Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway! Get to know the biggest country in the world with its stunning nature and vibrant cities, travel across several time zones and see Russia from different perspectives. Join one of the world’s greatest train journeys to explore Russia’s complexity and diversity!
The Trans-Siberian Railway Tour is on the bucket list of all travelers. You may be a nature lover or an urban explorer, be found of history and museums or like to interact with locals, learning about their views and life, the Trans-Siberian Railway adventure can be customized just for you. Whether you are looking for a comfortable trip in a calm pace or you are an adventurer and rush for more experiences, ExploRussia team is ready to accommodate any of your preferences to make the journey of a lifetime.
Good To Know
The Trans-Siberian Railway Tour: Everything you need to know.
What is the history of The Trans-Siberian Railway?
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a rail track connecting the European part of Russia with its middle (Siberia) and eastern (Far East) regions.
The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway started in 1891, when the future emperor Nikolai I, made the solemn laying of the first link of the Great Siberian Road near Vladivostok. The road had been being built for 25 years. 1.5 billion rubles in gold had been spent for the construction.
500-700 kilometers of the road had been constructed annually.
The main reason was to improve the transport accessibility of Siberia and the Far East, and at the same time to unite the main industrial cities into a single economic zone.
In 1904, Scientific American magazine called the Trans-Siberian Railway the most outstanding technical achievement of the turn of the century. It is included in the Guinness Book of Records for the total length, the number of stations and the pace of construction.
What is the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad?
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railroad in the world. Its length is 9289 km. The railway runs through all Russia, connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg with the largest Siberian and Far Eastern industrial cities of the country.
The Trans-Siberian Railway runs from west to east across two continents: Europe (1,777 km) and Asia (7,512 km). Europe accounts for 19.1% of the Transsib length, and Asia accounts for 80.9%.
The Trans-Siberian Railway Map
How long does it take to travel the Trans-Siberian Railway?
When you travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway you cross 7 Time-Zones. So the only needed thing for sure to “go Trans-Siberian” is time. Even if you spend at least 14 days on that trip, it is absolutely worth it. Highly experienced travelers prefer to embark on a 3-weeks Trans-Siberian Tour.
What is the best time to travel across the Trans-Siberian Railway?
No matter when you are going to make this epic trip, Trans-Siberian Railway Tour is full of wow-moments in each season.
High Season is Summer (June – early September), the temperature is high and can reach to +30 degrees Celsius in some regions, rains sometimes. You can enjoy the green nature, flowing rivers, but at the same time be ready to take repellent from mosquitoes (Siberia, Far East).
A shoulder is (May, September, October) – It can be chilly sometimes. In some Regions it can be snowy in late October.
Low Season for those who are afraid of frosts is Winter (November – April). When thinking about mysterious “Russian winter”, such associations as everlasting frosts, bears on streets full of snow banks, reindeer, Russian troika ride with bells, people wearing valenki on feet and fur coats together with ushanka (ear-flaps hat) appear in one’s head.
Some of these images are true some are funny, but still Russian winter is worth experiencing. It will surprise you no matter you are in a fur coat or in Canada Goose. Take warm clothes, enjoy the beauty of Baikal Lake ice, try Russian Banya and before read our article about 5 reasons to take the Trans-Siberian Railway in winter.
What are the best stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway route?
Russia is huge and has a lot to offer. The Trans-Siberian Railway tour is a kaleidoscope of landscapes and cultures. It passes through the most interesting places of Russia. Of course the most attractive for tourists are Moscow and Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk. Each city will impress you with its own history and image. Interact with local people, try local food, experience hospitality and local culture and traditions and you will feel how big and diverse is Russia, even bigger than you can imagine. Read more about stops in our Essential Trans-Siberian Guide and about 5 must-stops on your way here.
The journey is not only about cities but is more about Russian nature. The Trans-Siberian Railway crosses 16 major Russian rivers, including the Volga, Kama, Ob, Yenisei, Irtys, and Amur. The bridge over the Amur is the longest on this railway: about 2,5 kilometers. You will have an opportunity to visit the real Russian village, to plunge into Lake Baikal and explore Stolby Nature Reserve in Krasnoyarsk, you may learn more in our article 5 wonders of nature along the Trans-Siberian Railway.
What about life on the Trans-Siberian Railway Trains?
A train will be your second home for your Trans-Siberian Railway Tour. What is more it will become a place where you will eat, sleep read and interact with your neighbours. Most travellers notice that when you are on the train you have a chance to enjoy the moment, you even learn something new about yourself instead of the everyday rat race in usual life. One of our tourists said after the trip: “I noticed that as soon as you entered your compartment, an irresistible desire to sleep seizes you. Probably the reason for this is the hypnotic movement of the train, a kind of slow and powerful shaking; Perhaps this is also due to the fact that the carriage is so heated. Eating, sleeping, drinking, sleeping again. As if I returned to kindergarten.”
To learn about classes of train compartments, food compartments, toilets, safety and provodnitsas who are like the captains of each train segment and know everything about everything please read How to Travel by Russian Trains and FAQ about life on a Russian train.
What will I eat during the Trans-Siberian Railway Tour?
Trans-Siberian Railway Tour food can be divided into two parts: the food on train and food in restaurants, cafes and local families (in case you will choose the local experience).
In a train, there are food compartments which are fine, but it’s like airplane food. There are also people selling food on the train platforms, but you won’t always have time to get off so that’s taking a bit of a risk. The best thing is to stop at a grocery store before your train ride and buy some non-perishable food— peanut-butter, salami, cheese, bread, etc. Dehydrated soups are great too because each train compartment has its own bowl of hot water. If you can go shopping in your country bring some of your local candies to share with your train-mates.
As for restaurants and cafes, you should try the real Russian cuisine. Among the must-try dishes are Borscht – red beetroot soup with meat and vegetables, Ukha – fish soup with clear broth, Pirozhki – baked or fried pies filled with different stuff, potatoes, meat, rice and fish, apples, etc. You may even buy them at the train stop when local vendors sell their homemade delicacies; Pelmeni – Russian dumplings; Blini – Russian pancakes, try them with caviar and sour cream; Beef Stroganoff – beef in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and tomatoes. Already hungry? Jump into our article about Food during the Trans-Siberian Railway Tour.