Example Itinerary

Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Duration
17 days / 16 nights
Price Per Person
From $16,700
Interests
Amazing Landscapes, Luxury Trains
Destinations
Siberia, Mongolia, China
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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.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

 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.

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Moscow

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.

Day 2 Overnight Train

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.

Overnight Train

Day 3 Yekaterinburg

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.

Day 4 Overnight Train

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.

Day 5 Novosibirsk

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.

Novosibirsk

Day 6 Overnight Train

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.

Day 7 Overnight Train

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.

Day 8 Listvyanka

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.

Listvyanka

Day 9 Irkutsk

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.

Day 10 Ulan Ude

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.

Day 11 Overnight Train

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.

Overnight Train

Day 12 Ulaanbaatar

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.

Day 13 Overnight Train

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.

Day 14 Beijing

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.

Beijing

Day 15 Beijing

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.

Day 16 Beijing

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.

Day 17 Departure

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.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

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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