Travel on the world's finest railway from Russia to China

Come along on an awe-inspiring adventure traversing three great nations - Russia, Mongolia and China. From the opulence of Moscow and St Petersburg to the grace of imperial Beijing, travel along the most famous railway in the world through the heartland of Siberia and the vast grassy steppe of Mongolia - this trip showcases rail travel at its finest.

Start
St Petersburg, Russia
Finish
Beijing, China
Countries
China,
Mongolia,
Russia
Themes
Explorer
Code
WBSB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
855kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Lose yourself in the lavish architecture of St Petersburg
  • Explore the cute cottages and crumbling cathedrals of Suzdal
  • Stop in and see Lenin in his Moscow mausoleum
  • Unwind and watch the world go by aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Savour Siberian hospitality on a Lake Baikal homestay
  • Journey across the vast grasslands of Mongolia
  • Wander through the immense no longer Forbidden City
  • Meet a whirlwind of activity in busy Beijing

Itinerary

Also known as The Venice of the North, St Petersburg is one of Europe’s most compelling cities. With its baroque architecture, opulent palaces, sprawling squares and a series of crisscrossing rivers and canals, it’s easy to see why St Petersburg is considered the jewel in modern Russia’s crown. Spend the afternoon exploring before a group welcome meeting in the evening.
After a guided walk of the city, the afternoon is yours to explore. Perhaps visit the Orthodox Church on the Spilled Blood, named so after the attempt to assassinate Tsar Alexander II here in 1881, or visit Peter the Great’s ghoulish collection of curiosities at the Kunstamera. In the evening, enjoy a plate of blini or a few glasses of vodka.
Take the opportunity to stretch your legs before we board the overnight train this evening. Why not check out the enormous collection of art at the State Hermitage Museum or catch a matinee at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Part of Russia’s Golden Ring, Suzdal still retains much of its Soviet-era charm. Go on a guided walk along the town’s narrow winding lanes, past monasteries, cathedrals and decorated wooden cottages, before relaxing with a glass of honey mead on the riverbanks.
Transfer to the vibrant city of Moscow. With a history of great revolutions and political intrigue, spend some time discovering some of the city’s many secrets. Perhaps visit Victory Hill, the site where the Russians overcame Napoleon in 1812. Completed in the mid-nineties, the park contains chapels, statues, obelisks and over 1,400 fountains, one for each day of the Great Patriotic War.
Visit Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum and the Kremlin with a local guide. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible had the architects of St Basil’s Cathedral blinded so they couldn’t build anything as beautiful again. Afterwards, visit Lenin’s Mausoleum.
Settle in and enjoy the next three days aboard the famous Trans-Siberian railway.
Head to the world's largest freshwater lake, Baikal. Stay on Baikal's tranquil banks for a firsthand experience of life in remote, provincial Russia. While here, why not get steamy in a traditional Russian sauna.
Enjoy a free day exploring the lake and its surrounds at your own pace. Go swimming (if it’s not too cold), hike to lookout points in the surrounding hills or relax by the lake with a book. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Siberian meal at the guesthouse.
Explore the historic streets of this former boomtown. Visit the former home of Maria Volkonsky, wander past the town’s original wooden houses and stop off at the Central Market to sample the huge array of local produce and pick up supplies for the next train journey.
A true Intrepid destination, UB (as it’s affectionately known) is a city where you’ll find elderly Mongolians in traditional dress, business suit-clad entrepreneurs and young monks. Visit a ger district on the outskirts of town to learn more about these communities, enjoying a cup of tea with some of the residents.
Rolling green meadows, thick forest and spectacular rock formations all make up this incredible national park. Hike to a Buddhist retreat before spending the night in a ger camp. Tonight, learn how to make buuz – traditional Mongolian dumplings.
Stop at the imposing Genghis Khan Monument, dedicated to the Mongolian warrior who conquered more than half of the known world in the 13th century. Enjoy some free time on returning to UB, perhaps visiting Mongolia’s largest active monastery or watching a traditional contortion performance.
Stock up on supplies before embarking on the next leg of our train journey to Beijing. Say goodbye to the relative time warp of Mongolia, get comfortable and watch the scenery change from rolling green meadows to rocky desert to the built-up modernity of the city.
After a quick freshen up at the hotel, get out onto the streets of Beijing and experience China’s contemporary culture. Perhaps visit Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world, or head to the Temple of Heaven Park to see tai chi demonstrations, kite-flying and traditional dance performances.
Our Trans-Mongolian adventure ends this morning.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport
Boat, Bus, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Train
Accommodation
Ger (1 night), Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (8 nights), Overnight sleeper train (8 nights)
Included activities
  • Bolshoye Goloustnoye - Banya (Russian sauna)
  • Ger Camp - Cooking class
  • Ger Camp - Terelj National Park
  • Irkutsk - Decembrists Museum
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
  • Moscow - Lenin's Mausoleum
  • Suzdal - Russian Meal and Traditional Pastry Baking Demonstration
  • Terelj National Park - Chinghis Khan Monument
  • Ulaanbaatar - Ger district walking tour

Dates

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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.

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Reviews

Our Trans-Mongolian Experience trips score an average of 4.84 out of 5 based on 32 reviews in the last year.

Trans-Mongolian Experience , September 2015

Trans-Mongolian Experience , July 2015