Slutdestination: Saint Petersburg
From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world's great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in a Mongolian ger and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.
Train, private bus, metro, walking
Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), sleeper trains (7 nts), Mongolian ger (2 nts).
Explore the courtyards of the Forbidden City and walk along the Great Wall of China, ride the rails through Mongolia's grassy steppe and Siberia's taiga forests, stay in a local village on Lake Baikal, admire the grand structure of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square, marvel at the rich art collection in the Hermitage.
Great Wall entrance (Beijing). Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City guided tour. China-Mongolia Railway. Ulaanbaatar guided city tour including Gandan Monastery and Bogd Khan Palace. Overnight in Mongolian ger camp. Trans-Mongolian Railway. Irkutsk city tour. Lake Baikal stay (Listvyanka). Trans-Siberian Railway. Yekaterinburg walking tour. Trans-Ural Railway. Red Square visit and Moscow metro orientation tour. Kremlin and Armoury guided tour. St Petersburg walking tour. Hermitage Museum entrance. Local meal suggestions and language and border-crossing support throughout. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Day 1 Beijing
Arrive at any time.
Day 3 Beijing
Enjoy a guided tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Opt to see an acrobatics or kung fu show, visit the Temple of Heaven or Lama Temple, or enjoy a bicycle tour around the city.
Day 2 Beijing
Visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu and soak in the history and scenery.
Day 4 Beijing/Ulaanbaatar
Ride the rails through China and into Mongolia. Watch as the landscape changes and make friends with neighbours.
Day 5 Beijing/Ulaanbaatar
Arrive to Ulaanbaatar and start exploring. Choose to take in a local cultural show or enjoy real Mongolian barbecue.
Day 6 Ulaanbaatar/Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1D)
Enjoy an included city tour with a local guide to learn more about the rich history and culture of Mongolia. Later, leave the metropolis and travel into Mongolia's Terelj National Park. Enjoy a night in a traditional ger camp.
Day 7 Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the night in a ger camp learning about traditional life.
Day 8 Gorkhi Terelj National Park/Irkutsk (1B)
Head back to Ulaanbaatar for a few hours before boarding the train to Siberia.
Day 9 Ulaanbaatar/Irkutsk
Spend a full day on the train heading deeper into Russia and watching the landscape change.
Day 10 Irkutsk/Listvyanka (1D)
Travel to Listvyanka on the shores of Lake Baikal. Opt to visit Baikal Limnological Museum, enjoy a 'banya' (Russian sauna) or take a boat ride on the lake.
Day 11 Listvyanka/Irkutsk (1B)
Head back to Irkutsk for an included city tour of one of the most beautiful cities in Siberia. Take some time to shop like the locals at the Central Market to stay well-fed on the voyage.
Day 12 Irkutsk/Yekaterinburg
Continue on from Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg. Drink with locals in the dining car, buy homemade food on the platform from "babushkas" (Russian grandmothers), read, relax, play cards, meet your fellow passengers, watch the taiga forests go by - this is what the experience is all about!
Day 13 Irkutsk/Yekaterinburg
Continue on and arrive to the soviet-style city in the Ural Mountain region.
Day 14 Yekaterinburg (1B)
Enjoy a guided tour of Yekaterinburg, including the Church of All Saints on Spilled Blood and the Black Tulip monument.
Day 15 Yekaterinburg/Moscow (1B)
Cross from Asia to Europe on this 24hr train from Yekaterinburg to Moscow.
Day 16 Yekaterinburg/Moscow
Arrive to Moscow and start exploring. Take an orientation walk of the metro then opt for a Moskva River boat trip or a visit to Lenin's Mausoleum, the Tretiakov Gallery or St Basil's Cathedral.
Day 17 Moscow
Enjoy a guided Kremlin and Armoury tour before free time to explore.
Day 18 Moscow/Saint Petersburg
Spend another day in Moscow before an overnight train to St Petersburg.
Day 19 Saint Petersburg
Arrive in the morning and enjoy a walking tour of the back streets and hidden alleys of St Petersburg.
Day 20 Saint Petersburg (1B)
Visit the Hermitage Museum with free time to continue exploring the "Venice of Russia."
Day 21 Saint Petersburg (1B)
Depart at any time.