russia by train - moscow to ulan bator

17 days - 5 cities - 1st Class train cabins

Set off on an unforgettable journey with a maximum of 17 travelers along the Trans-Mongolian railway line. Discover the local way of life during your city stays and get unique local insights from your professional tour leader during your time on board the train. Enjoy comfortable accommodation in the cities and 1st class train cabins for your train journeys from Moscow to Ulan-Bator. Cross 1/3 of the world on the legendary Trans-Mongolian railway in just 17 days: from mighty Moscow to glorious Kazan, the cradle of Tatar culture, and Ekaterinburg on the border of Europe and Asia. Absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal and explore the Buddhist and nomadic traditions of Mongolia. 

day by day itinerary

Day 1 -  Arrival in Moscow (No meals included)

Welcome to the gorgeous capital of Russia - Moscow! Your driver meets you at the airport and transfers you to your centrally located hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from your flights. Dine in one of the nearby restaurants or start exploring the charming city center on your own. 

Day 2 - The Kremlin, Armoury Chamber & Red Square (Breakfast is included)

Today is dedicated to the exploration of the Kremlin, the heart of Moscow and Red Square.

Meet your guide after breakfast and walk to the Kremlin to explore the gems hidden behind the Kremlin walls: the Cathedral Square and the Assumption and Annunciation cathedrals.

Visit the famous Armoury Chamber housing a unique collection of crown jewels, stunning coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and world-famous Fabergé eggs.

After a short coffee break take a walk through the beautiful Red Square, go inside the colourful St. Basil's Cathedral and explore the famous GUM department store.

After the tour, walk back to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 3 - Tretyakov Gallery & Moscow Subway Ride (Breakfast is included)

This morning is free for you to continue exploring the magnificent Moscow city center on your own. In the afternoon check out from your hotel, meet your guide and enjoy a guided tour of the world-famous treasure trove of Russian fine art, the Tretyakov Gallery. View the brightest gems of its collection, including the famous masterpieces by Ivan Aivazovsky, Mikhail Vrubel, and Viktor Vasnetsov.

After the tour of the Tretyakov Gallery enjoy a quick subway ride to explore the most beautiful stations of Moscow Subway which is known to be one of the most beautiful and efficient metro systems in the world.

See the spectacular Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and learn the story of its destruction and reconstruction. Today you also have a chance to enjoy one of the best city views at Sparrow Hills and see the grand building of Moscow State University, the highest of seven Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscow.

After the tour, transfer to the train station where you board your train and start your amazing journey across Eurasia!

Day 4 - Kazan Sightseeing Tour & Tatar Cooking Class (Breakfast & lunch are included)

In the morning your train arrives in Kazan - the beautiful capital of the Republic of Tatarstan and the center of Tatar culture in Russia.

Upon arrival, walk to your centrally located hotel for check-in and breakfast.

After some time for rest you explore the historical ensemble of the Kazan Kremlin where you will see the main treasures of the complex, including one of the largest mosques in Russia - the Qol Sharif Mosque; also the leaning Soyembika Tower, the Annunciation Cathedral and the Governor's Palace.

Now you are in for a little surprise! Your lunch program includes a cooking master class where you will learn how to make a traditional Tatar dish.

Continue your tour to the Kazan Family Center, shaped like a huge cauldron, on the bank of the Kazanka River.

After the tour return to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 5 -  Sviyazhsk and Chak-Chak Museum (Breakfast & chak-chak tasting included)

After breakfast meet your guide and driver who take you to the island of Sviyazhsk to enjoy its amazing architectural heritage. Along the way you will stop at the famous Temple of All Religions - the unique complex consisting of several cupolas, minarets and spires representing the architecture of 12 major religions of the world.

On arrival at Sviyazhsk enjoy a walking tour around its most treasured attractions, including the Dormition Monastery, the Monastery of John the Baptist and the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius.

After a break for lunch (not included) you proceed to the Chak-Chak Museum where you learn the secrets of making the traditional Tatar sweet. You are also invited for tea drinking with chak-chak, baursak and Tatar pastila.

After the tour you return to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 6 - Train to Ekaterinburg (Breakfast box is included)

Early in the morning you walk to the train station to continue your journey to the capital of Ural - Ekaterinburg. You spend this day on board your train enjoying fantastic scenery passing by your window and the company of your fellow travelers from all over the world.

In the evening you arrive in Ekaterinburg. Your driver meets you at the train station and transfers you to your centrally located hotel for overnight.

 

Day 7 - Last Days of Russian Imperial Family Tour in Ekaterinburg (Breakfast is included)

After breakfast you meet your guide and driver and enjoy a guided sightseeing tour around the most remarkable city landmarks.

During the tour you take a walk through the historical city center, visit Ural Craftsman Lane where you can buy some traditional hand-made souvenirs, see the magnificent architectural ensemble of the Rastorguev - Haritonov’s House and take a trip to the famous Europe-Asia monument where you will stand with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.

The second part of your tour is dedicated to the last days of the Russian Imperial Family. You visit the Church on Blood built on the site of the notorious Ipatiev House, where the last Russian Emperor, Nicolas II, and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

The last stop for today is the first burial place of the Tsar’s family - the Monastery Complex “Ganina Yama”, now consisting of seven chapels - one for each member of the royal family.

After the tour you return to your hotel and have the rest of the evening free.

Day 8 - On Board the Train (Breakfast box is included)

Today you check out from the hotel in Ekaterinburg very early in the morning. You are transferred to the railway station to board the train to Irkutsk to continue your Trans-Siberian journey.

Relax on board the train enjoying fantastic scenery passing by your window.

Day 9 - On Board the Train (No meals included)

Another day spent this day on board your train.

Day 10 - Listvyanka Village Tour & Baikal Museum (Breakfast is included)

Early in the morning you arrive in Irkutsk, informally known as "Paris of Siberia" for its rich architecture and colourful life. Upon arrival you are transferred to Lake Baikal shore for check in to your hotel.

After a 2-hour rest you enjoy a guided tour around Listvyanka Village. During the tour you visit the Baikal Limnological Museum and Aquarium housing an interesting display of the unique flora and fauna of the lake.

Take a chair-lift to a nearby viewpoint to take some magnificent panoramic pictures of Baikal, view the Chersky Rock and visit the 19th century wooden St. Nicolas church. Spend some time at a local fish market where you see a great variety of fish and different ways of cooking it.

After the tour you return to your hotel and have the rest of the day free. In the evening you enjoy traditional Russian banya at your hotel.

Day 11 -  Day Trip to Taltsy Village & Lake Baikal Cruise (Breakfast & lunch are included)

After breakfast you take a day trip to the open-air museum of wooden architecture located in Taltsy Village.

This reconstructed Siberian village consists of a number of buildings that were threatened with flooding when the Irkutsk Dam was constructed on the Angara River. All the buildings at the Taltsy museum were rescued from the rising waters and brought here to serve as models of Irkutsk regional architecture.

After lunch in a traditional local restaurant you will enjoy an exclusive experience - a private 3-hour cruise on the magnificent Lake Baikal. Together with the guide you board a ship and cruise to one of the stations of the first Baikal railroad. While on board, you enjoy the calm waters of Baikal and feel the power of the world’s deepest lake. Once on shore your guide takes you to the tunnels of the old railroad, where you have a chance to take photographs. On the way back you relax on the open-air deck of the ship with a cup of hot Siberian tea and local candies, listening to the stories about the life of locals.

After the cruise you return to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 12 - Irkutsk City Tour (Breakfast is included)

After breakfast you check out from your hotel and say "Good-bye" to Lake Baikal! Your driver takes you to Irkutsk for a guided tour around the city's most remarkable attractions.

You first walk along Angara River embankment - the most popular meeting place among the locals - to an eternal flame and the monument to explorer Yakov Pohabov, the founder of the city. You proceed to the only Catholic Cathedral in Irkutsk, the beautiful Polish Roman Church, located in the historical part of Irkutsk.

You are then driven to one of the main monasteries in Siberia - Sigh Monastery also known as the Znamensky Monastery. You also explore the Kazan Church, which with its Byzantine style decorations looks like a fairy tower, and Block 130, the historical zone with many colourful wooden houses and buildings constructed in the 17th century.

After the tour you are transferred to a centrally located hotel, and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city on your own.

Day 13 - On Board the Train (Breakfast box is included)

After breakfast, you check out from your hotel and your driver transfers you to the train station where you board a train and journey to the final destination of your Trans-Siberian tour - Ulan Bator.

You spend this day on board your train enjoying amazing scenery passing by your window.

Day 14 - Gandan Monastery & Trip to Gorkhi-Terelji National Park (Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included)

In the morning you arrive in the capital of Mongolia - Ulan Bator. Your driver meets you at the train station and takes you to your hotel to freshen up and have breakfast.

Later you meet your guide and explore the legendary Mongolian Buddhist Gandan Monastery in Ulan Bator. Depart from the capital and in about 1.5 hours arrive at the camp and enjoy traditional lunch.

Later you take the tour of the picturesque Gorkhi-Terelji National Park and visit its most popular attractions, including the famous Turtle Rock and the Aryabal Temple located on a steep hill. At the entrance to the temple’s grounds there is a long walking path leading to the set of 108 steep stairs  symbolizing the elephant’s elongated trunk. You can climb up to the temple and admire the magnificent view of the surrounding valleys.

In the evening you enjoy a 1-hour pony ride and have dinner at the camp. You spend this night in a traditional Mongolian yurt.

Day 15 - Meeting a Nomadic Family & Exploring the Genghis Khan Statue (Breakfast is included)

Following breakfast at the ger camp you meet your guide and start the day with a visit to a nomadic family to learn more about their culture, authentic lifestyle and traditions. 

You continue to the banks of the Tuul River where an iconic 40-meter equestrian statue of Genghis Khan is located. During the tour you explore the interiors of the statue, see a replica of Genghis Khan’s legendary golden whip and walk through the chest and neck of the statue's horse up to its head. At the top you enjoy an amazing view of the complex area and the surrounding scenery.

After a break for lunch you make your way to the famous Zaisan Hill which offers the best panorama of Ulan Bator and then to the cashmere factory where you learn how raw materials are being transformed into thread and then into clothing.

Later you are transferred to your hotel in Ulan Bator and have the rest of the day free.

Day 16 - City Tour & Folk Show in Ulan Bator (Breakfast & dinner are included)

After breakfast you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and go on a walking city tour around the most interesting attractions of Ulan Bator.

During the tour you visit the National Museum of Mongolia, one of the leading museums in the whole country and the one which is responsible for preserving Mongolian cultural heritage. You also stroll along the main streets of the city, see the Parliament house and walk through the central Sukhbaatar Square formerly known as Genghis Khan Square.

After the tour you return to the hotel to take some rest or continue exploring the city center on your own. In the evening you attend an amazing Mongolian folk show at the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (the show venue is located within walking distance from your hotel). After the show you are invited to the restaurant for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 17 - Departure from Ulan Bator (Breakfast is included)

This is the final day of your amazing Trans-Siberian train tour! Following breakfast, you check out from the hotel and your guide transfers you to the airport for your flight back home, taking with you memories to last a lifetime.

RATE PER PERSON SHARING     US$ 6,498
RATE PER SINGLE                       US$ 7,698
VALID FOR THESE 2019 DATES:   14 - 30 JUN;   26 JUN - 12 JUL;   14 - 30 JUL;   02 - 18 AUG;   14 - 30 AUG;   06 - 22 SEP

RATE PER PERSON SHARING     US$ 7,698
RATE PER SINGLE                       US$ 8,898
VALID FOR THESE 2019 DATES:   12-28 MAY;  24 MAY-09 JUN;  12-28 JUL;  24 JUL-09 AUG;  16 AUG - 01 SEP;   28 AUG - 13 SEP

NOTE: SOME DEPARTURES ARE IN REVERSE; DISCOUNT OFFERED FOR 4 PERSONS BOOKING TOGETHER