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TS-M-04 Essential Trans-Mongolian

MOSCOW ● ULAANBAATAR ● BEIJING

14 nights from UK £ 2,500 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 390 per person. These prices are based on 2020 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.

This trip starts in Russia’s capital, MOSCOW home to the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square.

On by train 5 nights to the different world of grassland and nomadic culture that is MONGOLIA, one of the world’s most remote and most extraordinary destinations. A final overnight train journey takes you to China’s capital of BEIJING, and a city and culture quite unlike anything seen elsewhere on the trip.

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This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
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Route Map & Destinations Visited

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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Moscow

Your Trans-Siberian Adventure Starts in Russia’s Capital of Moscow

Welcome to Moscow, Russia’s capital and its largest city with more than 12 million people. 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. Transfer by private car with an English speaking driver to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring this stunning city.

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 2 - Moscow

A Fascinating 3 Hour Walking Tour of Central Moscow With a Free Afternoon

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.

The rest of the day is free to further explore Moscow. The exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before your trip is full of ideas and useful information to ensure you get the most out of your time in this iconic city.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 3 - Depart Moscow

Free Time to Explore Moscow Before an Evening Departure on the Trans-Mongolian

Free time to explore Moscow before your departure on the Trans-Siberian train. 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.

Evening transfer to Moscow’s iconic Yaroslavsky station to catch your train. Settle into your cabin which will become your home for the coming days.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

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 4 - On Board the Train

A Landscape of Farms, Town and Villages Across European Russia

Your first full day on the train through a populated region of farms, small towns and villages which already feel a long way from Moscow. There are a few large cities to stop at to get your first taste of life on the platforms which tends to focus on stretching the legs, taking some photos and stocking up on food and drink from the small kiosks and independent sellers. By the end of the day you should feel quite settled to life on the rails.

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

Day 5 - On Board the Train

Your First Day in Siberia & on the Asian Continent

During the early hours you crossed the Europe Asia border and stopped at Ekaterinburg, capital of the mineral rich Ural region. This is also the point you can say you have entered Siberia proper. The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested with few major settlements. This is a day for relaxing, socializing and getting into a good book!

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

Day 6 - On Board the Train

Pass Krasnoyarsk and Enjoy a Day of Beautiful Scenery

In the morning you pass prosperous Krasnoyarsk and the scenery gets better from this point 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 untouched Russia is as the sun sets on the endless taiga of Siberia.

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

Day 7 - On Board the Train

Journey Along the Shore Lake Baikal Into Buryatia & Mongolia

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey – a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk, which you reach very early in the morning, the train rumbles around the Southern shore of the stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas. You will also notice a change in the people with many more Asian faces as you enter Buryatia which has strong cultural ties to Mongolia. This is a remote and pretty section of the trip with a hint of an old Asian culture ever present. Eventually you arrive at the Russia-Mongolia border at Naushki passing through the border formalities before continuing into the grasslands of Mongolia.

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

Day 8 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar & Overnight in a Comfortable Ger on the Steppe

Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. 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.

Transfer to Elstei Ger camp located 35 km outside of the city 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.

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 Included: Breakfast, Lunch & 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 9 - 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 kitchens can arrange a packed lunch to take.

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

Day 10 - Ulaanbaatar

Relaxing at Elstei Before Returning to Ulaanbaatar for a City Tour

A full morning free at Elstei before returning to Ulaanbaatar after lunch. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years, largely driven mainly by the mining industry. However, there is much of cultural interest here and the city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, the impressive Sukhbaatar square and the impressive 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 Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 11 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Continue by Train Through the Gobi Towards the Chinese Border

Early morning transfer to the station to catch the train on to Beijing. The day is firstly spent in the steppe but that gradually gives way to the stoney Gobi desert – keep an eye out for camels! Evening arrival at the Mongolia-China border at Zamyn-Ude. The Mongolian exit formalities are completed on the train before a much longer stop is on the Chinese side where the train is taken to the sheds where the carriages are raised up (with you still in them!) and the new bogies of the narrower Chinese gauge fitted. A unique experience but do remember that the toilets are locked throughout!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 12 - Arrive Beijing

Afternoon Arrival in Beijing With Free Time to Relax

Wake up in China’s Inner Mongolian grasslands before a series of tunnels and impressive views lead you through the mountains that shield Beijing. Late morning arrival in China’s capital. Beijing has it all – history, imperial majesty, modern masterpieces, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant local culture. Your guide will meet you at the station exit.

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 – however the train does have a dining car.

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 13 - 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 14 - 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 15 - Depart Beijing

Depart China With a Wealth of Memories of Your Trip

Free time for any final sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs if time. Your local guide will have arranged a time to meet you in the hotel lobby for a transfer to the airport in good time for your flight out of China. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic Trans-Siberian experience!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

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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.”

Carol Purdie & Friends

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“Thank you for the trip you planned for us on the Trans Siberian Railway. It all went, as you predicted, without a hitch – a great trip!”

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