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TS-B-03 Essential Trans-Mongolian

BEIJING ● ULAANBAATAR ● MOSCOW

12 nights from UK £ 1,895 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 360 per person. These prices are based on 2019 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.
Please note this is a private tour - not a group tour.

The popular Trans-Mongolian route with a 2 night ger experience in the grasslands of Mongolia.

Starting in BEIJING an overnight train takes you to Mongolia’s Capital of ULAANBAATAR where you head to the grasslands staying at a comfortable Ger Camp. Four more nights on the train and you arrive in Russia’s capital of MOSCOW. Consider adding St Petersburg onto the trip to complete the experience.

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Route Map & Destinations Visited

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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Beijing

Arrival Beijing With Time to Relax at the Hotel

Welcome to Beijing, China’s cultural and political capital and a real highlight with it’s 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 Included: None today.

BEIJING – 北京 – The capital of China is also one of it’s premiere attractions. Beijing has a wealth of historical sites and you will see the best of these during your time here including the Forbidden City and Great Wall. Mixed in amongst this history is a modern and exciting city with some of the best cuisine in China, a vibrant culture with one foot in the past and the other firmly striding into the future. If you are looking to see more of this huge country click here to visit our China tours section.

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 3 - Beijing

Trekking Along a Wild & Spectacular Section of the Great Wall

For the active and energetic, one of the best ways to see the Great Wall is to walk it and with nearly 4,000 miles of actual wall we need to be selective! The most scenic section to trek within reach of Beijing is at Jinshanling. The trek involves about 6km of walking along the wall itself which averages 4 hours. This is the best way to see and absorb yourself in China’s best known sight, get some superb photos and avoid the tourist crowds.

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

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 4 - Depart Beijing

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 but try and catch some sleep as you continue your journey under darkness through the Gobi desert.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 5 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar

Through the Gobi Desert & Grasslands to Ulaanbaatar

Gradually the landscape changes from desert to grassland as you approach Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, arriving early afternoon.

Your guide will be meeting you at the station to take you on a city tour. 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 tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, impressive Sukhbaatar square and the views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Continue the 35 km to Elstei Ger camp in the open steppe stopping on the way at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable and spacious ger accommodation with separate toilet, showering and dining facilities. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

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 Included: Dinner at the Ger Camp.

ULAANBAATAR – Улаанбаатар – Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population. It has gone from being a sedate old Soviet relic to a wild west boomtown of skyscrapers, traffic jams and pollution. For most Trans-Siberian rail travellers the priority will be to get out of the city and into Mongolia’s stunning countryside and huge skies with the chance to meet and learn about the nomadic culture. For more longer Mongolia trips click here to visit our Mongolia tours section.

Day 6 - Elstei Ger Camp

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 kitchen can arrange a packed lunch.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

Day 7 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Free Time Before Departure Towards Russia

Free time at the camp before returning to Ulaanbaatar to catch your onward train through the grasslands to the Russian border. If you prefer you can ask your guide to arrange some free time in the city to shop for souvenirs, visit some of the museums or catch up on coffee and correspondence!

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 this time.

Meals Included: Breakfast at the Ger Camp.

Day 8 - On the Train

Pass Ulan Ude & Travel Along the Shores of Lake Baikal

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. Irkutsk itself is reached in late afternoon before the train continues on through Siberia during the night.

Meals Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 9 - On the Train

Pass the Major Siberian Cities of Krasnoyarsk & Novosibirsk

Today’s landscape consists of gently rolling hills, rivers, ponds and dense forests of larch, pine and birch trees. Pass prosperous Krasnoyarsk after which the scenery becomes flatter and the forests thinner. Late afternoon reach Siberia’s largest city of Novosibirsk before spending your last night in Siberia on the train.

Meals Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

LIFE ON BOARD – The public trains along the Trans-Siberian route are safe and comfortable. We book the best train options we can for each sector balancing comfort with ticket reliability. Rolling stock varies but in general will be set up as in the diagram below. Almost every train has a dining car. You can also buy from the kiosks at larger stations and we recommend bringing a few treats on board as well! Payment on the trains by card is an increasingly common option but WiFi and shower carriages are still rare. Click here to learn more about the trains.

train diagram itinerary 2

Day 10 - On the Train

Enter the Rolling Ural Mountains, Pass Ekaterinburg & the Europe Asia Border

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. Later in the afternoon 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 leaving Siberia to the East for the last section of the journey to Moscow.

Meals Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 11 - Arrive Moscow

Arrival in Moscow & a Walking Tour of the City

Your last morning on the train through a relatively highly populated region by Russian standards – a landscape of farms, small towns and villages. Stop at the historic cities of Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir before an early afternoon arrival at Moscow’s large Yaroslavsky station. Transfer by private car to your hotel.

Moscow, Russia’s capital and its largest city with more than 12 million people, is the political and economic centre of this vast country and with over 800 years of history there is a wealth of architecture, museums and monuments.

Once checked in 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 Included: None Today.

MOSCOW – Москва́ – Capital of Russia and the start of the Trans-Siberian making this vast city of 12 million people a must on any trip. It is the political and economic centre of this vast country and has many of Russia’s most famous sights, not least Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral. With over 800 years of history there is also a wealth of architecture, museums and monuments to a colourful past not to mention its extraordinary metro system. We get you started by including a walking tour but also offer a wide range of tours you and add in – click here to view.

Day 12 - 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - Depart Moscow

Depart Moscow & Russia After Your 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Add More to This Trip

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Hand-picked Accommodation for this Trip

The hotels & accommodation used for this trip are from our hand picked selection and all are excellent for their class. We also offer upgraded hotels in most locations. If you would like to explore additional hotel options please the button below and let us know of any changes you wish to make.

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Trains Used for this Trip

Details of the trains used on this trip are below. All trains are subject to change without notice and are for guidance only. Please download the trip dossier to see the train times.

Inclusions & Exclusions For This Trip

What is included?

Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.

All accommodation as specified above.

All private transfers and any other transportation as described.

All meals as specified in the itinerary.

All tours as specified in the itinerary including relevant 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, personalised to your trip

 

What is not included?

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 recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

Possible Start Dates

The calendars below show the possible start dates for this trip in red for the stopovers described in the itinerary. Other dates may also be possible using different trains or longer or shorter stops. Ask us if you need to tailor this tour.

What Our Clients Say

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“Excellent service and communication with quick responses. The process of booking was really easy. Their knowledge and understanding of the Trans-Siberian and experiences along the way was clear and appreciated.”

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“You were invaluable for organising our Trans-Siberian Rail trip. We had a group of 6 with a personalised itinerary. Every pick up was easy, always someone waiting for us at our hotel or train station.”

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