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TS-SP-02 Trans-Manchurian Express

ST PETERSBURG ● MOSCOW ● BEIJING via Manchuria

14 nights from UK £ 2,720 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a first class 2 berth cabin. These prices are based on 2019 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.

Starting in ST PETERSBURG, Russia’s cultural centre packed full of beautiful architecture, museums and theaters you have a few days to explore before the high speed “Sapsan” train on to MOSCOW.
Highlights here are Red Square and the Kremlin and, of course, it’s ornate metro system.
The it is on the Trans-Manchurian to BEIJING and the Great Wall & Forbidden City.

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Route Map & Destinations Visited

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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival 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 Included: None today.

ST PETERSBURG – Санкт-Петербурѓ – If Moscow is Russia’s economic and political centre St Petersburg is certainly the cultural centre. A very different city to Moscow, it is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful – an architectural wonder often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” In addition to the architecture there are world famous museums including the Hermitage and numerous palaces can be visited as day trips from the city. Included is an introductory walking tour to get you started. We can also book a wide range of additional tours – just click here to browse options.

Day 2 - St Petersburg

An Ideal 3 Hour Introductory Tour by Car 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 4 - St Petersburg to 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

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 5 - Moscow

A Fascinating 3 Hour Tour by Car 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 6 - Depart Moscow

Free Day in Moscow Before Evening Departure on the Trans-Manchurian

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 on the Russian run “Trans-Manchurian” running all the way to Beijing. 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 7 - On Board the Train

A Landscape of Farms & 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 focuses 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 8 - On Board the Train

Your First Day in Siberia & Also 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 and socializing!

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

Day 9 - 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 10 - On Board the Train

Journey Along the Shore Lake Baikal Into Buryatia

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey – a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk, which you reach 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. At Ulan Ude the line branches with this train following the Trans-Manchurian route eastwards.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 11 - On Board the Train

A Stretch of Remote and Wild Scenery & Reach the China Border

Continue through an increasingly remote landscape before reaching the Russia-China border at Zabaikalsk late in the day. The stops on each side are long but particularly so on the Russian side as the trains bogies need to be changed to fit China’s narrower gauge. It is about a 10 minute ride on to the Chinese border post at Manzhouli where immigration and customs for China are completed with the train eventually departing in the evening for your first night on the move in China.

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

Day 12 - On Board the Train

Your First Day in China Passing Through Manchuria

The first thing you will notice about China is a significant increase in population. Gone are the wilds of the Russian far east replaced by the farms, fields and villages of north east China – an area known as Manchuria. Pass Harbin, the largest city in this part of China with 4 million people and famous for its Ice and Snow Festival. Continue past the big industrial cities of Changchun and Shenyang for your final night on the train before tomorrow’s arrival in China’s capital of Beijing.

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

Day 13 - Arrive Beijing

Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City & Summer Palace

Very early 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.

Today you will see the main highlights of Beijing. We start with the Temple of Heaven considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. Onto the 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. It is dominated by Kunming lake and is as popular escape from the city for today’s Beijingers as it was for the Imperial court over the centuries. Return to your hotel with the rest of the day free.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

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 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 first class.

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 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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“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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