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TS-B-BT-03 – TSTC
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TS-B-BT-03 Epic Trans-Mongolian

BEIJING ► ULAANBAATAR ► ULAN UDE ► IRKUTSK ► KRASNOYARSK ► EKATERINBURG ► KAZAN ► MOSCOW

20 nights from UK £ 3,705 per person

Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 760 per person. These prices are based on 2017 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

This Epic Trans-Mongolian rail trip includes all the destinations that make this route so popular.

From BEIJING train up to ULAANBAATAR for a couple of nights in the grasslands. On to Russia and culturally fascinating ULAN UDE before reaching IRKUTSK and a couple of nights at LAKE BAIKAL. KRASNOYARSK and a real Russia experience before EKATERINBURG on the border with Europe and Asia. The penultimate stop is the capital of Tatarstan, KAZAN before reaching MOSCOW.

Trans-Siberian Trip Guidebook
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Day 1 - Depart Beijing

Train Journey Up Into Inner Mongolia Reaching 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 Included: None today.

Day 2 - 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.

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.

Day 3 - 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 4 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Free Time to Explore the City Before Departure Towards Russia

Free time at the camp before returning to Ulaanbaatar train station 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 transfer to the station taking the train up to the border with Russia.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 5 - Arrive Ulan Ude

Crossing Into Russia & Arrival in Ulan Ude Capital of Buryatia

Early morning arrival at the Mongolia-Russia border at Sukhe-Bator. The stops on each side are long – particularly the Russian side. Customs and immigration formalities are normally processed on the train itself. You should be on your way from the A side by late afternoon Note that now you are in Russia train times in timetables are all stated in Moscow time.

Evening arrival in Ulan Ude with a transfer to your accommodation to overnight. Ulan-Ude is capital of the republic of Buryatia and due to it’s proximity to Mongolia has a traditional importance as a trading settlement between Russia, Mongolia and China. Famed for having the largest Lenin head in the world the other attractions are mostly found outside of the city.

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

Day 6 - Ulan Ude

Tour to the Important Atsagatski Datsan & a Buryat Village

For today’s tour we first drive to Atsagatski Datsan which dates back to 1825. This was a teaching monastery as well as a centre for Tibetan Medicine. Continue on to the nearby village founded in the 19th century and which still keeps the traditions and customs of the Buryats, who make up most of the population, alive. Lunch in a local house and free time to explore the village before returning to the city to overnight.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at a Local House.

Day 7 - Depart Ulan Ude

Visit the Old Believers Village and Stunning Ivolginski Datsan

Today we leave the city again, this time to the impressive Ivolginski Datsan which has long been a center of Buddhism in Russia and has a unique Buddhist library. Continue on to the Old Believer village. The people here separated from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666 in protest of reforms and so practice a form of the religion that stopped across much of Russia at that time. Visit their church and a small museum before lunch is in a local home and free time before returning to Ulan-Ude. Evening transfer to your onward train.

Meals Included: Home Stay Breakfast & Local House Lunch.

Day 8 - Arrive Irkutsk & Ulan Ude

Arrival in Irkutsk Transferring to Bolshoe Goloustnoe on the Shores of Baikal

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 from the station stopping for a buffet breakfast in the city before a 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!

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THIS LAKE BAIKAL STOPOVER

Bolshoe Goloustnoe is a small village on the shores of Baikal and provides a genuine Siberian experience in beautiful surroundings. The village is far enough from the Irkutsk to keep day trippers to a minimum and has retained it charm. However, this does mean accommodation is in the traditional Siberian style of log cabins, separate, outside buildings for drop (not flush) toilets and a Russian banya (sauna) for washing. For many this is all part of the experience and feedback is overwhelmingly positive. If you would prefer more comfort we can arrange a higher level guesthouse in Bolshoe Goloustnoe or a different stopover in the more built up village of Listvyanka.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast – Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

Day 9 - Lake Baikal

A Day Exploring the Lake Shore Village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe & Surrounds

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). A leisurely return to the house for lunch. Free time in the afternoon to relax back at the house or further explore the village and surrounding forest and hills or enjoy another invigorating Banya.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

Day 10 - Depart Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

Return to Irkutsk With a City Tour and Free Time Before Your the Next Train

After breakfast drive the 2 hours back to Irkutsk for 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. Evening transfer to the station for your onward train.

Meals Included: Guest House Breakfast.

Day 11 - Arrive Krasnoyarsk

Arrival in & City Tour of Krasnoyarsk’s Highlights

Late morning arrival in Krasnoyarsk where you will be met at the station to start an half day city tour. This prosperous city located on the Yenisey River is highly regarded for it’s cultural life as well as the beautiful scenery of the Stolby Nature Reserve a short distance from the city.

Your city tour begins with the monument to Andrey Dubensky, the founder of the city, which also offers superb views and Karaulnaya Hill where Paraskeva Pjatnitsa Chapel built in 1855 is located. Move on to the Annunciation temple, Intercession Cathedral and Catholic church as well as Mira Avenue, the Drama Theatre, Opera and Ballet House and Yenisey quay. After the tour continue to your hotel to check-in with free time for the rest of the day.

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

Day 12 - Krasnoyarsk

Day Trip to Stolby Nature Reserve & Krasnoyarsk’s Dam

Today we head out of the city firstly visiting the Hydro Power Station and Dam, Russia’s second largest. Here you can see the mighty Yenisey river which, at 4,092 km is the longest in Russia. The dam is an extraordinary feat of engineering as it had to be designed to cope with the intense cold and ice pressure of winter. Enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting the Stolby Nature Reserve and make a short walk of about 2-3 km round trip to the centre of the reserve where there are beautiful views and unusual rock formations. Time to enjoy the scenery and nature before returning to the city and a free evening.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

Day 13 - Depart Krasnoyarsk

Free Morning to Explore the City Before Continuing Your Journey

Free time this morning – we suggest visiting the Regional Museum which is easy to visit unguided – before a transfer to the station for your onward train. The scenery this afternoon has many rivers and ponds as you continue westwards.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 14 - Arrive Ekaterinburg

Last Day in Siberia Before Arrival in Ekaterinburg

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. In the evening you enter the rolling hills of the Ural’s before arriving at Ekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region with a rich and fascinating history and surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Transfer by private car to your hotel to overnight.

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

Day 15 - Ekaterinburg

Full Day Tour to the Beautiful 300 Year Old Koptelovo Village

Today we drive 145 km to the beautiful and photogenic 300 year old Koptelovo village. Here we see a traditional Siberian “izba” house – a style suited to the often extreme environment that can be seen right across Siberia. We also visit the local museum to learn about everyday life in this part of Russia and listen to a concert of local folk music. To round the day off take a horse carriage (sledge in winter) ride, the traditional way people moved around these remote villages. Return to Ekaterinburg late afternoon with a free evening.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 16 - Depart Ekaterinburg

City Tour, Visit the Romanovs Secret Grave, Stand Astride the Europe-Asia Border & Visit the Museum of Arms

This morning your guide will take you on a 3 hour walking tour of the city’s highlights. Stop at the central square and see statues of Ekaterinburg’s founders and leaders and learn local stories, legends (and a few jokes!) related to them. Continue to the 1905 Revolution square before the most compelling story will be told at the beautiful Church of Spilled Blood located at the Romanovs’ Death Site and Chapel of St Elizabeth. We also see views of the city from the Hill of Ascension and visit the powerful Afghanistan memorial at the Square of the Red Army. The tour also includes a visit to the fabulous Ural Museum of Minerals.

After lunch (own arrangement) drive 15 km north-west to a monastery dedicated to the Romanov’s family located on the spot where the Bolsheviks tried to hide the corpses of the Tsar and his family in a secret grave. Continue on to the continental border of Europe and Asia 20 km west of the city. On the way we make a short stop at the Memorial of Victims of the GULAGs. The Main Obelisk “Between Europe & Asia” allows you to straddle the continental divide and you also get a Certificate with a glass of sparkling wine!

Drive on 30 minutes (20 km) to Russia’s biggest private collection of armaments at the Museum of Arms in V. Pyshma. Here you will see Soviet and Russian tanks, cannons, aircrafts, helicopters and an array of other vehicles. Return to the city with free time before an late evening departure to Kazan.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 17 - Arrive Kazan

Afternoon Tour to Timeless Sviyazhsk ‘island’

Late morning arrival in Kazan a wealthy city considered the “Third Capital of Russia” that successfully manages to blend both Islamic and Christian culture – even its Kremlin has both an Orthodox Cathedral and Mosque within its walls. With this blend the city has a colourful past and an optimistic future.

Your guide will meet you at the station and you start your time with a trip to Sviyazhsk ‘Island’ about an hour from the city centre. Located at the strategically important confluence of the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers, Sviyazhsk was founded in 1551 as a fortress. Today a visit here is like stepping back in time to an older, pre-Soviet Russia.

Return to the city late afternoon to check-in to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

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

Day 18 - Depart Kazan

Walking Tour of the City’s Highlights Including the Kremlin & Visit Raif Monastery by Car Before an Evening Departure

Start today with a 4 hour walking tour of the city focusing on some of the Kremlin and some of the oldest streets including the Bauman, Karl Marx and what is known as the Big Red Street to see the Peter & Paul Cathedral. You will also see Mardzhani Mosque, Sultal-Galeev Square and the Virgin Monastery where the Kazan Virgin icon is housed.

After the walking tour head out of the city 30 km by car to the Raif Monastery. Located on a legendary lake within a conservation area it dates back to the 17th century with its Georgian Virgin Temple and the miracle-making Georgian Virgin Icon and Trinity Cathedral. You will also see the Holy Spring, Monastery Bell Tower, Sun Dial and the Churchyard. Return to Kazan with free time before an evening transfer for the train on to Moscow.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 19 - Arrive Moscow

Arrival in Moscow & a Walking Tour of the City

Wake to Moscow’s sprawling suburbs arriving at the city’s handsome Kazanskaya station. Transfer by private car to your hotel. Note that check-in time is offically 2pm and we cannot guarantee that rooms will be available before this time.

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.

Day 20 - 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 21 - 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.

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.

VIEW MORE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TRAINS
TS-B-BT-03 tour map

Destinations Visited on this Trip

Click on any of the destinations below for more information.

READ OUR RUSSIA PLANNING GUIDE
READ OUR MONGOLIA PLANNING GUIDE
READ OUR CHINA PLANNING GUIDE

What is included?

Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.

All accommodation as specified under the accommodation tab

All private transfers and any other transportation as described

All meals as specified in the itinerary

All tours as specified in the itinerary

All entrance fees to sights toured in the itinerary

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

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TRAINS
VIEW MORE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS
LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL PROTECTION
READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

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.

 Use the email form below or call our UK office on +44 020 8816 8925 to contact us. We are always happy to hear from you!

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