Trans-Mongolian Express

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From bustling Beijing 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 and spend nights in a Mongolian ger and 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.


Day 1: Beijing

Arrive at any time. Want to experience more time in Beijing? Book the Beijing Express, a three-day pre-tour package. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book.

There are no planned activities until the group meeting in the evening.

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 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.

Day 3: Ulaanbaatar

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. Arrive to Ulaanbaatar, get your bearings on an orientation walk, then start exploring. Choose to take in a local cultural show or enjoy some Mongolian barbecue.

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.

Includes: Dinner

Day 5: Gorkhi Terelj National Park

Spend the night in a ger camp learning about traditional life.

Walk through the valleys and live simply while overnighting in a traditional ger camp.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 before boarding the next train.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 7: 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.

Includes: Dinner

Day 8: Listvyanka

Spend a full day exploring the surrounding countryside of Lake Baikal.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world. With free time, catch a glimpse into why this is the "Galapagos of Russia". Opt to go for a boat ride or take a short hike.

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.

Includes: Breakfast

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!

Day 11: Irkutsk/Yekaterinburg

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

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.

Includes: Breakfast

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.

Includes: Breakfast

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.

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.

Day 16: Moscow

Enjoy one last day with free time to explore the many museums, art galleries, or theatres that Moscow has to offer.

Day 17: Moscow/Saint-Petersburg

Take an early morning transfer to the train station and board a high speed train to St. Petersburg. Get oriented with the city before enjoying some free time to explore.

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.

Day 18: Saint-Petersburg

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

Includes: Breakfast

Day 19: Saint-Petersburg

Depart at any time.

We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.

Includes: Breakfast

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