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TS-SP-BT-02 – TSTC
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TS-SP-BT-02 Trans-Mongolian Adventure

ST PETERSBURG ► MOSCOW ► EKATERINBURG ► KRASNOYARSK ► IRKUTSK ► ULAANBAATAR ► EAST GOBI ► BEIJING

25 nights from UK £ 4,085 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 610 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.

A real Trans-Mongolian Adventure from ST PETERSBURG to BEIJING featuring the most popular stops including MOSCOW, EKATERINBURG, IRKUTSK for LAKE BAIKAL and the grasslands and open steppe around ULAANBAATAR.

In addition the more off the beaten track destinations of Siberia’s KRASNOYARSK & the start beauty of Mongolia’s EAST GOBI add some unforgettable adventure.

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

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 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.

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 6 - Depart Moscow

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 7 - Arrive 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 Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 8 - Ekaterinburg

Full Day Tour to the Beautiful 300 Year Old Koptelovo Village

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. Return to Ekaterinburg late afternoon with a free evening.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 9 - Depart Ekaterinburg

City Tour, Visit the Romanovs Secret Grave, Stand Astride the Europe-Asia Border & Visit the Museum of Arms

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. Finally, visit the Ural Museum of Minerals, one of the best private collections of gems in the world.

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!

Drive on 30 minutes (20 km) to Russia’s biggest private collection of armaments at the Museum of Arms in V. Pyshma. Here you will see Soviet and Russian tanks, cannons, aircrafts, helicopters and an array of other vehicles. Evening transfer to the station for your onward train. From this point on you have entered Siberia!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 10 - 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 11 - 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 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

Day 13 - 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 14 - Arrive Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

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

Day 16 - 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 17 - On Board the Train

Journey Through Buryatia & Crossing Into Mongolia

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.

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 - Ulaanbaatar to Sainshand

Watch the Grasslands Change to Desert as You Enter the Gobi

Early morning transfer to the station to catch the train on to Sainshand to begin your East Gobi adventure. Much of the day is spent in the steppe which gradually gives way to the stoney Gobi desert – keep an eye out for camels! Evening arrival in Sainshand in East Gobi province where your guide will be meeting you at the station.

Travel directly out to the East Gobi ger camp to overnight.

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Day 21 - East Gobi

Remote Monastery, Dunes, Saxaul Forest & a Camel Breeding Family

Today you have a jeep tour to some of the highlights of this region including the remote Khamariin Khiid monastery, an important centre of the Buddhist “red sect” and home to the “Terrible Noble Saint of the Gobi”. Drive on through the rocky desert to an area known as the “small sandy dunes”. Also visit the Gobi Saxaul forest, a unique eco-system that clings on to survival in this harsh environment. We will also meet a camel breeding family and learn how they live in a part of the world where few would think it is possible to exist.

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

Day 22 - East Gobi

“Died World” Meditation Caves & Dinosaur Fossils in the Desert

A full day exploring east Gobi by jeep stopping where you wish and also visiting “Died World” – an area of small caves where that Lammas used for long periods of meditation. We also explore an area famed for it’s fossils and can search for dinosaur remains and petrified wood amongst the rocks (note that Mongolia imposes severe penalties for taking any such fossils out of the country!) Evening in the ger camp to enjoy the silence and star-lit skies of the desert.

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

Day 23 - Sainshand to Beijing

Free Time in Camp Before the Train on to China & Beijing

Free time in the ger camp where it is possible to arrange to ride a camel (fees payable locally), relax or take a walk out into the desert. After lunch we head back to Sainshand to visit the local museum before joining the train on to Beijing. Evening arrival at the Mongolia-China border at Zamyn-Ude. The exit formalities are completed on the train. A longer stop is on the Chinese side 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! Late evening departure into the Middle Kingdom!

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 24 - 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 25 - Beijing

Trekking Along a Wild & Spectacular Section of the Great Wall

For the active and energetic, one of the best ways to see the Great Wall is to walk it and with nearly 4,000 miles of actual wall we need to be selective! The most scenic section to trek within reach of Beijing is at Jinshanling. The trek involves about 6km of walking along the wall itself which averages 4 hours. This is the best way to see and absorb yourself in China’s best known sight, get some superb photos and avoid the tourist crowds.

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 26 - 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-SP-BT-02 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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