Trans-Siberian: 3 Weeks

Duration
21 Nights
Transport

This route is a 22 day trip taking you all the way from St Petersburg to Beijing via Irkutsk and Ulaanbaatar. You’ll spend 14 nights in your accommodation and 7 nights on the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian express.

Route
  • St Petersburg
  • Moscow
  • Irkutsk
  • Ulaan Baatar
  • Beijing
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Trip Style

It’s one of the world’s most iconic journeys – the Trans-Siberian is on everyone’s bucket list. If you’ve covered most parts of Western Europe and are looking for a little bit of a challenge, why not take a leap into the unknown with this epic voyage. Russia borders both Finland and China… With this Trans Siberian route you’ll see the country from end to end, as well as Mongolia and China to boot.

Trip Description

Russia is historic and mysterious on an epic scale… start your discovery here

Choose to begin in the imperial capital St Petersburg, the City of the Tsars, designed to impress and showcase the best that Russia has to offer. Also called The Venice of the North, you won’t stop being charmed by its hundreds of canal bridges or beautifully ornate palaces.

Move on swiftly to the modern-day capital. Moscow’s main sights centre around its stunning Red Square, where you’ll find the world famous St Basil’s Cathedral as well as the nearby Kremlin. Both are open to the public for visits year-round. Made the most of the sights? Then it’s time to let your hair down – just as well Moscow’s nightlife is world renowned.

Once you’ve had your fill of beautiful Russian history and culture, you’ll board the trans-siberian express – in winter passing on through snow covered forests, icy pools and breathtaking wilderness. In summer, drink in the luscious forest landscape of Siberia as you make your way around Lake Baikal near Irkutsk. Take a refreshing dip in the world’s largest freshwater lake, and pick up some of its famous smoked fish from traditional sellers on the shores. Eat, sleep and relax on board the train as it delivers you from the cathedrals of Europe to the plains of Mongolia.

Here, discover the traditional way of life led by nomadic people across the region – as well as the stark contrast with Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia’s capital and home to 1.3m people. Take a tour to Terelj National Park and stay with a local family in a yurt, and go horseriding across the Mongolian steppe through breathtaking scenery.

Next it’s on to Beijing, an overnight journey passing through hundreds of miles of scenery – you’ll notice the landscape change from rolling green hills and yurts, to the dry plains of the Gobi desert, to lush green mountains and lakes, until finally passing into the outskirts of Beijing – China’s capital and its third largest metropolis.

Explore Beijing’s palaces and gardens, or take a trip out to the Great Wall to discover one of the world’s most awesome feats of engineering. From here, fly home from Beijing’s capital airport (not included). Alternatively why not continue your adventure across Asia and beyond…

Whether this is the end of your journey or just the beginning, the Trans Siberian is an experience you’ll never forget.


Travelling from London to Russia

You can get to Russia quickly from London by train to Amsterdam, then a connection in Lubeck, Germany to board you straight onto a 2-night ferry to Helsinki, from where you can travel easily on to St Petersburg or Moscow to begin your adventure. Alternatively, you can forego the ferry and travel up through Berlin, Warsaw, and the Baltics – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, for a real sample of some of the former Soviet Union. Remember that everything is customisable so just let us know what suits your travel plans and we will be happy to make a route just for you at no extra cost. You can also travel there taking a southerly route via Kiev, Ukraine.


This route requires a Russian tourist visa, a Mongolian tourist visa and a Chinese Tourist Visa.  You can apply for a Russian visa up to 6 months before your trip. Once you have the visa, you MUST enter Russia within 6 months otherwise it will expire. Mongolian and Chinese tourist visas can only be applied for up to 3 months in advance and are valid for 30 days; you must enter each country within 90 days of the respective visa issue date.

Euroventure is not able to provide visas. For further information on how to apply, please go to your nearest Russian Embassy website and look up the entry requirements for your nationality. Make sure you allow plenty of time to process this (at least 2 months).  

Our partners at Real Russia are the experts in Trans-Siberian visas, and can process all three visas for a set fee. Learn more about their Trans-Siberian Visa service.

What's included?

  • All overland transport tickets from the first to the last city, as shown in the key.
  • Seat reservations on all trains
  • Accommodation in top-rated, centrally located hostels or hotels, tested by us.
  • Walking directions between the stations and your booked accommodation.
  • Optional walking tours, pub crawls and other activities at our partner hostels.
  • A personalised travel booklet with maps, language guides, top tips, and more.
  • Access to your itinerary, tickets and documents on the Euroventure App.
  • Access to our 24hr emergency phone number while you’re away.

The Route

Itinerary

The 3 week cross-continental trip is the journey of a lifetime. You’ll travel overnight on the world famous Trans-Siberian and Mongolian Express trains, as well as spending several nights in each city. Please note you’ll need a tourist visa to enter Russia, Mongolia and China.

St Petersburg (2 Nights)

Saint Petersburg is the city of the Tsars. From glorious opera houses to underground music scenes, classical masterpieces to street art – immerse yourself in kaleidoscopes of Russian colour and culture. When you’re done, make the most of the city’s famous White Nights to party into the early hours – you can sleep when you’re dead.

St Petersburg Guides
Highlights

  • Marvel at the incredibly ornate “Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood”, Pushkin and Catherine Palaces.
  • Join local residents for all night parties in June – during Summer’s “White Nights”, the sun barely sets.
  • Discover authentic bargains at Udelka flea market on the weekend

Moscow (3 Nights)

Russia’s Capital, home to the grand treasures of the Tzars, Russia’s modern political hub (The Kremlin) and more cultural heritage than you can shake a stick at; it’s clear that any trip to Russia starts with Moscow. For this particular journey, it’s also your gateway to Siberia. Here is the starting point of the Trans Siberian Express – one of the World’s most iconic trains journeys.

Moscow Guides
Highlights

  • Check out Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedrals – arguably Russia’s most famous sight
  • Eat your way through delightfully stodgy cuisine – potatoes, Borscht, any kind of meat you can imagine and plenty of local beers (and maybe vodka) to wash it down.
  • Sweat out all the toxins you’ve acquired in a classic Russian Banya, or bath house.

Irkutsk (2 Nights)

Irkutsk is the capital of Siberia itself, and a welcome spot to stretch your legs after a few nights socialising and relaxing on the train. The city lies close to the world-famous Lake Baikal, which legend has it will give you an extra 5 years of life if you just paddle near the shore, or an amazing 25 years longer if you go for a swim! In winter, the lake freezes over people are known to actually drive on the thick ice! If you go in the summer, the lake is frequented by local fishermen who sell their amazing catch on the shore, smoked and hung and ready for eating!

Irkutsk Guides
Highlights

  • Take a trip to Lake Baikal, about an hour’s drive from the city
  • Visit the stunning cathedrals and churches
  • Use the opportunity to wash your clothes ready, stock up on food and supplies ready for your next adventure to Mongolia!

Ulaan Baatar (5 Nights)

The capital of Mongolia, a quirky future-meets-the-past city with skyscrapers mixed in with traditional yurts, Ulaanbaatar will keep you interested just wondering about and discovering. Learn about one of the world’s most famous empires lead by Genghis Khan, and visit his statue at the main square. Whilst you’re in the city, be sure not to miss the opportunity to take a tour of nearby Terelj National Park, where you will be able to experience a slice of nomadic life yourself.

Ulaan Baatar Guides
Highlights

  • Visit Genghis Khan Square and see the giant statue dedicated to the former warrior
  • See the Buddhist Gandantegchenling Monastery
  • Go horseriding in Terelj National Park and stay overnight in a yurt

Beijing (3 Nights)

Beijing is China’s capital and one of its biggest cities. A treasure trove of cultural and historical interest, start your exploration at the Forbidden City – the Royal palace closed off to visitors until recently. Check out the Olympic Park as well as the world famous Tiannemen Square. For food, don’t miss the hutongs of the old town – famous for their traditional courtyards and street vendors. In the temperate north, filling wheat-based dishes like noodles and pancakes are the speciality. Eat real Peking Duck, feast on dumplings fit for a king – even sample some street Scorpions or snake meat if you dare…

Beijing Guides
Highlights

  • Visit the Great Wall – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Stick to the maintained sections close to Beijing, or head out to the more rural sections for something a little more adventurous.
  • Try Beijing’s famous local specialities – from noodles and dumplings to deliciously savoury Hot Pot.
  • Beat your way through the crowds in the Forbidden city and discover this breathtaking palace

How to get there

The quickest and cheapest way to get to and from the UK will be to book a budget flight. Use a search engine such as Kayak or Skyscanner to do this. If you want to travel from the UK to Russia and back by train, why not have a look at our Northern Loop.

Optional Extras

Reviews

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4.89 Average

395 Reviews

Overall Rating

2 weeks ago

The team at Euroventure was outstanding! Not only were they knowledgeable and helpful, but they were always quick to respond, very accommodating, and made every part of our trip personal and meaningful. Highly recommend Euroventure and would definitely work with them again.

Dannah Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

3 weeks ago

I have just returned from my 1 week interrailing trip! Me and my boyfriend went on the “Iron curtain” package and it was amazing. Euroventure organised everything and made it so easy. I would highly recommend anyone that wants to see more of Europe to go with this company.

Anonymous Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

3 weeks ago

My sisters and I had the best trip, we did a variation to the 4 week eastern traveller route and Euroventure were so helpful in making the trip suit our needs. Each hostel was great and in a good location. The info pack was such a great help and an amazing keepsake. The fact all of our travel was booked and set out meant we could spend all our efforts on experiencing everything! We truly had the best time and would 100% recommend to anyone. We’re already looking for our next trip! Thanks again for all your help - Alice, Kailey and Harriet :)

Alice Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

1 month ago

The trip was amazing. The organisation and selection of hostels and type of travel was exceptional allowing for an outstanding memory

TYNE Govier Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

1 month ago

OB14844 Absolutely amazing trip. Took alm the hassle out of booking trains myself. The travel pack is really good too.

Amy Elizabeth Verified Reviewer

Questions & Answers

Don't see the answer you're looking for?

Question:
Are transfers to Europe included?
Answer:
Our packages do not include flights to the start and from the end of the trip. We have plenty of trips however that do include Eurostar trains from London, and with most of these you are able to start from any mainland UK train station at no extra cost, as well as return there at the end of your trip. We just need to take into account the amount of time it takes you to travel from your UK home station to London to catch the Eurostar to Paris or Brussels, and your onward connections if necessary.
Question:
Can I go on a Euroventure if I am under 18?
Answer:
Yes, generally you can go on a Euroventure if you or some of your group is under 18, however you must inform us before you book if this is the case. Our partner hostels and hotels have different rulings regarding under 18s, for example some do not allow minors to share dorms with strangers (meaning you’d need to go in a private room with your group, and pay the extra cost), and some don’t allow minors at all, meaning we have to use an alternative hostel. Others are fine to have under 18s as long as they carry a note of permission from a legal guardian. If you’re in any doubt, just ask us for a quote and we’ll let you know if it’s fine for you to travel with us ?
Question:
When do I receive my tickets?
Answer:
Once we receive your final payment we will get to work on purchasing your train tickets which don’t become available as early as the accommodation. In some cases, we can’t get hold of tickets until four weeks in advance, so we normally say you should expect your travel pack around 2-4 weeks before you depart.
Question:
Do you schedule in night travel?
Answer:
Sometimes, yes. Some packages have one or two night trains in order to cover big distances such as Prague to Krakow. In this case, the extra charge for the night train will be covered by us as you won’t be requiring a hostel. Details will be provided when you submit a quote request for a route. If you choose a Loop package these are designed to cover as much distance as possible in the shortest space of time, so on those you might find that most journeys if not all involve night trains or night coaches.
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