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Trans-mongolian Moscow - Beijing 16 days

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Trans-siberian trip from Moscow to Beijing 16 days

Duration: 16 days / 15 nights

Itinerary: MoscowIrkutsk – Listvyanka / Lake BaikalUlaanbaatar – Terelj national park – Beijing

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

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

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

Program Prices & Services Booking & Enquiry

Travel program day by day

Day 1
Arrive in Moscow and meet your guide at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Take the rest of the day for yourself to explore Moscow and get a first taste of Russia. In the evening, see the famous Bolshoi ballet, a concert, an opera or the famous Moscow Circus. Tickets on request (not included). Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 2
Guided city tour of Moscow’s most famous sights including the Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the GUM department store, the Pushkin Museum or Novodevichy Convent. Do some shopping in Moscow’s pedestrian Arbat Street in the afternoon. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 3
Free time in the morning. Transfer to the train station and departure towards Irkutsk in the afternoon. Watch Vladimir, Nizhni Novgorod (formerly Gorky), Perm, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk and endless forests fly by your window and soak up the Trans-Siberian Railway atmosphere. Get snacks from the local vendors at one of the many stops or enjoy a meal in the train’s dining car. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 4
On board of the trans-siberian railway train. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 5
On board of the trans-siberian railway train. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 6
After 87 hours and 5191 km, arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to the village of Listvyanka, a traditional Siberian fisher village on the shore of lake Baikal. Enjoy the rest of the day for some exploring around the shores of the lake, you may even want to take a dip in the icy water. You will sleep in a typical wooden Siberian Chalet and have the chance to enjoy a Russian banya (sauna, on request, not included).

Day 7
After breakfast in wild nature, embark on a stroll around the village where you will visit the church of St. Nicolas, walk to Chersky viewing point where you can enjoy a fabulous view (if clear weather) of the lake and the Angara-River. A visit to the Limnological Institute will reveal many of the lakes mysteries. You will also visit a small traditional fisher-market where you can taste smoked fish. Accommodation at the wooden chalet. If you are traveling during winter, you might want to sleep in a cozy tent on frozen Lake Baikal.

Day 8
Mid-day transfer to Irkutsk and a visit to the Museum of Wooden Architecture, an open-air museum that brings back Russian village life from the 16th – 19th centuries. In Irkutsk you will be taken to a City Tour to see the city’s main highlights, such as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Polish Church (the only Gothic building in Siberia), the Decembrist’s Memorial Complex or the Irkutsk Regional Museum. After the tour, take some time to shop or wander around the beautiful city of Irkutsk and its local market. Departure to Ulaanbaatar in the evening. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 9
Enjoy the view as the train hugs the shore of Lake Baikal and crosses Ulan-Ude and the Republic of Buryatia to reach the Russian-Mongolian border. After the border, prepare yourself for a new country and a new culture. Overnight on board of the train.

Day 10
After arrival in Ulaanbaatar early in the morning, direct 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) and enjoy a hike in the hills. Visit of Turtle rock and Buddhist Hanging Temple.

Day 11
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 to the hotel in the city centre. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the various attractions of the city. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12
After breakfast, you’ll be taken on a sightseeing tour through the city, with stops at Sukhbaatar Square, the Bogdo Khan Palace, the former home of the first Mongolian Dalai Lama, the Zaisan Memorial with its panoramic views, the Buddhist Ganden and Choizhin Monasteries, and the Natural Science Museum with its famous dinosaur skeletons. In the evening, enjoy a stunning Mongolian theatre and performance. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 13
In the morning catch the train to Beijing. Jaw-dropping landscapes in the Gobi desert will keep your eyes glued to the window. You will have to stop at the border station at Erlyan to change boogies to adapt to the narrower train tracks used in China. Before you reach Beijing you’ll see plenty of rice paddies and ride right by the Great Wall of China. Accommodation on board of the train.

Day 14
Arrival in Beijing around midday. Beijing is the final destination of your railway journey that has led you across two continents. It is home to millions of small shops and street traders, the place to shop for souvenirs and bargains, and the last opportunity to taste the delicious Chinese food in all its variations. With your local guide, you will visit the Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square and the Hutongs, the traditional old city in Beijing where you can hop an a Rick-shaw and visit a local family. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 15
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 16
Transfer at the Airport and flight back home.

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 before starting 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 6-7 travelers 8-9 travelers 10 travelers
2nd class (4-berth-Sleeper) 3985€ 2795€ 2495€ 2195€ 2175€ 1965€

Supplementary costs (optional):

  • Train 1st. class (2-berth-Sleeper) sup.: 500€
  • Hotel Single sup.: 300€
  • Boat trip in Listvyanka: 50€
  • Kung Fu Show (theatre) in Beijing (including transfers): 45€
  • Beijing Duck Dinner in Beijing: 50€

Included:

  • Train tickets (1st or 2nd class)
  • All transfers
  • 6 overnights on board of the train
  • 6 overnights in 3-4-star hotels, double room with shower/bath, incl. breakfast
  • 2 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

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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 information

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 Moscow, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing (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 railway.

Further trans-siberian tour examples: