14 days and 13 nights
Moscow (2 nights) - train (4 nights) - Irkutsk - Listvianka (1 night) - train (2 nights) - Ulan-Bator (2 nights) - train (1 night) - Beijing (1 night)
Travel to three great countries on one unforgettable journey! Start exploring Moscow - Russia's vibrant capital, visit Lake Baikal the largest, deepest and oldest lake in the world, the quintessential Siberian city of Irkutsk, choose the optional program of staying in Mongolia including visiting the Terelj National Park, visit with a nomadic family with overnight camp in a yurta (nomad's conical hut) and many other fascinating activities. Finally, arrive in Beijing, one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.
While passing across the vast expanse of Russia, Mongolia and China you will get a unique chance to explore the different cultures and present-day lifestyles of local people, see historical monuments, admire breathtaking landscapes of virgin land, the Siberian taiga, great rivers, steppes, mountains and deserts. For many people the most pleasurable part of the trip is simply sitting back and watching the countryside go by. Many travelers also find that it is interaction with other passengers and the local people that makes the trip an unforgettable experience. There's something special about watching thousands of kilometers passing by, and observing the ever-changing landscapes and views through the window of your train.
Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to the Cosmos hotel (3-star). Buffet dinner.
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. Your tour will give you valuable insights into Russia's history, its art and most importantly its culture and people.
After breakfast meet the guide at reception for city tour including visit to the Novodevichy Convent. Afternoon free time.
The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili Ioanovich, the original convent was enclosed by fortified walls and contained 12 towers. The structure served as a convent for ladies of noble birth and was host to many famous Russian personages throughout its history including Boris Gudonov and Peter the Great's elder sister Princess Sophia (who was banished there in 1679 by her brother).
Breakfast. Morning short tour of the Kremlin including visit to one cathedral and the Armoury Chamber. Transfer to railway station. Departure for Irkutsk by train #02 at 13.20.
The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure, at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city's former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlinis the center of Russia's political life and State power and has been home to Tsars, General Secretaries of the Soviet Union and Russian Presidents. Red Square is beneath the Kremlin's walls. The most impressive cathedrals on the territory of the Kremlin are the Annunciation Cathedral, the Archangel's Cathedral and the Assumption Cathedral.
These days you will spend on the train observing the ever-changing landscapes and views through the window.
Arrival at Irkutsk at 20:57.Transfer. Accommodation at the Victory hotel.
Irkutsk (about 5200 km from Moscow, 75 hours by train):
Irkutsk is an old Russian city situated in Eastern Siberia on the picturesque bank of the Angara River, which flows out of Lake Baikal. 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 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.
Breakfast. City tour. Transfer to Listvyanka settlement with stop in Taltsy village for lunch and visit to open air Ethnographic museum. Accommodation at the Legend of Baikal hotel in Listvyanka.
Lake Baikal (65 km from Irkutsk)
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.
Breakfast. Walking tour of Listvianka. Transfer to railway station. Departure for Ulan-Bator by train #362 at 22.10.
This day you will spend on board admiring Buryatian and Mongolian landscapes.
Arrival in Ulan-Baatar at 06.10. Breakfast. Drive to the Terelj National Park. Explore turtle rock and visit nomadic family. Lunch. Acquaintance with nomadic life style. Horse riding. Dinner. Short hiking tour. Overnight in a yurta (nomad's conical hut) camp.
Ulan Bator, Mongolia (about 6266 km from Moscow, after 4 days by train):
Ulan Bator (or Ulaanbaatar) is the capital and largest city of Mongolia, lying to the north in the valley of the River Tuul in the Khenti Mountains. It is the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country. Ulan Bator was founded in 1639 as the Da Khure Monastery, a Lamaist house of the Tibetan Buddhist religion which became the residence of the 'bodgo-gegen' or high priest. 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. Positioned on the caravan route between Russia and China, it developed as a trading centre, particularly from the 19th century. By the early 20th century the city had a population of 25,000, of whom some 10,000 were Buddhist monks or monastery workers.
Breakfast. City tour including visits to the Gandan monastery, National History museum, Bogd Khan Winter Palace, Zaisan Hill, Sukhabaator square. Lunch. Accommodation at Khabu hotel (3* hotel).
Breakfast. In the morning transfer to railway station.Departure for Beijing by train #4 at 07.15.
Arrival in Beijing (on Monday) at 11.40 a.m. (local time).Transfer to Beijing Novotel Xin Qiao hotel (4-star), accommodation.
Beijing is he 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.
Breakfast. Transfer to airport.
ATTENTION! The itinerary is subject to change due to changes of rail schedule.
IMPORTANT: If there is only one person in group the tour price will be 4605 Euro
To have guaranteed train bookings, requests should be received 2 months prior to the start of the tour, indicating passengers' names, passport numbers and dates of birth
The itinerary is subject to change due to changes of rail schedule
- arrival and departure transfers,
- tickets to all museums,
- transportation to museums and for excursions,
- guide service,
- twin hotel accommodation,
- breakfast at hotels,
- meals per program,
- train tickets Moscow - Irkutsk - Ulan-Bator - Beijing (2nd class, 4-berth compartment). Supplement for 1st class trains (2-berth compartment) - 845 Euro per person,
- on Train #362 there are only 2nd class 4-berth compartments, clients traveling 1st class are provided with separate compartment for 2 pax. There is no dining car in this train,
- visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country. PLEASE NOTE: your passport should be valid for no less than 6 months after the planned departure from Russia and it should have at least 2 blank pages. The process of applying for visa may take a long time and we recommend that you start in 3 months before your trip. In case you are booking the trip last minute, we recommend that you check with the Russian Consulate in your country whether you have enough time for visa application process. In case you have to cancel your trip because of visa issues standard cancellation policy will be applied.
Prices do not include:
- Optional services
- Theater tickets
- Visa processing costs. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you.
- International airfare. Our Russian tours are offered as land only where you arrange your own airfare and we meet you at the airport and handle everything else.
- Travel and health insurance. We highly recommend the purchase insurance before embarking on your trip to Russia. It's always good to have extra protection for peace of mind while traveling far from home. Click here to learn more.
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 21 days before departure.
35 days before the tour starting date and more: 10% of the tour price per person
20 days and less before the tour starting date: 50% of the tour price per person
10 days and less before the tour starting date: 75% of the tour price per person
2 days before the tour starting date or no-show: 100% of the tour price per person
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.