It’s not a trip for the faint-hearted, nor for those who like to travel in a hurry. But covering the great Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most memorable of journeys on the planet. This itinerary has been handcrafted by our local experts, allowing you to experience the epic overland crossing in all its glory. Starting in Russia’s capital of Moscow, you’ll cover no less than 3,500 miles, journeying into the heart of Siberia, through to Mongolia and eventually ending up in Beijing. The bulk of the action, however, is in Russia, with stops in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Listvyanka and Ulan-Ude along the way. Local tour guides will show you around, visiting the best of what each city has to offer in terms of culture and history. There’s also time to explore the pristine waters and rugged mountain terrain surrounding Lake Baikal, Siberia’s most picturesque region.
• Epic Journeys: Cover two continents, three countries and almost 3,500 miles over two memorable weeks.
• Trans-Siberian: Spend several exciting nights aboard the train, sleeping on the world’s most famous railway route.
• Lake Baikal: Venture to Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake in the world, as well as one of Siberia’s most picturesque destinations.
• Landscapes: Roll into Beijing after spending two days crossing the deserted, yet utterly stunning, Mongolian landscape.
Kick-off this railway adventure in Russia’s capital, Moscow. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and relax. The evening is dedicated for free time; it might be wise to get an early night’s sleep in preparation for the epic journey starting tomorrow.
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll explore the must-see places in the capital, including Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Sparrow Hills panoramic viewpoint, MGU (Moscow State University), Novodevichy Convent, Red Square, Manezhnaya Square, Alexander Garden, GUM (State Department Store), and Arbat Street - with a break for lunch at a local restaurant.
In the late afternoon, you'll depart Moscow for Yekaterinburg via the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. The journey time is 25 hours and 37 minutes, so you'll spend the night and the following day on board, watching the countryside pass by your cabin window.
Wake up in your comfy carriage as you rattle past rustic scenery on your way to Yekaterinburg. Most of the day will be spent on the tracks, but an excellent lunch is served on board the train, and you’ll arrive in the large city of Yekaterinburg in the evening, ready to check into your hotel and enjoy dinner.
Rise and shine early for a full day of touring around Russia’s fourth largest city, Yekaterinburg. Following breakfast, head out to all the main sights such as City Pond, The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Chapel of St. Elizabeth, downtown Yekaterinburg's 19th-century Ural gold merchants' mansions, neoclassic architecture and the obelisk that marks the division between Europe and Asia, as well as lunch in a Russian tavern. In the afternoon, you have the choice of either visiting the the Museum of Perestroika (detailing the legacy of Russia's first president, who was born and raised in Yekaterinburg) or Ganina Yama, the mineshaft where the remains of the last Russian royal family were hidden after execution. Stop at a local grocery store to stock up on snacks before returning for an evening on the train. The journey time to your next stop along the railroad is Novosibirsk, with a journey time of 21 hours.
It’s 1,000 miles from Yekaterinburg to Novosibirsk, so the best part of this day is spent on the train, rushing through rugged landscapes and spending a mindful day reading in your cozy cabin. Fortunately, the evolving Siberian landscape is nothing short of spectacular, and the train has ample space to move around and mingle with fellow passengers. Arrive in the evening and check in to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or with a local family in the countryside.
You’ve come a long way to reach Novosibirsk, so you'll make the most of your time with a full day’s tour of the capital of Siberia. You'll start with an excursion to the scientific town of Akademgorodok; a place nicknamed the "Scientific Vatican," which was established for scientific research during the Cold War. Returning to Novosibirsk proper, you'll enjoy a lunch of Siberian specialties before continuing your exploration with a city tour. Covering all the main attractions, you'll visit Novosibirsk Railway Station (the largest on the Trans-Siberian Railroad), Krasny Prospekt Avenue, Lenin Square, the Opera House, historic Gorky Street, St. Nicholas Chapel and the colorful Siberian market. Head back to the train station and embark for Irkutsk in the evening. Depending on the type of train, your journey time will be between 33 and 29 hours, so you'll spend two nights on board.
Half way through this trip across Russia and it’s time to spend a full day on board the famous train. The distance from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk is almost 1,200 miles, but the vistas through deserted Siberia makes the long journey well worth it.
After an early morning arrival in the city of Irkutsk, you'll meet with your guide for breakfast and head out of the city to experience one of Siberia's shining stars, Lake Baikal. En route, you'll stop at the open-air museum of wooden architecture, Taltsy, which was established to protect historic Buryat, Evenki and Tafalar dwellings from the new Bratsk Reservoir. Upon arrival at Listvyanka, home of the famous Shaman Rock, you'll enjoy a fish lunch before paying a visit to the Museum of Lake Baikal. This museum features an aquarium showcasing the flora and fauna of the lake, as well as "video excursions" to the bottom of Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake in the world. Next, it's a meander through the colorful fish market, followed by a boat trip around the lake and a chair-lift ride up to the Stone of Chersky observation point for superlative views. Spend the evening in a wooden chalet in Listvyanka and fall asleep the the sound of the water.
Wake up at your leisure and enjoy the views of Lake Baikal. In the afternoon, transfer to Irkutsk where you will embark on a city tour. Highlights include the Znamensky Orthodox Cathedral, old-style log houses with distinctive hand-carved trims, the Monument to the Pioneers of Siberia topped with the bronze statue of Russian emperor Alexander III and the Decembrists’ Museum. The latter details the Revolt of December 14, 1825, its participants, and their life in the Siberian exile. Overnight at a hotel in the city.
Hop back on the train this morning and enjoy the most picturesque part of the journey, rolling along Lake Baikal. The journey takes around seven hours. In the afternoon, arrive in the city of Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia. Transfer to the local hotel and freshen up. This evening you will join an Old Believers' family for a traditional dinner. The Old Believers are a religious group that refused to accept Russian Orthodox reforms, and their UNESCO-accredited culture and traditions have been very well preserved by the community.
Today embark on a tour to the Buddhist temple Ivolginski datsan, the center of Buddhism in Russia. The Buddhist complex includes temples and a university, and is the residnece of Pandito Khambo Lama, the Head of Russian Buddhists. Other attractions visited today include the central square of the city, home to a huge monument of Vladimir Lenin's head (a bizarre sample of Soviet art), downtown and a mountaintop observation point. Later in the day, you'll make for the train station. The next railway stretch switches from Trans-Siberian to Trans-Mongolian, as you cross the border into neighboring Mongolia to reach Ulaanbaatar. The journey time is 22 hours and 42 minutes.
The Trans-Mongolian Express rolls into Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city of Mongolia, then you immediately head to Hustai National Park to experience authentic Mongolian culture with a nomadic Bayansonginot family. Return to the capital in the afternoon to explore the city. Highlights include a visit to Sukhbaatar Square, Zaisan Hill and Gandan Monastery. Try Mongolian barbecue for dinner.
There’s still time to squeeze in one more country: China. Transfer to the station in the morning and catch the onward train to Beijing departing in the early morning. A full day and overnight on the train is needed to cross between the countries, but the scenery along the way is some of the most spectacular on the entire trip.
You will arrive in Beijing, capital of China and one of the world's most populous cities, in the afternoon. You will be greeted at the train station and transferred to your hotel. After such a long journey, spend the rest of the day at leisure, ready for sightseeing to follow tomorrow.
Start your first full day in Beijing with a tour of the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that mostly remains as it was during the last emperor’s time. The world’s largest palace complex, the Forbidden City is divided into two parts: the southern section, also known as the Outer Court, was where the emperor held imperial proceedings, and the Inner Court to the north was where he lived with his royal family. As the imperial palace for over five centuries, the complex houses rare treasures and curiosities in its 9,999 rooms. After exploring the Forbidden City, stop by the iconic Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven. Finish the day by exploring the crisscrossing old stone alleys of timeless Hutong neighborhoods.
No trip to Beijing is complete without taking in one of the most famous sights on the planet, the Great Wall of China. Today, you'll be hiking the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, one of the most accessible and well-preserved. This section of the Wall dates back to 1368, though its original foundations date as far back as AD 550-77, to the Northern Qi Dynasty. On the way back to the city, make a stop at the Summer Palace and enjoy sunset views over Kunming Lake.
Your Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian adventure comes to an end, having two continents, three countries and nearly 3,500 miles. After breakfast at your hotel, check out and transfer to the airport, ready for your onward flight - suitcase packed with souvenirs and camera brimming with photos in tow.
The Atrium Palace building, home to one of the city’s financial centers and an impressive solarium, is also home to a first-class hotel with over 130 rooms. Whether you opt to stay in one of the double or twin rooms here, you’ll be guaranteed comfort and convenience with free WiFi access, air conditioning, cable TV and spacious en-suite bathrooms which come with plenty of facilities and toiletries. Guests can also enjoy a massage on-site, relax in the hotel’s sauna or hit the well-equipped gym for a workout. Although there are many restaurants, bars and shops walking distance away from this city center hotel, Atrium Palace does have a restaurant of its own, ‘La Ronde’, which serves local and international dishes throughout the day. There is also an additional café specializing in Austro-Hungarian cuisine.
This luxurious five-star hotel was only opened in 2014, and now stands as one of the top places to stay in the central Russian city of Novosibirsk. Marriott really is a global name you can trust, and this Novosibirsk branch is no exception; expect a great location, stylish and spacious rooms and a whole host of onsite facilities and amenities. Located in the heart of the city, Marriott Hotel Novosibirsk is just steps away from the metro, shops and major attractions in the city such as the popular Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet. The hotel caters for many different types of guests, such as travelers making their way through Siberia on the train, and this is also a popular choice for business guests with its conference room facilities. In terms of leisure opportunities, Marriott Novosibirsk boasts an excellent rooftop bar with great views across what is Russia’s third-largest city. There’s also a large, all-day international restaurant that serves a buffet breakfast in the morning and a varied menu throughout the rest of the day.
Irkutsk is a city full of aging and rundown hotels, but thankfully the recent opening of Courtyard by Marriott addressed this problem, offering modern and comfortable rooms alongside a range of facilities and amenities. Heralded as the best hotel in the city, this three-star hotel has a globally-recognized name that all travelers can trust. Rooms number 208 (including eight suites) and come well-appointed with carpeted floors, large comfy beds, WiFi, satellite television, heating controls and stylish en-suite bathrooms. Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk is also ideally placed in the city center, just a short walk from Kirov Place, the Angara River, a popular drama theater and the art museum. The UNESCO World Heritage Center of Baikal Lake is also around a one-hour drive from the hotel. In terms of on-site amenities, guests are spoilt for choice with a range of dining options including an all-day international restaurant, bar, meeting room and fitness room.
Perfect for business guests and first-time visitors wanting to get acquainted with the city, the smart Mergen Bator Hotel provides a range of modern rooms and on-site facilities. Just a five-minute walk from the city center of Ulan Ude, the hotel also has a sizeable swimming pool, spa, fitness center, restaurant, and guests can enjoy free access to the WiFi throughout. The rooms here are also well-equipped with a mini-fridge, kettle, flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and sizeable en-suite bathrooms. Guests can easily reach some of the best attractions in the city from the doors of the hotel; both Sovetov Square and Ballet and Opera Theatre are a short walk away, while Baykal Airport is just a 20-minute drive.
In the heart of the capital of Mongolia, Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar is an urban oasis, ready to pamper business and leisure guests alike with its spacious suites, exquisite restaurants and expansive health club. The hotel features nearly 300 rooms and suites, each with an impressive vista over downtown Ulaanbaatar, and is in within walking distance of the city’s best shops, restaurants, and historical sights. Fusing contemporary and traditional design, the hotel also offers much for guests to do within its walls, from enjoying a meal and culinary show in the open-kitchen Café Park to enjoying a steam bath and jacuzzi in the luxurious health club.
The timeless Peninsula Beijing sets the bar for elegance and luxury even higher, as it completes a full renovation, and emerges even more palatial. In the heart of China’s fast-paced capital, the hotel combines imperial architecture and ancient culture with contemporary style and luxurious modern conveniences. From the hotel’s own fleet of chauffeur-driven custom Rolls Royce Phantoms, to decor featuring masterpieces by internationally-renowned Chinese artists, every detail is attended to. Fully overhauled rooms and suites feature sleek decor in cool, tranquil hues, decked out with every conceivable convenience and comfort. From afternoon tea in the iconic lobby to world-class cuisine crafted by well-traveled chefs, diners will be delighted, and both business and leisure guests will find relaxation amid the spa and wellness facilities.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, train tickets (1st or 2nd class) and all meals within cities (meals on the Trans-Siberian can be paid for on the spot). Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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