Trans Siberian

Travel Forums Asia Trans Siberian

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1. Posted by andyglad (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Im looking to travel from Moscow/St.Petersburg to Beijing by train in November 07. Im travelling with a friend and have around 4 weeks. Does anyone have any information at all?

2. Posted by cybervlad (Full Member 78 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

There is direct train from Moscow to China (Pekin, Xian, Guanghzou etc).


3. Posted by spank18 (Budding Member 19 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

search goggle for seat 61, enjoy

4. Posted by andyglad (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks, has anybody get any advice? What cities to stop at? What route to take? Basically at the moment we are thinking of flying to Moscow then travel to Beijing by rail where we would fly home. I would like to see some of Mongolia and ahev around 4 weeks overall. Has anyone done something similiar to this?

5. Posted by jasonsd (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If you're wanting to go through Mongolia, you're looking at the Trans-Mongolian. It starts in Moscow, continues through Siberia into Ullan Bator, (Mongolia's capital) and ends in Beijing. There's 2 ways to do it: through-rider (no stops) or stopping off along the way. There is no hop on hop off on the line. If you get off say in Irkutsk, you'd need to purchase a ticket from Irkutsk to the next place you stop. There's a ton of places to stop off along the way: Irkutsk (Lake Baikal), Ulan Ude, Ullan Bator (try to stay in a ger) are just a few cool stops. You'll have a blast.

6. Posted by andyglad (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks, so would you suggest we just get to Moscow and then buy train tickets city to city? How much money do you think I will need? Will I be able to do small train journeys in 4 weeks? Has anyone made similiar journeys?

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I haven't done the route (I've been to Moscow and St Petrsburg though), but I am currently doing a tourism project on Russia involving a lot of research on the trains. An itinerary I have set out for the trains is St Petersbug (7 days), Moscow (5-7 days depending on if you want to see the Golden Ring towns), Ekaterinburg (1-2 days), Irkutsk (2-3 days), Ulaanbaatar (on Trans-Mongolian 3 days), Beijing (4-5 days. That itinerary if you used the most number of days where I have mentione two numbers would be 28 days.

You should alocate at least 5 days in Moscow maybe a couple of days more if you are to see the nice towns around the area and 7 days for St Petersburg. St Petersburg is just one of those places you need to see really well and not be cheap with regards to only seeing some of the attractions. Places like Peterhof (when the fountains are operating) and Catherines Palace are amongst the most beautiful tourist attractions that you are likely to see anywhere and they are just two of the many great places. In Moscow the Kremlin and Red Square/St Basils are the couple of must sees but many very nice things that you should see exist. The Moscow metro system is a tourist attraction in itself (the train stations are so beautifully decorated). Also the area near VDnKh train station is beatiful especially after it has rained and the water fountain with gold statues reflects nicely on the ground for fantastic photos.

In my research I have seen more complex train/bus/car journies which would take slightly longer than 4 weeks, but would be amazing. Some of them even go Russia-Kazakstan-Uzbekistan-Kazakstan-Mongolia-Russia-China but for that the Russia visa would be even more expensive and more painful to get than it already is.

A couple of travel brochures that I have seen do exist on the great train journies in that part of the world. One really good brochure is titled Trans Siberian Railway & the Silk Road. That has 72 pages of Railway and other form of transport journies in that part of the world. If you did a google search for it, you may find a website with it mentioned where you could download an E-Brochure to look at it through your computer (if a travel agent near you doesn't have the same brochure).

Also if you have a student card bring it or if you haven't but are entitled to one or can get the under 26 youth card from STA travel get one and bring it with you to Russia. That will save you quite a lot of money on all the tourist attractions (a 50% discount). The youth card isn't meant to get a discount, but if you show it, they will say "student" and when you reply "yes" they'll almost always give you the student rate (which at the hermitage means free entry).

I say a minimum of $60US a day + train fees would be necessary for Russia, because Moscow and St Petersburg which are the two places I went to are not cheap at all. You should definitely book your accommodation as soon as you know your dates, because hostel accommodation can book out months in advance (in March I checked a date for August and it was already booked out!). November is probably starting to get less tourists so you may be alright, but it's best to play it safe.

Have a great trip.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 13, 2007, at 6:21 AM by aharrold45 ]

9. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 415 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I travelled the Trans-Siberian route last summer (actually, Trans-Manchurian). I didn't reserve tickets, and I had no problem getting tickets from Moscow to Irkutsk, and then on from there. But the Trans-Mongolian (through Mongolia) is often full, so I'd suggest booking ahead if you go that route. The biggest headache is visas- especially the Russian visa. You need a 'letter of invitation' from a Russian hotel or tourist agency. But you can order it on the internet.

Definitely, you should stop in Irkutsk, and see Lake Baikal. Jack Shermetoff has a hostel in Irkutsk which is good (as long as you aren't allergic to cats) and he can book a trip to Olkhon Island, on Lake Baikal, including homestay, at a very reasonable price.

The only thing I didn't like about the Trans-Siberian was the food. 3 days of nothing but microwaved beef stroganoff... ugh! Met some great fellow travellers, though.

10. Posted by timdunford (Budding Member 15 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am planning a similar trip to andyglad (doesn't he sound chilled out?). Can anyone tell me what kind of visas are needed for Russia and China? I am a UK citizen. I've heard the Russian one is tricky?


P.S. That's a shame about the cats, does he have loads at his hostel?