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

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

22 nights from UK £ 4,120 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 780 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 journey covers all the major stops along the Trans-Mongolian providing a wonderfully in-depth trip worthy of this route.

As well as the well-known highlights of MOSCOW, EKATERINBURG, IRKUTSK, LAKE BAIKAL, MONGOLIAN & BEIJING this trip also visits more off the beaten track destinations of KAZAN, a fascinating blend of Russia and Central Asia and ULAN UDE where European and Asian cultures mix.

Trans-Siberian Trip Guidebook
This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER
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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.

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 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.

Transfer to the station for the overnight train to Kazan. Settle in to your cabin for a good nights sleep on the way to the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 4 - Arrive Kazan

Morning Tour to Sviyazhsk ‘Island’ & With a Free Afternoon in the City

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 early afternoon to check-in to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day to relax or explore the surrounding area.

Meals Included: None today.

Day 5 - 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 Ekaterinburg.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 6 - Arrive Ekaterinburg

Visit the Romanovs Secret Grave & Stand Astride the Europe-Asia Border

Awake in the Ural Mountains crossing the Europe-Asia continental border before arriving in Ekaterinburg a short time afterwards around noon. The city is full of history and surrounded by beautiful countryside and traditional villages. Transfer to your hotel.

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. Today this is a Russian Orthodox pilgrimage site including a grave and seven wooden churches. 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!

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

Day 7 - Ekaterinburg

Full Day Tour to the Beautiful 300 Year Old Koptelovo Village Before an Evening Departure

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.

Evening transfer to the station for your onward train. From this point on you have entered Siberia!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 8 - 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 9 - 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 10 - Krasnoyarsk

Day Trip to the Stolby Nature Reserve & Krasnoyarsk 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 11 - 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 late morning transfer to the station for your onward train. After Krasnoyarsk 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: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 12 - Arrive Krasnoyarsk

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 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!

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: Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

Day 13 - 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 14 - Depart Lake Baikal & Irkutsk

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: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 15 - Arrive Ulan Ude

Ulan Ude Capital of Buryatia & Tour to Atsagatski Datsan

Early morning arrival in Ulan Ude. Transfer to your accommodation and breakfast before starting a full day tour. 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 found outside of the city.

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 16 - 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.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at a Local House.

Day 17 - Depart Ulan Ude

Train on to the Remote Russian Mongolian Border

Early morning transfer to the station to catch the train onto Ulaanbaatar. The morning is spent on the train heading towards the Russia-Mongolia border. You will notice a change in the people with many more Asian faces as you pass through Buryatia which has strong cultural ties with Mongolia. This is a remote and pretty section of the trip with a hint of an old Asian culture ever present. You reach the Russia-Mongolia border at Naushki around lunch time. The stops on each side are long but manageable as Mongolia track is the same gauge as Russia so the bogies do not need to be changed. Customs and immigration formalities are normally processed on the train itself. You should be on your way from the Mongolian side by nightfall.

Meals Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car up to the Mongolian border.

Day 18 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar City Tour & Comfortable Elstei Ger Camp

Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Before heading out to Elstei ger camp you have breakfast and a chance to shower as well as 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: Hotel Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

Day 19 - 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 20 - 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 21 - Arrive Beijing

Arrival Beijing & Private Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Jingshan Park

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. Transfer to your hotel by private car and English speaking guide.

This afternoon a private tour to the vast Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and home to the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People’s Heroes. To the north of the square is the equally vast 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 the ancient small garden by the north gate. Directly north of the Forbidden city is Jingshan park where we will climb the beautifully landscaped “Coal Hill” for one of Beijing’s best views over the Forbidden City. Return to your hotel with the rest of the day free.

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

Day 22 - Beijing

The Great Wall at Stunning Mutianyu & the 2008 Olympic Venues

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.

On the way back to the city we stop at the 2008 Olympic sites of the spectacular Bird’s Nest Stadium and the aquatics centre known as the Water Cube – external viewing only.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 23 - 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.

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-M-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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