The Trans-Siberian is the longest railroad in the world, joining Moscow and Vladivostok over 9,288 km. This legendary ride from Europe to Asia via the Siberian taiga is the most incredible of way to discover different people and cultures across Russia. The trains on this railroad will become your home, rock to sleep at night and breakfast on board as endless Russian rivers snake across the scenery with magical names: the Volga, Yenisey, Amur, etc. Taking a Trans Siberian railway tour with our travel company will be a memorable adventure!
This transcontinental journey starts in Europe’s most populous city: Moscow and its 12 million inhabitants. At the heart of this city is the mythical Kremlin, an ancient fortress, residence of the Tsars and political centre of Russia. You will explore its wonders with your guide. After exploring the churches, you can drink tea with a Muscovite family – a true Russian ritual. The trains that follow the Trans-Siberian leave from the historical Yaroslavskiy Station in Moscow. Don’t forget to take a photo in front of the column marking kilometre zero before hopping on board and starting your Trans Siberian railway holidays!
This flourishing crossroads between different cultures is the unique 1,000 year old city of Kazan, symbolised by the presence of both a mosque and an Orthodox church at the heart of the Kremlin. Protected by UNESCO, this architectural site overlooks the Volga, Russia’s favourite waterway.
Considered the gateway to Asia from Europe, Ekaterinburg is the main city in the heart of the Ural Mountains. Under the Russian Empire, they mined semi-precious stones like Malachite to decorate the palaces of Saint Petersburg. During WW2, the metallurgy industry turned to weapons production that were sent to the front. Ekaterinburg is also where the Romanov family was assassinated in 1917, marking the end of the tercentenary Romanov dynasty and the collapse of the Russian Empire.
Interestingly, the oldest Siberian towns are not on the Trans-Siberian route. Rather, you will find Tobolsk on the high bank of the Irtysh River. Founded in the 16th century, this is where the conquest of Siberia starts. The 17th century town of Tomsk has an internationally renowned university that is famous for its wooden architecture.
Novosibirsk became the third biggest city of Russia during WW2 when the military industry was evacuated there. The Siberian capital has the largest and most modern theatre of Russia as well as the scientific city of Akademgorodok. From Novosibirsk, take the road north to reach Tomsk or south to the Altai Mountains.
Located in oriental Siberia, you can already feel the impact of China and Mongolia in Irkutsk. Explore the city’s Baroque log cabins and visit the market where you can try pine nuts in chocolate. The itinerary goes from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal.
After crossing the Kultuk Gulf, the train weaves along the Baikal coast. Head to the restaurant carriage and drink to your Baikal encounter with your new Russian friends. Plan to spend at least a few days, or preferably a week, on Lake Baikal.
From Irkutsk to Vladivostok, experience the isolation of Russia’s least densely populated area. The train travels through mountainous terrain and a summit where the snow never melts. This long crossing is the ideal time to get lost in thoughts and musings, read Tolstoy or learn Russian with your travel companions.
The train enters the station. Through the glass, you will see a plaque indicating kilometre 9,288, but the station master, despite the seven time zones between here and the capital, will still give the Moscow time. On the shore of the Sea of Japan, Vladivostok feels like the end of the world. Cruisers of the Pacific Fleet are stationed in the port on the outskirts of the city centre. A perfect place to end your Trans Siberian railway trip. With the Chinese border just 100 km away from the capital of Russia’s Far East, many Chinese cafes and restaurants carry Russian names “Vladimir’s" or “Anton’s”.
In order to get from Moscow to Vladivostok by Trans-Siberian, there are tourist trains like the Golden Eagle or the Tzar’s Gold. This mode of transport is based on the cruiseliner model: board a train with other foreign tourists, your group is always with a guide, group excursions to towns where the train stops. You buy a subscription but you can’t adapt the trip to your interests. The level of comfort depends on the class of accommodation chosen.
For more authenticity and flexibility, we offer the unique chance to ride regular trains that local people take. If you stop off in one of the towns, you can just catch the next one. Every train has three comfort levels and a restaurant car.
Plan at least two weeks to travel from Moscow to Vladivostok or Beijing via Mongolia with stops in four or five towns.
During the summer, we recommend booking a trip between May and the end of September. In winter, it is better to travel between February and March, it is less cold and the days are longer.