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Some questions about the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Travel Forums Europe Some questions about the Trans-Siberian Railway.

1. Posted by grs (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

I'm in Dublin, Ireland.
I'm thinking of taking the Trans-Siberian railway as a way of getting to Japan, I would like to make one stop for a few days somewhere along the route and am looking for suggestions.
With Russian travel visas do I have to have proof that I'm leaving the country - i.e. a fery ticket from Vladivostok to Japan?
Should I buy the train tickets at the station before I leave or is there a way of buying them before I get to Russia?
Porbably have more questions later!

2. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

When I was looking into doing the Trans-Mongolian route (which unfortunately I didn't end up doing), 2 websites I found useful were:
- RealRussia (visa & train info)
- Seat 61 (train info)

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting grs

Should I buy the train tickets at the station before I leave or is there a way of buying them before I get to Russia?

If you intend to go on the same train that goes Moscow-Beijing you'll need to buy the tickets online through an agency, since these usually sell out months in advance. The route to Japan is less popular. Still it might be better to use an agency.

For myself I would buy the tickets in Russia, but then I speak Russian and I would be travelling around Russia so much that I would use the local trains instead of the super-long-distance firmenost trains which are booked to the brim. I also would buy a City-Star Ticket in Bratislava, but I doubt you will save any money with this method if you travel alone and on to Japan. And yes, I would be willing to wait a week in Moscow or another city in order to get a train ticket going east.

http://citystarticket.blogspot.com/
http://deals.virtualtourist.com/viewDeal-19734-906-1---0-Russia-viewDeal.html
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/message.jspa?messageID=13618028
http://forum.virtualtourist.com/discussion-407919-1-1-Travel-0-0-Moscow-discussion.html

4. Posted by grs (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

As far as visas, I undertsnad I need to have an invite from the hotel/person I'm staying with to get a visa, does this mean I need to buy train tickets in advance?
I've also been told I can buy an invite for a visa from the internet, anyone done this if so where is reliable to get one of these?
If you have traveled the Trans-Siberian, how did you go about it?

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

You do not need to buy the train tickets in advance. The invite for the Russian visa isa bit different from the invite for the Schengen visa or similar. Has to do with historic reasons.

As for visa service, I've heard good things about www.waytorussia.net They should be able to get you your visa as well as the train tickets you need. Use their step-by-step visa guide, place an order for the train tickets, pay for it and you are all set. They won't be able to get you the Slovakian City Star ticket though.

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

The Real Russia website I pointed you to in an earlier post can help you with both of the things you ask.