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Trans Mongolian Express

Departing: St Petersburg, Russia - 21 days
Countries visited: Russia, Mongolia & China

This is an amazing adventure for aspiring travellers seeking a great experience in a short time. Take in the highlights; Russia's greatest cities, remote Siberia, Mongolia and the Gobi Desert; and Beijing. Travel the rails with the Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian railways.




Days 1-3: St.Petersburg 
Our adventure begins in St. Petersburg where you'll be amazed how well the city fathers have preserved the 18th century architecture. It's a city of canals, standing resplendent on the Never River. Make time to visit the Hermitage - one of the world's greatest art galleries, before taking the overnight train to Moscow. 

Days 4-6: Moscow 
These days the national capital is buzzing with activity, but Red Square is much more sedate, with the colourful onion-shaped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin watching over it. Ride the city's metro and see its chandeliers and artworks. Just after midnight on Day 6 you board the train bound for Siberia.

Days 7-9: Trans Siberian Railway 
Join the Trans Siberian Railway booming over the steel bridges spanning Siberia's nerve system of 5,000 rivers. Pass over the Ural Mountains which divide Europe and Asia, and cross the Irtysh and Ob rivers en route to Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, deep in Siberia. 

Days 10-12: Irkutsk and Lake Baikal 
In Irkutsk, you have ample time to explore this interesting city with a history dating from the old fur and tea trading days, and ornate houses which once belonged to exiled aristocracy from Russia's west. A two-night interlude at nearby Listvyanka on the shores of Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake, is a great way to relax and take in the museums prior to joining the Trans Mongolian south for Ulaanbaatar.

Day 13: Trans Mongolian Railway 
Settle into life on board, enjoying the company of your fellow passengers and a picnic in your cabin. The train arrives at Naushki, the Russian border town where formalities are completed and then continue across no-man's land to Sukhbaatar where Mongolian officials board the train for visa formalities before continuing on to Ulaanbaatar.

Days 14-16: A taste of Mongolia 
Bounded by Lake Baikal to the north and the Great Wall to the south, is the Mongolian Plateau and Gobi Desert. This was the homeland of the brilliant, tough, well-drilled horsemen who, for over 500 years from the 13th century, plundered and occupied lands and cities from the Yellow River to the Danube. At daybreak, classic scenes of traditional nomadic life greet you as the train winds impressively across the Mongolian steppe and into the capital. 

The capital displays ancient Buddhist origins, echoes of its days as a Soviet satellite nation, and modern development with shiny new apartment blocks where the more affluent citizens live. Recent arrivals from the countryside opt for cheaper and traditional gers which abound in some areas. Spend time exploring the city, perhaps visit Zaisan Memorial where Soviet solders are honoured, and Gandan Khiid Monastery to see its monks and the massive 25 metre statue of Megid Janraisig - the lord who sees in every direction. 

Travel out over the grasslands to Terelj National Park to spend a night in a traditional ger and get a taste of the life of Mongolia's nomads before returning to the capital for one more night.

Day 17: Trans Mongolian Railway 
A morning departure aboard the Beijing Express. You travel over the steppe-lands of northern Mongolia and to the south, the Gobi desert which until the middle of this century was the rough track across this desolate country.  This afternoon you arrive at the Mongolian border town of Dzamin Ude. After formalities are completed continue on to the Chinese border town of Erlian for immigration and customs formalities. Here the train's bogies are changed from a wider gauge used by Russia and Mongolia to a narrow Chinese gauge.

Days 18-21:Beijing 
You'll enjoy your three days in the Chinese capital where your sightseeing may include Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and more, before venturing out into the countryside to walk on the Great Wall, which stretches its way for around 5,000 kilometres across the distant hills - a perfect way to end your journey! 



All transfers are included once you have begun this journey. See the Journey Itinerary for further details.  


Choose from ‘Traveller’ or ‘Classic.


Many breakfasts (13) are included.  


The suggested sightseeing in these itineraries is not included in the prices shown. You are free to arrange this locally or we can arrange this for you in advance separately. 

Required for China, Mongolia & Russia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required visa invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.


Hotels - 9 nights (twin share)
Siberian Guesthouse - 2 nights (twin share)
Mongolian ger - 1 nights
Trains - 8 nights. Comfortable 4-berth sleepers