Day 1: Arrive St. Petersburg
You will be greeted off your flight and escorted to your hotel for your two night stay in St. Petersburg. This afternoon is free for you to explore this fascinating city. St. Petersburg was Russia’s first great modern city and is still a city largely frozen in time, imperial and imposing but with a growing underground art and music scene.
Day 2: St. Petersburg
After breakfast you will be met at the hotel and taken on a three hour walking tour around the highlights of St. Petersburg, you will use public transport along the way which will help you for later when you will be exploring independently. This tour is flexible and tailored to you so you can either let the guide decide or come with your own ideas of what you would like to see!
The tour will finish at lunchtime leaving you the rest of the day to enjoy the city.
Day 3: St. Petersburg to Moscow
You will check out of your hotel this morning and there will be facilities to store your luggage (at own expense) and the rest of day is yours until it’s time to board the train.
Why not go and explore St. Isaacs Cathedral? Dominating the St. Petersburg skyline, this cathedral is open as a museum and its obscenely lavish interior truly has to be seen to be believed! There are still services held here on major religious holidays. Most people bypass the museum and climb the 262 steps up to the kolonnada around the drum of the dome where the views across the city truly are superb.
Tonight you will board the train heading to Moscow
Day 4: Arrive Moscow
You will arrive early into Moscow and be met at the station before being taken to your hotel. After check-in the rest of the day is yours to explore Moscow.
Whilst in Moscow you must visit the Moscow Kremlin, this fortified complex in the heart of Moscow includes five palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall. The Kremlin is the official residence of the president and is the heart of political power, not only of Moscow but the whole of Russia. It’s from here that Tsars, communist dictators and modern day presidents have controlled the best, and worst of times for Russia.
Day 5: Moscow
After breakfast you will be met at the hotel and taken on a 3 hours walking tour of the city. You will be able to choose where you go and what you see or take the advice of the expert guide. Your walk will finish around lunchtime in the city centre where you will then be able to head off and do your own thing.
Head over to Izmaylovsky Market to check out local art, handmade crafts, antiques and much more! You’ll find many of Moscow’s traditional woodworking crafts as well as rugs, pottery, fur hats, chess sets and plenty of other souvenirs to take home. The market is open every day but weekends are the best times to see the best selection of vendors.
This evening why not try to get tickets to the ballet or opera at the Bolshoi Theatre – truly one of the most romantic & entertaining evenings you will have!
Day 6: Moscow to Ekaterinburg
This morning you will check out of your hotel and have free time until 15:30. Why not visit the Lenin Mausoleum, situated in Red Square this tomb serves as the current resting place of Vladmir Lenin and is only open in the mornings, getting there early will help beat the queues.
This afternoon you will board your onward train to Ekaterinburg.
Day 7: Arrive Ekaterinburg
Today is your first full day on board the Trans-Siberian railway. You will get to meet your fellow travellers and hang out in the dining car sharing your experiences before arriving in Ekaterinburg in the evening.
You will be met off your train and taken to your centrally located hotel.
Day 8: Ekaterinburg
After breakfast you will be collected by a local expert guide and taken on a walking tour to see both the well-known and less obvious attractions of Ekaterinburg. You will visit the historical centre of the city including the scene of the assassination of the Romanov Royal Family, where the ‘Cathedral of the blood’ now stands. You will learn the history of Ekaterinburg’s involvement in Russia’s military history.
The tour will end mid-afternoon where you will enjoy lunch before taking the afternoon to explore independently.
Day 9: Ekaterinburg
Today you have the choice of activities (included in the cost) There are five activities to choose from:
- Visit the Romanov graves
- Siberian countryside & historic village
- Siberian Husky
Day 10-13: On Board
The next few days will be spent travelling on board towards Irkutsk. The dining car on the train is the social hub on the train and is a great place to meet fellow travellers as well as locals and get to know each other. Share your experiences over some Russian vodka and maybe some smoked salmon and caviar!
Along the way you will get to see some magnificent scenery, you’ll witness the forest of the Ural Mountains give way to Siberian pine forests and cross the mighty River Ob at Novosibirsk and gigantic Enisei River at Krasnoyarsk.
Day 14: Arrive Harbin
You will take a night-time border crossing into China with a layover as the train switches onto the Chinese rails. You have entered China! You will travel through the region known as Manchuria, once a separate kingdom Manchuria is home to the Manchu.
Early afternoon you will arrive in Harbin, the regions capital. You won’t be greeted here as the hotel is located directly opposite the train station so you can make your own way there.
This afternoon take a walk around Harbin and check out the main street built entirely in European art nouveau style and home to many ‘top-end’ clones of European shops, be sure to try some of the local cuisine as well!
Day 15: Harbin
Today you get to visit the spectacular Harbin Ice Festival!
Located at Zhaolin Park approximately 5 km from the hotel , sculptors travel from all over the world to display their ice carvings here. Be sure to stick around until after dusk to witness the ‘Lantern Garden Party’ when the ice sculptures come to life under amazing lighting.
Wrap up warm as the temperatures are particularly low here!
Day 16: Harbin to Beijing
After check out you have the rest of the morning to explore Harbin before re-boarding the train this evening.
This evening you will make your own way to the station for your onward journey to Beijing.
Day 17: Arrive Beijing
You will arrive this morning into Beijing Central Station.
If you wish to travel further in China take a look at some of our tailor-made itineraries or speak to your consultant for further ideas!