Erdenet Capital City of Orkhon Province


Explore Erdenet: 2024 Travel Guide to Mongolia's Second Largest City

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to the heart of Mongolia? Welcome to Erdenet, a city rich in mining history and Soviet influence, nestled amid stunning landscapes. In our comprehensive travel guide, you’ll discover the top attractions, accommodations, dining options, transportation, and off-the-beaten-track adventures that await you in this captivating destination.

Key Takeaways

  • Erdenet is Mongolia’s second largest city and a major mining hub, boasting unique Soviet-influenced architecture.
  • Explore Erdenet for its cultural attractions such as the Friendship Monument and Amarbayasgalant Monastery, accommodation options ranging from hotels to holiday rentals, restaurants serving international cuisine & traditional Mongolian dishes.
  • Off the beaten track experiences include exploring Selenga River Valley & Gobi Desert Adventure with camel riding, fossil hunting & sightseeing activities.

Discovering Erdenet: Mongolia's Mining Hub

Nestled in the northern part of Mongolia, specifically in Orkhon Province, Erdenet is the country’s second-largest city, boasting a population of 90,000. Established in 1975, the city is known for its copper mining industry and Soviet-era influence.

As one of Mongolia’s youngest settlements, Erdenet holds the highest per capita Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) in the country, at US$ 6,400. The city’s architecture reflects its Soviet-style origins, giving visitors a glimpse into its fascinating past and serving as a capital of industry in the region.

Erdenet Mining Corporation

The Erdenet Mining Corporation, a joint venture between Russia and Mongolia, operates the world’s fourth-largest copper mine, employing around 8,000 personnel. The mine is the lifeblood of the city, with 126,700 tons of copper extracted annually.

Erdenet’s identity has been molded by the mining industry, which continues to contribute significantly to the city’s economy and development.

Soviet Influence on Erdenet

Erdenet’s Soviet-era origins are evident in its architecture and city planning. The copper and molybdenum mine was established through a joint venture between the Soviet and Mongolian governments in 1973, catalyzing the city’s rapid expansion and progress during the Soviet era. After the Russians left Erdenet, the city continued to develop and maintain its unique character.

The Soviet Union’s influence on Mongolia’s domestic and foreign policies, including its economic models, remains a significant part of Erdenet’s history and culture.

Top Attractions in Erdenet

Take the opportunity to dive into Erdenet’s rich history and culture by visiting its prime attractions. Some of the must-see sights include:

  • The impressive Friendship Monument
  • The Buddha Statue
  • The bustling local markets
  • The sacred Amarbayasgalant Monastery

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Erdenet.

Friendship Monument and Buddha Statue

The Friendship Monument and Buddha Statue stand tall as symbols of Erdenet’s rich history and cultural heritage. The Friendship Monument, located in the city center, commemorates the friendship between Mongolia and the Soviet Union.

The Buddha Statue provides a stunning focal point, constructed to honor the city’s Buddhist heritage. Both landmarks offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city and copper mines, making them must-visit attractions.

Local Market Experience

For a true taste of traditional Mongolian culture, venture into Erdenet’s lively local markets, where you can find a variety of goods such as traditional Mongolian clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs.

Breathe in the bustling atmosphere of the city centre and engage with friendly locals as you explore the colorful stalls and sample local delicacies.

Amarbayasgalant Monastery

The Amarbayasgalant Monastery, an 18th-century Buddhist monastery located in Erdenet, is a revered tourist destination and an important religious site. Wander the monastery grounds and marvel at the exquisite architecture as you learn about its significance in Mongolian history and culture.

Accommodation Options in Erdenet

From the convenience of Erdenet hotels to the homely feel of holiday rentals, Erdenet provides diverse accommodation options that cater to your preferences and budget.

Best Hotels in Erdenet

For a comfortable stay in Erdenet, consider top-rated hotels such as:

  • Molor Hotel
  • Ulziit Khishig Ger Camp
  • Copper Hotel Erdenet City Mongolia
  • Erdenet Inn Hotel

These establishments provide modern amenities, excellent service, and convenient locations, ensuring a memorable experience for every traveler.

Erdenet Holiday Rentals

If you prefer a more authentic and intimate experience, Erdenet holiday rentals offer a variety of options, including apartments, homes, and villas available for rent. With an average nightly price starting at $50, holiday rentals provide an affordable and flexible alternative to hotels.

Dining in Erdenet: Top Restaurants and Cafes

Savor Erdenet’s culinary treats by visiting the city’s best restaurants and cafes. From Asian cuisine to traditional Mongolian fare, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Asian Restaurants

For foodies seeking a taste of the East, Erdenet’s Asian restaurants in the eastern part of the city offer a variety of dishes and flavors.

ASIA restaurant and Asia hot pot & european cuisine serve up delicious Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine, catering to both adventurous eaters and those craving familiar favorites.

Local Cuisine

To savor traditional Mongolian dishes, look no further than Tom N Toms, a renowned family-run establishment that has been serving local cuisine for over two decades. Sample delicious dishes such as:

  • Huushuur (deep-fried meat pie)
  • Buuz (dumplings)
  • Bansh (small dumplings)
  • Tsuivan (stir-fried noodles)
  • Chanasan makh (boiled meat)

for a true taste of Mongolia.

The restaurant is renowned for its friendly service and generous portions. The menu is extensive and includes a

Transportation and Practicalities

Getting to and around Erdenet is straightforward, thanks to a multitude of transportation choices and useful tips to enhance your visit.

From buses and taxis to rental cars and even bicycles, there are plenty of ways to get

Reaching Erdenet by Train

For a convenient and scenic journey, take the overnight train from Ulaanbaatar to Erdenet. Departing daily at 8:00 pm, the train arrives in Erdenet at 6:00 am the following morning, with a journey time of approximately 10 hours.

The train is equipped with comfortable seating, a restaurant car, and a bar, providing ample opportunity to relax and appreciate the picturesque landscapes.

Reaching Erdenet by rental car from Ulaanbaatar

For a more flexible travel experience, consider renting a car in Ulaanbaatar and driving to Erdenet. The driving route is approximately 300 kilometers and takes around 4-5 hours, passing through the towns of Darkhan and S├╝khbaatar. The roads are generally well maintained, and driving in Mongolia is considered safe, but it’s important to be cautious and familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations.

Ensure you plan your route ahead of time and stock up on sufficient fuel and supplies

Bus Travel within Mongolia

Regardless of whether you’re wandering around Erdenet or venturing to more remote areas, Mongolia’s bus system provides cost-effective and reliable travel within the country. Public buses, private buses, and minibuses are available, catering to a variety of budgets and travel preferences.

Be sure to acquaint yourself with local customs and etiquette, carry cash in the local currency (Tugrik), and bring snacks and water for your journey.

Off the Beaten Track: Exploring the Surrounding Region

Adventurous travelers will find exploring the regions surrounding Erdenet, away from the typical tourist routes, to be a gratifying experience. Discover the natural beauty of the Selenga River Valley and embark on an unforgettable Gobi Desert adventure.

Selenga River Valley

Journey 70 kilometers north of Erdenet to the picturesque Selenga River Valley, a perfect day trip to immerse yourself in nature and experience local culture. Marvel at the verdant scenery, undulating hills, and pristine rivers as you explore this tranquil region, rich in both natural beauty and cultural attractions.

Gobi Desert Adventure

For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a Gobi Desert adventure. Traverse the expansive and unique terrains of the Gobi Desert, where you can partake in activities such as:

  • Camel riding
  • Fossil hunting
  • Hiking in the Yol Valley
  • Visiting renowned sites like the Flaming Cliffs and Bayanzag

This extraordinary journey on the Trans Mongolian Railway offers a glimpse into the diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Mongolia.


In conclusion, Erdenet is a captivating destination that offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. From its mining history and Soviet-era architecture to its vibrant markets, sacred monasteries, and stunning natural landscapes, Erdenet is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Embark on this unforgettable journey and uncover the many wonders of this unique Mongolian city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Erdenet known for?

Erdenet is known for its copper and molybdenum ore deposits and operations of the Erdenet Mining Corporation, which accounts for a majority of Mongolia's hard currency income. It has a gigantic ore-mining and ore-dressing complex that produces 126,700 tons of copper and 1,954 tons of molybdenum per year.

What is the climate in Erdenet?

Erdenet has a subarctic climate, with warm and rainy summers and long, very cold and dry winters.

Where is Mongolia located?

Mongolia is located in East Asia, between Russia to the north and China to the south. Situated on mountains and rolling plateaus, it has an area of 1.564,115 sq km and a population of roughly 3 million people. It is one of the world's highest countries with an average elevation of 5,180 feet (1,580 meters).

What are the top attractions in Erdenet?

Erdenet's top attractions include the Friendship Monument, Buddha Statue, local markets, and Amarbayasgalant Monastery, offering a variety of cultural and historical experiences.

What are the best accommodation options in Erdenet?

For travelers seeking comfortable and affordable accommodation options, Erdenet is the ideal destination, offering both hotels and holiday rentals.

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  • orkhon
  • northern-mongolia