Travel from Beijing to St Petersburg via Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Big, bigger, biggest! Travel from the world’s greatest wall, along the world’s longest railway line, through the world’s largest nation, to the world’s deepest freshwater lake. Explore far-flung cities, small rural villages and everything in between in this breathtaking part of the world. Journey to China and see the sights of Beijing, stay overnight in a Mongolian ger, then ride the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia to see impressive St Petersburg and the small town of Kungur. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of this region on this exciting trip, while gaining insight into a big part of the world that is little explored.

Start
Beijing, China
Finish
St Petersburg, Russia
Countries
Themes
Explorer
Code
CBSQC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
896kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Delve into the delights of buzzing Beijing
  • Get acquainted with Genghis Khan in Ulaanbaatar
  • Take in the awe-inspiring scenery of Terelj National Park
  • Explore an Old Believers village in Ulan-Ude
  • Relax on the banks of Lake Baikal
  • Ride the epic Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Visit the sobering museum of Perm-36
  • Journey to the Red Square in Moscow
  • Marvel at the beauty of St Petersburg

Itinerary

Welcome to the irrepressible capital of China. If you'd like to explore Beijing's myriad incredible sights, we'd recommend arriving a few days earlier to witness places like the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China.
Board a train and head for the Chinese border and Mongolia. This is the first leg on this epic journey that takes you across 9,000 km to St Petersburg.
Spend a day in Mongolia’s capital city. Visit the Intellectual Museum and perhaps take in a show to enjoy the rich Mongolian culture of traditional song, dance and contortion.
Leave town for Terelj National Park today. Enjoy lush surrounds and traditional Mongolian customs and culture and visit a community project that supports disadvantaged children. Hike out to a Buddhist retreat and spend the evening in a traditional ger camp. Learn how to make buuz (Mongolian dumplings) for dinner.
Return to Ulaanbaatar after breakfast and perhaps visit the active monastery of Gandan Khiid to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. Why not head out on the town this evening and soak up the lively music scene at a local bar.
Board the legendary Trans-Mongolian Railway to travel across the border into Russia and Siberia.
Visit the local church and ethnography museum, attend a concert of folk songs and games, and enjoy a meal of timelessly tasty home-cooked dishes.
Enjoy a stay by the world’s deepest, oldest and largest fresh water lake. There’s the option to enjoy a range of recreational activities. Make sure you take time to sample the local fish, omul, which is enjoyed smoked or roasted.
Today is a free day to enjoy the lake and its surrounds. Don’t miss the experience of taking a traditional sauna (banya); the lake provides the perfect cooling off spot.
Head back to Ulan Ude and board a train for the first of three nights aboard the scenic Trans-Siberian Railway en route to Kungur.
The route of the famed Trans-Siberian Railway covers vast terrain, crosses the taiga and travels through five time zones on its way from Asia to Europe. Watch the world go by and relax on this famous locomotive.
Break up the journey with a stop in tranquil Kungur, home to an onion-domed skyline and an abundance of beautiful natural landscapes. See one of the world's biggest ice caves, which is permanently frozen all year round.
If possible, visit the Perm-36 Memorial Complex, which was once a notorious forced labour camp. Then board the overnight train to Moscow.
Wander the streets of Moscow, Russia's capital, and take in the famous Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral and the magnificent Kremlin. Visit the Armoury Museum and Lenin's Mausoleum for a dose of history.
Learn why the city of Moscow is one of the greatest capitals in the world - a place where old-world orthodoxy meets audacious free enterprise. Explore the Kremlin and witness its huge collection of imperial treasures, including exquisite Faberge eggs and ceremonial regalia. Walk among the cathedrals and museums within the Kremlin walls and get a glimpse of Lenin in his eternal resting state. While here, be sure to visit Moscow's metro stations - these lavishly decorated 'Palaces of the People' are unlike any others in the world.
Russia’s former royal capital feels like a fairytale with its brightly coloured onion domes dotting the landscape and cathedral bells ringing out in the streets. Spend some time exploring the narrow streets and wandering past old churches and wooden cottages. Tonight, enjoy a hearty meal in the home of one of our local friends.
Stretch your legs on a local-led guided walk of the town, visiting the Suzdal Kremlin, Museum of Wooden Architecture and old trading square. Afterwards, take the high-speed train to Moscow and spend the evening exploring at your leisure. Wander around the famous Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral by night, then indulge in some traditional Russian cuisine in one of the many nearby restaurants.
Explore the famous Kremlin grounds, residence of former tsars and tsarinas and home to some of the most important churches in the country. Visit the Armoury Museum to see the glittering collection of regalia from the world’s richest monarchy, including the confounding Imperial Faberge eggs.
Descend upon the oldest city in Russia and see how well-preserved architectural treasures linger as echoes of medieval times. Travel back in time with a visit to the Millennium of Russia monument and the Cathedral of St Sophia, both concealed within the walls of Novgorod’s riverside Kremlin. Join locals for a refreshing steam at the public banya (bath house) - no trip to Russia would be complete without experiencing this quirky custom.
Travel to St Petersburg and join a guided tour to hear tales about the colourful characters who are associated with each historical attraction in the city. Later, be a special guest of a local family for a Russian tea party. Perhaps spy famous works of art in the Hermitage Museum or, for a dose of mystery and intrigue, visit the Kunstkamera, home to a collection of Peter the Great's ghoulish oddities.
Built on 42 islands, St Petersburg is also known as the ‘Venice of the North’. Spend the day exploring the city, crossing its many rivers and canals at your own pace. Perhaps enjoy incredible views across the city from the colonnade at St Isaac’s Cathedra, or walk along Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg’s main street. Feeling artistic? Give life to a family of matryoshka dolls in a painting workshop. In the evening, seek out a cosy restaurant for golubsty (a rice and beef mix, rolled in cabbage leaves), potato dumplings or some sweet blinis washed down with a few glasses of vodka.
Your tour of Russia’s highlights ends this morning.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport
Bus, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train, Train (bullet)
Accommodation
Ger (1 night), Guesthouse (3 nights), Hotel (11 nights), Overnight sleeper train (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Ger Camp - Cooking class
  • Ger Camp - Terelj National Park
  • Kungur - Family visit
  • Kungur - Guided walking tour
  • Lake Baikal - Banya (Russian sauna)
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
  • Moscow - Lenin's Mausoleum
  • Novgorod - Walking Tour & Kremlin
  • St Petersburg - Tea party with local family
  • Terelj National Park - Chinghis Khan Monument
  • Ulan Ude - Old Believers Village

Dates

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Important notes

1. Please provide Intrepid or your booking agent with a scanned copy of the personal details page from your passport at time of booking in order for us to obtain your train tickets.
2. Please note a Single Supplement is available to book at an extra cost. Please note single rooms are not available on overnight train journeys, home-stays or Ger camps.
3. Due to international train schedules there are no departures of this trip that will be in Mongolia during Naadam Festival in 2015.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Beijing to St Petersburg trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.

Beijing to St Petersburg , September 2015

Beijing to St Petersburg , September 2015