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Trans-mongolian Moscow - Beijing 16 days

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Trans-Siberian trip from Beijing to Moscow 16 days

Duration: 16 days / 15 nights

Itinerary: BeijingUlaanbaatar – Terelj national park – Irkutsk – Listvyanka / Lake BaikalMoscow

Season: All year round, best time from May until October. Starting days (day 1) on Wednesdays or Saturdays to follow this itinerary.

Highlights: Trans-Siberian train experience, Forbidden City in Beijing, train ride through the Gobi desert and along the Great wall, visit of a Mongolian nomadic family, Lake Baikal, Kremlin in Moscow, Bolshoi theatre.

This itinerary is flexible and can be adapted to your needs. Please let us know if you need an individualized quote.

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Your journey

In May 1891, the construction of the World’s longest and most difficult to build railway was started after years of controversy amongst the Czars: the Trans-Siberian railroad. The link between Moscow and Vladivostok, some 6.000 miles apart, was completed 14 years later employing a labour force of over 90.000. Ever since the rail service linking Europe with the Far East was established at the turn of last century, foreign travellers and adventurers have been fascinated by this great journey and crossed Siberia to reach the Pacific or China. Across the Ural mountains to Siberia, through towns that were built along the rails into the Mongolian steps and Gobi desert, the Trans-Siberian journey offers a great opportunity to experience an unforgettable journey. You will meet local people and learn about their culture and way of life and be part of it. You may find yourself draining a bottle of vodka with a Russian soldier in exchange to a piece of chocolate, or discussing business and politics with Mongolian traders on the train. Meeting point on the train is the dining car where borscht and fish with lots of potatoes and cabbage is served.

Every journey begins with a first step. Your journey – of course – with a first kilometre on railroad. An unforgettable adventure with the Trans-Siberian Railway is awaiting you. Discover vibrant cities, marvel at the endless vastness and impressing variety of the beautiful nature. Dive into the traditions and culture of the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese people. Go on a trip of your lifetime!

Travel program day by day

Day 1
Arrival in Beijing. Transfer to your hotel. Beijing is home to millions of small shops and street traders, the place to shop for souvenirs and bargains. Enjoy your first opportunity to wander explore the streets and to taste the delicious Chinese food in all its variations. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 2
After breakfast, you will visit the Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square and the Hutongs, the traditional old city in Beijing where you can hop an a Rickshaw and visit a local family with your local guide. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 3
After breakfast, your guide will take you to one of the most powerful symbols of ancient Chinese civilization – the Great Wall of China, stretching 6,350 km. It took more than one million people and ten years to build the Great Wall of China, designed as a defensive structure. In 1987 it was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. You will visit the less crowded Mutianyu section. A cable car takes you to a good section (avoiding a very steep climb), where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can return by cable car, walk down or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather. The second part of the trip will take you to the Temple of Heaven. Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, the Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of pray for good harvests. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast, you will board the famous Trans-Mongolian train direction Ulaanbaatar. You will follow the great wall and have a magnificent view of the Gobi desert. Enter into a new culture, welcome to Mongolia. Food can be bought at the restaurant carriage. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 5
After arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will explore the historic city with your local guide. Amongst other places, you will visit the palace of Bogdo Khan and the Gandan abbey. After the tour, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a famous and very high quality folklore show in the evening including the famous throat singing. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 6
Transfer to Terelj National Park, home to goats and yaks that hungrily munch away on the edelweiss growing on the alpine pastures. Your local guide will introduce you to the Nomadic way of life of still many Mongolians today. On a jeep, you will travel to a Mountain Camp in a remote area at Terelj National Park, one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world, where you will sleep in gers (traditional but modern Mongolian yurt, full board included) and enjoy a hike in the hills. Visit of Turtle rock and Buddhist Hanging Temple.

Day 7
In the morning, you can explore the surroundings on a ride through the grasslands. You will also visit a Mongolian family living in gers at their Summer place, where you can taste local meals. In the afternoon, transfer back to Ulaanbaatar and boarding of the train direction Irkutsk. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 8
Morning arrival in Irkutsk and transfer to your hotel. Irkutsk is also called ‘Paris’ of Siberia for its pulsing street life and people’s elegant clothes. Still a major trade centre for furs, Irkutsk enjoys today a certain economic wealth. Short but hot summers and very cold winters, however, make life here a real challenge. During a tour of Irkutsk, your guide will tell you about the development of this Siberian city’s evolution and shows the most interesting sights and peculiar features of one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. You will see beautiful Russian Orthodox churches, a Polish Cathedral (the only Siberian Gothic-style building), many wooden houses or cabins that are decorated with “wooden laces” (hand-made carvings) as well as modern constructions of the 20th century and visit the Decembrist House. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 9
After breakfast, transfer to Listvyanka, a small fisher village on the shore of lake Baikal. On a stroll around the village you will visit the church of St. Nicolas, walk to Chersky viewing point where you can enjoy a fabulous view on the lake and the Angara-River (if clear weather) and visit the Limnological museum (Baikal museum). Your home is a typical Siberian wooden chalet near the lake where local food will be prepared by your host. A Russian steam bath right on the shore of the lake invites to experience a typical Russian sauna (optional, not included).

Day 10
The morning is at your leisure. You can also book a boat trip on the lake Baikal (not included if less than 4 persons). You will leave Listvyanka around midday and visit the Wooden Architecture Museum of Tsaltsy on the way back to Irkutsk, where typically old churches, shaman houses and a fortress have been rebuilt in original style. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 11
In the morning, catch the train direction Moscow. The whole day on the Trans-Siberian train passing various villages alongside countless birch- and broadleaf forests. Enough time to enjoy a cup of hot tea from the samovar, to read, talk and relax. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 12
Whole day and overnight on board of the Trans-Siberian train.

Day 13
Whole day and overnight on board of the Trans-Siberian train.

Day 14
Morning arrival in Moscow, Russia’s bustling capital. Transfer to your hotel. Afterwards, city tour of Moscow’s famous sights including the Red Square, Basilius cathedral, GUM, Novodevichy Convent, the ancient KGB buildings, the Lenin state library and the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU). Visit the Kremlin – a symbol of power and might of the vast Russian lands – with it’s impressive churches and the Armoury Chamber on the Kremlin grounds which contains a unique collection of Royal Russian and international jewellery including thrones, crowns, carriages, costumes, gold and silverware, all lavishly studded with precious stones. Optional in the evening: visit of a ballet, concert, opera or the famous Moscow Circus. Tickets on request (not included). Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 15
After breakfast, visit the famous Arbat street, Moscow’s lively pedestrian area to do some shopping, discover the Moscow metro, famous for its palatial marble stations with mosaics, chandeliers and precious materials and marvel at the great collection of Russian fine art at Tretyakov-Gallery. Optional in the evening: visit of a ballet, concert, opera or the famous Moscow Circus. Tickets on request (not included). Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 16
Depending on your departure time, you will have some time to enjoy the city on your own. Transfer to the airport.
 

Tour option White Nights in St. Petersburg:
The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun, from end of May until Mid-July. It consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors, as well as famous international guest stars. The Scarlet Sails celebration is the culmination of the White Nights season, the largest public event anywhere in Russia with the annual estimated attendance about one million people. Book a few days St. Petersburg after finishing your Trans-Siberian trip in Moscow.

Naadam-Festival:
The Naadam Festival runs each year from July 11th to 13th and is a major Mongolian holiday which celebrates the independence of the country. It is a wonderful time to experience the culture and people of this amazing land. The opening ceremony features marches and music from soldiers, monks and athletes before the real fun begins. Watch the competitions in the three traditional Mongolian sports of wrestling, horse racing and archery. There’s also plenty to see and to do outside: Food, music, crafts and real party atmosphere.

Prices per person (may vary depending on the season)

Group size 1 traveler 2-3 travelers 4-5 travelers 6-9 travelers 10 travelers
2nd class (4-berth-Sleeper) 3850€ 2850€ 2525€ 2350€ 2190€

 

Supplementary costs (optional):

Hotel Single sup. : 350€
Train 1cl. (2 berth bed cabin): 550€
Boat trip on lake Baikal if less than 4 persons: 50€
Kung fu Show (including transfers) in Beijing: 45€
Beijing Duck Dinner in Beijing: 50€

Included:

  • Train tickets (1st or 2nd class)
  • All transfers
  • 6 overnights on board of the train
  • 7 overnights in 3-4-star hotels, double room with shower/bath, incl. breakfast
  • 1 nights in a traditional Siberian wooden chalet, double room with shower, incl. full board
  • 1 night in a traditional Mongolian yurt, double room, private (if available) or shared bathroom, incl. full board
  • Guided visits to sights and landmarks mentioned in the program with a local english-speaking guide including all entries and fees in each city
  • Included meals: Breakfast in all hotels, full board in Listvyanka and Terelj National Park, all lunches in Beijing
  • Visa invitations and documentation to get the visa for Russia, Mongolia and China
  • Travel documentation
  • Assistance of our partners in case of emergency in each city

Not included:

  • International flights: Depending your itinerary and departure city, we will be happy to assist you to find the best flight tickets to reach your destination and return.
  • Visa consular fee: visit the website of your local consulates for details
  • Meals unless mentioned
  • Tips and personal expenses

Contact for reservation

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Preparation for your Trans-Siberian railway trip

To prepare your Trans-Siberian journey we are going to send you more details about all details latest 1 month prior to departure. We recommend taking a backpack or trolley bag with you as it is more comfortable than a suitcase and fits better into the storage space in the train. However, you will never need to walk longer than a few minutes with your luggage. Please check our list of what to take on your Trans-Siberian journey. No specific physical health and fitness is required, the most important part is to be prepared mentally and culturally for the many different people and cultures you are going to meet. For that reason, we suggest reading about Russia, Mongolia or China in advance. We have a collection of titles in our online bookstore that we can highly recommend. A must for all Trans-Siberian travellers is the Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, Athol Yates and Tatyana Pozar-Burgar.

General informations

Traveling in Russia, Mongolia and China requires patience and a sense for adventure. It is, however, safe to travel. We have encountered many anecdotal issues during the journeys in the past 20 years we have been organizing guided tours in Russia. Even though the situations were bizarre sometimes, these experiences have made our trips truly unforgettable and have given us a true approach to all those different ways of thinking. We have sent over 150 people on our tours each year so far, from 17 years old students to senior managing directors and even a retired 80 year-old lady made it safely. So, why don’t you join us for this life-enhancing experience?

About the trains

We book original authentic Trans-Siberian Railway trains (local Russian, Mongolian or Chinese trains). All trains are different depending on the route, which means comfort in 1st and 2nd class, cleanliness and friendliness of the train staff vary from train to train. We can’t be held responsible for any inconvenience on the train as we don’t have any influence on trains and employees of the Trans-Siberian Railway company.

For our travel program, we choose the trains with the best suitable arrival and departure time in each city. If you would like to book 1st class, please note the following:

1st class compartments are not always available, especially in high season, due to limited number of 1st class cabins and a high volume of travellers. Also, not all segments provide trains with 1st class wagons. We will do our best do secure a 1st class cabin for you. However, if there are not enough 1st class tickets available or a train doesn’t have 1st class, we will book an entire 2nd class cabin for you to ensure your privacy. Space and comfort of the cabins as well as comfort of bathrooms in 1st and 2nd class are basically the same.

A train ride with the Trans-Siberian is something special and mythical for the flexible and adventurous traveller who likes to enjoy the original and authentic Trans Siberian train ride. In the age of modernisation and high-speed trains, this authentic experience might not be available anymore in 10 years.

Information about your guide

You will be guided around by local guides in Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal and Moscow (natives from the respective cities), they will explain all details about culture, history, and the daily life of “their” cities. This is a unique opportunity to get to know Russia, Mongolia and China while traveling the Trans-Siberian. We are looking forward to have you on board!

Further trans-siberian tour examples: