14 days and 13 nights
Moscow - Irkutsk - Ulan Bator - Beijing
This tour is a great choice for seeing the highlights of Russia, Mongolia and China. From Golden-Domed Moscow you will continue on to Irkutsk in the heart of Siberian. From there you will visit Lake Baikal – one of the most impressive natural landmarks on earth. Mongolia will greet you with its endless steppes and the Gobi Desert. A highlight will be staying overnight in gers and experiencing a little of what it might be like to be a nomad. Finally, you will reach China and visit the magnificent Great Wall, Ming Tombs and the Forbidden City. Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine.
Moscow, the capital of Russian Federation, is the starting point of your great Trans Siberian journey.
On arrival in Moscow you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. On the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of this truly unique city.
Moscow is the capital and the largest city in Russia as well as the largest metropolitan area in Europe with a population well over 10 million. This amazing city has served as the capital of the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Moscow has had a tumultuous history dating back to medieval times when it was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki (Yuri of the Long Arms, known for the length of his arms!) in the early 12th century. It has seen numerous invasions and sieges from the Mongols to the Poles and Lithuanians to the Crimean Tatars to Napoleon and finally the Nazi’s but it has persevered and today is a thriving metropolis. The city is filled with unique architecture from the Kremlin and Red Square to giant Stalin skyscrapers to new office blocks built during the economic boom of recent years and it contains a strikingly beautiful metro system. The city is the center of political as well as economic power in Russia and visitors can feel the energy in the streets. There is always something going on in Moscow and there is so much to see.
After breakfast at the hotel you will have some free time to become oriented. In the afternoon, you will check out of the hotel and meet with your guide. Your excursion program starts with a city tour by car or minibus.
Panoramic City Tour. This tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with many of the city´s major highlights. Our professional guide will escort you on a route that includes Vorobyevi Hills where you will get an incredible view of the city from an observation point, you will proceed to Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin and one of Russia’s leading schools of higher education, then on to Novodevichiy Convent, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect and much more.
Departure by rail to Irkutsk.
Almost all the cities along the way date back to 11th – 13th centuries. The first city where the train will stop is Vladimir, one of the cities comprising the Golden Ring, famous for its history and beautiful gold-domed churches. The next city is Nizhny Novgorod with its stunning Kremlin set on the banks of the majestic Volga river.
At night you will also pass the Vyatka River, the towns of Kotelnich, Vyatka and Balyezino and then arrive at the foot of the Ural Mountains. In the morning, the train will stop in Perm, an old, Russian city known as a center of ballet and literature. It will then take about 6 hours to travel to Yekaterinburg. The stop is 40 minutes.
On this part of your journey, you will travel through Siberia with its mighty taiga and rivers. The route to Novosibirsk has many stops in scenic small and large towns. Tyumen, Russia’s oil capital, is the first. The next large city is Omsk – another major industrial center. Leaving behind the river Irtysh, you will continue passing through amazing natural surroundings. After crossing the bridge across the Ob River, you will soon arrive in Novosibirsk. The stop is 22 minutes.
This part of Trans Siberian route is considered by many to be the most beautiful. You will understand why just by looking at a map of the region. You will spend almost a whole day on the train, passing the Kam, Chuna, Lya, Oka and Angara rivers. You will also pass the famous Yenisey river with the city of Krasnoyarsk settled on its picturesque banks. The stop is 20 minutes.
In the morning, your train arrives in Irkutsk where our representatives will meet and take you to Lake Baikal, the largest body of fresh water on earth. On the way from Irkutsk, we will make a stop at the Ethnographical museum “Taltsy” consisting of examples of Siberian wooden houses from the past centuries.
We will also make a stop to see the lake from the “Cherskiy Peak” observation point. On arrival to a hotel we will have lunch (optional). This is not the end of the day; we will also visit the Limnological museum, where exhibits of the unique fauna and flora that surround the lake are displayed. There is also an aquarium where you can see different species of local fish and the Baikal nerpa – the earth’s only fresh water seal. And we will visit the functioning St. Nicolas the Miracle-Worker Orthodox Church.
Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world with an average depth of 744.4 m (2,442 ft) and contains roughly 20 percent of the world´s surface fresh water. The body of water is also known as the “Baikal Sea” and the "Pearl of Siberia". At 1,642 meters (5,390 ft) Lake Baikal is the deepest, and among the clearest lakes in the world. At more than 25 million years old, Baikal is also the world´s oldest lake. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to the Buryat people who follow the Tibetan Buddhist religion and reside on the eastern side of the lake rearing goat, camel, cattle and sheep.
After breakfast you will travel by comfortable car or mini bus to Irkutsk where you will drop off your luggage in the luggage room of a hotel and continue on with your tour.
After this you will be taken on a city tour. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Sign (Znamensky Cathedral). Apart from ornate and rich iconostasis, the cathedral is famous for its graveyard where you will see the graves of the Decembrists Mukhanov, Beschasnov, Trubetskoy and the Russian Columbus Shelekhov. We will then proceed to the Museum of the Decembrists. The museum is housed in a mansion belonging to one of the leaders of Decembrist Revolt. The Decembrists were Russian aristocracy who were banished to Siberia after their ill-fated attempt in December 1825 to overthrow the Russian Tsar in favor of a Constitutional regime. The museum evokes the period of 18th century Russia.
Irkutsk began as a small settlement in the mid 17th century for gold-trading and for the collection of the fur tax from the Buryats (the local inhabitants of the area). The settlement officially became a town in 1686 and the first road between Moscow and the new city was built in 1760. With the road construction, many new products, often imported from China, were widely available in Irkutsk for the first time including gold, diamonds, furs, wood, silk and tea. In 1821, Irkutsk became the seat of the Governor-General of East Siberia. In the early 19th century, many Russian officers and nobles were sent into exile in Irkutsk for their part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Due to this influx of individuals from St. Petersburg, Irkutsk became the Siberian center of intellectual and cultural life. By 1900, the city had earned the nickname “The Paris of Siberia.” Today Irkutsk has become a college town with many young people studying at the university and other institutes of higher education in the city.
Your train to Ulan Bator leaves early in the morning. You will spend this day in the train as it runs along the lake’s shore. The views of the lake and the surrounding nature are breathtaking. Later in the day you will cross the Russian-Mongolian border.
Morning arrival in Ulan Bator, you will be greeted by our representatives and the Mongolian part of your journey will begin. After breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer to the National Park "Terelj" (110km) which is situated in a picturesque mountain valley. We will stop at Ovoo, a sacred pile of stones built as a landmark for worship near the mountain pass.
On arrival, you will have lunch. The resort offers a wide range of optional activities (paid separately on the spot) including; archery, horse cart riding and trekking. Dinner will be served in a ger-café and you will spend the night in a ger (the traditional Mongolian nomadic house) in the middle of the endless step.
Next day, after breakfast, we will head back towards Ulan Bator, stopping to visit a nomadic family along the way.
Once back in the capital, you will take a city tour. We will visit the heart of Ulan Bator - Sukhbaatar Square with its statue of Sukhbaatar, the national hero, in the center. We will then leave the square and drive to Gandan Monastery, which was destroyed during Stalin’s rule, but has since been rebuilt. We will have lunch and then continue the tour program to the Natural History Museum, the oldest public museum in Mongolia. The museum includes geological, geographical, biographical, pale ontological and anthropological sections. The most impressive exhibits are the huge skeletons of two dinosaurs found in the Gobi Desert and also nests of dinosaurs’ eggs. The museum also includes examples of the snow leopard, Gobi bear, red wolf and others species of Mongolia.
After the museum, you will have some free time to shop in a real, Mongolian Department store. Dinner is at a local restaurant. You will spend this night in your hotel.
Ulan Bator is Mongolia’s capital and largest city with a population of over 1 million. The city was founded in 1639, initially as a nomadic Buddhist monastic center. In 1778, it settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers. Before that it had changed location 28 times, with each location being chosen ceremonially. By the early 20th century, the city had a population of 25,000, of whom some 10,000 were Buddhist monks or monastery workers. Today, Ulan Bator is the economic and cultural center of the country. The city has a number of noteworthy historical monuments.
After an early breakfast, you will transfer to the railway station to take a train to Beijing at 08.05. The entire day will be spent on the train, admiring the scenic valleys and mountains.
On arrival to Beijing you will be met at the railway station by our Chinese representatives and transfer to your hotel by car or minibus. In the evening you will have free time for walking along the city streets and admiring the surroundings. If you would like recommendations on good places to eat or other activities, don’t hesitate to ask your guide.
Beijing is the capital of China and China’s second largest city after Shanghai with more than 17 million people in the greater Beijing area. Beijing is recognized as the political, educational and cultural center of China while Shanghai and Hong Kong predominate in economic fields. Beijing is one of the world’s greatest cities and has been an integral part of China’s history for centuries - there is scarcely a major building of any age in Beijing that doesn´t have at least some historical significance. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made the city a center of culture and art in China. We are sure that you will enjoy your time here and find the city fascinating.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will begin your sightseeing city tour. This tour is the best way to see the main highlights of Beijing which include the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City lies in the very heart of Beijing. Built between 1406 and 1420, this palace served as the home of China´s emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for five centuries - from 1406 until 1908. The palace consists of 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. The palace is considered to be the largest palace in the world and one of mankind’s major cultural heritage sites.
After the city tour, we will head off to one of the most powerful symbols of ancient Chinese civilization – the Great Wall, stretching 6,350 km. The Great Wall was built as a defensive structure. Construction began during a very unstable time in Chinese history, the warring period of 476 - 221 B.C. In the beginning, walls were built at strategic points by different kingdoms to protect their own territories. After the first Emperor Qin Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty unified China in 221 B.C., he decided to have the individual walls joined together in order to create one Great Wall. It took more than 1 million people and more than 10 years to finish the work. In 1987, the Great Wall was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After time at the wall, we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
The second part of the excursion will take you to the Ming Tombs. The Ming Tombs are a group of mausoleums built for 13 Ming emperors, their empresses and their concubines. The tombs are located about 31 miles north of Beijing over an area of 25 square miles. Two of the tombs, Changling and the most famous, Dingling, an underground palace, are open to the public.
After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport. This ends your Trans-Siberian journey. We hope that you had a wonderful time and we look forward to welcoming you back to this region of the world sometime in the future!
These sights are included into the standard package:
The Ming Tombs are a group of mausoleums built for 13 Ming emperors, their empresses and their concubines. The tombs are located about 31 miles north of Beijing over an area of 25 square miles. Two of the tombs, Changling and the most famous, Dingling, an underground palace, are open to the public.
Stretching 6,350 km, the Great Wall was built as a defensive structure. Construction began during a very unstable time of Chinese history, the warring period of 476 - 221 B.C. In the beginning, walls were built at strategic points by different kingdoms to protect their own territories. After the first Emperor Qin Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty unified China in 221 B.C., he decided to have the individual walls joined together in order to create one Great Wall. It took more than 1 million people and more than 10 years to finish the work. In 1987, the Great Wall was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Forbidden City lies in the very heart of Beijing. Built between 1406 and 1420, this palace served as the home of ChinaÂ´s emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for five centuries - from 1406 until 1908. The palace consists of 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. The palace is considered to be the largest palace in the world and one of mankindâ€™s major cultural heritage sites.
This architectural and ethnographic museum opened its doors to the public in 1980. On the territory of 67 hectares there are over 40 architectural monuments (fortress wall, churches, barns, water mills, parish school, peasant houses) and over 8,000 exhibits that tell about life in the Siberian villages XVII-XIX centuries. The museum often hosts folk festivals, and is also often used by filmmakers because of its authentic look.
The museum is housed in a mansion belonging to one of the leaders of Decembrist revolutionaries - these were Russian aristocracy who were banished to Siberia after their ill-fated attempt in December 1825 to overthrow the Russian Tsar in favor of a Constitutional regime. The museum is truly evocative of 19th century Russia.
Apart from ornate and rich iconostasis, the cathedral is famous for its graveyard containing the graves of the Decembrists Mukhanov, Beschasnov, Trubetskaya and the Russian Columbus Shelekhov.
The central city square is home to a statue of Sukhbaatar, the national hero of Mongolia.
Gandan Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in Ulan Bator. In 1944-1990 it was the only functioning Buddhist worship place in Mongolia. At the moment over 150 monks live there. Of special interest is a 26-meter statue of bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Major Moscow highlights include: Vorobyevi Hills with an incredible view of the city from an observation point; Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin; Novodevichiy Convent, the Diplomatic Village, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect, the Arbat and much more.
Listvyanka is a small settlement located on the shore of Lake Baikal. On the way from Irkutsk to Listvyanka there are 3 places of interest. The first is the obo - a sacred place for the local Buryat people. The second is Taltsy - an open air Museum of Russian Wooden Architecture. The third is the famous Shaman Rock (another sacred site) located on the headwaters of the Angara river. Listvyanka is also home to the Church of Saint Nicolas the Wonderworker - the guardian angel of travelers, and the Baikal Ecology Museum with exhibits of the unique fauna and flora that surround the lake. There is also an aquarium which contains different species of local fish and the Baikal nerpa - the earth's only fresh water seal.
|1st class||2nd class|
|3 - 4||$3890||$3245|
|5 - 6||$3767||$3122|
|1st class||2nd class|
|3 - 4||$4162||$3420|
|5 - 6||$4038||$3296|
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy in a specific hotel. You should add single supplement to the price in case you travel in a group but you stay at a single room. We offer discounts for groups of 7 or more. To inquire about group rates, please contact us.
* single compartment in the train is available on request
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 61 days before departure.
61 or more days before departure - a fee equal to 15% of the entire package will be charged.
60-15 days before departure - a fee equal to 30% of the entire package will be charged.
14 days or less before departure or no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.
Join us on Facebook
We invite you to become a fan of our company on Facebook and read Russian news and travel stories. To become a fan, click here.
Join our own Russian Travel, Culture and Literature Club on Facebook. The club was created to be a place for everyone with an interest in Russia to get to know each other and share experiences, stories, pictures and advice. To join our club, please follow this link.