Trans Mongolian Train Journey
Best time to visit
Well balanced stopovers at the highlights along the Trans-Siberian route. On this 14 day trip you will sleep in a ger in Mongolia, and explore the nature around Lake Baikal! You will stay in comfortable guest houses, and finish up with a night in a hotel in Moscow.
Beijing — Ulaanbaatar & Mongolia’s Open Steppe — Irkutsk & Lake Baikal in Siberia — Moscow. Optional extension to St Petersburg.
Start the journey travelling past the Great Wall of China on the International Trans-Mongolian train from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (1 night). A fully guided tour to the Open Steppe of Mongolia (2 nights), city tour and 3* hotel in Ulaanbaatar (1 night), international train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (2 nights on board), excursion to the shore of Lake Baikal (2 nights), city tour and 3* hotel in Irkutsk (1 night). Russian train from Irkutsk to Moscow (4 nights on board). Arrival transfer, city tour and 3* centrally located hotel (1 night) in Moscow. Navigating through 7 time zones the tourists stay in the most important cultural centers, as if they stayed in different countries.
- Trans-Mongolian train journey, travelling 7,621 km from Beijing to Moscow across two continents.
- Remarkable scenery including the Great Wall, Gobi, Mongolian Open Steppe, the wide expanse of Siberia, countless rural villages and, of course, magical Lake Baikal.
- Stay in a comfortable traditional Mongolian ger, hike or ride a horse across the open steppe, visit the home of a nomadic family and the monument to Genghis Khan, while enjoying quality food and the warm and friendly hospitality of our local guides.
- Explore Ulaanbaatar, while learning how important Buddhism is to the Mongolian people.
- Stay in a traditional wooden home on the shore of Lake Baikal with a lovely host preparing local Siberian food.
- Hike in Baikal National park with a picnic on the shore of Lake Baikal.
- Comfortable and centrally located 3* hotel in Moscow, with orientation city tour of this fascinating capital.
- Local support, visa invitation documents
- Train tickets in standard second class four berth cabins, with option to upgrade to first class
- Beijing: 1 night at 3* Emperor Hotel, transfer to train. One of the ancient world capitals, a modern megapolis
- Mongolia: 2 day Open Steppe program, transfers, guide, 2 nights accommodation at tourist ger camp, full board
- Ulaanbaatar: 1 night 3* hotel, all transfers. This city that keeps up with the time & managed to preserve the ancient culture of Mongolian nomads
- Lake Baikal: 2 night Listvyanka tour. Includes: all transfers, 2 nights Guesthouse (incl. breakfast), English speaking guide for a day, guided tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal museum. The land of legends and wild nature.
- Hiking excursion around Listvyanka with picnic lunch
- Irkutsk: 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour, all transfers
- Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
Arrival to Beijing
1 night at centrally located 3* hotel. We can book extra accommodation and tours in Beijing, as well as domestic train tickets around China in advance of your Trans-Mongolian train journey.
Beijing | Train
Early morning transfer to Beijing Main Railway Station for the start of your Trans-Mongolian train journey. Depart on train in the morning. The train meanders through the Yanshan mountains north of Beijing and across the Great Wall, before arriving at the Chinese border town of Erlian.
The Chinese Mongolian border crossing takes around five hours for immigration and customs procedures and for changing
the bogies to accommodate the different gauge railway lines between China and the rest of the Trans- Mongolian / Siberian
Train to Ulaanbaatar
Wake up to the Gobi and cross central Mongolian steppe. Arrive to Ulaanbaatar (locally called UB) early afternoon and meet your driver on the station platform for a transfer to your hotel.
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
Meet your guide after breakfast and drive east out of UB to the Ger Camp, around two hours drive. Settle in to your comfortable and traditional ger for 2 nights and explore local surroundings. During your time on the steppe your guide will explain local customs and offer cultural excursions to local nomad family and other sites such as the Genghis Khan monument. Horse-riding can be arranged and paid for locally. Or you can relax at the camp or hike to nearby hills. If away from Gun Galuut, a picnic lunch will be provided. Enjoy a mix of local and western menus in the ger restaurant. (B|L|D)
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities. All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch. (B|L|D).
Gun Galuut | Ulaanbaatar | Train to Irkutsk
Free time before returning to Ulaanbaatar. Guided city tour, including: the Gandan Monastery, Sukhebaatar Square and
National History Museum. Early afternoon transfer to train station. Depart at late afternoon to Irkutsk. (B)
The northern plains of Mongolia are very flat and the train travels along the meandering Orkhon river up to the border.
Cross the Mongolian - Russian border in the middle of the night, stopping in Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities.
Train to Irkutsk | Listvyanka
Travel through Siberian Russia, passing Ulan-Ude and the eastern shore of Lake Baikal in the early morning. Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal before arriving in Irkutsk in afternoon and meet your local guide/driver on station platform. Enjoy a guided city tour of Irkutsk before transfer to Listvyanka, the main village on the shore of Lake Baikal (70km from Irkutsk). Staying two nights at a comfortable guesthouse. Guided tour of Lake Baikal Museum.
Listvyanka | Excursion
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (4-6 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. Free evening in Listvyanka. (B|L)
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Free morning before transfer to Irkutsk. You will stay at an intimate boutique hotel in a district of wooden buildings. Guided walking tour to the main sites in the city centre, including Karl Marx Street, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Epiphany Cathedral and the former Polish Cathedral. Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans- Siberian Railway and during the walking tour you will see how the railway influenced and developed this city. Irkutsk has an old centre very easy to navigate on foot with lovely Siberian wooden architecture and an amazing history of fires and rebuilding. (B)
Irkutsk | Train to Moscow
Free day and afternoon transfer to train station for onward departure on train in the evening. Spend the next few days relaxing in your comfortable cabin, enjoying the view of the Siberian taiga forest. Outside of Irkutsk the train winds around the Sayan mountains with some lovely views. (B).
On board train
On board the train all day. Stroll along to the dining car or buy fresh produce from local vendors as you stretch your legs on the platform. The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk. half way point on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian line.
On board train
Passing cities such as Ekaterinburg and Perm as you cross the Ural Mountains and the geographic border of Asia and Europe.
On board train
You will notice the land become less farmed and more industrial as you leave Siberia and cross into the Ural provinces and ultimately closer to Moscow.
Train to Moscow | Moscow
Early in the morning, around 4:11am, you will arrive at Moscow Yaroslavsky station and the end of your four day train journey.
You will be met and transferred to your central hotel, where you can freshen up in your room if early check-in has been booked.
Enjoy a great 3 hrs orientation tour of Moscow city center.
All our guides have their own personal itineraries and will visit many of the main sites, including: Tverskaya important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Aleksandrovsky
Gardens and of course the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
You have a free afternoon to continue your exploration of this exciting and vibrant city and delve into the long and turbulent history of Russia.
Moscow | Tour extension
Moscow is world class in terms of attractions and we recommend to spend at least 3 days in Moscow and we have a number of city tours and tour extensions in the city, before moving on to St Petersburg or onward connections to Europe. (B)
In Mongolian and Russian train, there are FIRST CLASS compartments. Actually, either in Mongolian, Russian and Chinese there has first class cabin. But, in Chinese train it is named as DELUXE CLASS.
In per first class carriage, there have 9 cabins with 2 comfortable berths. So, there have only 18 passengers. 1 – 2 serving attendants (often bilingual).
There has 2 toilet rooms and without shower. But in Chinese deluxe cabin, two rooms are 1 shared shower. Of course, there has spacious long corridor with windows. You can see sightseeing or breathing fresh
air and feeling nature.
Further, hallway and cabins are cleaned 3-4 times per day. The standard first class usually includes just bedding. In Trans Mongolian train, meals are not included. So, you need to eat meals in restaurant car. The advantage of first class apart from the extra privacy if you are traveling as a couple will be fewer queues for the toilet in the morning and you are closer to the dining car!