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TS-M-05 Trans-Mongolian & Baikal

MOSCOW ● IRKUTSK ● BEIJING

14 nights from UK £ 2,265 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 550 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.

The Trans-Mongolian route with a 3 night stopover in Irkutsk & Lake Baikal.

Start in Russia’s capital of MOSCOW before a train direct to IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL with time in the wonderfully unspoiled village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe and a final night in the city itself. A further 2 nights on the Chinese run Trans-Mongolian train to BEIJING to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City amongst other sights.

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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

Depart Moscow on the Train to Irkutsk

Free time until a late morning a transfer to Moscow’s iconic Yaroslavsky station for an early afternoon departure. The rest of the afternoon is spent gradually leaving Moscow behind as you travel through a landscape of farms and villages that exists between Moscow and Ekaterinburg.

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

Head East Reaching the Europe Asia Border & Ekaterinburg

This section of the journey is through a relatively highly populated region by Russian standards – a landscape of farms and small towns and villages which already feel a long way from Moscow as well as some larger places with longer stops ideal for stretching the legs, taking some photos and stocking up on food and drink. In the evening you cross the Europe-Asia border and reach Ekaterinburg. From this point on you are offically in Siberia!

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

Day 5 - On Board the Train

Your First Day in Siberia & the Vastness of Central Russia

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few large settlements. The major city is Omsk but there are also a few other large stops. 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

Beautiful Siberian Landscapes After Krasnoyarsk

The last full day on the train in this section of the trip passing prosperous Krasnoyarsk after which the scenery is particularly pleasant consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and, of course, 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 this part of 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 - Arrive Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

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

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

IRKUTSK – Ирку́тсќ – A major stop on the Trans-Siberian, it is a pleasant and prosperous city regarded as the cultural capital of Siberia. The big draw though is the nearby stunning Lake Baikal. It is among the deepest lakes in the world at 1,642 meters and has crystal clear water. The shoreline is dotted with traditional villages offering up a rustic Siberian experience and this is what we focus on during your time here. View more Irkutsk and Lake Baikal options here.

Day 8 - 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 9 - Lake Baikal to Irkutsk

Return to Irkutsk With a City Tour and Free Time to Relax at Your Hotel

After breakfast drive the 2 hours back to Irkutsk arriving late morning at your hotel. Once settled in you will 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 free time for the rest of the day.

Meals Included: Breakfast at the Guest House.

Day 10 - Depart Irkutsk

Journey Along the Shore Lake Baikal Into Buryatia & Mongolia

Early morning transfer to the station for the train to Beijing. Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey – a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk 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 11 - On Board the Train

The Mongolian Grasslands, Ulaanbaatar & Gobi Desert

Wake up early to see Mongolia’s open steppe before arrival at the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Continue as the grasslands gradually give way to the remote and rocky Gobi desert during the afternoon – keep an eye out for camels! Evening arrival at the Mongolia-China border at Zamyn-Ude. The exit and entrance formalities are done on the train. On the Chinese side, once immigration and customs are completed, you have a choice either to get off the train and wait at the station or stay on and be taken into the sheds where the bogies are changed. A unique experience but do remember that the toilets are locked throughout!

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

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.”

Amy Wegerhoff

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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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5-stars

“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!”

Nancye and Corrie Allegro

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