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Imperial Russia Trans-Mongolian Eastbound

Overview

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 private train and tour is run by Russian Railways themselves, so you can be sure of an authentic Russian experience with knowledgeable local guides every step of the way. The Imperial Russia, in fact, finishes 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. From the Ural Mountains, past the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal, and onwards through the Gobi Desert, you can be sure that you will never be far away from amazing views, experiences and memories.

  • Intensive sightseeing and entertainment programme including several local folk shows off-train

  • Talks on local traditions, culture and customs

  • Moscow Kremlin and Red Square

  • Visiting the largest theatre in Russia in Novosibirsk

  • Exploring the Taltsy Architecture Museum in Listvyanka

  • Visit to Ivolginsky Datsan

  • Great Wall of China

  • Visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing

  • Night in a ger at Gorkhi-Terlj National Park

Itinerary

Moscow

Russia’s official capital, Moscow, is the political and religious heart of the country. The city has the highest density of billionaires, is the world’s most populated inland city and boasts six out of Europe’s ten tallest buildings. It continues to be a major tourist destination in Europe growing year on year with famous attractions including Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, and the Kremlin.

Day 1

Arrival in Moscow

On our first day in Moscow you will be collected from the airport before being taken direct to your, centrally located, 5* hotel in order to check in. To start your tour, you will visit Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral before having the rest of the day to explore the Russian capital at your leisure, or relax in preparation for the adventure ahead.

  • Arrival Transfer

  • Expert Guide

  • Red Square

  • St Basil’s Cathedral

  • Free Time

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Souvenir Shopping

Day 2

Excursions in Moscow

Following breakfast, you will be taken on a guided tour of the city, covering many of the best landmarks throughout the city. The tour includes visits to the Moscow Kremlin, a treasure-trove of magnificent relics and fine art, Arbat Street, one of the oldest steets in Moscow and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • City Tour

  • Expert Guide

  • Moscow Kremlin

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Arbat Street

  • Christ the Saviour Cathedral

  • Moscow Metro

  • Transfer to Train

Travel to

Kazan

Kazan is the largest city and capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. The city lies at the confluence of the Kazanka and Volga Rivers in the South-East of Russia and was considered a crucial trade and political center from the Late Middle Ages onwards. It has become a popular tourist destination with famous attractions including the Kazan kremlin and Kul Sharif Mosque, known to be one of the largest mosques in Russia.

Day 3

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Kazan Kremlin

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • City Tour

  • Religious Buildings & Monuments

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Masterclass

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Night on the Train

Travel to

Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg stands close to the divide between Russia and Kazakhstan and is known as the ‘window on Asia’ due to its close proximity to the border. The city is commonly referred to as Russia’s ‘third capital’ as it is ranked third for tourism, transport, and economic size. It holds crucial significance in Russian History as the final resting place of the Romanov dynasty.

Day 4

Excursions in Yekaterinburg

After breakfast your train will stop in Yekaterinburg, the historical capital of the Urals. The city is most (in)famously known for being the place of execution of the Romanov family and last emperor of Russia, Tsar Nicholas II.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • City Tour

  • Expert Guide

  • Military History

  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

  • Religious Buildings & Monuments

  • Europe-Asia border marker

  • Night on the Train

Travel to

Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia with the flair and charm of a provincial town. It is an important commercial hub in the region, hosting one of the best and largest universities in Russia which has shaped the identity of the city. The city is home to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (NOVAT), considered one of the best musical and theatre groups in Russia.

Day 5

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.

  • Lunch & Dinner

  • City Tour

  • Expert Guide

  • Railway Museum

  • Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre

  • River Ob

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Night on the Train

Travel to

Trans-Siberian

Stretching 5772 miles from Moscow to the naval port of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, the Trans-Siberian is Russia’s principal railway route. The original route was constructed in the 20th century and has since been expanded to include several new branches to Ulaanbaatar, Harbin, and Beijing, via the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Manchurian railways.

Day 6

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Day on the Train

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Lectures on Russian and Trans-Siberian history

  • Live musical performance

Travel to

Irkutsk

Irkutsk is one of the largest cities in Siberia and the most important hub for tourism in the Lake Baikal region. As opposed to many of the more industrially shaped cities in Siberia, Irkutsk has a long history as a cultural centre and has been home to scientists, writers, artists, and political activists such as the Decembrists. It is also a key destination on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Day 7

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • City Tour

  • Expert Guide

  • Decembrists’ House

  • Taltsy Museum

  • 130 Quarter

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

Travel to

Listvyanka

A small settlement on the Western shore of Lake Baikal, Listvyanka is a highly popular tourist area known for its distinct local culture, fish market, and breathtaking hiking trails that venture around the edges of the lake. The settlement was formed near the point where the Angara River leaves Lake Baikal and is home to the Baikal Museum, with dedicated exhibits to the fauna and wildlife that can be found in the area.

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Lake Baikal

  • Boat Trip

  • Chersky Stone observation point

  • Baikal Museum

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Lakeside Picnic

Travel to

Ulan-Ude

Located to the East of Russia’s popular tourist destination Lake Baikal, Ulan-Ude is a city bustling with tourist activity and is the gateway for the Trans-Mongolian Railway that travels from Ulan-Ude to Beijing via Ulaanbaatar. The city’s close proximity to the Mongolian border and well-established transport links into Asia have allowed the city to form a unique cultural identity as the center of Buddhism in Russia.

Day 9

Excursions to Ulan-Ude

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

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Expert Guide

  • Buddhist Ivolginsky Datsan

  • Russian Orthodox Odigitria Cathedral

  • Holy Trinity Church

  • Buryat traditions

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Scenic Surrounds

Travel to

Ulaanbaatar

The capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, was founded in the 17th century as a Buddhist monastic centre and is the country’s largest city. It is situated in the Tuul River valley, bordering the Bogd Khan Uul National Park and close to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. The city has a rich heritage and is home to many famous tourist attractions including the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Zaisan Memorial, Choijin Lama Temple, and the Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan.

Day 10

Excursions in Ulan Bator

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

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Expert Guide

  • Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Hike to Buddhist temple

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Mongolian Ger

  • Food & Drink Experience

Day 11

Excursions in Ulan Bator

Upon your return to Ulan Bator you will be taken to the famous, Tibetan-style, Gandan Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the whole of Mongolia, as well as the Museum of National History and the Bogd Khan Winter Palace, the residence of the last Mongolian emperor, built around the turn of the century. Enjoy a traditional Mongolian cultural performance with throat singing before heading back on board the Imperial Russia train to your next destination.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Expert Guide

  • Gandan Monastery

  • Museum of National History

  • Bogd Khan Winter Palace

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Mongolian throat singing performance

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Folk Show

Day 12

On-board the Imperial Russia

You will cross a large portion of the Gobi Desert today, before reaching Erlian on the border with China. Because of the different rail track standards used in China, you will be transferred onto a waiting train for the remainder of the journey to Beijing.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Day on the Train

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • New Destination by Train

Travel to

Beijing

The capital of China, Beijing, has a long history stretching back over 3000 years. The city is known for its unrivalled culture and architecture and is home to no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the world-famous Forbidden City complex and the Badaling Great Wall of China. Beijing is one of the ‘Four Great Ancient Capitals of China’ and has been the political centre of the country for 800 years.

Day 13

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Private Tour

  • City Tour

  • Forbidden City

  • Tiananmen Square

  • Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

  • National Museum of China

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Scenic Surrounds

Day 14

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Expert Guide

  • Great Wall of China

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Summer Palace

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

Day 15

Depart Beijing

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’ Beijing extensions?

  • Breakfast

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Departure Transfer

Where you can stay

A hotel can be the make or break of any experience, and we understand that choosing the right hotel is important to our travellers. Check out our range of hotels ahead of time, and learn more about our standard 3-star options and the luxury 5-star upgrades that are available in the destinations you will be visiting.

Please note that the selection of hotels included here are examples of where you may stay on your tour, we will pick the best option for you based on your travel requirements.

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