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TS-V-BT-03 Ultimate Trans-Siberian

VLADIVOSTOK ● IRKUTSK ● ULAANBAATAR ● KRASNOYARSK ● EKATERINBURG ● KAZAN ● MOSCOW

23 nights from UK £ 3,920 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 850 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.

Quite simply the ultimate Trans-Siberian experience combining the original route from VLADIVOSTOK to MOSCOW with with a side trip along the Trans-Mongolian route to Ulaanbaatar.

Along the way visit IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL and the central Siberian city of KRASNOYARSK before reaching historical EKATERINBURG and KAZAN, a peaceful mixture of Islamic southern Russia and the Orthodox culture further north before finishing in Russia’s capital.

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Route Map & Destinations Visited

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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Vladivostok

Arrival in Russia’s Far East Port City of Vladivostok

Arrival in Vladivostok, the legendary end (or beginning) of the true Trans-Siberian line. A driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. For years this city was closed to foreigners being the home base of the Russian Pacific Fleet. It has a fantastic location on the Amursky Gulf. Free time for the rest of the day to relax or start to explore the city with the help of your personalised Trip Guidebook we send you before the trip.

Meals Included: None today.

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 2 - Depart Vladivostok

Full Day City Tour Including Russky Island & Voroshilovskaya Battery With an Evening Departure

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.

Finish the tour at Vladivostok’s beautiful station where you board the train westwards.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 3 - On the Train

Enjoy the Scenery of Russia’s Wild & Remote Far East

Early this morning reach Khabarovsk crossing its 2.6 km bridge over the Amur river. There is some good scenery today following the Ingoda and Shilka rivers into a wild land of taiga forest and hills. The train is still stopping quite frequently so make good use of these stops to stretch the legs, take some photos and stock up on food and drink from the small kiosks and independent sellers.

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 4 - On the Train

Continue Through Russia’s Vast Far East Entering Buryatia

Today notice a change in the people with many more Asian faces as you reach Buryatia which has strong cultural ties to Mongolia.

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

Day 5 - Arrive Irkutsk

Pass Mongolian Influenced Ulan Ude & the Shore of Lake Baikal to Arrive in Irkutsk

In the morning pass Ulan Ude before reaching Lake Baikal and travelling along its southern shore. 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 from the station to your hotel in Irkutsk. 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. Free time for the rest for the 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 6 - Irkutsk & 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 7 - Lake Baikal

Morning Exploring the Lake Shore Village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe & Afternoon Return to Irkutsk With City Tour

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 drive the 2 hours back to Irkutsk to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Guest House.

Day 8 - Depart Irkutsk

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 9 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar & Overnight in a Comfortable Ger on the Steppe

Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Outside of the chaotic capital of Ulaanbaatar this is a land of endless grassland, deserts, pristine lakes and nomads whose way of life has changed little over the years offering a truly rewarding travel experiences.

Transfer to Elstei Ger camp located 55 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.

During your time here 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 10 - 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 11 - Ulaanbaatar

Relaxing at Elstei Before Returning to Ulaanbaatar for a City Tour

A full morning free at Elstei before returning to Ulaanbaatar after lunch. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years, largely driven mainly by the mining industry. However, there is much of cultural interest here and the city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, the impressive Sukhbaatar square and the impressive views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to delve into the city’s surprisingly vibrant eating and drinking scene.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 12 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Free Time to Explore the City Before Departure Towards Russia

Free time in Ulaanbaatar to further explore the city, shop for souvenirs, visit some of the museums or catch up on coffee and correspondence! Transfer to the station for your onward train through the grasslands to the Russian border.

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 this time. Note that train times in timetables from now are all Moscow time.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - On the Train

Pass Ulan Ude & Travel Along the Shores of Lake Baikal

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. Irkutsk itself is reached in late afternoon before the train continues on through Siberia during the night.

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

Day 14 - Arrive 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 Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

KRASNOYARSK – Красноя́рский́ – Often overlooked on a Trans-Siberian trip, the true Siberian city is well known in Russia both for it’s cultural life as well as the fantastic scenery that you will visit outside of the city in the beautiful Stolby Nature Reserve.

Day 15 - Krasnoyarsk

Day Trip to Stolby Nature Reserve & Krasnoyarsk’s 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 16 - Depart Krasnoyarsk

Free Morning to Explore the City Before Continuing Your Journey

Free time this until a transfer to the station for your onward train. The scenery this afternoon has many rivers and ponds as you continue westwards.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 17 - Arrive Ekaterinburg

Last Day in Siberia Before Arrival in Ekaterinburg

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. In the evening you enter the rolling hills of the Ural’s before arriving at Ekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region with a rich and fascinating history and surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Transfer by private car 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 18 - Ekaterinburg

Tour to Beautiful Nevyansk & Tavolgi & Stops at the 300 Year Old Villages of Kunara & Byngi

Today we head 80 km out of the city to the traditional Ural town of Nevyansk, a showcase of the history and culture of the Ural region and in particular the local dynasty of the Demidovs, a well known industrialist family. We visit the Nevyansk “leaning tower” and the recently restored Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral. For lunch we move on to Tavolgi village stopping at a craft centre (closed on Mondays). Here and you have a chance to make pottery, something this area is well known for in Russia. We will also visit the 300 year old villages of Kunara and Byngi to experience rural life in the Urals. Drive back to Ekaterinburg with a free evening.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 19 - 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. We also see views of the city 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!

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 the city with free time before an late evening departure to Kazan.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 20 - Arrive Kazan

Afternoon Walking Tour of the City’s Highlights Including the Kremlin

Late 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.

Check in to your hotel before 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.

Return to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

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

KAZAN – Казан – Kazan is the capital of the exotically named “Republic of Tatarstan” and is a wealthy city that successfully manages to blend both Islamic and Christian culture. In fact even its Kremlin has both Orthodox Cathedrals and a Mosque. The city itself is well developed and attractive and our stopover program will also take you out into the countryside to visit a monastery.

Day 21 - Depart Kazan

Free Morning Before an Afternoon Tour to Timeless Sviyazhsk ‘island’ by Car & an Evening Departure

Free time this morning before checking out of your hotel. Your guide will meet you for 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 Kazan with free time before an evening transfer for the train on to Moscow.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 22 - Arrive Moscow

Arrival in Moscow & a Walking Tour of the City

Wake to Moscow’s sprawling suburbs arriving at the city’s handsome Kazanskaya station. Transfer by private car to your hotel. Note that check-in time is offically 2pm and we cannot guarantee that rooms will be available before this time.

Once checked in you will have 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.

Meals Included: None Today.

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 23 - Moscow

Free Day 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.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 24 - Depart Moscow

Depart Moscow & Russia After Your Epic Trans-Siberian Adventure

Today is a free until a transfer to your onward travel from Russia. We sincerely hope that you will have enjoyed your epic journey as much as we have many times already and we look forward to welcoming you back on another one of our trips!

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 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.

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