for flights to both Ulaanbaatar and Tokyo change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tokyo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $79 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Ulaanbaatar typically cost an average of $4.28 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tokyo $79
    Ulaanbaatar $4.28

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tokyo.

  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Uzu no Michi and Onaruto Bridge Hall Edy Ticket: $3.75
  • Yunomoto Onsen Experience in Hokkaido : $4.09
  • [5% OFF] Akame 48 Watefalls / Ninja Training Experience Discount Ticket in Mie: $4.35
  • Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko Experience: $4.39
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill Ticket: $4.85
  • Hida Kanayama Onsen Yutarikan Hot Spring Experience in Gifu: $4.99
  • Yunokuni no Mori Ticket in Komatsu: $4.99
  • Museum of Aeronautical Science Admission Ticket : $5.09

Tours and Activities in Ulaanbaatar

Here are a few actual costs in Ulaanbaatar for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 Day - Tour of Hustai National Park: $262
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace: $77
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace and Traditional Concert: $97
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Aglag Buteel Monastery and Meditation Center Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj (FREE dog sledding): $163
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch: $124
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch and FREE Concert ticket: $138
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Manzushir Monastery Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Terelj National Park Including Lunch And Free Camel Ride: $123
  • 1 Day Erdenezuu Monastery Coach Tour Including Lunch: $118
  • 1 Day Horseback Riding Tour with Historic Temple in Mongolia Including Lunch: $111
  • 1 Day Private Tour of Taste of Mongolia (With Hotel Pickup and Meals): $790

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tokyo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $37.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ulaanbaatar may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $3.71 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tokyo $37
    Ulaanbaatar $3.71
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Tokyo:


  • Sake
    $5.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tokyo:

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12
  • Tokyo Pub Crawl: $22
  • Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $307


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar, we can see that Tokyo is more expensive. And not only is Ulaanbaatar much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ulaanbaatar would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ulaanbaatar and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Tokyo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tokyo than you might in Ulaanbaatar.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Tokyo vs. Ulaanbaatar Travel Comparison

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