Darkhan is the capital of Darkhan-Uul, a city state surrounded by Selenge province.

Monument to Morinkhuur instrument


Darkhan is the 3rd largest city in Mongolia with a population of 74,000. The city, which name means "Blacksmith" in Mongolian, was built as a manufacturing base by the Soviets in 1961 on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad. Much of the industrial base collapsed in the early 1990s, and most of its once large Russian population left. Today it is home to a large steel mill, textile industry, and many universities. It has an expansive layout with open steppe and roaming cattle right into the center of the city. The city is divided into a 'new' and 'old' sections separated by some small hills and ger districts spreading out beyond the developed areas. The railroad station, main Buddhist temple, and the black market are in the Old Darkhan, while most of the nicer hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, along with the universities and cultural centers are in New Darkhan.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -16 -12 1 11 19 24 26 24 18 9 -3 -13
Nightly lows (°C) -28 -26 -15 -4 3 10 13 12 3 -5 -16 -25
Precipitation (mm) 5 4 6 13 22 63 92 82 41 15 8 6

NOAA (1961-1990)

Get in

By train

There is a station on the Trans-Mongolian line of the Trans-Siberian Railway with regular service to Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk, and Erdenet. Several passenger trains a day pass through Darkhan, including 3 domestic trains that arrive running between UB and either Erdenet or Suhbaatar on the Russian border. You want to buy tickets for Darkhan-1. Darkhan-2 is near an industrial plant several miles south of the city.

to Darkhan

from Darkhan

By bus

Buses are usually much faster and more convenient than the train that tends to leave or arrive in the middle of the night. There are buses leaving hourly from the Dragon Center in Ulaanbaatar and the Russian border at Suhbaatar. The first bus leaves UB at 09:00, and the last bus leaves around 19:30. Travel time is usually a little less than 4 hours. There are also microbuses and vans leaving from the Dragon Center throughout the day. Buses from Erdenet and Suhbaatar are also available.

Get around

Darkhan is divided into New and Old Darkhan, separated by about 2 kilometers. Most of the city is stretched along a couple of parallel roads, with taxis and vans racing back and forth. You can either hail your own taxi or jump in one and go to the other side of town. The cost of a shared taxi is 500MNT, and it leaves when it gets 4 passengers, which doesn't take long.








Go next

From Darkhan, it is easy to go East to the large copper-mining city of Erdenet, North to the mid-sized Aimag capital of Sukhbaatar, or the beautiful Amarbayasgalant Monastery. Erdenet can be reached by train or bus, Suhkbaatar can be reached by train (~2800) or Taxi (8000-10000)on paved road, while visiting the monastery will require hiring a taxi for the 2 or 3 hour journey, part of which is unpaved.

Routes through Darkhan

Irkutsk Sühbaatar  N  S  Ulaanbaatar Beijing

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