Darkhan City in Darkhan-Uul


Darkhan City is the capital of Darkhan-Uul province and the second biggest city in Mongolia after Ulaanbaatar. The city has a population of over 110,000 people and an area of 103 square km. Darkhan City was founded on October 17th, 1961 in Burkhant Valley and the city was built with the help of Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany. Also, the steel mill of Darkhan City later built with the help of the government of Japan which is the main industry of the city. And in 1994, the Mongolian parliament ruled to change the Darkhan City’s status to province and the Darkhan-Uul province was born with the city itself becoming the capital. Attractions include Morin Khuur complex, Buddha statue, Xiongnu burial mounds on Tumurtei Mountain, the statue of railroaders, Mongolian traditional boot statue, “Minii Mongol” park and the cable-stayed bridge.

Exploring Darkhan: City, Industrial Hub & Trade Center

Nestled in the northern region of Mongolia, Darkhan is a bustling city with a rich history and diverse attractions. As the country’s second-largest city, Darkhan boasts a unique blend of traditional and modern elements, captivating visitors with its industrial and trade significance. Let’s embark on an unforgettable journey to explore Darkhan, discover its historical roots, and uncover the plethora of experiences this vibrant city has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Darkhan is a major commercial and industrial hub in Mongolia, home to important industries and resources.
  • Offering diverse attractions, natural beauty, educational institutions & local cuisine for visitors to explore.
  • Home to increased economic growth through its industrial and agricultural sectors.

Discovering Darkhan: History and Significance

Darkhan, established in 1961 with the aid of Soviets, has thrived as a commercial and industrial hub in Mongolia. Situated strategically in the northern region within the Darkhan Uul Province, Darkhan taps into the rich resources and mineral deposits, fueling its thriving economy and population growth. Equipped with modern infrastructure, such as paved roads, international railway, and telecommunication systems, Darkhan has evolved into a city ready to embrace the future while preserving its cultural heritage.

Serving as a major agricultural and industrial center, Darkhan houses Mongolia’s key industries, especially the construction materials sector. The city also houses the Agricultural Training Research Institute, further cementing its status as a powerhouse in the nation’s development. With a city’s population of around 75,000 inhabitants, Darkhan strikes a balance between urbanization and the preservation of its natural beauty.

Darkhan Uul Aimag

Darkhan Uul Aimag, where Darkhan Uul province lies, is one of the 21 provinces in Mongolia, situated in the northern region of the country. The province’s geographical landscape is predominantly flat, with some hills and mountains in the northern areas, and is bordered by the Selenge River to the east and the Orkhon River to the west. This unique geography has fostered a thriving environment for mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, making Darkhan Uul Aimag a vital economic hub in Mongolia.

Darkhan Uul Aimag possesses an equally diverse cultural landscape, given its mix of inhabitants - Mongolians, Russians, and other ethnic groups. This cultural melting pot has resulted in a beautiful blend of traditional Mongolian and Russian influences, including:

  • Traditional clothing
  • Customs and traditions
  • Music and dance
  • Cuisine

As a visitor, you’ll be enchanted by the rich culture and history that permeate every corner of this captivating province, making it a treasure trove of tourist attractions.

Old Darkhan vs. New Darkhan

The city of Darkhan is divided into two distinct parts: Old Darkhan and New Darkhan, each with its unique characteristics and charm. Old Darkhan, the original part of the city established in 1961, exudes a more traditional atmosphere, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the city’s historical roots. Strolling through the streets of Old Darkhan, you’ll find yourself transported back in time, surrounded by the rich heritage of this captivating city.

On the other hand, New Darkhan represents the city’s growth and modernization. Here, you’ll find contemporary buildings and infrastructure, showcasing the city’s progress and its readiness to embrace the future. As you explore New Darkhan, you can witness the city’s dynamic evolution, seamlessly blending the old with the new to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Transportation to and within Darkhan

A train leaving Darkhan station

Getting to Darkhan is effortless thanks to a variety of transportation options including:

  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Private vehicles

These options cater to different preferences. Intercity bus services, including bus buses, also provide convenient connections to other cities within Mongolia.

Within Darkhan, you can choose from public buses, taxis, or private drivers to navigate the city with ease. No matter the mode of transportation you select, you’ll find it hassle-free to explore Darkhan’s numerous attractions and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Train Travel

Train travel is the preferred choice for many visitors to reach Darkhan from Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet, and the Russian border. Several passenger trains operate daily, offering a comfortable and scenic journey through the picturesque Mongolian landscape.

The estimated travel time from Ulaanbaatar to Darkhan by coach is approximately four hours, allowing you to sit back, relax, and savor the breathtaking views along the way.

Bus and Van Services

Besides train travel, bus and van services offer easy transportation within Darkhan and to adjacent destinations. Information regarding provincial bus routes, timetables, prices, and bus stations can be found on the Mongolia Bus Guide website, ensuring that you can plan your journey with ease.

During summer, minivans operate and depart when full, offering another option for those seeking flexibility in their travel plans. With buses leaving hourly, you can effortlessly connect to other cities and explore the wonders of Mongolia at your own pace.

Attractions and Activities in Darkhan

A traditional museum in Darkhan, Mongolia, showcasing traditional clothing, religious artifacts, and folk art

With a variety of attractions and activities, Darkhan guarantees a visit filled with discovery and excitement. From historical sites and museums to archaeological wonders and breathtaking natural beauty, Darkhan truly has something for everyone. As you delve into the city’s rich history and culture, you’ll be captivated by the sheer diversity of experiences that await you.

The city of Darkhan is home to some fascinating attractions, including:

  • Morin Khuur complex
  • Xiongnu burial mounds on Tumurtei Mountain
  • Buddha statue
  • Statue of railroaders
  • Mongolian traditional boot statue
  • “Minii Mongol” park
  • Cable-stayed bridge

Additionally, the Gorkhi Terelj National Park, renowned for its natural beauty and protected areas, is situated in Darkhan, offering outdoor enthusiasts a perfect destination for exploration and adventure.

Traditional Museum

A visit to Darkhan would be incomplete without touring the Traditional Museum of Folk Art. The museum boasts a vast collection of:

  • archaeological findings
  • traditional attire
  • religious objects
  • a selection of stuffed animals

As you wander through the museum, you’ll be immersed in the region’s rich history and culture, gaining an understanding of the area’s diverse heritage and traditions.

The museum’s exhibits offer a unique insight into the lives of the people who once inhabited this region, showcasing the skills and craftsmanship of generations past. From traditional clothing to religious artifacts and folk art, the Traditional Museum of Folk Art is a treasure trove of cultural gems, providing a fascinating glimpse into Mongolia’s ancient past.

Archaeological Findings

Darkhan is a city steeped in history, with numerous archaeological findings providing intriguing insights into Mongolia’s ancient past. One such discovery is a tomb located near Khongor soum of Darkhan-Uul aimag, offering a window into the lives and customs of the people who once called this region home.

The Kharagiin monastery, a noteworthy attraction in Darkhan, is situated in an attractive log cabin in the old town. Recently, it has become quite active, with numerous guardian deities present and a tree enveloped in blue khadag silk scarves, lending the monastery an aura of a pilgrimage center.

As you explore Darkhan’s archaeological sites, you’ll be captivated by the rich history and fascinating stories that lie beneath the city’s modern fa├žade.

Natural Beauty and Protected Areas

Surrounding Darkhan is a wealth of natural beauty and protected areas, perfect for those who appreciate the great outdoors. Zulzagiin Gol, situated 30km to the east of Darkhan City, is an area of natural beauty that provides a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. Lake Hovsgol National Park, renowned for its pristine beauty, is another favored destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of activities amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Moreover, the Khentii Mountains, located near Darkhan, are acclaimed for their remarkable natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Darkhan’s natural beauty and protected areas offer a myriad of opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Education and Economy in Darkhan

Beyond being a city steeped in history and culture, Darkhan also thrives as a hub for education and economic progress. The city is home to several educational institutions, including Mongolian University of Science and Technology STDA, Darkhan Institute, and School of Agroecology and Business. These institutions play a vital role in the city’s growth, fostering a skilled workforce that contributes to the industrial and agricultural development of Mongolia.

The industrial and agricultural sectors in Darkhan have a significant impact on the local economy, with numerous factories and agricultural businesses operating within the city. As Darkhan continues to grow and develop, its industrial and agricultural sectors are expected to experience sustained growth, further solidifying the city’s position as a powerhouse in Mongolia’s economic landscape.

Educational Institutions

Sited in Darkhan, the publicly-funded Mongolian University of Science and Technology STDA offers an extensive array of courses in fields like engineering, technology, and science. As one of the leading educational institutions in the city, the university plays a crucial role in producing skilled graduates who contribute to the nation’s development and progress.

Darkhan is also home to the Darkhan Institute, a private university offering a range of courses in business, economics, and finance. The School of Agroecology and Business, another reputable private university in the city, provides courses in agroecology, business, and economics. With such a diverse range of educational institutions, Darkhan is a nurturing environment for students to develop their skills and knowledge, preparing them for a bright future in their chosen fields. Additionally, the presence of a regional business development center in the city further supports the growth of local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Industrial and Agricultural Development

An aerial view of the city of Darkhan, a hub for industrial and agricultural development

The city’s industrial and agricultural sectors, including thriving industries like manufacturing, construction, and energy production, make significant contributions to the economy Darkhan. The presence of these industries not only provides employment opportunities for the local population but also drives economic growth in the region.

Agriculture in Darkhan encompasses livestock farming, crop production, and horticulture, further bolstering the city’s economy. As the city continues to grow and evolve, it is anticipated that the industrial and agricultural sectors will experience sustained growth and development, ensuring a prosperous future for Darkhan and its residents.

Hotels in Darkhan

A hotel in Darkhan, Mongolia

Darkhan hosts a diverse range of hotels, designed to accommodate various budgets and tastes. Notable hotels in the city include Buudai Hotel and MBM Hotel. These accommodations offer comfortable stays and excellent service, ensuring that your visit to Darkhan is a memorable one.

For those seeking additional options, websites such as Agoda, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor provide a wealth of choices, allowing you to find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs. Whether you prefer luxury hotels or budget-friendly lodgings, Darkhan has a wide range of hotels to make your stay a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Local Cuisine and Dining Options

A restaurant in Darkhan, Mongolia serving local cuisine

Offering a myriad of dining options, Darkhan assures a culinary experience as diverse and exciting as the city. From Korean, Chinese, and Russian cuisine to local Mongolian delicacies, you’ll find a wealth of delicious dishes to satisfy your appetite. Some of the widely acclaimed dining options in Darkhan include:

  • Mingo Coffee House
  • Buudai Hotel Restaurant
  • Avocado Creative Kitchen
  • DoDo Pizza
  • Empire Restaurant

While in Darkhan, don’t miss the opportunity to sample some local dishes, such as Buuz (steamed dumplings filled with meat and vegetables) and Khorkhog (a traditional Mongolian dish). With such a rich and vibrant culinary scene, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you explore the city’s tantalizing array of dining options.


From its rich history and cultural heritage to its bustling industrial and agricultural sectors, Darkhan is a city that offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. With its diverse range of attractions, educational institutions, and dining options, Darkhan is a captivating destination that promises an unforgettable journey of discovery. As you explore this vibrant city, you’ll be captivated by its unique blend of tradition and modernity, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Darkhan?

Darkhan is a Mongolian term for craftsman or honorary privilege, and is also the name of several places in Mongolia.

What is Darkhan known for?

Darkhan is known for its large industrial complex, built in the late 1960s with Soviet and eastern European aid. It is one of the largest industrial centres in Mongolia, producing concrete, lime cement, bricks, wood and steel products.

What is the best way to reach Darkhan from Ulaanbaatar?

The most popular way to reach Darkhan from Ulaanbaatar is by taking a passenger train, with several operating daily.

Are there any notable museums in Darkhan?

Yes, Darkhan is home to the Traditional Museum of Folk Art which features a diverse collection of archaeological discoveries, traditional garments and religious artifacts.

What are some natural attractions in and around Darkhan?

Darkhan is home to some amazing natural attractions, including Zulzagiin Gol, Lake Hovsgol National Park, and the stunning Khentii Mountains.

Request A Car Rental

Travelling to Mongolia and need a car rental plus extra equipments?

Get in touch with us

Tell us about your Rental requirements

Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Start date for rental *
End date for rental *
Preferred Vehicle
Extras required with vehicle hire *
  • darkhan-uul
  • northern-mongolia