Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world. It was
built between 1891 and 1916 to connect the Russian capital Moscow
with the Far-East city of Vladivostok. En route it passes through
the cities of Perm, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk,
Irkutsk, Chita and Khabarovsk.
trips can be either made in groups or by individuals.Most
of the Transsiberian routes are tailor made and vary in trip length
and cities visited.
you will find several ideas for Transsiberian and useful tips!
Full Trans-Siberian trip from Moscow to Vladivostok. A classical
Full Trans-Mongolian trip from Moscow to Beijing. Another one
Trans-Mongolian to Beijing (Novosibirsk - Krasnoyarsk - Irkutsk -
lake Baikal - Buryatia – Mongolia - China). The route from
Novosibirsk to Ulan-Ude is the most interesting and fascinating part
of Trans-Siberian, and during the 2 weeks of the trip you will be
able to see the most intriguing and mysterious parts of our vast
Siberian land, of Mongolia and of Beijing. This tour will enable you
to see Siberia and Mongolia more in details rather than stopping in
each city for a night only.
Trans-Siberian from Tyumen/Omsk/Novosibirsk to Vladivostok. This
option will also give you more time to see Siberia deeper.
Asian Ring: Beijing-Mongolia - Siberia - Kazakhstan & Central
Any kind of your own routes your imagination suggests you looking at
the map of Siberian and Asian rail roads!
ask us to quote YOUR route you free of charge!
There are theoretical weight limits on luggage, but
the real limit is if your luggage will fit in the small compartment
below your bench with one other person’s. Carrying much more than
one larger suitcase is discouraged – if you are only going for a
weekend, take a backpack and save yourself some hassle. However,
don't forget some books and things to entertain yourself!
ticket lady will come around to inspect and collect your tickets
early on. If you will be crossing a border, you will have someone
inspect your passport as well. There will also be a woman that comes
by with sheets and hand towels if you are on an overnight train in
which "services" are not included in the ticket price –
for which there is usually a charge of around 30 RUR or so.
soon as they board, many Russians will immediately change into
tracksuits or shorts and tapochki (slippers). This is more
comfortable and even in winter trains are quite warm, so you don't
have to worry about freezing.
are only two toilets per 35-40 people (second class) and for 18
people (1st class). Mornings and evenings there are lines.
Especially in the morning, passengers can take a remarkable amount
of time in a space you personally wouldn't want to spend more than
necessary in. Carrying your own toilet paper is strongly
recommended. Bringing bottled water to brush your teeth with is also
a good idea.
food and water. Of course you can eat in the restaurant car but
expect prices to be high, 10-15$ per person per mediocre-quality
meal, not including alcohol. A vendor will usually come by at least
once selling drinks, chips, peanuts, etc. Tea and coffee are almost
always available, just ask the provodnik (wagon attendant). On
long-distance trains you will stop for 15-45 minutes at some
stations and passengers will disembark to stretch and buy food from
the babushki that make extra money selling pirozhki, etc there. But
the quality here can be questionable at times. Lastly, your
traveling companions may offer you food – it is impolite not to at
least try what you are offered, and you should have something to
offer in return (bringing cognac, vodka, fruit, or candy is
recommended for the socialable!)
are usually co-ed, and so usually the men step out while women
change into sleeping stuff and then vice-versa.
that the provodnik will make every effort to wake people up an hour
before arrival because about 15-20 minutes before arrival they will
lock the toilets. Get there while you have the chance.
Suggestions from the tourist:
chief suggestion to the foreign traveler is: don't travel in a large
group! If you aren't keen on going alone, bring a friend, but I
would try to limit your company to just one other person, especially
if you are riding kupe. If you are a group of 3-4 foreigners
occupying one kupe compartment, it will be more difficult to get
acquainted with other passengers—and getting to know your fellow
passengers is half the fun of a Trans-Siberian journey.
prevent over-packing, prepare to wear one outfit per train ride.
People on the trains aren’t too particular about fresh clothes,
especially since you can’t shower anyway. Even when I was on the
train for three days straight, I noticed that no one (including
myself) changed clothes until the day of arrival. When I returned
home after three weeks, I still had a couple clean outfits in
my pack! Best to pack as lightly as possible.
you plan on using your mobile while traveling, check with your
provider to make sure you will have service at the next location.
an up-to-date guidebook. The main guidebook that I used throughout
my trip was Trans-Siberian Railway (Lonely Planet Travel Guides),
which was published in April 2006. However, as many cities
throughout Russia are rapidly developing, some information in the
book was already out-dated! Be prepared to not always find things
where you think they will be, and don't hesitate to ask around at
your hostel of hotel for directions.
advantage—listen to people's stories, practice your Russian, try
new foods, and have fun!"
major activities while traveling by train:
from Beijing or Harbin, the last stop in China is Manzhouli. The
food being sold there is quite expensive, but many Russians stock up
on provisions (i.e. spirits and beer). Be aware that you can take a
maximum of five beers (Harbin Beer, 0.3l) per person into Russia or
you will have to pay a penalty (read: bakshish) to the customs. Get
rid of all your Chinese Yuan here as they become virtually worthless
once abroad, unless you want to take them as a souvenir. There are a
couple of black market money changers in front of the station that
change RMB to Roubles at rip-off rates. To get Roubles you have
plenty of time on the Russian side of the border (Zhabaikalsk). Walk
to the ATM located at the bank in town. Allow 30 minutes to go and
come back. The train stops for several hours while the carriages are
being changed, so you can do some shopping at the local food markets
(bread, cheese, etc.).
from Beijing via Mongolia into Russia there are still the same
rip-off exchange touts, but most if not all platform vendors in
Mongolia and Russia take US Dollars or Euros. However, they only
take bills (or notes), so know the exchange rate and buy a lot if
you are using a five Euro note. Always ask the attendant how much
time is available before you rush off into a station to find a
Bankomat (ATM) because the train will not wait for you. If you are
not spending time in Mongolia, don't worry about acquiring Mongolian
tцgrцg. They are worthless virtually everywhere else, and the
export of tцgrцg is technically forbidden. Therefore, spend
Dollars or Euro, but get Roubles ASAP because Russian vendors are
more likely to fabricate exchange rates than Mongolian or Chinese
platform vendors. Dont forget to buy a lot of vodka while in Russia!
the Moscow- Vladivostok route the train stops for 20-30 minutes
every 3-4 hours. Everybody can get out of the train, and there are
always people on the platform that offer a variety of fresh food
(eggs, fish, cheese, bread, fruits, meat or cheese in a cake ...)
and often some drinks for passengers. Prices are low; only Russian
Roubles are accepted. A highlight is the smoked fish (Omul) being
sold on the shore of Lake Baikal (Station: Slyudyanka - quick stop,
so be ready). Some of the larger stations will have food marts with
snacks and alcohol.
of the trains have dining cars, although if you do not speak any
Russian, ordering the food will be an experience, to say the least.
there is a samovar (hot water dispenser) in every carriage, your
best bet is to have a stack of dried noodle soups and Nescafe ready.
Just bring your own cup. The carriage attendants (Provodnitsa,
Provodnik if male) will often have cold drinks, snacks and even
freeze-dried meals available for sale at slightly inflated prices.
every train car there is a pot with boiling water available for
making hot drinks (bring your own tea, but the water is free).
Carriage attendants also sell tea and coffee, and it's usually
possible to buy soft drinks, beer and vodka in the restaurant
carriage to bring back to your carriage.