Winter Trans-Siberian Tour
Grand Moscow, Muslim side of Russia in Kazan, Lake Baikal and of course Siberian nature and several time zones!
Our Trans-Siberian Railway Winter Russian holidays train tour is not an option for travelers with soft nerves. It’s adventurous and challenging! Spend one week on the train tour and then another one in the Siberian part of Russia. Get to know the indigenous culture and experience famous Siberian winter.
Stretch your limits and have a singular adventure! Jump on the world longest train route to experience Russian complexity and diversity. Get to know the biggest country in the world, cross several time zones and pass through countless Siberian cities, towns, and villages. Experience winter you can’t even imagine and see taiga fully covered with snow. Feel the Russian culture, meet its people and acquaint with Russia from a different perspective.
Start your Trans-Siberian Railway Winter Russian holidays train tour in Moscow, Russia capital and the center of the Russian culture, economics and politics. Visit the most important cultural and historical attractions and get to know the life of an average Muscovite. Then start the proper Trans-Siberian railway winter train tour and spend a truly unforgettable week on train tour, have a chance to learn Russia through the eyes of its people. Finally, arrive in Vladivostok!
Read our article about the reasons why to travel Trans-Siberian in winter.
- Take a guided sightseeing tour around Moscow, visit its most important tourist attractions and warm yourself up over a home dinner with Muscovites
- Spend a week traveling along the Trans-Siberian railway. Relax, read books, drink tea, chat with your companions and enjoy Russian snowy landscape
- Get to know the Asian part of Russia by visiting Buryats and learning about their culture
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat, warm winter clothing.
Includedaccommodation in 3* or 4* hotels with breakfastAirport Transfersentry fees in museumsPrivate tours in citiesTrain stations transfersTrain tickets
Not IncludedFood and BeveragesPersonal Guide
Day 1: Welcome to Russia
Time to start your Trans-Siberian Railway winter Russian holidays train tour! We’ll be waiting for you at the Moscow airport and help you with checking in at the hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you might go for a relaxing walk around the city center or grab a warming up cocktail at one of Moscow bars. ExploRussia’s team will give you the best recommendations so that you can really enjoy the first hours spent in snowy Russia!
Day 2: Introduction to Moscow
In the morning, take a guided sightseeing tour around the center of Moscow and see its most important landmarks. Begin with the Kremlin, the historic center of Russian power and politics and the previous home to grand dukes and tsars, currently, it is the official residence of the Russian President. Visit mystic, small Orthodox churches located at the Kremlin territory, and (optionally) the fascinating Armory Chamber showing an impressive selection of the ancient state regalia, tsars’ festive clothes and the world largest collection of Russian ceremonial armaments.
In the early afternoon, grab your lunch like a local at the traditional Russian canteen in GUM Department Store (located in Red Square). You can also enjoy the best views of rich and stylish GUM’s interiors, from its top floor.
Afterward, take a walk around Red Square and see the most remarkable touristic spots of Moscow: colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral, famous Lenin’s Mausoleum and the beautiful State Historical Museum. Walk along Nikolskaya Street to see the magnificent Bolshoi Theater with its famous quadriga on top, also it has the world biggest ballet company. Walk further along Tverskaya Street to discover picturesque churches, secret yards, colorful decors and listen to fascinating stories about Moscow, its history, and everyday life.
Still not tired? There’re a few optional activities waiting for you! For the culture lovers, we can arrange to visit a theatre/ballet performance, as for the sporty types – ice-skating in one of the Moscow parks or tickets to an ice-hockey game. Let your Trans-Siberian trip begin!
Day 3: Day trip to Golden Ring
In the early morning, ExploRussia’s guide will pick you up from your hotel for a Golden Ring winter holidays adventure! After you arrive at Sergiev Posad, visit the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra which is the most important center of the Russian Orthodox Church. It has a vast territory including several churches and a holy spring.
Enjoy lunch in a small canteen and taste traditional the Russian cuisine, including the best national dishes. You will have a lunch break either in Sergiev Posad or upon your arrival at Pereslavl Zalesskiy, depending on time.
Leave Sergiev Posad and go to Pereslavl Zalesskiy (about 1-hour drive). This is another beautiful city of the Golden Ring, which will give you a glimpse of the rural Russian life and traditions.
In Pereslavl Zalesskiy visit its historical center with Zemlyanoy Val (a special protective embankment around old cities) and beautiful ancient churches. Pereslavl Zalesskiy is also famous for its small museums of different tools, for example, the Museum of Irons and Kettles. Afterward, leave the city center to take a walk around the lake and enjoy a great panorama!
In the evening travel back to Moscow and take your first Trans-Siberian overnight train to Kazan! (2nd class compartments, 4 people).
Day 4: Explore Muslim side of Russia - Kazan!
Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Today you will start to understand why Trans-Siberian trip is a legendary tour by experiencing a totally different Russia – its Muslim face. 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 to see Mosques and Orthodox churches standing next to each other and most of the signs written in two languages: Russian and Tatar. Walk along Bauman Street, it is only for pedestrians and covered with multicolored bricks.
Later on, visit the Kazan Kremlin. Its citadel was declared to be UNESCO Heritage Site in 2000. This tour will give you a great insight into the history of Kazan and a better understanding how different nationalities, religions, and languages could coexist in one place. You will also see Qol Sharif Mosque, Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, and Söyembikä Tower, also called the Khan’s Mosque.
Day 5: Go deeper to the countryside
After breakfast, explore old Russian town - Sviyazhsk!
Sviyazhsk, an 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 Sviyazhsk" 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. And here are not only churches! Lazy Torzhok amusement park - come here and try yourself in archery, throwing axes, take a picture in tsar's or prisoner's clothes, have a light meal. Stable Yard is for riding but also for pottery and blacksmithing. A variety of cafes featuring ethnic Russian cuisine. Also visit the smallest church in the world, the Trinity Cathedral, which can fit only 7 people, and the Temple of all religions. Enjoy the unique spirit of the place, listen to the legends and learn about the Muslim and Russian traditions.
Late in the evening transfer to the railway station.
Train to Krasnoyarsk, 40h traveling (2nd class compartments, 4 people).
Day 6: On the train
Day 7: Siberia is waiting for you - Krasnoyarsk
Our guide will meet you at the railway station, and you will go to your hotel to check-in.
After refreshing and breakfast, you will start to explore Stolby Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve was founded for a preservation of the natural complexes around picturesque syenitic outliers — the so-called "pillars" with a height of 600-700 meters. There exists on the Reserve territory the special tourist-recreation area that is opened for the tourists' visits. Go trekking and enjoy the unique nature and super fresh air!
On the second part of the day, you will have a chance to explore Krasnoyarsk. Your first point is the historic part of the city on the left side of the Yenisei River, where the city was started in 1628. Here are a lot of old buildings and beautiful manor houses. Travelers will visit the Pokrovsky Cathedral which is a great example of the Siberian Barocco style and the oldest stone building in Krasnoyarsk. Also, you will see the Steamboat – Museum of the XIXth century. Moreover, there are plenty of funny statues in the city, for example, “Uncle Vasya-a Drunkard” or “Volk”.
Day 8: Krasnoyarsk/train
Today you will say goodbye` to Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia with the population over a million. Found in the 17th century it used to be a place where political exiles were banished during Russian Empire times and kept the same position during Soviet times being a gulag center. But Krasnoyarsk is not only about difficult times in history. The well-known author Anton Chekhov (Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, etc) said that Krasnoyarsk is the most beautiful city in Siberia. Also, one the Krasnoyarsk's main landmarks Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel is displayed on the 10-ruble note so it is quite an iconic city.
In the afternoon you will get on the train to Irkutsk and spend 18h traveling (2nd class compartments, 4 people). It is time to continue your Trans-Siberian journey!
Day 9: Irkutsk
Arrival early in the morning, transfer to the hotel, check-in, refresh.
You have already covered more than 5000 km of the Trans-Siberian railway and the time difference with Moscow is 5 hours!
Today you will see the best of Irkutsk, old Siberian city. We will walk along Square of Kirov (the oldest place in town, always occupied by youth), beautiful Governer’s house, central Irkutsk Linguistic University, magnificent Church of the savior, grand and powerful memorial of eternal flame, majestic Rome Catholic Cathedral, finally we will have a promenade along two most beautiful central streets, main arteries of the city - Karl Marks and Lenina street.
Irkutsk was started as a settlement for gold trading and collection of fur taxes from the nearest region. Later on, it was a center of social life for various officers, artists and quite a number of noblemen sent to exile to Siberia. Nowadays it is a fairly large city along the Trans-Siberian railway with majestic architecture mix from different times and lovely very walkable downtown area. Do not forget to ask your guide why Irkutsk coat of arms has a weird creature "babr"!
Overnight in Irkutsk.
Day 10-12: Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island
Early in the morning you will meet with your guide and will go to Olkhon Island located in the deepest freshwater lake on the planet and true pearl of the Trans-Siberian trip - Baikal!
The winter is no less a time to travel to Baikal than the summer - quite the opposite. The lake is more accessible by ice, its layer is safe almost everywhere and in the latter part of winter the sunlight has returned and the weather is usually very good. Winter in Lake Baikal is not as severe as in other parts of Siberia. The lake has more sunshine a year than in Black sea!
You will spend 3 days on the lake shore, accommodate in the local guest house with local eco-food and Russian banya!
In these 3 days, you will visit Khaboy cape, rock Tri Brata and island Kharantsi, island Ogoi with Russian jeep.
Day 12: Lake Baikal/train
In the evening you will take a train to Vladivostok 69 hours (2nd class compartments, 4 people).
Say goodbye to hospitable Baikal and head to the last stop of the Trans-Siberian railway! Here are some facts about your next city: Vladivostok was found at the beginning of the 19th century and it is located near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. It has 17 twin cities and is currently the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet. Hint: going to a seafood restaurant in Vladivostok is a great idea!
Day 13-14: On train
Find out what to do on the Russian train, read our blog.
By this time you have already covered more than 9000 km of the Trans-Siberian railway! Wow!
Day 15: Arrival to Vladivostok
Evening arrival to Vladivostok, transfer to the hotel, check-in, rest
During winter the temperature in Vladivostok drops below -20 C but on the bright side, most of the days are clear and sunny. So do not forget to put some warm clothes in your luggage!
Another interesting fact about Vladivostok: since 2000 it held annual Tigers Day devoted to the preservation of the Amur tiger population, endangered inhabitants the Primorsky area. Also, Vladivostok has the world's longest bridge by the length of span and the time difference with Moscow is 7 hours!
Day 16: Vladivostok
Get ready to explore Vladivostok, the most eastern point of Russia and the Trans-Siberian railway, also it is one of the most picturesque, attractive and diverse (in terms of culture, language, and cuisine) cities in Russia. By this point you have already traveled for about 10 000 km starting in St Petersburg, Vladivostok is the last stop of your Trans-Siberian railway's adventure.
After lunch, you can join the walking city tour to get to know the oldest part of the city. Start with taking a picture at the last milestone of the Trans-Siberian Railway Milestone with the inscription of “9,288 km distance to Moscow”. You can definitely be proud of yourself that you have gone that far! Visit the Central Square; pass by the Monument to the Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East. Visit S-56 Submarine and the Pacific Navy War Memorial to see the marine part of Vladivostok, the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean. Learn more about Vladivostok history. Visit Arseniev Museum of Primorskii Region, Yul Brynner’s Mansion and the Public Garden. Listen to the stories about “Millionka” the former Chinese criminal district in the city. Finish the day at the highest point of the city, Eagle Nest Hill, and admire the outstanding view of Vladivostok!
Day 17: Farewell
Transfer to the airport
Flight to Moscow (about 9,5 hours)
Transfer to different airports (optional)