Trans-Siberian Railway Tour
Join one of the world’s greatest train journeys to explore Russia’s complexity and diversity!
The Trans-Siberian Railway tour is a must-do for everyone looking for an adventure of a lifetime! Join one of the world’s greatest train journeys to explore Russia’s complexity and diversity. Get to know the biggest country in the world with its stunning nature and vibrant cities. Travel across several time zones. See Russia from different perspectives!
Start your truly amazing Russian experience by exploring the capital of Russia – Moscow! By visiting classical places and having a great time going off the beaten track with locals! Go further to the central Russia to visit Russian cities: Muslim Kazan, Yekaterinburg, and then further east to Siberia. Get to know Siberian people and their culture in Irkutsk. Then spend some time on the Lake Baikal and enjoy its outstanding landscapes and rich wildlife. Finally travel, via Khabarovsk, to the most eastern point of Russia, Vladivostok, where the Trans-Siberian Railway terminates. Join 10 000 km of pure adventure!
Read our Essential Trans-Siberian guide and 10 interesting facts about the Trans-Siberian Railway to learn more about his unforgettable adventure!
Trans-Siberian Railway Tour Highlights:
- Visit Moscow and its top tourist attractions and go off the beaten path to discover places known only to locals.
- Experience the Muslim side of Russia in Kazan.
- Get to know Yekaterinburg, its history and city’s architecture.
- Explore the Lake Baikal, its stunning pristine nature, and breathtaking landscapes.
- Reach Vladivostok, the most eastern point of Russia and the Trans-Siberian Railway.
- Spend several days on the train, experiencing the real Russia through the eyes of its people.
Trans-Siberian Railway Tour Plan:
Day 1: Welcome to Russia!
Arrive in Moscow the capital of Russia and meet ExploRussia’s representative. Go to the hotel and check-in.
Get some rest before starting your Trans-Siberian adventure!
Day 2: Moscow Highlights
Start your introduction to Moscow with its most important tourist attraction and the center of Russian power and politics – the Kremlin. The Kremlin is a famous historic fortified complex located in the heart of Moscow. Once home to grand dukes and tsars, it is now the President’s official residence.
For lunch try traditional Russian cuisine with a Soviet touch, a great beginning for local cuisine discovery. In the afternoon, go for an interactive walking tour around the city center. Our walking tour will get you around the main must-sees of the city. Keep you away from the huge tourist crowds. Enjoy Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral (from outside), the GUM department store, Lenin’s mausoleum and the State Historical Museum. Afterward, walk along Tverskaya street, pass by the secret yards, invisible from the main street. Visit a hidden church, which escaped being spoilt during Soviet times purely by virtue of its concealed location. Learn fascinating stories and legends about Moscow and the city center.
Day 3: Moscow
Early in the morning, the guide will pick you up for a Tretyakov Art Gallery excursion. The gallery presents a unique collection of Russian art which includes masterpieces of artists from early religious paintings to modern compositions. The worldwide-known museum also shows grand works of artists from around the globe. It has something special to suit all tastes. Our guide will help you not to get lost in numerous halls of the legendary museum.
After a short stop for lunch, we will explore Moscow metro which is said to look more like a palace than the transportation means. Once in a while, we will go outside to see another architectural pride of Moscow – Stalin’s Skyscrapers, or so-called Seven Sisters. This will help you grasp a little deeper scoop of local life as ordinary Muscovite spends a lot of time in the city underground arteries. Quite a pleasant experience to be honest as the Moscow metro is the most beautiful in the World and surprisingly efficient too!
As a great finale, you will be invited by a local family for a Russian cuisine experience! Real apartment, local products, the traditional meal and a friendly chat – solid material for best memories! Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as possible and do not miss on the opportunity to really participate in the cooking process as your hosts are happy to share not only their culture but also their family recipes.
After that, you will be transferred to the train station for an overnight Russian train to Kazan, 12h on the way (2nd class compartments, 4 people) Let your train travel begin!
Day 4: Introduction to Kazan
Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Today you will experience a totally different Russia – its Muslim side. Explore an incredible mixture of cultures and 1000 years of history in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Take a guided walking tour around the city and see mosques and orthodox churches standing next to each other, and most of the signs written in three languages: Russian, Tatar and English! Walk along pedestrian Baumana Street, paved with multicoloured bricks.
Afterwards, visit Kazan Kremlin. Its citadel was declared UNESCO Heritage Site in 2000. This tour will give you a great insight into the history of Kazan and a better understanding of the co-existence of different nationalities, religions, and languages. Beside the Citadel, see Qol Sharif Mosque, Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, Söyembikä Tower, also called the Khan’s Mosque.
Day 5: Kazan – Trans-Siberian Railway
Today we have a marvellous Sviyajsk on our agenda, a XVI century Russian fortress that was built by Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible before the Siege of Kazan.
Sviyajsk is famous for its numerous monasteries along the way. We will witness their ancient beauty visiting John the Baptist (Ioanno-Predtechenskiy) Monastery of 1551 with the Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of All Who Sorrow and the Temple of St. Sergius of Radonezh – Holy Dormition (Uspenskiy) Monastery with the St. Nicolas Chapel. We will also see the Monument to Victims of Political Repression, the dramatic historic heritage, as Sviyajsk served as a place of detention for political prisoners during the Soviet age. Finally, we will visit Lazy Torzhok amusement park where any daring hearts can try themselves in archery, throwing axes, take a picture in tsar’s or prisoner’s clothes and gain strength by having a light meal of local cuisine.
After this, you will be transferred to the train station for an overnight train to Krasnoufimsk, 10h on the way (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
Day 6: Krasnoufimsk – Maly Turysh
Today you will explore a truly unique and inspirational settlement with a great story behind – Maly Turysh. Being just a small dot on the huge map of Russia it is a fascinating and very cosy place along the Trans-Siberian Railway tour. Along with our visit to the local honey production and candy factory, you will not only see the results of one remarkable local entrepreneur’s marvellous hard works but also feel the true local spirit. You will enjoy local food and pristine country fresh air. After the sightseeing tour and fun interaction with locals, you can go to the forest to collect berries or mushrooms, something each Russian has experienced at least onсe!
Overnight homestay might just be that little piece of puzzle that lacks from the ever-questioned and never fully understood the mystical term of “Russian soul”.
Day 7: Maly Turysh – Yekaterinburg – Trans-Siberian
After breakfast, we will head to Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia located to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the border of Europe and Asia. In our car sightseeing tour we will visit the most fascinating sights of the Ural’s heart such as panoramic Iset River, historic and grand Square of 1905, majestic Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky and Trinity Cathedral, very modern QWERTY Monument, and finally a famous Europe Asia monument where you will be able to take a unique picture standing on both sides at the same time. And if we are lucky enough we can witness a typical Russian wedding as it is locals’ favorite place for wedding photoshoots.
There is another historical fact that made Yekaterinburg so famous – Tsar Nicolas’ family assassination. Today we will visit the Church on the Blood built in 2003 on the place where Nicolas II, his wife, four daughters Grand Duchess Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and young tsarevitch Aleksey were killed in the basement in solemn summer of 1918. The monastery we will visit has 7 wooden churches (as the number of the family members). There you will learn the story of the Romanovs and buy hand-made icons embroidered by the nuns.
In the evening you will take Russian train to Krasnoyarsk, 38h on the way (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
Day 8: Trans-Siberian: Whole day train ride!
Enjoy the whole day train ride in Russian style as it is quite typical for locals. Use this time to gain some strength for the coming adventures and getting to know a bit more about life in Russia from the local perspective. Keep in mind that trains are the most popular and important transportation means in Russia!
If you want to know more about Russian train please find some useful information here.
Day 9: Krasnoyarsk
After arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel to get some rest.
Later on, you will head for an exploration tour where we will get a glimpse of the most stunning Yenisei River view. We also will visit one of the other symbols of Krasnoyarsk – Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel. You will get a full spoon of local life and we will walk along the Theatre square named after tree main Russian theatres, the heart and soul of the city. Peace avenue, beautiful monuments, warm and cozy atmosphere – the recipe of a great walk in Krasnoyarsk.
As a cherry on top of this awesome day in Siberia, you will go for an evening boat ride to enjoy the view on the Krasnoyarsk from another angle and enjoy the lights of the city. Trans-Siberian Railway tour is not only about trains!:)
Day 10: Krasnoyarsk – Trans-Siberian
Today we will go on an exploration tour to Stolby Nature Reserve (Zapovednik Stolby). One of the most wonderful tracks showing Siberian nature beauty. The tracks are easy to follow and nothing will stand in the way of your great memories and spiritual calmness brought by this wonderful sight. This nature reserve is a splendid forest area with impressive rock outcrops and spectacular viewpoints. Enjoy and do not forget your camera!
After this, we will immerse deeper into the local culture by visiting typical summer residence – dacha. Dacha is a piece of land with a small house and a garden located near the city. You will meet a real local family, experience how they live and listen to their stories. See what plants they grow in the garden, what they eat and how they spend their free time. Find out how people lived in dachas 50 years ago and compare it with today’s living standards and finally try delicious Russian pancakes over a cup of hot herbal tea.
After late check-out, you will be transferred to the train station for a 19h train ride to Irkutsk (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
Day 11: Irkutsk
Late in the evening, you will arrive in Irkutsk. We will transfer you to the hotel so you can check-in and get some rest.
Irkutsk is an old Siberian city that has more than 350 years of history behind and so much to go! Located 5500 km away from Moscow it takes 5,5h to reach by plane. Originally Irkutsk was a city of gold traders and fur taxes collectors transforming as years went by into an epicenter of social life for noble men exiled to Siberia due to political reasons. Do not forget to ask your guide what a wonderful creature is pictured on the city coat of arms!
Day 12: Irkutsk – Olkhon Island
Early in the morning, check-out and transfer to Olkhon Island. The trip will take 4 to 5 hours with the lunch break on the way.
Upon arrival in Khuzhir, the largest village on the island, check-in. After short time for rest, we will go on an introductory walk around the village to have a look at the local houses, galleries, stores and, most importantly, the iconic sight of the island – cape Burkhan. It is one of the nine famous Asian sanctuaries, said to be the place to feel the true spirit of the island.
In the evening – Russian banya!
Day 13: Olkhon Island
After breakfast, we will get on the Russian off-road bus UAZ (one of the symbols of the area) and go to the north of the island. The island of Kharantsy, the Three Brothers rock, and cape Khoboi – the north most point of the island where you can get the best view of the Barguzinski bay and Svyatoy Nos peninsula from the magnificent cliffs. An additional highlight of the day is a picnic lunch.
Day 14: Olkhon Island – Irkutsk – Trans-Siberian
Today we will go back to Irkutsk to explore the old Siberian city. We will walk along Kirov Square, the heart of the city, a little green island circled by numerous cars. We will pass a magnificent Governer’s house, Irkutsk Linguistic University, astonishing Church of the saviour, heart-melting memorial of the eternal flame, Rome Catholic Cathedral. As Irkutsk is a very walkable city we will have just enough time to see the best of it. Have a stroll along two main streets – Karl Marks and Lenina streets.
Transfer to the train station. Overnight train to Ulan-Ude, 8h on the way (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
Day 15: Ulan-Ude
After arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel and have some time to rest. Soon our guide will pick you up for a tour around Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia!
Today you will see the biggest head monument in the world featuring Lenin, beautiful Opera and Ballet theatre, powerful monuments of horse riders showing Buryat history, Mother-Buryatia monument and many little secret places only locals know about.
We will make a detour to learn more about Buddhism in Russia. The Ivolginsky datsan was opened in 1945 as the only Buddhist spiritual center of the USSR. Nowadays it is the heart of Buddhism in Russia and also home to a phenomenon that continues to intrigue scientists and attracts believers by the thousands. The preserved body of the Khambo Lama Itigelov, who died in 1927 and is still sitting upright in the lotus position. It is a unique chance to visit the sacred place on the sacred ground.
In the evening, our guide will invite you to a friendly dinner with his family. You will learn Buryat culture through its cuisine and sincere stories, old legends and funny tales from locals.
Day 16: Ulan-Ude – Trans-Siberian
Late in the morning, you will be transferred to the train station for a 50h train ride to Khabarovsk (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
First inhabited by Evenks and Buryat Mongols, Ulan-Ude became a settlement when Cossacks came to deep Siberia. It has a great location in terms of trade so many economical connections with Mongolia and China became the reason for its growth and prosperity. It is a wonderfully hospitable place with a unique mixture of European and Asian culture. You’ve already experienced that and it is time to go further on your Trans-Siberian trip!
Day 17: Trans-Siberian
The whole day on the train is a great opportunity to sort out your memories and get some rest. You have already covered 6000 km along Russia on the legendary Trans-Siberian route! Your journey has been so dynamic and it would be truly a shame to forget all the little things that made your trip. Talk to your fellow travellers, read a book or write down highlights of the trip.
Do not forget that you can buy some food on stations where the train makes long stops. Or you can buy in the coach-restaurant and do not miss a chance to make a great Instagram picture with coffee in a traditional Russian train glass in a tea glass-holder (“podstakannik” in Russian)!
Day 18: Khabarovsk – Trans-Siberian
Today you will arrive in a wonderful city of Khabarovsk located just 30km away from the Chinese border. After you check-in hotel and have some rest, the guide will pick you up for a sightseeing tour. Start from the Lenin Square, visit the Ethnography Museum, pass by the Square of Glory, walk along Beregovaya Street, pass by beautiful churches and finish the day at the bank of the Amur River where you will start a boat trip along the magnificent Amur river.
In the evening, you will be transferred to the train station for an 11h overnight train to Vladivostok (2nd class compartments, 4 people)
Day 19: Vladivostok
After arrival, go to the hotel and check-in. Then your guide will pick you up for the walking city-tour to get to know the oldest part of the city. Start from taking a picture with the last milestone of the Trans-Siberian Railway Milestone with the inscription on it “9,288 km distance to Moscow”. You can definitely be proud of yourself that you went that far! Visit the Central Square, pass by the Monument to the Fighters for Soviet Power in the Far East. Visit S-56 Submarine and Pacific Navy War Memorial to see the navy part of Vladivostok, the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean. Learn more about the history of Vladivostok. Visit the Arsenev Regional Museum and Yul Brynner’s House and Public Garden. Listen to the stories about “Millionka” – the former Chinese criminal district. Finish the day at the highest point of the city, the Eagle’s Nest Hill, and admire the outstanding view of Vladivostok!
Day 20: Farewell
Have breakfast and check-out.
Well, it is time to say goodbye to Vladivostok, the most eastern point of Russia and the Trans-Siberian Railway. At this point, you have passed about 9 000 km counting from Moscow to Vladivostok. Now you can honestly say that you have successfully done the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway tour!
Transfer to the airport.
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat, warm clothing depending on the time of the year.
Includedaccommodation in 3* or 4* hotels with breakfastAirport Transfersentry fees in museumsPrivate tours in citiesTrain stations transfersTrain tickets
Not IncludedFood and BeveragesPersonal Guide