The Trans-Siberian is the one of the great travel adventures, passing through some of the most remote, and breath-taking, vistas in the world. Travelling in the Tsars Gold private train brings this journey to new heights, thanks to the luxury of your accommodation, and the fully escorted nature of the tour.
The Tsars Gold itself runs along a branch of the Trans-Siberian called the Trans-Mongolian, passing from Beijing, through Mongolia and onwards towards Moscow. Along the way you will see the vast Siberian forests, Lake Baikal, the largest lake in the world, and innumerable staggering views of natural beauty.
Day 1 – Arrival in Beijing
Once you arrive in Beijing, your tour guide will welcome you at the airport and accompany you to your hotel to settle in and leave your heavy luggage behind before heading out for your first taste of China’s historic capital.
Your first day in Beijing will then include a tour of the city to see some of the most important and historic sites, including the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square, as well as some of its more contemporary architectural achievements, including the ‘Birds Nest’ Olympic Stadium and the thoroughly modern skyscrapers now dotting the Beijing skyline.
Day 2 – Excursions in Beijing
To many, the Great Wall of China is the eighth wonder of the world, stretching, as it does, 6000km through the Chinese countryside, and it is here where your tour will start today. Along your walk you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ming Tombs, the burial place of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors, as well as the impressive Spirit Way.
That evening you can enjoy a local favourite, and well-known delicacy, Peking Duck.
Day 3 – Excursion and Depart from Beijing
For centuries closed to the public, you will be given the opportunity to enter the Forbidden City, the former imperial palace, and the centre of Chinese politics for nearly 500 years. The complex consists of 980 buildings, and while you will be unable to see all of them, you will have ample time to see many of the temples and halls that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Later, you will board a chartered Chinese train for Erlian (Erenhot), on the border with Mongolia, to catch up with your private train and your Trans-Mongolian adventure!
Day 4 – Crossing the Gobi Desert
Around noon the chartered train will reach the border. A change of train is necessary as the Tsars Gold is unable to run on the type of tack used in China.
Between trains you will have the chance to explore the colourful local market of the growing town of Erlian (Erenhot).
Crossing the vast Gobi desert, and later the lush, green steppe, you will have time to take in the views, socialise with your travelling companions and, most importantly, relax.
Day 5 – Excursions in Ulan Bator
Early risers will have the opportunity to see the magnificent landscapes of Mongolia before arriving into Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.
Once in Ulan Bator the tour will take in many of the key sights around the city, including the Choijin Lama Temple that was built between 1904 and 1908, before being converted into a museum in 1938.
That evening you will have the chance to attend a unique performance of traditional Mongolian folk arts, including throat singing, horse-headed fiddle playing, national costumes and dances (optional, to be paid on site).
Day 6 – Excursions in Ulan Bator
After breakfast the tour will visit the impressive Buddhist Gandan Monastery, offering the exciting opportunity to observe a Buddhist religious ceremony.
You will leave the centre of Ulan Bator today for a trip to the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park to explore a traditional side of Mongolia; nomadic herdsmen with their Ger settlements, horse herds and yaks.
A small horse-riding demonstration and a traditional wrestling match will be put on for you, as well as a picnic, before heading back towards Ulan Bator.
Day 7 – Excursions in Ulan-Ude
Leaving Mongolia you will head along the Selenga River towards the home of the Buryat people, Ulan-Ude for a brief city tour.
Day 8 – Exploring Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world, containing more than 20% of the world’s freshwater, and is a truly remarkable sight.
During the morning the train will travel along the original route of the Trans-Siberian railway, skirting along the shoreline of the lake, offering two, extended, stops that allow for photo-opportunities as well as a little time to explore the gorgeous surroundings.
A brief boat trip from Port Baikal will take you out onto the lake, where you can have a quick swim, weather permitting, and if you are feeling brave.
Dinner that evening will be a Baikal-style picnic on the shores of the lake with a stunning view of the lakes natural beauty.
Day 9 – Excursions in Irkutsk
Irkutsk is one of the largest cities in Siberia, and today you will be guided around some of the best sights the city has to offer.
During the tour you will have the opportunity to view the Okhlopkov Drama Theatre, the new statue of Alexander III (the Trans-Siberians instigator) and the lively market hall.
The afternoon will be spent at the brilliant open-air museum nearby, which chronicles the history of Siberia from the 17th century onwards.
Day 10 - Across Siberia aboard the Tsars Gold
You will cross a large portion of Siberia today, crossing over the Yenisei River along the way. With stunning views of verdant forests and crystal-clear lakes and rivers, it is the perfect day to relax and just enjoy the view.
During this downtime there will be talks on-board to inform you about the region as well as vodka tasting; offering the opportunity to really experience the Russian customs of hospitality and clever toasts.
Day 11 – Excursions in Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is in the heart of Siberia and is, in fact, the most populous city in Asian Russia.
You will be welcomed to the city in traditional Russia style with bread and salt, before being guided around the most Soviet of all the cities you will see on our journey, including visits to the Trans-Siberian Monument and the mighty Ob River.
Day 12 – Excursions in Yekaterinburg
Around noon your train will stop in Yekaterinburg, the historical capital of the Urals. The city is most (in)famously known for being where the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were murdered in 1918.
As part of your tour you will visit the Cathedral of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, a cathedral built in commemoration of that tragic event. In addition you will be taken around the attractive city centre before heading back to the train and heading off across the Asia/Europe border.
Day 13 – Excursions in Kazan
On the morning of day three you will arrive in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, on the banks of the Volga River.
The tour of Kazan will take in many of the Tartar Mosques and Russian Orthodox Cathedrals, though the highlight of this stop is a guided tour of the, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kazan Kremlin. With its wonderful panoramic views of the Volga, you will learn all about the turbulent history of the Tartars, the Cossacks and the Russians.
Day 14 – Arrival and Excursions in Moscow
Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel, where you can leave your luggage ready for a busy day exploring the grand Russian capital.
Your grand, guided, city tour will begin in the morning, taking in the Kremlin and its marvellous Tsarist-era cathedral, allowing entry to several of the buildings for a unique view that few ever get to see.
That evening you will be taken on a hour long ‘City of Lights’ tour to see the exquisitely illuminated city, with visits also to Red Square and the metro system to see the ornately decorated stations. Once you have finished you will return to your hotel to rest up and prepare for your last day in Russia.
Day 15 – Excursions and Depart from Moscow
You have a busy morning ahead of you before you are transferred to the airport to begin your journey home.
The tour of the city this morning covers the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Lomonossov University, the New Maidens’ Convent (Novodevichy Monastery) Red Square and St Basils Cathedral with its famous, colourful, onion domes.
If you are not yet ready to journey home, why not try Real Russia's 'Heart of Russia' Moscow extension?
This tour includes:
Hotel and on-board accommodation:
Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or socialising in the trains public areas, you will find your hotel room or cabin a welcome retreat at the end of the day.
An expert on the Trans-Siberian journey, available to answer all your questions.
Local travel guides, and expert tour guides:
Each tour group will be no more than 26 people. For Bolshoi Classes his number is 12.
All transfers and travel:
Tsars Gold will ensure that you need not worry about any of the travelling involved in your Trans-Siberian adventure, including to and from the airport at either end of your tour.
Excursions, activities and entry fees:
As laid out in the itinerary.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily:
Meals are generally served in the well-appointed dining cars, though on occasion the tour will also provide meals in that day’s destination in order to sample the finest local cuisine.
While you will stay on the train for the majority of your journey, when you do stay in a local hotel, as well as when you begin, and end, your rail journey, you can be assured that all of your bags will be in safe hands.
In order to ensure your health and safety, Tsars Gold ensures you have a doctor on call for the majority of your journey. A doctor will not be available between Beijing and the Mongolian border.
Route guide and information pack:
One for each reserved cabin.
- Any flights or travel costs not covered in the itinerary.
- Visa costs. See the Real Russia Trans-Siberian Visa’s page
- Insurance. See Real Russia’s advice on travel insurance.
- Personal expenses such as souvenir shopping or extra food and drink not included in the itinerary.