Trans-Siberian Railway: Beijing to Moscow

19 Days, from AU $9,406

Mongolian Ger Camp

Listvyanka Settlement

Trans Mongolian Train

Lake Baikal

From Beijing to Moscow, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in Mongolian ger tents and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Beijing

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Beijing, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Beijing has served as the capital of China for over 800 years and is the second largest city by population. Home to the sprawling Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, as well as the most popular spot to visit the world famous Great Wall.

Beijing has many great restaurants and bars. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Day 2: Beijing Sightseeing

After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Subsequently, you will go to visit the old Hutongs by bike with your guide and explore the local people's life.

Enjoy free time in the evening.

Forbidden City: The Forbidden City was the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties, known as the Palace Museum. The construction took 14 years and was finished in 1420. In the following years, the capital of the Ming Dynasty was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. Twenty-four emperors, 14 in the Ming and 10 in the Qing dynasties ruled from here. The last dynasty fell in 1911, but Emperor Puyi still lived in the Inner Court until 1924, when he was thrown out of the palace by the troops of General Feng Yuxiang. After that, the palace was opened to the public as the Palace Museum and it was no longer forbidden to the common people.

The Tian An Men square: With a total area of 440,000 square meters, the Tiananmen Square found in the centre of Beijing boasts the largest of its kind. Over a hundred years, many ceremonies and demonstrations have been held here.

Day 3: Beijing City Tour

Visit the magnificent Great Wall (Mutianyu section, cable car is included) this morning.

Afterwards, transfer to visit the Chang Tomb of the Ming Tombs in the afternoon.

Enjoy free time in the evening to explore the city on your own.

The Great Wall, one of the eight ancient wonders of the world and the only man-made construction on earth that the astronauts can see from space. Starting out in the east on the banks of Yalu River in Liaoning Province, the Wall stretches westwards for 12,700 kilometres to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert. It was built as a defensive structure from Mongolian warriors and gradually become the symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization.

Day 4: Beijing

In the morning, visit the Temple of Heaven where we can see local people doing morning exercises if weather permits. Later, transfer to the Summer Palace including boat cruise on Kunming Lake. Transfer back to hotel and explore the city on your own in the evening.

Day 5: Trans-Siberian Train to Ulaanbaatar

Transfer to the train station at 10:00 am with boxed breakfast. Traveling northwest towards Mongolia we settle in to our comfortable compartments as we pass through mountains and watch from the window as the towns and villages and the scenes of local life of Inner Mongolia go by. In the evening we cross the Gobi Desert. There’s a restaurant carriage on the train, where you can eat.

Day 6: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, we will have lunch and then drive out of the city to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve. On the way, take photos and visit the world’s largest equestrian monument – a far sighted Genghis Khan on horseback. Arrive in Gun-Galuut and transfer to Steppe Nomads tourist camp. Hike or ride horses to Mt. Baits to try to view the gorgeous Argali mountain sheep (if lucky) and the White Napped Crane, Whooper Swan and other birds.

Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve:

The Reserve is truly the marvellous combination of high mountains, colourful flowers, pretty lakes, rivers and wetlands with its famous rare species. It is a home to endangered wild Mountain sheep-Argali the Big Horns, White-napped crane, Siberian White Crane, Hooded Crane, the rare Black stork, Asian heron, Whooper swan, Swan Goose and so on. Over 80 Argali sheep inhabit peacefully in Gun-Galuut now. Tourists visiting the Nature Reserve have the opportunities to do watching and taking photos of the Endangered species, rafting and fishing in the lakes and rivers, camping in a beautiful and peaceful nature, visiting nomadic families, riding horse, yak and camel and introducing with traditional nomadic lifestyle and culture.

Day 7: Gun-Galuut to Hustai

Today, we head to Hustai national park where the last remaining wild horses on earth, the Takhi wild horses, graze peacefully with other wildlife. Hiking around and enjoying the beautiful serene nature.

Day 8: Karakorum

Drive to Karakorum this morning. Visit the historic sites such as the legendary Erdene- Zuu monastery and its surroundings like ruins of Tumen Amgalant Palace, Museum of Karakorum and King’s Monument. Admire the breathtaking Unesco world heritage site Orkhon valley.

Day 9: Elsen Tasarkhai

We head out to Elsen tasarkhai through the green grassland, and arrive at the stunning sand dunes, streams and rocky mountains. Enjoy camel riding for 1 hr, hiking through Hugnu Khan Mountain and Erdenehamba. Visit nomadic families to learn their ways to tend their livestock and live within the harmony of mother nature.

Day 10: Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar at lunch time and start the city tour after lunch: the city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Your tour also takes you to the Genghis Khan monument on the Sukhbaatar square and the Museum of National History, which has a number of fascinating displays of traditional Mongolian clothing and weaponry, as well as exhibits charting the course of Genghis Khan's empire- building. Folklore concert and farewell dinner in the evening.

Day 11: Irkutsk

Free time in the morning, and explore the city on your own. We will board the Transiberian train to Irkutsk at 4 pm. Overnight on the train.

Day 12: Irkutsk

Your guide will greet you at the train station upon arrival. Transfer to a centrally located hotel and free time for the reminder of the day.

Day 13: Irkutsk - Listvyanka

In the morning, transfer to Listvyanka. On the way, stop at the fascinating Taltsy open air museum, the wooden architecture museum which is a great experiential excursion. Then visit a local biological museum with the diverse collection of Baikal flora and fauna. Lunch at a local restaurant by the lake. In the afternoon, take a chairlift to have a panoramic view of the beautiful Baikal lake and its surrounding areas. Enjoy your visit to a local 19th century wooden St. Nicolas church and a local fish market where you will see a great variety of local goods. Transfer to Irkutsk.

Lake Baikal is the world's deepest, amazingly holding over 20% of the world's fresh water. This part of the lake has long, beautiful sandy beaches and some smaller and warmer lakes, where visitors can relax, play games and enjoy the sun and magnificent scenery.

Day 14: Irkutsk

The city tour starts with the historical part of the city: Epiphany Cathedral, the oldest stone structure. You will also visit the Polish Roman Catholic church in the downtown area. The tour then leads you through the Kirov square and circus, taking you to the main street of Irkutsk, the Karl Marks Street. You will walk along the street to get to the Angara River embankment. In the afternoon, visit the Decemberist Museum and fine art museum.

Day 15: Trans Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the world's most famous train line. It's also the longest, extending from Moscow across Siberia to the far-flung town of Vladivostok. We experience part of this celebrated train odyssey from Irkutsk to the Ural town of Ekaterinburg (2 nights total).

Day 16: Trans Siberian Railway

Travelling through five time zones, we wind our way through forests, small Siberian villages and big industrial Russian cities, to reach the bustling European part of this vast and varied nation. After 2 nights on the train we arrive in the 4th largest city in Russia (1.8 million) – Ekaterinburg. Transfer from the railway station to the hotel.

Day 17: Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg guided walking tour (3 hours). The guide will lead you through central streets and through the historical centre of the city. You will see statues of Ekaterinburg’s founders and communist leaders, and the guide will tell you some local stories, legends and jokes, related to them. On the 1905 Revolution Square you will view all the history of the city on the ancient pictures shown by the guide. There will be an opportunity to visit splendid Church of Spilled Blood at the Romanovs’ Death Site and the Chapel of St. Elizabeth. You will observe beautiful views of Ekaterinburg and the City Pond from an embankment and from the Hill of Ascension. The sorrowful Afghanistan memorial at the Square of Red Army, gorgeous villas of Urals «gold merchants» of 19th century and monumental buildings in «Stalin’s neoclassicism» style are to survey too.

Day 18: Trans Ural Railway

Transfer to the railway station to catch the train #059/015 to Moscow. Cross from Asia to Europe on this night train from Ekaterinburg to Moscow. 9,100 kilometres might seem like a long journey but the majority of our travellers are actually surprised how quickly it goes! Spend the day learning some Russian, chatting with your fellow travellers, having some meals in the dining car or taking a chance on finding some babushkas hawking local produce or baked goods on the platforms.

Day 19: Moscow

Arrival in Moscow at 09:23 am and transfer to the hotel. Afterwards, start your city-tour and visit the Kremlin and Cathedrals, Armoury, Alexander Garden, Eternal Flame, Red Square, St.Basil (outside) followd by a Metro tour. Transfer back to the hotel after dinner.

Day 20: Moscow

Enjoy the morning free at leisure and meet your guide after lunch at the reception of the hotel. Embark on the Radisson boat trip. (4 hrs, 1,5hrs for the boat itself). Dinner on arrival.

Day 21: Departure

You will be transferred to the airport or train station in the morning, and conclude your wonderful journey through the heart of Central Asia.

Personalise Your Trip

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Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $9,406

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Inclusions:
  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide at every destination (no guide in the trains)
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Private transfers + Experienced drivers
  • Airport/ train station transfers
  • Hotel 3* in Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, & Russia
  • Ger camps with shared western stylish bathroom facilities in countryside (in Mongolia)
  • Meals as listed 
  • Train ticket(s) from China to MGL, MGL to IKT, IKT to Moscow (2nd class)
  • Porter fees in Russia
Notes:

 

Visas for China
Almost all nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. Give yourself at least 3-4 weeks. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be very difficult to obtain outside your country of residence.

Hong Kong and Macau are not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities (please check) do not require a visa.

Visas for Russia
All nationalities require a visa and a Letter of Invitation for Russia. Please contact Get About Asia in order to apply.

Money in Russia
Your ATM, Visa or Mastercard will work in Russia but please bring USD with you just in case.

Some ATMS in Ulan Ude and Moscow have been known to not dispense local currency.

Please bring cash in US dollars (100s, 50s, 20s) with you to change into the local currency. You will use this local currency while in the country.

The notes should be crisp and perfect with no folds or marks and should be no older than 2006.

Visas for Mongolia for the Trans Mongolian.
All nationalities require a visa and occasionally (depending on your nationality) a Letter of Invitation for Mongolian. Please contact Get About Asia in order to apply.

Visas are not available on arrival at any land borders into Mongolia. You must have a Mongolian visa before beginning your trip.

Money in Mongolia
Your ATM, Visa or Mastercard will work in Mongolia but please bring USD with you just in case.

Some ATMS in Ulaanbaator have been known to not dispense local currency.

Please bring cash in US dollars (100s, 50s, 20s) with you to change into the local currency. You will use this local currency while in the country.

The notes should be crisp and perfect with no folds or marks and should be no older than 2006.

Trip Information

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"We loved our private trip to Mongolia – the quality of ger camps were excellent, our guide Mr. Chinguun was brilliant and everything ran like clockwork with transfers, great driving and comfortable modern flights in between. We even had an experience with local sharman and food was great. We are happy to recommend Getaboutasia to anyone." — Mr & Mrs Mitchelle, Yamba, July 2018

"In Mongolia, the people were so generous and we felt really well looked after! Russia was interesting. We have loved the train. Irkutsk was also interesting and our guide and driver were good. Not too cold and not busy so a great time of year to go. The scenery from Beijing to Irkutsk was amazing. About half way from Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg you see forests, bogs and lakes. So the scenery was better than I expected and the trains. Fantastic hotels too! " — Mr and Mrs Cameron, Mongolia and Transsiberian Railway, 31/05/2017

" Russia was interesting, amazing locals and fascinating ballet, opera, shows, and history and great journey on Trans Siberian " — Doug and Sue, Sydney, October 2017

"Some feedback on our trip to Mongolia - The train was very good and their food was pretty tasty actually. We met people who were staying for three weeks and going up into the NW region for the Eagle Festival, riding horses in the mountains etc. The memorial to Ghengis Khan is wonderful. This is their horse headed old musical instrument. " — Mr and Mrs Martin, Sydney, October 2017

"Mongolia the people were so generous and we really felt looked after ! Russia is interesting. We are in Ekaterinburg now. We have loved the train. Irkutsk was interesting and our guide and driver good. Not too cold and not busy so a great time of year to go. The scenery from Beijing to Irkutsk was amazing. About half way from Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg you see forests and bogs and lakes. So the scenery has been better than I thought and the trains Can't wait for Moscow! Fantastic hotels too " — Mrs and Mrs Cameron, Perth WA, May 2017

"I’m back after an extraordinary & enjoyable trip on Trans Siberian. I was delighted to find that I was not wrapped in a tourist “cocoon” but was more of a traveller. Its hard to pick a favourite, as a tourist probably the Old Believers Village & Lake Baikal. As a traveller, meeting all sorts of people on the trains where I was the only non-local apart from a lone Japanese on the Trans-Siberian." — Mrs Miller, Glenthompson, April, 2016

"Thanks for your efforts in making a wonderful holiday experience for us. Our guides were excellent and the trains were very comfortable. The accommodation was more than adequate and was excellent value in Russia particularly. The ballet in Ekaterinburg and the opera in St.Petersburg were most enjoyable." — Gae Mulvogue, Sydney, NSW, May 2015

"I found the people in Mongolia especially friendly & I love the time we spent there. One guide that went out of his way to show us his culture in Ulaanbaator, as an extra he came & pick us up in his own car to go to an amazing concert of Mongolian singing, dancing & playing an amazing array of traditional musical instruments. " — Jill, Melbourne, Vic , May 2015

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