Imperial Russia

Probably the world’s most famous stretch of railway, the Trans-Siberian runs from European Russia, through Siberia and deep into Asia. In use now for nearly 100 years, it is one of history’s greatest industrial achievements, opening up some of the most remote, and beautiful, scenery the wold has to offer.

The Imperial Russia, in fact, begins its journey on a slightly newer stretch of this famous line, the Trans-Mongolian railway, which was opened to traffic in the mid 1940’s, connecting two of the world’s most historic, and powerful, capital cities; Moscow and Beijing.

Passing the Ural Mountains and the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal, and travelling through the vast Gobi Desert, you can be sure that you will never be far away from amazing views, experiences and memories.

Destination Map

Day 1 – Arrival in Beijing

On your first day in Beijing you will be collected from the airport before being taken direct to your hotel in order to check in. The rest of the day will then be yours to explore the Chinese capital at your leisure, or relax in preparation for the adventure ahead. We recommend that guests arrive in the morning on Day 1, as depending on the train departure time, some excursions may be moved from Day 3 to Day 1 instead.

Day 2 – Excursions in Beijing

Beijing is one of the great cities, and, as one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited for 3000 years, is full of history and culture just waiting to be explored.

UNESCO states that the Summer Palace is, ‘a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.’ It is here that you will spend your afternoon.

Day 3 – Excursions and Depart from Beijing

After breakfast, you will visit a trio of Beijing's most famous landmarks inlcuding the Forbidden City, Tiananamen Square, and the Hutongs. The Forbidden City is one of China's most well-known locations and has been home to 24 emperors dating back to 1368 up to 1911. After your tour of the city, you will board the Chinese charter train and depart on your epic adventure.

Day 4 - On-board the Imperial Russia

You will cross a large portion of China and the Gobi Desert today, along with a brief stop in Erlian (Erenhot) on the border with Mongolia. Because of the different rail track standards used in China, it is here that you will be transferred onto the Imperial Russia private luxury train.

With stunning views it is the perfect day to relax and just enjoy the view, while socialising with your travelling companions and talking about your experience so far.

Day 5 – Excursions in Ulan Bator

Ulan Bator is the capital of Mongolia, and is surrounded by some of the most breath-taking scenery you will see on your tour.

Your first day in Ulan Bator will begin with a transfer to the Gorkhi-Terlj National Park, where you will uncover the nomadic may of life for yourself. You will first head to an authentic Ger Camp in a remote area of the park before exploring the beautiful landscapes this area has to offer. Enjoy a hike to a nearby Buddhist temple, before enjoying a traditional Mongolian dinner and sleeping under the stars in your very own Ger.

Day 6 – Excursions in Ulan Bator

After a short transfer back to the city centre, you will be taken to Sukhbaatar Square, home to several important Mongolian monuments depicting heroes from throughout history, including Ghengis and Kublai Khan. Next up on your morning tour will be a visit to the famous, Tibetan-style, Gandan Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the whole of Mongolia, home to around 500 monks.

You will be taken to visit the Museum of National History and the Zaisan Memorial, a place dedicated to the war victories throughout the early 20th century and peacetime achievements such as the Soviet space flights.

The day will be capped off with a traditional Mongolian folk show, before departing for the Russian border.

Day 7 – Excursions in Ulan-Ude

ulan-ude yurtUlan-Ude is a unique place, with a unique heritage; it is the capital of the Buryat Republic and home to the native Buryat people.

You will be taken on a tour of the most famous of its many religious buildings upon arrival, including the Buddhist Ivolginsky Datsan, and the Russian Orthodox Odigitria Cathedral and Holy trinity Church.

Following this you will be welcomed by a local Buryat family to experience several Buryat traditions, including cooking the Buryat dish Pozy, playing dice, using a bow, trying on traditional tradition Buryat clothing as well as assembling, and dismantling, a yurt.

Day 8 – Excursions around Lake Baikal

Few sights you will see on this trip come close to the beauty of Lake Baikal. The lake is the largest freshwater lake in the world, accounting for over 20% of all the freshwater on the planet. With many endemic species of flora and fauna, you are sure to see sights here that you will find nowhere else in the world.

The programme for today includes a short boat trip to Listvyanka, time for photos at Chersky Stone observation point, a location with stunning panoramic views of Angara River and Lake Baikal, before a visit to Baikal Museum to find out more about the local flora and fauna found around the lake and the local region.

The tour will finish with a picnic on the shores of the lake.

Day 9 – Excursions in Irkutsk

IrkutskIrkutsk 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.

Taking in visits to places such as the Decembrists House, a house dedicated to the aristocrats who were exiled to this, at the time, far flung, corner of Siberia after the failed Decembrists uprising of 1825, Karl Marx Street and the beautiful cottages adorned with beautiful wooden ‘lace-like’ designs, you will find plenty of beauty in his corner of Siberia.

Later in the day you will be taken to the open-air Taltsy Ethnographical Museum along the right bank of the Angara River, chronicling the history of Siberia from the 17th century onwards.

You will round out the day with free time to explore the ‘130 Quarter’ and view the reconstructed 19th and 20th century buildings.

Day 10 - On-board the Imperial Russia

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 while socialising with your travelling companions and talking about your experience so far.

Alternatively, during the morning you could attend one of the lectures on Russian and Trans-Siberian history before listening to a live musical performance, with champagne, during the afternoon.

Day 11 - Excursions in Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is in the heart of Siberia and is, in fact, the most populous city in Asian Russia and a bastion of science and the arts.

You will be guided around the most Soviet of all the cities you will see on our journey, including visits to the Railway Museum, containing a fascinating selection of steam, diesel and electric trains, the Ballet and Opera House as well as the embankments of the mighty Ob River, the world’s seventh longest river, that flows into the Arctic Ocean.

Day 12 - Excursions in Yekaterinburg

YekaterinburgAfter breakfast 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.

The city tour will be based around this, with visits to the cathedral built specifically to commemorate this event, the Cathedral of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood and a local Russian Orthodox Monastery that is considered to be a fantastic example of Russian construction.

Following lunch in Yekaterinburg, the tour will move to the Europe/Asia border, where you will be able to place one foot on each continent at the same time.

The train will depart Yekaterinburg that evening to head further east.

Day 13 - Excursions in Kazan

Sitting on the banks of the Volga River, Kazan is the capital of the Tatarstan Republic and is the self-styled ‘Third Capital’ of Russia.

The highlight of the tour here is a visit to the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside a grand city tour taking in the best features of this religiously, and ethnically, diverse city.

You will be treated to a very special lunch that includes a master class on Tartar Cuisine.

The day will finish with dinner aboard the train while heading off towards our next port of call.

Day 14 - Excursions in Moscow

MoscowFollowing breakfast, you will be taken on a guided tour of the city, covering many of the best landmarks throughout the city. You will have a choice between two options: a visit to the Moscow Kremlin, a treasure-trove of magnificent relics and fine art, Arbat Street, one of the oldest streets in Moscow and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, or, a tour of the Moscow Metro and its ornately decorated stations.

After the tour, you will check into your centrally located 5* hotel ahead of your last night in Russia.

Day 15 – Depart Moscow

This will be your last day on tour. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home. If you are not yet ready to journey home, why not try one of Real Russia’s ‘Dragon City’ Moscow or St Petersburg extensions?


Imperial Russia

This tour includes:

Experienced tour guides:

Imperial Russia’s tour guides are selected for their linguistic and organisational capability, allowing you to sit back and relax on your Trans-Siberian adventure.

Intensive sightseeing and entertainment programme:
Including several local folk shows off-train.

Hotel and on-board accommodation:

Onboard the Imperial Russia train in Russia and Mongolia, Chinese train - in China. 1 night at Moscow hotel and 2 nights at Beijing hotel, 1 night in a ger in Mongolia. Towels, bathrobe and slippers available onboard of the “Imperial Russia” train

Full board. Tea/coffee on board throughout the day. 

Talks on local traditions, culture and customs:
Imperial Russia’s local experts will insure that you will come away from your adventure with a deeper understanding of Russia, Mongolia, China and their people.


​Pick-up at the airports, transfer to hotels and train stations, transfer to the airport (in Moscow and Beijing).


Services of the porter at the hotel and the railway stations. 

On-board doctor:
Russian speaking, but with English speaking Group Leader available for translation.

Not Included:

  • Gratuities
  • 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
  • Drinks from the Bar Car
  • Meals on the day of arrival and departure
  • Personal expenses such as souvenir shopping or extra food and drink not included in the itinerary
  • Vaccination


Imperial Russia

Real Russia's range of tour extensions are an ideal way to make your incredible trip go that little bit further. With two, three or four day options, you can explore and spend more time in Moscow, discover the mysterious pacific coastal city of Vladivostok, or experience stunning St Petersburg, one of Russia’s greatest cities.

Northern Capital, the 'Real Russia' St Petersburg extension

St Petersburg

Spend a few days exploring the stunning city of St Petersburg; built on the shores of the Baltic as his window to the west by one of Russia's greatest Tsars, Peter I.

During your few days there, you will discover some of the many delights of this ‘Venice of the North’, including, the Hermitage, one of the greatest treasures in the world, the Peter and Paul Fortress on the banks of the Neva, the golden coated St Isaac's Cathedral and a trip through its many canals before setting off for Moscow. A great way to begin, or finish, your Trans-Siberian adventure.

Heart of Russia, the 'Real Russia' Moscow extension


Add to your Moscow experience with a few extra days in Russia’s historic capital.

You will have the opportunity to see a few sights that may not be covered on your private tour, including the beautiful Alexander Gardens, along with the Eternal Flame there, the memorial to Soviet Cosmonauts and the famous artist’s quarter, Old Arbat.

Dragon City, the 'Real Russia' Beijing extension


Why not spend an extra few days in Beijing before either journeying home from, or beginning, your Trans-Siberian adventure.

Over the three days of this extension, you will have the opportunity to see new sights, such as the famous Beijing Jade Factory, where you will find out about how craftsmen have learned to craft this precious stone over the centuries.

You will also be able to spend more time in a few of the stops from your tour, giving you the chance to find out more about them, such as the Great Wall.

In addition to this, there will be time to explore Beijing at your leisure.

The Heart and Soul of Russia, the 'Real Russia' Moscow and Saint Petersburg Tour

MoscowWhy not combine your extra time in Moscow with a short trip to Russia’s former capital, the architecturally beautiful ‘Venice of the North’, Saint Petersburg.

Real Russia’s four, six and eight day tours cover everything you could want to see; from the Peterhof Palace and Gardens, to the world famous Hermitage museum.


Imperial Russia

Your tour will begin with the opportunity to discover, and experience, the ancient Chinese capital, Beijing. En-route to Moscow, enjoy the ever changing landscapes, history and culture of Russia, as you visit many varied and unique towns and cities, including Kazan, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Ulan Bator.

Tour dates 2021

  • 28th June 
  • 23rd August

Prices 2021

Price in: 

Cabin Class Number of passengers
1 2+
First Class    
First Class+    
Business Class    

Prices shown are per person.

Partial payment is required to secure each place. Full payment will be required no later than 60 days before departure.

Children are welcome, and prices are available on request.

It’s all about you …

Imperial Russia

"It is now two month since coming back home from our well organized and interesting tour with you. Kindly convey our special thanks to Elvira."

Ofira and Amnon Lisovsky

"I would like to pass on my thanks to the guide that accompanied us. I can’t recall her name but she was very good & did a great job."

Sam Randazzo