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Trans-Mongolian Express
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Until Dec 17 From Jan 18

From bustling Beijing to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the worlds 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 guesthouse. 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.

  • Duration: 19 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ACTM.B/201389
  • Starts: Beijing, China
  • Finishes: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
You will Visit
  • Beijing
  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Gorkhi Terelj National Park
  • Irkutsk
  • Listvyanka
  • Yekaterinburg
  • Moscow
  • Saint Petersburg

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Beijing

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until the group meeting in the evening.

02

Day 2: Beijing/Ulaanbaatar

Ride the rails through China and into Mongolia. Watch as the landscape changes and make friends with neighbours.
While on board, settle in and enjoy impressive views of the Great Wall as the train tackles the mountains before descending to the arid lands of Inner Mongolia and continuing into the heart of rural Asia.

In the evening, reach the border post of Erlian. Here, the train's wheels will be changed to accommodate a different gauge rail. Opt to stay on board and watch it happen.

03

Day 3: Beijing/Ulaanbaatar

Arrive to Ulaanbaatar and start exploring. Choose to take in a local cultural show or enjoy real Mongolian barbecue.
Awake to the stunning landscapes of the south Gobi. The classic image of Mongolian horses and gers (yurts) dot the scenery from horizon to horizon. The occasional nomad encampment appears mirage-like through the carriage window.

04

Day 4: Ulaanbaatar/Gorkhi Terelj National Park

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.
Discover one of the most important Mongolian temple complexes, the Gandan Monastery. Learn about the history of Buddhism in Mongolia and hope for the chance to see chanting monks. If lucky, a local fortune teller may be around to share some wisdom. After the Monastery, the tour will continue in the Winter Palace of the last Mongolian King (the only King's palace that survived the revolution). At the end of the tour, visit Zaisan Hill, a great viewpoint with a monument dedicated to Soviet soldiers.

05

Day 5: Gorkhi Terelj National Park

Spend the night in a ger camp learning about traditional life.
Walk through the valleys, visit nomadic families, and live simply while overnight in a traditional ger camp.

06

Day 6: Gorkhi Terelj National Park/Irkutsk

Head back to Ulaanbaatar for a few hours before boarding the train to Siberia.
Return back to Ulaanbaatar with enough time to buy some souvenirs and snacks for the ride before boarding the next train.

This leg is 2 nights on board, crossing into Siberia and continuing on to Irkutsk.

07

Day 7: Ulaanbaatar/Irkutsk

Spend a full day on the train heading deeper into Russia and watching the landscape change.

08

Day 8: Irkutsk/Listvyanka

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.

09

Day 9: Listvyanka/Irkutsk

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.

10

Day 10: 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!

11

Day 11: Irkutsk/Yekaterinburg

Continue on and arrive to the soviet-style city in the Ural Mountain region.

12

Day 12: Yekaterinburg

Enjoy a guided tour of Yekaterinburg, including the Church of All Saints on Spilled Blood and the Black Tulip monument.
With free time, opt to see a performance at the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre, visit the fine art gallery or spend some time at the military museum.

13

Day 13: Yekaterinburg/Moscow

Cross from Asia to Europe on this 24hr train from Yekaterinburg to Moscow.
In the morning, board the Trans-Ural Railway. Say farewell to Asia while crossing the Urals into Europe.

14

Day 14: 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.

15

Day 15: Moscow

Enjoy a guided Kremlin and Armoury tour before free time to explore.
The area around the Red Square is perfect for sightseeing and people watching. Visit one of the many shops, wander the Alexandr Gardens or visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Head down into the metro to explore the beautiful stations or visit another part of the city.

16

Day 16: Moscow/Saint-Petersburg

Spend another day in Moscow before an overnight train to St Petersburg.
Continue your exploration of the Russian capital before catching the last train of the journey to St Petersburg in the late evening.

17

Day 17: Saint-Petersburg

Arrive in the morning and enjoy a walking tour of the back streets and hidden alleys of St Petersburg.
St Petersburg, one of Europe's finest cities, is home to baroque European architecture combined with the opulent palaces of Russian royalty. Its tree-lined streets and cosmopolitan atmosphere make it a favourite destination for travellers from around the globe.

Upon arrival to St Petersburg take a walking tour of the city. Learn the sordid history of the city from the Peter the Great to Dostoevsky to the Seige of Leningrad.

18

Day 18: Saint-Petersburg

Visit the Hermitage Museum with free time to continue exploring the "Venice of Russia."

19

Day 19: Saint-Petersburg

Depart at any time.
We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Local Living: Traditional Ger Stay, Gorkhi Terelj National Park
    • China-Mongolia Railway
    • Ulaanbaatar guided city tour including Gandan Monastery and Bogd Khan Palace
    • 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
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), sleeper trains (7 nts), Mongolian ger (2 nts)
    • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Train, private bus, metro, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • 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


Reviews (10)
Craig H Posted on: 

Well run, great tour leader. Very knowledgeable.

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Virginia W Posted on: 

Very good overall experience. We covered an amazing amount of territory and cultures on this single tour.

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Christopher H Posted on: 

Overall it was a good tour and I would recommend it to friends and colleagues. I certainly feel it was good value for money and at high level is very well organized.

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Jacqueline H Posted on: 

We thought the tour was terrifically interesting and good value for money.

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Francis S Posted on: 

A great experience. Most of all it was worry free.

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Stephanie L Posted on: 

Everything ran very smoothly. The tour itself was a great mix between free time to explore and provided activities. There was a great balance between different cities and the time spent in them. Having an amazing leader and a really reliable group also helped!

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Jennifer R Posted on: 

A great tour on a fantastic route. We had just the right amount of guidance when we needed it and plenty of necessary free time.

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Gareth B Posted on: 

The tour was very well organised. We all agreed that an extra camp night would've been better than Ulanbatar for the night. THE MOST PROFESSIONAL COMPANY I'VE EVER USED!

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Alexander K Posted on: 

I thought that the tour was a great experience and took in some really interesting places.

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Sylvia W Posted on: 

The trip through China, Mongolia and Russia was great. G Adventures did an excellent job of getting to see as many sights as possible. The train ride was an experience in itself. It was a great trip.

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