TRANS-MONGOLIAN HIGHLIGHTS

BEIJING ● ULAANBAATAR ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● MOSCOW ● ST PETERSBURG

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

19 nights from UK £ 2,750 / US $ 3,710 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 555 / US$ 750 per person. These prices are based on 2021 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A GROUP TOUR - CAN BE TAILORED 

SEASON - May to September WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-B-05-SP

DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER

Download the extensive Trip Dossier for this tour as a PDF file to read offline or print. The trip dossier contains more details of departures dates and trip inclusions for this tour as well as background information on the destinations, trains and FAQs. 
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TSB05SP dossier

MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇨🇳 BEIJING - 3 nights

China’s Capital is an eclectic mix of Imperial splendour & 21st Century Asia.

🇲🇳 ULAANBAATAR - 3 nights

Remote capital of Mongolia and the start of a steppe adventure.

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 2 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

Russia’s vast and iconic capital and the start of this railway adventure.

🇷🇺 ST PETERSBURG - 3 nights

This beautiful and cultural city is a completely different experience to Moscow.

ON THE TRAINS - total 6 nights

We use the most comfortable and reliable trains possible for each leg.

TSB05SP map

OUR EXCLUSIVE TRIP GUIDEBOOK

This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip with sections about the trains, destinations, timetables and emergency contacts and allowing you to be fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime - an invaluable resource!
trip-guidebook

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

DAY 1 - BEIJING

ARRIVAL BEIJING WITH TIME TO RELAX AT THE HOTEL

Welcome to Beijing, China’s cultural and political capital and a real highlight with its extraordinary blend of ancient and modern sights. Your guide will greet you at the airport with a transfer by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax from the long flight or start to explore the city with the help of your personalised and exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before the trip. The area around your centrally located hotel is perfect for an introductory walk.

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 2 - BEIJING

TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, TIANANMEN SQUARE, FORBIDDEN CITY & SUMMER PALACE

Today you will see the main highlights of Beijing starting with the Temple of Heaven, considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. On to vast Tiananmen Square, home to the Mao Mausoleum (it may be possible to visit if open) and Monument to the People’s Heroes before walking to the huge palace complex of the Forbidden City. We’ll walk up the middle axis from South to North taking in the splendour of the most important central buildings before finishing in a small and ancient garden by the north gate.

The last stop today is at the Summer Palace to the west of Beijing. Dominated by Kunming lake it is as popular an escape from the city for todays Beijingers as it was for the Imperial court over the centuries.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 3 - BEIJING

THE GREAT WALL AT STUNNING MUTIANYU & VISIT ONE OF BEIJING’s MARKETS

Today we will be showing you one of China’s most famous sights - the Great Wall. We visit the dramatic and less crowded Mutianyu section 70km from Beijing set amongst spectacular mountain scenery. Dating back to the 6th Century and largely rebuilt in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty it is one of the best preserved sections of the wall largely due to the high standard of construction. The tour includes cable car tickets cable up and down the Wall.

Also today, if you wish, we can take you to one of Beijing’s many markets. Favourites are the Silk Market, Pearl Market and Panjiayuan antique market. If souvenir shopping isn’t for you other options are the Hutong street of Nanluoguxiang, the 798 Dashanzhi contemporary art area or a quick look at the impressive 2008 Olympic Stadium. You can discuss which is right for you with us in advance or your guide on the day.

Return to your hotel for a free evening to enjoy Beijing further or ask us about cultural activities.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 4 - on the train

TRAIN JOURNEY UP TO THE CHINA MONGOLIA BORDER

Morning transfer to the station to catch your first train in to Mongolia. Pass through Beijing’s suburbs before entering the grasslands of inner Mongolia, an expansive land of villages and farms. Evening arrival at the China-Mongolia border at Erlian. Here the carriages are raised up (with you still in them!) and the new bogies of the Mongolian gauge fitted making for a unique experience. Once completed the train continues across the border to the Mongolian town of Zamyn-Ude for the Mongolian immigration formalities. By this time it is late in the night as you continue your journey under darkness through the Gobi desert.

MEALS: Breakfast box if requested the day before.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 5 - ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR ARRIVAL & NIGHT AT COMFORTABLE ELSTEI GER CAMP

If you wake up early this morning you will find yourself in the heart of Mongolia’s stoney Gobi desert. Keep your eyes peeled for camels! Gradually the landscape changes from desert to grassland as you approach Ulaanbaatar arriving early afternoon. Outside of the chaotic capital of Ulaanbaatar this is a land of endless grassland, deserts, pristine lakes and nomads whose way of life has changed little over the years offering a truly rewarding travel experiences. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

Transfer on to Elstei Ger camp located 55 km outside of the city in the open steppe stopping at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue (a further 25 km from Elstei) that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable and spacious ger accommodation.

During your time here a range of options are available including visits to local nomads and learning about their way of life and hiking the grasslands. There are also opportunities to for horse riding (payable locally) and, for much of the year, activities such as archery, ger building and even the opportunity to learn how to wrestle Mongolian style! Of course, you can simply relax and take in this extraordinary landscape.

MEALS: Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 6 - ULAANBAATAR

ENJOY THE STEPPE FURTHER OR RELAX AT THE GER CAMP

A full day at Elstei Ger camp to enjoy this unique experience with assistance from your guide when required. Today is a good opportunity to range further into the steppe from the ger camp either by foot or horseback (local hire fees apply) and, if the guide is notified the night before, the kitchens can arrange a packed lunch to take.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 7 - ULAANBAATAR

RETURN TO ULAANBAATAR FOR A CITY TOUR & FREE TIME

After breakfast return to Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years. There is much of cultural interest here and the this morning’s city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, impressive Sukhbaatar square and the views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to delve into the city’s surprisingly vibrant eating and drinking scene.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Bayangol Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 8 - on the train

FREE TIME TO EXPLORE THE CITY BEFORE DEPARTURE TOWARDS RUSSIA

Free time in Ulaanbaatar to further explore the city, shop for souvenirs, visit some of the museums or catch up on coffee and correspondence! Transfer to the station for your onward train through the grasslands to the Russian border.

Evening arrival at the Mongolia-Russia border at Sukhe-Bator. The stops on each side are long but manageable as Mongolia’s track is the same gauge as Russia so the bogies do not need to be changed.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 9 - IRKUTSK

PASS ULAN UDE & TRAVEL ALONG THE SHORES OF LAKE BAIKAL & ARRIVE AT IRKUTSK

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the entire journey, a day of lake, forest and mountain views. Early in the morning you reach Ulan Ude before joining the main Trans-Siberian line on to Moscow. Later in the day the train rumbles around the Southern shore of stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas.

Afternoon arrival in Irkutsk, regarded as the modern day cultural capital of Siberia, famed for its traditional wooden architecture, complimented by a vibrant cafe and restaurant culture.

Transfer to your hotel and once settled in have a 2 hour walking tour of the city centre including the park and War Memorial, some of the beautiful churches along the Angara river, the main city centre streets and the statue of Alexander III - the Tzar responsible for the Trans-Siberian railway.

Return to your hotel with a free evening.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Marussia Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 10 - lake baikal

TRANSFER TO BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE ON THE SHORES OF BAIKAL

After breakfast a transfer the 2 hour drive through dense forest to the remote village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe located inside Pribaikalsky National Park. The setting is quintessential Siberia with almost all the village's houses made of wood running up to the lakeshore of beautiful Baikal, among the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters. Many of the 700 residents have lived their entire lives in the village which dates back to 1673.

Your accommodation here is in a Siberian house in the heart of the village. Once settled in take a walk with your guide through the village including a visit to the church. We walk along the lakeshore and can also climb into the forests and hills for views of Lake Baikal (good shoes or walking boots advisable). Return to the house for a pre-dinner Banya - the traditional Russian Sauna. Your guide will explain the procedure and after a hearty Siberian homestyle meal should set you up for a great nights sleep!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast - Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

DAY 11 - lake baikal

EXPLORING THE LAKE SHORE VILLAGE OF BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE & SURROUNDS BEFORE A LATE DEPARTURE

There is no rush to wake this morning. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading off for a walk up a nearby mountain ascending 400 meters for panoramic views of Baikal (if this is too strenuous or the weather is bad your guide will make other suggestions).

Transfer back to Irkutsk to check in to the Marussia hotel with free time until a transfer in the early hours of the morning for the train on to Moscow.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 12 - on the train

GOOD SCENERY TODAY PASSING KRASNOYARSK & ONTO NOVOSIBIRSK

Some good scenery today with a landscape consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and birch trees. There are many rivers and ponds and if it hasn’t happened before now you will start to comprehend just how vast and quite untouched much of Russia is. Pass attractive and prosperous Krasnoyarsk reaching Siberia’s largest city of Novosibirsk in the evening.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 13 - on the train

LAST DAY IN SIBERIA, EKATERINBURG & CROSS EURO-ASIA BORDER

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. Late in the evening you enter the rolling hills of the Ural's before reaching Ekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region. Shortly after Ekaterinburg you pass the Europe Asia border and so leave Siberia behind to the East.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 14 - on the train

THE LAND BECOMES MORE UTILIZED & POPULATED AS MOSCOW IS APPROACHED

Your last day on the train through a relatively highly populated region by Russian standards - a landscape of farms, small towns and villages. There are a few large cities to stop at but by now most people’s minds are focused on the final stop of Moscow reached tomorrow morning.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 15 - moscow

ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW & A WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY

Morning arrival at Moscow’s large Yaroslavsky station where a driver will be meeting you to transfer you to the hotel. Note that due to parking restrictions and enthusiastic traffic police you will need to check-in yourselves.

This afternoon you will have the perfect introductory walking tour of central Moscow designed to orientate and open up its hidden treasures. Your guide will take you along the main streets and less visited back roads to see the diversity of architectural styles from the austere and restrained Russian style to richly decorated Moscow Baroque, elegant Empire, fascinating Art Nouveau and even Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish. Hear stories and legends not found in the guidebooks as well as passing the most important sites in the city including the Bolshoi Theatre, Tverskaya street, GUM Department store, Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.

MEALS: None today.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 16 - moscow

FREE DAY TO EXPLORE RUSSIA’S CAPITAL & ITS MANY WORLD CLASS SIGHTS

A free day to explore Moscow. The city has much to offer whatever the weather from the famous museums such as Pushkin Fine Arts and Tretyakov Art Gallery to more outdoor areas including the Park of the Fallen Idols and Novodevitchy Convent. Of course, if the weather is not so good Moscow is one of the few cities where a day spent on the metro is a tourist attraction with many beautiful stations to visit and all for the price of a single ticket! For relaxing we recommend the bars, galleries and cafes of the Red October district or the fabulous Gorky Park.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 17 - ST PETERSBURG

HIGH SPEED “SAPSAN” TRAIN TO ST PETERSBURG IN JUST 4 HOURS

Free time before a late morning transfer by an English speaking driver to the “Sapsan” train to St Petersburg. The journey takes just 4 hours with an early evening arrival Russia’s cultural centre and arguably one of the world’s most beautiful cities - an architectural wonder often referred to as the “Venice of the North.”

Transfer from the station by private car and English speaking driver to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 18 - ST PETERSBURG

AN IDEAL 3 HOUR INTRODUCTORY WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY BEFORE A FREE AFTERNOON

Begin your time in St Petersburg with this superb introduction to this beautiful city with your private guide, learning about the history and architecture as well as life in today’s St Petersburg. The tour focuses on Nevsky Prospect including the Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Winter Palace and the Admiralty amongst many other points of interest. The tour will usually finish on arrival at the Peter and Paul Fortress where you can visit the burial place of all the Russian Tzars from Peter the Great to Nicholas II.

Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to explore the Peter & Paul Fortress or some of the many other sights. Alternatively, St Petersburg is an excellent place to walk and admire the architecture stopping at the occasional cafe!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 19 - ST PETERSBURG

A FREE DAY TO EXPLORE THIS MAGNIFICENT CITY

A free day to explore St Petersburg. This city has so much to offer so it is a good idea to plan a little in advance if there are specific places you want to visit. However, this is also a fantastic city to aimlessly wander, exploring side streets, canals and the beautiful parks that feature across the city. Don’t forget there are also excellent sights outside the city including the opulent palaces of Peterhof and Pushkin.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 20 - end of tour

DEPART ST PETERSBURG & RUSSIA AFTER AN EPIC TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE

Today is a free until a transfer to your onward travel from Russia. We sincerely hope that you will have enjoyed your epic journey as much as we have many times already and we look forward to welcoming you back on another one of our trips!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

Thank you so very much. We had the best time!
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INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

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Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.
All accommodation as specified above.
All private transfers and transport as described.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
All tours as specified including entrance fees.
24 hour emergency assistance
Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas.
Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected.
Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook.
International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request.
The Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral.
Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we canadvise on options.
Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides.

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