TRANS-MONGOLIAN EXPLORED

ST PETERSBURG ● MOSCOW ● EKATERINBURG ● KRASNOYARSK ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● ULAANBAATAR

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

20 nights from UK £ 3,755 / US $ 5,260 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 720 / US$ 1,010 per person. These prices are based on 2021 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A GROUP TOUR - CAN BE TAILORED 

SEASON - YEAR ROUND WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-SP-BT-01-UB

MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇷🇺 ST PETERSBURG - 3 nights

This beautiful and cultural city is a completely different experience to Moscow.

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

Russia’s vast and iconic capital and the start of this railway adventure.

🇷🇺 EKATERINBURG - 2 nights

City in the beautiful Ural Mountains where the Romanovs met their fate.

🇷🇺 KRASNOYARSK - 2 nights

Busy Siberian city located on the banks of the mighty Yenisey River.

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 3 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇲🇳 ULAANBAATAR - 3 nights

Remote capital of Mongolia and the start of a steppe adventure.

ON THE TRAINS - total 5 nights

We use the most comfortable and reliable trains possible for each leg.

TSSPBT01UB map

OUR EXCLUSIVE TRIP GUIDEBOOK

This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip with sections about the trains, destinations, timetables and emergency contacts and allowing you to be fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime - an invaluable resource!

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

DAY 1 - ST PETERSBURG

YOUR TRANS-SIBERIAN HOLIDAY STARTS IN BEAUTIFUL ST PETERSBURG

Welcome to St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural centre and arguably one of the world’s most beautiful cities - an architectural wonder often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” An English speaking driver will meet you for a transfer by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring this stunning city.

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 2 - ST PETERSBURG

AN IDEAL 3 HOUR INTRODUCTORY WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY BEFORE A FREE AFTERNOON

Begin your time in St Petersburg with this superb introduction to this beautiful city with your private guide, learning about the history and architecture as well as life in today’s St Petersburg. The tour focuses on Nevsky Prospect including the Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Winter Palace and the Admiralty amongst many other points of interest. The tour will usually finish on arrival at the Peter and Paul Fortress where you can visit the burial place of all the Russian Tzars from Peter the Great to Nicholas II.

Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to explore the Peter & Paul Fortress or some of the many other sights. Alternatively, St Petersburg is an excellent place to walk and admire the architecture stopping at the occasional cafe!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 3 - ST PETERSBURG

A FREE DAY TO EXPLORE THIS MAGNIFICENT CITY

A free day to explore St Petersburg. This city has so much to offer so it is a good idea to plan a little in advance if there are specific places you want to visit. However, this is also a fantastic city to aimlessly wander, exploring side streets, canals and the beautiful parks that feature across the city. Don’t forget there are also excellent sights outside the city including the opulent palaces of Peterhof and Pushkin.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Cronwell Inn ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 4 - MOSCOW 

HIGH SPEED “SAPSAN” TRAIN TO MOSCOW IN JUST 4 HOURS

Free time before a late morning transfer by private car with an English speaking driver to the “Sapsan” train to Moscow. The journey takes just 4 hours with an early evening arrival in Moscow, the political and economic centre of this vast country. Moscow has many of Russia’s most famous sights, not least Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral and with over 800 years of history there is also a wealth of architecture, museums and monuments to its colourful past. Transfer from the station by private car with an English speaking driver to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel  ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 5 - 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: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel  ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 6 - on the train 

DEPART MOSCOW ON YOUR FIRST TRAIN LEG TO EKATERINBURG

Free time until early afternoon 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.

Transfer to the station for a late afternoon departure from Moscow’s Kazanskaya station. Settle into your compartment as the suburbs of Moscow are replaced by forest and countryside.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 7 - EKATERINBURG 

FULL DAY ON THE TRAIN BEFORE AN EVENING ARRIVAL IN EKATERINBURG

With luck the gentle rhythm of the train led to a good night’s sleep! A full day on the train through a region of farms, small towns and villages interspersed with birch forests. Towards the end of the day you cross the Europe-Asia continental border arriving in Ekaterinburg a short time afterwards. Ekaterinburg is a more representative experience of a Russian city than, say, Moscow and has a rich and fascinating history. It is surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Transfer to your hotel to overnight.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 8 - EKATERINBURG 

FULL DAY COUNTRYSIDE & SIBERIAN VILLAGE EXPERIENCE

Today we drive out of the city to one of the photogenic country villages* that are scattered across the rolling scenery of the Ural mountains. 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. There will be time to explore the village with your guide and you will also enjoy a traditional Siberian homestyle lunch often using locally produced and seasonal ingredients. Return to Ekaterinburg late afternoon with a free evening.

*Depending on the day of your visit this trip will be to either Koptelovo, Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha or Mironovo village all approximately 150 km from Ekaterinburg.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 9 - EKATERINBURG 

CITY TOUR, VISIT THE ROMANOVS SECRET GRAVE & STAND ASTRIDE THE EUROPE-ASIA BORDER

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. See views from the Hill of Ascension and visit the powerful Afghanistan memorial at the Square of the Red Army.

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!

Return to the city with some free time before an evening transfer to the station for your onward train. From this point on you have entered Siberia!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 10 - on 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: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 11 - KRASNOYARSK

ARRIVAL IN & CITY TOUR OF KRASNOYARSK’S HIGHLIGHTS

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.

As a hotel room is unlikely to be ready this early we start with a city tour which 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: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 12 - 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: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 13 - on the train 

FREE MORNING TO EXPLORE THE CITY BEFORE CONTINUING YOUR JOURNEY

Free time this until a 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: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 14 - IRKUTSK & 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!

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. Ask us for more information.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

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DAY 15 - 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: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

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DAY 16 - 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: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: Boutique Marussia Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 17 - on the train

JOURNEY ALONG THE SHORE LAKE BAIKAL INTO BURYATIA & MONGOLIA

Early morning transfer to the station to catch your onward train. 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: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 18 - ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR & 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.

Transfer on to Elstei Ger camp located 55 km outside of the city in the open steppe stopping at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue (a further 25 km from Elstei) 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: Hotel Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 19 - ULAANBAATAR

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: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 20 - on the train

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 on the Chinese side.

MEALS: Boxed Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Bayangol Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 21 - end of tour 

FREE TIME UNTIL A TRANSFER TO YOUR ONWARD TRANSPORT

Today is free for any last minute shopping, sightseeing or souvenirs hunting before a transfer to your onward transport out of Mongolia. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic Trans-Siberian experience!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

Thank you so very much. We had the best time!
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INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

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Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.
All accommodation as specified above.
All private transfers and transport as described.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
All tours as specified including 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.
International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request.
The Russian & Mongolian visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral.
Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we canadvise on options.
Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides.

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