Individual tour Beijing – Moscow on the Trans-Siberian railroad
In May 1891, the construction of the World’s longest and most difficult to build railway was started after years of controversy amongst the Czars: the Trans-Siberian railroad. The link between Moscow and Vladivostok, some 6.000 miles apart, was completed 14 years later employing a labour force of over 90.000. Ever since the rail service linking Europe with the Far East was established at the turn of last century, foreign travellers and adventurers have been fascinated by this great journey and crossed Siberia to reach the Pacific or China. Across the Ural mountains to Siberia, through towns that were built along the rails into the Mongolian steps and Gobi desert, the Trans-Siberian journey offers a great opportunity to experience an unforgettable journey. You will meet local people and learn about their culture and way of life and be part of it. You may find yourself draining a bottle of vodka with a Russian soldier in exchange to a piece of chocolate, or discussing business and politics with Mongolian traders on the train. Meeting point on the train is the dining car where borscht and fish with lots of potatoes and cabbage is served.
Every journey begins with a first step. Your journey – of course – with a first kilometre on railroad. An unforgettable adventure with the Trans-Siberian Railway is awaiting you. Discover vibrant cities, marvel at the endless vastness and impressing variety of the beautiful nature. Dive into the traditions and culture of the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese people. Go on a trip of your lifetime!
Itinerary Hide all details
Arrival in Beijing, transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, guided sightseeing tour through Beijing. You will visit the Hutongs, a maze of historic alleyways with old single storey traditional courtyard houses, which are now fast disappearing. You can hop on a rickshaw to ride through the narrow alleys and visit a local family, then walk on the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge) and find out about the different thresholds of the courtyards. After the Hutongs, you will visit the Forbidden City, home to 24 emperors between 1368 and 1911. This “city within a city” is a World Heritage Site. The largest and best preserved ancient imperial architectural complex in the world. Last but no least you will walk on the Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the centre of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen (literally, Gate of Heavenly Peace) which sits to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several key events in Chinese history. As the world’s largest city square and enduring symbol of China’s national pride, it is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), Museums, government buildings and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Accommodation at the hotel.
Today, you will visit the beautiful temple of heaven. Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of pray for good harvests. Afterwards, you will walk on the famous great wall on the less crowded Mutianyu section. A cable car takes you to a good section (avoiding a very steep climb), where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can return by cable car, walk down or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather. Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast, you will board the famous Trans-Mongolian train direction Ulaanbaatar. You will follow the great wall and have a magnificent view of the Gobi desert. Enter into a new culture, welcome to Mongolia. Food can be bought at the restaurant carriage. Overnight on board of the train.
After arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will explore the historic city with your local guide. Amongst other places, you will visit the palace of Bogdo Khan and the Gandan abbey. After the tour, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a famous and very high quality folklore show in the evening including the famous throat singing. Accommodation at the hotel.
Your local guide will introduce you to the Nomadic way of life of still many Mongolians today. On a jeep, you will travel to a Mountain Camp in a remote area at Terelj National Park, one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world, where you will sleep in gers (traditional Mongolian yurt, full board, with hot water and toilets) and enjoy a hike in the hills by foot or on the back of a horse. On the way you will visit a Mongolian family living in gers at their Summer place, where you can taste mare’s milk and eat delicious kebabs.
After breakfast, you will visit the Turtle rock and the Buddhist hanging temple in the morning before returning to Ulaanbaatar. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the various attractions of the city. After dinner, you will board the train direction Irkutsk. Overnight on board of the train.
On board of the Trans-Mongolian train. You will cross the boarder between Mongolia and Russia, welcome in the Republic of Buryata. Overnight on board of the train.
Early morning arrival in Irkutsk and transfer to your hotel. Irkutsk is also called ‘Paris’ of Siberia for its pulsing street life and people’s elegant clothes. Still a major trade centre for furs, Irkutsk enjoys today a certain economic wealth. Short but hot summers and very cold winters, however, make life here a real challenge. During a tour of Irkutsk, your guide will tell you about the development of this Siberian city’s evolution and shows the most interesting sights and peculiar features of one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. You will see beautiful Russian Orthodox churches, a Polish Cathedral (the only Siberian Gothic-style building), many wooden houses or cabins that are decorated with “wooden laces” (hand-made carvings) as well as modern constructions of the 20th century and visit the Decembrist House. Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to Listvyanka, a small fisher village on the shore of lake Baikal. On a stroll around the village you will visit the church of St. Nicolas, walk to Chersky viewing point where you can enjoy a fabulous view on the lake and the Angara-River (if clear weather) and visit the Limnological museum (Baikal museum). Your home is a typical Siberian wooden chalet near the lake where local food will be prepared by your host. A Russian steam bath right on the shore of the lake invites to experience a typical Russian sauna (optional, not included).
The morning is at your leisure. You can also book a boat trip on the lake Baikal (not included if less than 4 persons). You will leave Listvyanka around midday and visit the Wooden Architecture Museum of Tsaltsy on the way back to Irkutsk, where typically old churches, shaman houses and a fortress have been rebuilt in original style. Evening departure to Novosibirsk. Overnight on board of the train.
On board of the Trans-Siberian railway. Arrival in Novosibirsk shortly before midnight. Transfer to your hotel.
Novosibirsk is the largest city and cultural as well as economical centre of Siberia. First thing in the morning (after breakfast of course), you will drive to the scientific city of Akademgorodok. Akademgorodok is the only scientific city in the world, where all the branches of sciences are presented. Visit of the famous Geology Museum at Geology Research Institute and the Open-Air Train Museum (a collection of the old Trans-Siberian trains) as well as the Ob reservoir – an artificial sea. In the afternoon, you will walk around the city of Novosibirsk, visiting all the main attractions of the city such as: Novosibirsk Railway Station (the biggest station of the Trans-Siberian Railroad), Ascension cathedral, Krasny Prospect street, Lenin Square (city centre with the biggest world’s Opera House), old wooden houses on Gorkogo Str. (the oldest part of the city), St. Nicolas Chapel (the geographic centre of Russia) and the river Ob’ embankment. Visit of the Local Lore (History Museum), featuring the fascinating and mystical history of Siberia. Our local guides love the city and will make you discover the culture and atmosphere of this fascinating Siberian town! Evening departure to Yekaterinburg. Overnight on board of the train.
You will arrive in Yekaterinburg in the early afternoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Accommodation at the hotel.
Today, you will discover Yekaterinburg, the third largest city of Russia. You’ll be taken to the City Pond, Prospect Lenina, the Hill of Ascension and its ancient church founded in 1792, the Historic Square, the Dam, monument of founders of the city – Tatischev and Gennin, Peter’s Court, the Chapel of St. Elizabeth, the Square of the Soviet Army, the Square of the 1905 Revolution and other historical buildings. Learn about the tragic death of the last Russian tsar Nickolay II and his family at the Church of Blood at the Romanov Death Site (Ganina Yama). Dine in a traditional Russian restaurant and taste delicious Russian food. Accommodation at the hotel.
On the Trans-Siberian train passing various villages alongside countless birch- and broadleaf forests. Enough time to enjoy a cup of hot tea from the samovar, to read, talk and relax. Overnight on board of the train.
Morning arrival in Moscow, Russia’s bustling capital. Transfer to your hotel. Afterwards, city tour of Moscow’s famous sights including the Red Square, Basilius cathedral, GUM, Novodevichy Convent, the ancient KGB buildings, the Lenin state library and the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU). Visit the Kremlin – a symbol of power and might of the vast Russian lands – with it’s impressive churches and the Armoury Chamber on the Kremlin grounds which contains a unique collection of Royal Russian and international jewellery including thrones, crowns, carriages, costumes, gold and silverware, all lavishly studded with precious stones. Optional in the evening: visit of a ballet, concert, opera or the famous Moscow Circus. Tickets on request (not included). Accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast, visit the famous Arbat street, Moscow’s lively pedestrian area to do some shopping, discover the Moscow metro, famous for its palatial marble stations with mosaics, chandeliers and precious materials and marvel at the great collection of Russian fine art at Tretyakov-Gallery. Optional in the evening: visit of a ballet, concert, opera or the famous Moscow Circus. Tickets on request (not included). Accommodation at the hotel.
Depending on your departure time, you will have some time to enjoy the city on your own. Transfer to the airport.
- Train tickets (1st or 2nd class)
- All transfers
- 6 overnights on board of the train
- 9 overnights in 3-4-star hotels, double room with shower/bath, incl. breakfast
- 1 night in a traditional Siberian wooden chalet, double room with shower, incl. full board
- 1 night in a traditional Mongolian yurt, double room, private (if available) or shared bathroom, incl. full board
- Guided visits to sights and landmarks mentioned in the program with a local English-speaking guide including all entries and fees in each city
- Included meals: Breakfast in all hotels, lunch in Yekaterinburg, full board in Listvyanka and Terelj National Park, all lunches in Beijing
- Visa invitations and documentation to get the visa for Russia, Mongolia and China
- Travel documentation
- Assistance of our partners in case of emergency in each city
- International flights: Depending your itinerary and departure city, we will be happy to assist you to find the best flight tickets to reach your destination and return
- Visa consular fee: visit the website of your local consulate for details
- Meals unless mentioned
- Tips and personal expenses
- Hotel Single sup. : 401$
- Train 1cl. (2 berth bed cabin): 629$
- Boat trip on lake Baikal if less than 4 persons: 58$
- Kung fu Show (including transfers) in Beijing: 52$
- Beijing Duck Dinner in Beijing: 58$
Dates: All year round, best time from May until October. Starting days in Beijing on a Thursday or Sunday.
This itinerary is flexible and can be adapted to your needs. Please let us know if you need an individualized quote.
Preparation for your Trans-Siberian railway trip
To prepare your Trans-Siberian journey we are going to send you more details about all details latest 1 month prior to departure. We recommend taking a backpack or trolley bag with you as it is more comfortable than a suitcase and fits better into the storage space in the train. However, you will never need to walk longer than a few minutes with your luggage. Please check our list of what to take on your Trans-Siberian journey. No specific physical health and fitness is required, the most important part is to be prepared mentally and culturally for the many different people and cultures you are going to meet. For that reason, we suggest reading about Russia, Mongolia or China in advance. We have a collection of titles in our online bookstore that we can highly recommend. A must for all Trans-Siberian travellers is the Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, Athol Yates and Tatyana Pozar-Burgar.
Traveling in Russia, Mongolia and China requires patience and a sense for adventure. It is, however, safe to travel. We have encountered many anecdotal issues during the journeys in the past 20 years we have been organizing guided tours in Russia. Even though the situations were bizarre sometimes, these experiences have made our trips truly unforgettable and have given us a true approach to all those different ways of thinking. We have sent over 150 people on our tours each year so far, from 17 years old students to senior managing directors and even a retired 80 year-old lady made it safely. So, why don’t you join us for this life-enhancing experience?
About the trains
We book original authentic Trans-Siberian Railway trains (local Russian, Mongolian or Chinese trains). All trains are different depending on the route, which means comfort in 1st and 2nd class, cleanliness and friendliness of the train staff vary from train to train. We can’t be held responsible for any inconvenience on the train as we don’t have any influence on trains and employees of the Trans-Siberian Railway company.
For our travel program, we choose the trains with the best suitable arrival and departure time in each city. If you would like to book 1st class, please note the following:
1st class compartments are not always available, especially in high season, due to limited number of 1st class cabins and a high volume of travellers. Also, not all segments provide trains with 1st class wagons. We will do our best do secure a 1st class cabin for you. However, if there are not enough 1st class tickets available or a train doesn’t have 1st class, we will book an entire 2nd class cabin for you to ensure your privacy. Space and comfort of the cabins as well as comfort of bathrooms in 1st and 2nd class are basically the same.
A train ride with the Trans-Siberian is something special and mythical for the flexible and adventurous traveller who likes to enjoy the original and authentic Trans Siberian train ride. In the age of modernisation and high-speed trains, this authentic experience might not be available anymore in 10 years.
Information about your guide
You will be guided around by local guides in Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow (natives from the respective cities), they will explain all details about culture, history, and the daily life of “their” cities. This is a unique opportunity to get to know Russia, Mongolia and China while traveling the Trans-Siberian. We are looking forward to have you on board!
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Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.
Sights included in program
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Our flexible payment options allow you to pay 20% of a deposit first and the remaining 80% in 14 days prior to your tour date - payment can be done both online or over the phone. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your spaces are booked on the tours and that you do not miss out on making the most of your time in Russia.
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In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the best tour guides only. Multilingual and well travelled, each possesses deep insight into the diverse attractions and cultural patterns throughout the region. With us guides undergo a rigorous selection process, achieving outstanding knowledge of local culture and language. Rest assured that the best tour guides only will be working on the tours to give you excellent opportunity to explore the best of the sights during both short and long-term stay in Russia.
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