➤Arrive Moscow, meet & greet at the airport
➤Transfer to the hotel in the downtown
➤Group tour: meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner
A tour to Russia is not complete without a tour to Moscow, the heart of Russia and one of the oldest cities in the country. It was founded in 1147. Moscow is a city of bright contrasts where quiet patriarchal courts and small streets adjoin to futuristic business centres, and old neighbourhoods are interspersed with modern high-rises.
World-famous sightseeing spots such as St Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin & Red Square, the Tretyakov State Art Gallery, hundreds of amazing sights and beautiful places attract tourists from all around the world. We at Discovery Russia have carefully selected the most exciting places to visit in Moscow. Welcome aboard!
➤The Moscow metro tour
➤Guided tour to the Moscow Kremlin, including the Cathedrals and the Armory
➤Walking city tour in the downtown to see such attractions as the Red Square & St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, GUM, the Bolshoi Theatre, KGB Headquarters and other highlights of the downtown
➤Evening free at leisure on the Old Arbat, one of the most famous streets
The name "Kremlin" means "fortress inside a city", this construction had to protect the city from enemies. The Moscow Kremlin acquired the status of a sacral symbol representing the power of the great country. A holiday to Moscow is not complete without a visit to the Kremlin. Modern walls and towers of the Kremlin were constructed of red brick at the end of the 15th century. Now behind its walls, there are government buildings and a huge museum complex where thousands of artefacts telling about the history and the culture of Russia are stored. In 1990 both Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Russia is home for some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. Pokrovsky Cathedral, or St. Basil's Cathedral, is not just a church. It is a memorial temple constructed on Red Square in honour of the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. The main fight in which the Russian troops won a victory happened in the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos. So the temple was consecrated in honour of this Christian holiday. The cathedral consists of separate churches. Each of them is also consecrated in honour of holidays in which there were decisive fights for Kazan: Trinities, the Palm Sunday and others.
Red Square is a historical symbol of Moscow. The name of the square originated from the Russian word "Krasnaya" meaning "red" because it is related to the word "krasivaya" meaning "beautiful". The red square separates the Kremlin from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Thousands of tourists come here not only from all corners of Russia but also from around the world.
Get to know the city by taking a metro ride to the place of your first visit. Metro is the fastest ways to get anywhere in this city and to avoid traffic jams. If you want to see the Bolshoi, it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance!
The Moscow Metro was opened in 1935 with one 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) line and 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2018, the Moscow Metro excluding the Moscow Central Circle and Moscow Monorail has 224 stations (255 with Moscow Central Circle) and its route length is 381 km (237 mi), making it the fifth-longest in the world. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section 84 metres (276 ft) underground at the Park Pobedy station, one of the world's deepest. It's the busiest metro system in Europe, and a tourist attraction in itself.
➤The State Tretyakov Gallery
➤The Izmaylovo Kremlin
➤Stalin's skyscrapers tour
➤The VDNKh tour
The art gallery is the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world. The gallery's history starts in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his day with the aim of creating a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art. In 1892, Tretyakov presented his already famous collection of approximately 2,000 works (1,362 paintings, 526 drawings, and 9 sculptures) to the Russian nation. The collection contains more than 130,000 exhibits, ranging from Theotokos of Vladimir and Andrei Rublev's Trinity to the monumental Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky and the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich.
The Seven Sisters are a group of seven skyscrapers in Moscow designed in the Stalinist style. They were built from 1947 to 1953, in an elaborate combination of Russian Baroque and Gothic styles. At the time of construction, they were the tallest buildings in Europe, and Main building of Moscow State University remained the tallest building in Europe until 1997. There were two more skyscrapers in the same style planned that were never built: the Zaryadye Administrative Building and the Palace of the Soviets.
Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva, VDNKh) is a permanent general-purpose trade show and amusement park in Moscow, Russia. Cosmonauts Alley and the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman statue are situated just outside the main entrance to VDNKh. It also borders Moscow Botanical Garden and a smaller Ostankino Park, and in recent years the three parks served as a united park complex.
In 1992, VDNKh was renamed, receiving the new acronym VVC, which remained in use until 2014. It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VDNKh is greater than that of the Principality of Monaco and has approximately 400 buildings.
Kremlin is the Russian word for citadel or fortress, and they are found in many Russian cities. But the Izmailovo Kremlin, a wooden complex completed in 2007, was not built for protection as its name suggests. It was established as a cultural centre and marketplace loosely modelled after traditional Russian architecture and fairytale depictions of Old Russia.
Visiting the Kremlin gives you a rare opportunity to get into an atmosphere of the past, see masters of handicraft at work — blacksmiths, potters, wood carvers, and also participate in the process of producing artworks of the national applied and decorative arts.
The morning is free at leisure or to explore other treasures of Moscow. At the appropriate time, transfer to the train station and board the train to Kazan. The Trans Siberian Adventure begins!
➤Early morning arrival in Kazan, transfer to the hotel and guaranteed early check-in
➤Time for breakfast and rest
➤Full day Kazan guided tour: the Kremlin of Kazan, Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower, Chak-Chak museum and the old Tatar village
➤Tatar cuisine cooking class and Tatar lunch
The white-stone legendary Kazan Kremlin has heard almost all the languages of the world during its thousand year history. From the latter half of the 13th Century to the first half of the 15th Century, the Kremlin was the center of the Kazan principality as part of the Golden Horde. Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552. The legendary building of the Kremlin is the famous Suyumbike Tower, one of the few «falling» buildings in the world. Kazan Kremlin is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Have lunch with delicious Tatar meals and learn the secrets of local cuisine at cooking master-class. After lunch, we continue the day with a city tour, Chak-Chak museum (the funniest museum you've ever been to) and a visit to a local cultural village. Evening is free at leisure.
➤Early check out of the hotel
➤Transfer to the train station to board a train to Yekaterinburg
➤Meet & greet at the train station
➤Transfer to the hotel and check-in
➤Evening free at leisure
➤Ganina Yama Monastery
➤Museum of Minerals
➤Cathedral on the Blood, place where the last Romanov Tsar was killed after the Revolution
➤Open-air military museum Verhkny Pyzhma
The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land is a Russian Orthodox church built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, and his family, along with members of the household, were shot by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. The church commemorates the Romanov sainthood.
The Ural Mountains are regarded as the border between Europe and Asia. To the west of the Urals lies European Russia, the cradle of the Russian culture. To the east lies the vast land of Siberia. The border of Europe and Asia is one of the must-visit sights in the vicinity of Ekateriburg. The monument was erected in 2004 and represents two interwined letters A and E. There you can happily put one foot in Europe and other in Asia and take some unique photographs.
➤Early check out of the hotel
➤Transfer to the train station
➤Boarding the train to Irkutsk
Train ride continues: 2 days and 5 hours on the train. There is, in fact, no one train called the ‘Trans-Siberian Express’, rather there are many trains going eastbound and westbound. One of a few things, that actually works perfectly well in Russia. You will be surprised by the scale of the system connecting together the world's largest country, thus being a bridge between Asia and Europe. In fact, you can even continue to Hong Kong, Vietnam or even Japan by a ferry. The entire system works like a Swiss watch!
Train ride continues. A long train journey is a fine opportunity to relax and calm down. Read your favourite book, talk to fellow travellers and enjoy unique landscapes.
Planning your Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian railway holidays, we use the best Russian trains available. There is 1st class, 2-berth compartments with shower (2 showers per carriage, shared) and 2nd class, 4-berth compartment (no shower).
All passengers get a proper flat berth to sleep in, provided with all necessary bedding, convertible to a seat for day use. There are washrooms and toilets along the corridor.
And here is more. The Trans Siberian is the best way to make new friends. Safe ride!
➤Arrive Irkutsk in the morning
➤Guided city tour in Irkutsk
➤Transfer to Listvyanka village at Lake Baikal shores (65 km)
➤Visiting Taltsy Museum
➤Arrive Listvyanka village and check-in at the hotel
➤Evening free at leisure
➤Optional Russian banya
The open-air museum Taltsy is located 20 kilometers away from Listvyanka. The exposition features wooden buildings brought from all over Siberia. Right now, 40 landmarked buildings and 8000 artifacts dated by XVII-XIX centuries are presented as part of the exhibition.
The museum looks like an ancient village with long streets, wooden houses, water mills, and even a small school. It should be noted, that in the past real village “Taltsy” was located here. However, with the construction of the Ust-Ilimskaya hydroelectric power station, a part of the village came under the threat of flooding. Authorities decided to preserve the unique village and turned it into the museum.
➤Baikal Museum of Limnology & Shaman Rock
➤Chersky Stone observation point & cable car
➤St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
➤Visit local souvenir market
➤Optional Russian banya
➤Optional Lake Baikal boat cruise
Visit Baikal Museum, Shaman Rock, St. Nicholas church and a Fish Market. Baikal Museum is a splendid museum where information about lake Baikal wildlife is kept, studied and exhibited: including the origins of the lake, the endemic flora and fauna from the surface of the lake to its maximum depth, an excellent model of the lake, etc. Shaman Rock is a natural boundary between the deepest lake in the world and the only river that flows out of the lake—the Angara river. Apparently, locals have thousands of legends about this place, which is believed to be the house of one of the Buryat gods.
➤Check out of the hotel
➤Transfer to the train station
➤Boarding the train to Ulaanbaatar
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is sandwiched between China to the south and Russia to the north. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country's population. Ulaanbaatar also shares the rank of the world's coldest capital city with Moscow, Ottawa, and Nur-Sultan.
➤Meet & greet at the train station
➤Transfer to Terelj National Park
➤Temple of Aryavalokiteshvara and Aryabal Monastery
➤Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex
➤Lunch with nomadic family
➤Praying Lama Rock/Old Man Reading a Book rock formation
➤Dinner & Overnight at Terelj National Park
Terelj is one of the most beautiful national parks of Mongolia. Most of the area is wild and inaccessible, however, we can experience a nomadic style of life in the southern part of the park when staying in one of the ger camps. There is also a Buddhist monastery open to visitors. The wildlife includes brown bears and over 250 species of birds.
Today you will see Turtle Rock, Temple of Aryavalokiteshvara and Aryabal Monastery, visit the astonishing Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex. By far Mongolia’s most recognizable landmark and one of the world’s largest equestrian statues, the 131-foot-tall (40-meter-tall) Genghis Khan Statue Complex (Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex) towers over the surrounding landscape. Rock Formation such as Praying Lama Rock/Old Man reading a Book we shall pass by.
Mongolia is one of the few remaining countries on earth that is still home to truly nomadic people. The best way to experience this way of life first-hand is to stay overnight in a ger experience. You will get a true insight into the nomadic lifestyle that is, for the most part, as traditional as you might imagine. En-suite yurts have en-suite facilities. Typically, a ger hosts 4 people, however, we keep it as classic double/twin sharing with single accommodation available, please refer to the tour calculator or consult Discovery Russia travel expert to learn more.
➤Transfer to Ulaanbaatar
➤National History Museum and Sukhbaatar Square
➤Tumen Ekh-traditional folklore concert
The Gandantegchinlen Monastery is a Mongolian Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar that has been restored and revitalized since 1990. The Tibetan name translates to the "Great Place of Complete Joy". It currently has over 150 monks in residence. It features a 26.5-meter-high statue of Avalokiteśvara. It came under state protection in 1994.
Transfer to the train station and departure to Beijing. The final leg of your 7261 km train ride!
Travelling the Trans-Mongolian train route let you see the famous Gobi Desert, the largest desert in Asia and fifth-largest in the world! People always imagine the Gobi as a lifeless sandy desert. In reality, only 5% of the total area is sand dunes. The most of part of the Gobi Desert is a land of steppes, sands, mountains and it is the home for camel breeders, rich with wildlife and vegetation. The desert holds a very important historical place. The largest contiguous land empire of the world – the Great Mongolian Empire was flourishing in the Gobi Desert along the Silk Road.
We've reach the final destination of our journey, welcome to Beijing! Transfer to your hotel and free time. Optional post-tours on request are available. Group departures will enjoy the farewell dinner at local Chinese restaurant.
Take a private transfer to the airport. Congratulations! You've just completed the most amazing journey, the ancient Trans-Mongolian tea-caravan route from China to Europe. We unlocked secrets of mysterious China, explored beautiful Mongolia, marvelled fascinating Russia. Hope it's been your best holiday ever!
Hand-picked centrally located hotels of the selected category (3*, 4* or 5* hotel of your choice)
➤3 nights Moscow
➤1 night Kazan with early check-i
➤2 nights Yekaterinburg
➤2 nights Lake Baikal/Listvyanka
➤1 night Ulaanbaatar
➤1 night Beijing
1 night at Terelj National Park in ger camp (yurt)
5 nights on board
➤Full breakfast at the hotels (except Day 1)
➤Full board in Mongolia
➤Buryat lunch at Lake Baikal
➤Siberian lunch at the Taltsy Museum
➤Tatar cooking master-class with lunch in Kazan
➤Group tour: Welcome dinner
➤Group tour: Farewell dinner
➤Train tickets of the chosen category: Moscow - Kazan, Kazan - Yekaterinburg, Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk, Irkutsk - Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar - Beijing
➤Superior trains on the route with a/c, heaters and dining carriage for your comfort. 1st class: one place in 2-seats compartment. 2nd class: one place in 4-seats compartment
➤Meet & greet at the airports/train stations
➤Private return airport/train station transfers
➤Metro pass in Moscow
➤Private transportation on tours as per program in a comfortable a/c car/minivan/bus (except on walking tours)
1st class carriage: 2 seats compartments.
2nd class carriage: 4 seats compartments.
One seat at each leg of the train journey is included. Should you prefer to have extra seat/seats per person, please inquire.
All train tickets are subject to availability.
1st class train tickets supply is limited especially during peak season. If 1st class is not available/or not provided by the railway company at a certain leg of your journey, two seats in a 2nd class carriage will be provided per person at no extra costs.
➤Moscow full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Moscow Kremlin (including the Cathedrals and the Armory), the Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral (outside), Lenin’s Mausoleum (outside), GUM, the Bolshoi Theatre, KGB Headquarters, Moscow metro tour
➤Moscow full day (8 hours) guided tour: the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Novodevichy Convent with the guided tour inside, Sparrow Hills, the VDNKh and the guided tour to the Museum of Cosmonautics, Stalin's skyscrapers tour
➤Kazan full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower, Old Tatar village
➤Yekaterinburg full day (8 hours) guided tour: Ganina Yama Monastery, Museum of Minerals, Church of All Saints, Europe-Asia Border, the UMMC military museum
➤Irkutsk half-day (4 hours) guided tour: St. Epiphany Cathedral, Kirov Square, Taltsy Museum with national folk performance
➤Lake Baikal (Listvyanka) full day (8 hours) guided tour: Shaman rock, Baikal Museum of Limnology, Chersky Stone observation point, local souvenir market
➤Terelj National Park full day guided tour: Turtle Rock, Temple of Aryavalokiteshvara, Aryabal Monastery, Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex, Praying Lama Rock
➤Ulaanbaatar full day guided tour: Gandan Monastery, National History Museum, Sukhebaatar Square, Zaisan Memorial, Buddha Garden, Tumen Ekh-traditional folklore concert
➤Entrance tickets to all listed attractions (except optional)
➤Chinese, Mongolian and Russian visa letters of invitation (required by the Embassies to grant you the visas) are provided free of charge
➤Dedicated local English-speaking guide in all places as per program
➤Russian local sim card with data
➤Discovery Russia 24/7 English-speaking support line
➤Group tours are fully escorted by a bilingual tour director
➤Group size 22 people maximum. All our group departures are guaranteed.