Trans-Siberian: Moscow - Beijing

The Trans-Siberian Railroad Aboard the Tsar’s Gold Train

16-Day Railroad Journey from Moscow Through Mongolia to Beijing

Map Eastbound

Day 1: Welcome to Moscow

You are greeted at the airport by your friendly tour director and accompanied to your hotel. Our “City of Lights” tour shows you around the exquisitely illuminated Russian capital. You notice that Moscow is clearly on a par with Europe’s other great metropolitan cities such as Madrid and Paris. You stroll across the famous Red Square with your travel director and take a short trip on the underground to view several of Moscow’s particularly beautiful metro stations. Afterwards, you retire to the comfort of your 4-star hotel. You spend the night in a Moscow hotel. Dinner is included. (D)

Day 2: Moscow from its most beautiful side

In the morning you take an informative tour of Moscow, including the imposing grounds the Kremlin and its magnificent cathedral from tsarist times. Toward evening, you are greeted aboard your private train prior to departure. A relaxed get-together in the dinning car offers the chance to meet your fellow travellers and learn more details about your private train. You spend the night aboard the train. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. (BLD)

Day 3: Kazan

In the morning you arrive in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. You take a tour of the Kazan Kremlin (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage) with its wonderful panoramic view over the Volga, where you learn about the turbulent history of the relationship between the Tatars, the Cossacks, and the Russians. Your train resumes its journey eastwards in the evening. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 4: Yekaterinburg

Your train stops around noon in Yekaterinburg, the historical capital of the Urals. The city is remembered as the place where the Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in 1918. During a brief tour you see the Cathedral of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, which was built in 2003 in commemoration of that tragic historic event, and the city centre so attractively restored in 2009. Back on board, you continue on your journey through the vast steppes of western Siberia. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 5: Novosibirsk

You arrive in Novosibirsk, the heart of Siberia, where you are welcomed in the traditional Russian fashion with bread and salt. During a short city tour, you experience the most Soviet of all cities during your journey. You see the enormous Trans-Siberian Monument and the mighty Ob River. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 6: Trans-Siberia

Your train crosses the wide Yenisei River and rolls on through Siberia. The train’s chefs once again demonstrate their skills as they serve the guests Russian specialties in a “tsar’s feast”. A vodka tasting accompanied by clever toasts offers you a very enjoyable opportunity to combine pleasure and Russian hospitality. Your train passes by villages with their typical wooden houses and through birch forests set against a background of impressive mountainscapes and, hopefully, ample sunshine. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 7: Irkutsk

Today your train reaches Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia in tsarist times. During your city tour you see, among other things, the picturesque Siberian wooden houses and a memorial to Tsar Alexander III (the initiator of the Tran-Siberian Railway), which was erected in 2003 where the Trans-Sib Obelisk previously stood. After lunch you take an excursion to an informative open-air museum with a focus on life and work in historical Siberia. You spend the night in a 4 star hotel in Irkutsk. (BLD)

Day 8: Lake Baikal

Today you drive by bus to Listvyanka, a Siberian village on the shores of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of non-frozen freshwater in the world. From the village, a boat brings you across the lake’s deep waters to Port Baikal, where your private train is waiting. You then travel for several hours directly alongside Lake Baikal, on the original route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Your train halts for several hours at a particularly scenic spot, for you to truly enjoy the majestic calm of this unique natural wonder. Dinner is served as a picnic on the shores of Lake Baikal, weather permitting. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 9: From Lake Baikal to Ulan Ude and on to Mongolia

The journey continues along the banks of the seemingly endless Lake Baikal and then through the splendid Selenga Valley and the wild solitude of eastern Siberia’s mountainous steppes. You take a tour of Ulan Ude during an intermediate stop there. Border formalities at the Russian-Mongolian border are an easy matter carried out on board. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 10: Ulan Bator

Today, early-risers are treated to central Mongolia’s spectacular scenery, set in a mountain landscape dotted with colourful yurt camps and inhabited by solitary riders on horseback. In the morning you arrive in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. As always, you can leave your large luggage safely in your compartment. During your city tour you see the impressive Gandan Buddhist Monastery and the odd Choijin Lama Temple, among other things. Beer gardens are very popular in Mongolia, and your evening includes a visit to the city’s best. Afterwards, you have the unique chance to attend a performance of traditional Mongolian folk arts, including throat singing, horse-headed fiddle playing, national costumes, and dances (tickets are € 14/ $ 15, to be paid on site). You spend the night in a 4 star hotel in Ulaanbaatar. (BLD) On request, we can organise alternative lodging in a yurt in the beautiful landscape of the Mongolian Alps (supplement € 35/ $ 40). This is a rare experience and a dream come true for nature lovers.

Day 11: Ulan Bator and the Mongolian Alps

After breakfast a bus brings you to Terelj National Park, east of Ulan Bator. Here you get to see the nomadic herdsmen’s exotic settlements of tradition tents, horse herds, and scraggly yaks, a type of wild Tibetan cattle. A small Mongolian horse-riding demonstration is put on especially for you and you enjoy a picnic lunch served in these splendid surroundings. In the evening you continue on aboard your train towards China. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 12: Crossing the Gobi Desert

Around noon, you arrive at the Mongolian-Chinese border, where your chartered Chinese train is waiting. The Russian private train cannot continue towards Beijing because of the different track gauge in China. Your train reaches the Chinese capital in approximately 16 hours. The Chinese train does not include wagons in the Nostalgic Comfort or Bolshoi categories. You spend the night aboard the train. (BLD)

Day 13: Beijing

You arrive in the hustle and bustle of Beijing in the morning. After transferring to your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please. You spend the night in a hotel in Beijing (4-star). (BL)

Day 14: Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square

A tour lasting several hours takes you to Beijing’s most beautiful and important sights, including the photogenic Temple of Heaven with its park, the huge Tiananmen Square, and some of the city’s contemporary architectural achievements, such as the new “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium and several futuristic sky scrapers. In the afternoon, you are able to enter the Forbidden City, the former imperial palace, and view its numerous temples and halls. You spend the night in your Beijing hotel. (BL)

Day 15: The Great Wall of China and Peking Duck

Your tour today takes you to the Great Wall, the eighth wonder of the world. The giant wall extends for more than 6000 km through the countryside. On the way you visit the Ming Tombs, the burial site of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors, with its impressive Spirit Way. In the evening you enjoy a farewell dinner of world-renowned Peking Duck. You spend the night in your Beijing hotel. (BLD)

Day 16: Departure from Beijing for home

After breakfast, you transfer to the airport. (B)