Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, 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.
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 two-week 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 where the 16-day trip finishes. 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.
Kick-off this 14-day expedition in Russia’s capital of Moscow. Upon arrival, the first class guidance and service will begin as you’re greeted in the city and taken to the luxurious Four Seasons or Hyatt Ararat hotel. The evening is dedicated for free time; it might be wise to get an early night’s sleep in preparation for the two-week journey starting tomorrow.
Wake up in your comfy carriage as you rattle past the majestic Russian countryside 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 good time to check in to your hotel - the Hyatt Regency or Atrium Palace - and have 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 the ‘Historical Square’, a wooden dam that was home to the first iron-making plant, Lenin Monument and see all the old industrial buildings lining the quaint city streets. Stop at a local grocery store to stock up on snacks before returning for an evening on the train.
It’s 1,000 miles from Yekaterinburg to Novosibirsk, so the best part of this fifth day is spent on the train in order to get there. 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 the four-star Novosibirsk Hotel.
You’ve come a long way to reach Novosibirsk, so better make the most of your time here with a full day’s tour to all of the most interesting attractions in and around the city. The itinerary is flexible, and options include excursions out of town to the majestic Memorial Cathedral surrounded by a centuries-old pine forest. Alternatively, head to Obelisk – the border of Europe and Asia - or take on full city tour. Head back to the train and embark for Irkutsk in the evening.
Half-way through this trip across Siberia 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 journey across the deserted Russian landscape makes the long journey seem well worth it.
After a morning arrival in the city of Irkutsk, take some time to refresh before heading off on a fascinating city tour. The expert guide will take you to all the major sites around Lake Baikal, including a visit to the famed Decemberists’ Museum. Take an hour long boat trip on the world's deepest freshwater lake and enjoy a lunch of fresh Baikal fish specialties. 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 tour to see the remarkable 'wood lace' houses and an old quarter with reconstructed buildings from the 19-20th centuries. Overnight at a hotel in the city.
Hop back on the train this morning and enjoy the most picturesque part of the journey, rolling by Lake Baikal. 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 a Buryatian family for a traditional dinner, consisting of boozy meat dumplings. You'll even join in preparing and cooking the dumplings.
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. In the afternoon, travel out to the Old Believeres village of Tarbagati, along the river Selenga on the picturesque Russian federal highway M55. Enjoy a Russian cuisine lunch in a traditional wooden house of a local family. The Old Believers are a branch of Orthodox Russians exiled after a church reform. After lunch, participate in the folk games and listen to their unique polyphonic singing, which was designated a UNESCO wolrd cultural heritage. Return to Ulan-Ude to explore the city before another evening at the city hotel.
Roll into Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city of Mongolia, and immediately head to a nomadic camp to experience authentic Mongolian culture. Observe a traditional Mongolian family's daily life chorse such as making diary products, milking yaks, making felt, tanning hides, and singing folk songs. 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 barbeque for dinner.
The two-week long trip is coming to an end, but 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 at 06.30 a.m. A full day and overnight in the train is needed to cross between the countries, but the scenery along the way is amongst the most spectacular on the entire trip.
After crossing two continents, three countries and nearly 3,500 miles, you will arrive in Beijing in the mid-afternoon of this 16th day. This time marks the end of the scheduled services of this epic expedition, and guests are free to explore the city or head on to their next destination of choice for the remainder of the day.