Trans-Mongolian Railway Adventure
Travel on the world’s finest railway from Beijing to Moscow via Ulan Bator.
Taking the Trans-Mongolian railway is a unique chance to immerse in three different cultures in just one journey, pass around 8000 km (5000 miles) and cross out one major point on your bucket list.
After you are finished exploring magical China you will hop on the train to Mongolia, the land of the steppe. There you will not only see the modern technology-driven Ulan Bator but also Mongolia’s ancient culture while visiting real Nomad community. Khustai National Park will definitely be one of the highlights of the trip with its wild nature and super cute yet very strong Takhi horses.
Most of the Trans-Mongolian Railway tour, however, will take place along the longest railway in the World in Russia. From magnificent Baikal lake, the deepest freshwater lake on the planet, you will cover 5500 km up to the Russian capital, Moscow. Along the way, you will explore the Buryat culture and its delicious cuisine. You will visit grand Krasnoyarsk Stolby nature reserve, Deer Stream nature park of Yekaterinburg, magnificent Sviyajsk settlement. And finally, you will be impressed by the best landmarks in Moscow.
Treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime trip along Trans-Mongolian railway!
Learn about tips on how travel on trains on such long distances here.
Trans-Mongolian Railway Tour Highlights:
- Discover three unique cultures in one epic journey
- Visit magnificent nature sights: Khustai National Park in Mongolia, legendary Baikal lake, Stolby Nature reserve, Deer Stream reserve and other
- Get the real feel of culture by visiting Nomad community in Mongolia and Buryat family in Ulan-Ude
- See the cleanest water of Baikal Lake, enjoy the beauty of Taiga nature
- Prepare and enjoy traditional Russian cuisine with your local hosts in Moscow
- Explore the Muslim side of Russia by visiting Kazan
- Walk along ancient Red Square and see Moscow Kremlin with your own eyes
- Cross 8000 km through and three countries borders. Discover rich ancient heritage along with a dynamic modern life of China, Mongolia and finally Russia
Trans-Mongolian Railway Plan:
Day 1: Beginning of Trans-Mongolian Railway adventures Beijing to Ulan Bator
Our driver will pick you up early in the morning at the hotel to transfer you to the train station. 28 h train ride to Mongolia is a great chance to get rest, contemplate on your Chinese trip and get ready for new experiences! Don’t forget to take some food with you, favorite book and great mood!
Day 2: Warm greeting from the Nomad community in Mongolia
Our guide will pick you up at the train station and transfer you to a nomad community located just 85 km west of Ulan Bator. The hostess will treat you with traditional Mongolian milk tea and local food to give you the first taste of Mongolian culture and local hospitality. You will be introduced to the family members who will tell you about their nomad lifestyle. You will get a chance not only to witness but also to participate in their everyday activities such as milking animals, making dairy products and riding horses. Stay overnight in Ger of nomad family.
Day 3: Travel to Khustai National Park
In the morning you will be transferred to the Khustai National Park (55km drive). The National Park covers an area of almost 51 ha and its main purpose is to protect wild Mongolian horses famed as Takhi (Przewalski’s Horse) population. We will look for those beautiful creatures and hike through forest mountain and valley for 8-10kms which will take about 3-4 hours. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
Day 4: Travel to Ulan Bator
Today we will head to heart and soul of Mongolia – Ulan Bator city (110km). Upon arrive in Ulan Bator and transfer to your hotel you will have some time to rest before city excursion. The sightseeing tour includes the most famous and stunning sights such as the National Museum and Chinggis Khaan square. Later on, you will enjoy traditional art performance and farewell dinner
Day 5: Crossing borders
Transfer to the train station and 15h Trans-Mongolian Railway train ride to Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude is the capital of Buryatia republic located on one of Lake Baikal’s shores. It is one of the Asian pieces of Russia famous for its hospitality, unique fascinating culture, delicious traditional cuisine, and skilful bowmen. It is also the Russian capital of Buddhism. Having multiracial population Ulan-Ude also provides equal religious rights to every confession and is truly marvellous in terms of harmony and happiness this city radiates. Small yet very cosy Ulan-Ude will be your first stop in Russia on your Trans-Mongolian adventure!
Day 6: Warm “privet” greeting in Russia!
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel to drop your luggage and get some rest. After a while, your guide will pick you up to explore the capital of Buryatia Republic. 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. Enjoy this little Russian piece of Asia, a unique and beautiful place!
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, funny tales from locals.
Day 7: Time to explore the Asian side of Russia: Lake Baikal
Not any Trans-Mongolian Railway tour will omit to stop at lake Baikal. Today you will leave the city to explore the hospitable shores of Lake Baikal!
Our guide will pick you up from the train station and take you to one of the most sacred treasures of Russia – the deepest fresh lake in the world Baikal. In Buryatia, locals call it Grandfather Baikal, so many legends and myths you will hear along the way!
At the shore, you will have trekking, excursions, tours, and just relaxation! It is said that Baikal tan received under gentle Siberian sun stays for the whole year and for those who are not a fan of sunbathes there is plenty of shadow and beautiful murmur of waves.
Day 8: Moving on to next adventures on Trans-Mongolian Railway journey
You will have some time to say goodbye to the lake, have last swims and eat some more delicious Omul fish. Then we will head to the city where your 27h train ride to Krasnoyarsk will start. Trains are an essential part of locals’ life. As Siberia is very large and cities located quite in the distance of each other train rides are the most convenient means of transportation. So feel like a local, bond with fellow travellers and read a good book!
Day 9: Hello, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
In the evening you will be transferred to the hotel.
Krasnoyarsk is one of the biggest cities in Siberia with a population more than a million people. It is located 4000 km or 4,5 h of flight away from Moscow. Krasnoyarsk lies along the Yenisei river and is divided into two part by it: left-bank part is located in Western Siberia, the right bank part – in Eastern Siberia. The city is surrounded by mountains giving it so many beautiful nature spots along with rich background with almost 400 years of history behind.
Day 10: Feel Siberian Nature
Today you will get the most stunning view of the Yenisei River. We also will visit one of the other symbols of Krasnoyarsk – Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel. To get a full spoon of local life we will walk along Theatre square, heart and soul of the city, named after tree main Russian theatres. Peace Avenue, beautiful monuments, warm and cosy atmosphere – the recipe of a great walk in Krasnoyarsk.
Stolby Nature Reserve is a Russian strict ecological reserve located 10 km south of the city of Krasnoyarsk, on the northwestern spurs of the Eastern Sayan Mountains. The site is known for its dramatic complexes of rocks; 3.5% of the reserve is open to hikers seeking to visit and climb the rocks. Over 200,000 visitors per year are recorded. The park’s area is 47,219 hectares. Stolby has been nominated to be on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A 36h train ride to Yekaterinburg
Day 11: On the way to Yekaterinburg
Even though Yekaterinburg is younger than Krasnoyarsk (not quite 300 years) it is bigger and has almost 1,5 million citizens. It is famous mostly because it is located on the border between Asia and Europe and you will have a chance to stand on both sides during our tour! Even though the city is very industrial with manufacturing facilities for heavy machinery, metal processing, metallurgy and military equipment making, it still has great natural sights as it is located near famous ancient Ural mountains.
Day 12: Yekaterinburg – the borderline between Asia and Europe
Today we will have a great sightseeing tour by car hoping that traffic will not prevent us from seeing a wide range of most fascinating landmarks of Yekaterinburg such as panoramic Iset River, historic and grand Square of 1905, majestic Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky and Trinity Cathedral, very modern QWERTY Monument.
After this, we will visit the famous Europe Asia monument where you will be able to take the 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 the local’s favorite place for wedding photoshoots.
Day 13: Nature Park Deer Streams (Oleniy Ruchyi) and on to the Kazan
Nature Park Deer Streams (Oleniy Ruchyi) is located 120 km west of Yekaterinburg. It is a good example of the Ural mixed and taiga forests with caves and cliffs along the river. Ideal for trekking and rafting. There are two trails in the park: the short trail is 6 km.
Beavers, elks, roebucks, hogs, weasels and martens live here. There are 48 ancient caves in the park. The most famous ones are Cave Druzhba (friendship) – the largest in Middle Urals and Bolshoy Proval (great gap)- a vertical cave 33m deep.
The symbol of the park is a drawing of red deer made by Finno-Ugric hunters over 1000 years ago. Another symbol of the nature park is the Angel of Hope that makes your wishes come true if you touch its wings.
An overnight 14h Trans-Mongolian railway train ride
Day 14: Kazan, capital of Tatarstan Republic and Muslim capital of Russia
Kazan is a Muslim capital of Russia with an absolutely wonderful culture and amazing local cuisine. Today we will experience the best spots in the city by walking along Baumana Street, seeing Kamal Theatre square with singing fountains (seasonal), taking pictures of Old Tatar Quarter with Marjaniy and strolling along Lower Kaban lake. We will see the hidden treasures and discover Kazan Kremlin’s rich history along with spooky legends. Kul Sharif Mosque, Annunciation Cathedral, Inclined Suyimbeke tower and Khan’s shrine – ancient Kazan’s beauty will open its secrets for you today.
Day 15: Sviyajsk to Moscow
Sviyajsk, a XVI century Russian fortress, was built by Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible before the Siege of Kazan. Well known for its monasteries, it became the place of detention for political prisoners during the Soviet age. Also known by its longer name, “The island town of Sviyajsk” was initially built on a high bank of Volga and Sviyaga river, which became all surrounded by water after filling of the Kuybyshev water reservoir in 1953, hence the name. A 12h overnight train ride to Moscow
Day 16: Moscow, the Grand Capital
Visit the heart of Russia along with two cathedrals, magnificent historical landscapes, located on the Kremlin territory.
The walking tour will get you around the main must-sees of the city but keep you away from the huge touristic crowds. We will enjoy Red Square, St Basil Cathedral and GUM department store. Walk along Tverskaya street, come over secrete yards, not seen from the main street, come over the hidden church which was not ruined during Soviet times only because of its unobvious location, get to know many stories of this street.
Day 17: Moscow past and present
We will visit the most spectacular examples of Soviet architecture. First thing in the morning we will head to Sparrow Hills where you will not only have a chance to see the best panoramic view on Russian capital but also see the main building of Moscow State University, one of Stalin’s skyscrapers (Stalin’s Seven Sisters). Next stop will be VDNKh park that served as the main exhibition center in Soviet times. Nowadays, however, it is a park loved by everyone: locals, tourists, families, youth, elderly. It’s marvelous!
After that, you will be invited to your local host’s apartment for a friendly dinner. We will prepare traditional Russian dishes with Russian hosts, enjoy the meal you have made over a family table, and finally participate in traditional Russian tea ceremony. Great time to share your experience about traveling along Russia and learning last bits about our culture.
Day 18: Farewell. The last day of the unforgettable Trans-Mongolian railway tour.
The last day of the unforgettable Trans-Mongolian railway tour.
Well, it is time to say goodbye to Moscow, the capital of Russia. At this point, you have passed about 8 000 km counting from Beijing to Moscow and seen three different cultures.
Transfer to the airport.
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat, warm winter clothing.
Includedaccommodation in 3* or 4* hotels with breakfastAirport Transfersentry fees in museumsPersonal GuidePrivate tours in citiesTrain stations transfersTrain tickets
Not IncludedFood and Beverages