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TS-SP-BT-05 Trans-Siberian Adventure

ST PETERSBURG ● MOSCOW ● EKATERINBURG ● ULAANBAATAR ● IRKUTSK ● VLADIVOSTOK

23 nights from UK £ 3,200 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 465 per person. 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.

The classic Trans-Siberian rail adventure from ST PETERSBURG to VLADIVOSTOK with a side excursion down the Trans-Mongolian line to the grasslands outside of ULAANBAATAR.

Also visited along the way is Russia’s Capital MOSCOW, historical EKATERINBURG in the rolling Ural mountains and the Siberian city of IRKUTSK, jumping off point for beautiful LAKE BAIKAL before the remote Russian Far East and the end of the line.

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

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 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 - Moscow

A Fascinating 3 Hour Walking Tour of Central Moscow With a Free Afternoon

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.

EKATERINBURG – Екатеринбу́рѓ – An important and prosperous city located in the rolling Ural mountains that divide the continents of Europe and Asia. Steeped in Russian history from the Romanovs to Yeltsin it is also surrounded by beautiful countryside dotted with traditional villages perfect. Our popular program covers the highlights but you can explore more options by clicking here.

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 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

Start with 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 making 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.

Return to your hotel (and additional night has been booked) with free time until a very early – or very late depending on your perspective – transfer to the station for your onward train to Ulaanbaatar.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 10 - On Board the Train

Your First Day in Siberia & on the Asian Continent

Hopefully you had some sleep after your very early transfer to the station this morning to join this train. Once light, the scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested with few major settlements. 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.

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 11 - 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 12 - On Board the Train

Journey Along the Shore Lake Baikal Into Buryatia & Mongolia

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey – a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk, which you reach very 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. 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 13 - 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.

Transfer to Elstei Ger camp located 35 km outside of the city 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. 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

ULAANBAATAR – Улаанбаатар – Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population. It has gone from being a sedate old Soviet relic to a wild west boomtown of skyscrapers, traffic jams and pollution. For most Trans-Siberian rail travellers the priority will be to get out of the city and into Mongolia’s stunning countryside and huge skies with the chance to meet and learn about the nomadic culture. For more longer Mongolia trips click here to visit our Mongolia tours section.

Day 14 - 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 15 - Elstei Ger Camp

Enjoy the Steppe Further or Relax at the Ger Camp

Free time at the camp before returning to Ulaanbaatar train station to catch your onward train through the grasslands to the Russian border. If you prefer you can ask your guide to arrange some free time in the city to shop for souvenirs, visit some of the museums or catch up on coffee and correspondence but this means missing lunch at the ger camp.

Evening arrival at the Mongolia-Russia border at Sukhe-Bator. The stops on each side are long but manageable as Mongolia’s track is the same gauge as Russia so the bogies do not need to be changed. Note that train times in timetables from now are all Moscow time.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 16 - Arrive Irkutsk

Pass Ulan Ude & Travel Along the Shores of Lake Baikal & Arrive at Irkutsk

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the entire journey, a day of lake, forest and mountain views. Early in the morning you reach Ulan Ude before joining the main Trans-Siberian line on to Moscow. Later in the day the train rumbles around the Southern shore of stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas.

Afternoon 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 to your hotel and once settled in 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 a free evening.

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

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 17 - Lake Baikal

Transfer to Bolshoe Goloustnoe on the Shores of Baikal

After breakfast a transfer 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: Hotel Breakfast – Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

Day 18 - Return to Irkutsk

A Day Exploring the Lake Shore Village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe & Surrounds Returning to Irkutsk

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. After lunch a transfer back to Irkutsk checking in to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Guesthouse.

Day 19 - Depart Irkutsk

Depart Irkutsk & Lake Baikal Before Reaching Ulan Ude

Early morning transfer to the station to depart Irkutsk. From here the train rumbles along the Southern shore of Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake before reaching Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryatia with its strong cultural ties to Mongolia.

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Day 20 - On Board the Train

Enjoy the Remote Scenery as You Enter Russia’s Far East

This is a remote and pretty section of the trip with a hint of an older Asian culture ever present.

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

Day 21 - On Board the Train

Continue Through the Remote Russian Far East

A day of many stops as the Trans-Siberian rumbles on towards Vladivostok. Much of the route is close to the Chinese border and you can feel the proximity to China from the faces on the platforms at many of the stops. This evening pass vibrant Khabarovsk with its 2.6km bridge which crosses the Amur river just before the lengthy stop in this pleasant city.

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

Day 22 - Arrival Vladivostok

Arrive at the Vladivostok Terminus

A final morning on the train before an early afternoon arrival at Vladivostok’s attractive station and the satisfaction of knowing you have completed the longest single train journey in the world – you have finally arrived!

Transfer to your hotel with the rest of the day free to relax or explore the city.

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

VLADIVOSTOK – Владивостоќ – Far flung legendary end (or beginning) of the true Trans-Siberian line. For years this city was closed to foreigners as it is the home base of the Russian Pacific Fleet. It has a fantastic location on the Amursky Gulf and is considerably further East than Beijing, in fact closer to Japan. We will show you the highlights of this surprising city during your stay here.

Day 23 - Vladivostok

Full Day City Tour Including Russky Island & Voroshilovskaya Battery

A full day tour of Vladivostok today covering the main attractions and more including Vladivostok Railway Station – always worth a pre-look – and the C-56 submarine as well as passing many historic, cultural and architectural landmarks and view points. After lunch (own arrangement) we delve into Vladivostok’s military history visiting its Fortress including two of the old batteries which now serve as museums. We also visit the Voroshilovskaya Battery located inside a real military base on Russky Island. This 80 year old building is a fantastic example of military architecture with it’s rational organisation and efficient functioning. We also see the Pacific Navy warships stationed in the heart of the city which demonstrate the continuing importance of this port to Russia.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 24 - Depart Vladivostok

Depart Russia’s Far Eastern Port City of Vladivostok

Free time today until a transfer to the airport, station or ferry terminal for your onward travel from Vladivostok and the end of your trip across Russia!

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.

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 double entry Russian and Mongolian 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.”

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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.”

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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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