Transiberian railroad – Transiberian railroad, from Moscow to Siberia, in the late 19th century. The Transsiberian railway was built by American financier Jay Gould after a deal with Russian Emperor Alexander II for Russia to build a road through Siberia. In 1881, the first passenger train arrived in Vladivostok on 14 October and it took two weeks for the train to reach St. Petersburg via Bologoye.
The railroad has been known as one of the world’s most dangerous because of its poor condition and the large amounts of snow that accumulate at high elevations via trans. During construction, thousands of workers died, many were buried alive or trampled to death by horses pulling carts loaded with rock and earth and others were swept away in floods.
Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. Select departures from either Moscow or Vladivostok – plus the option of shorter durations between Moscow and Ulaan Baatar. The Trans Siberian railroad tour takes you inside the mind of a Russian traveler. Excursions into their culture and cuisine. What do Trans Siberian trains look like? Go inside the minds of a Russian couple travelling home from work in Sberbank’s Moscow office. How much does Trans-Siberian Train Cost? Which is the cheapest time to travel Trans-Siberian? Should you invest in gold if you are traveling Trans-Siberian? Where to find local food in Russia’s Transsiberian town?
Is Siberia in Russia
Yes, Siberia is a large geographical region, consisting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of Russia after the Russians conquered lands east of the Ural Mountains.
Where is Siberia?
Where is Siberia located – Russia! Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass, and is part of the East Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Europe. And yet, despite its huge size, we have somehow managed to miss it. Taking the trans-Siberian railway is one of those journeys every traveler dreams of taking, one of those journeys we associate with exotic adventure. But sitting on a train for an entire week without getting off seems a bit too much, and what’s the point of traveling through the entire Russia without actually stepping off the train to embrace it? We have been thinking of taking this journey next year, and here are some of the places we would like to visit along the way.
Trans-Siberian Railroad is a 7-day 5,752-mile journey from Moscow to Vladivostok. The Trans-Siberian Railroad runs for more than 9,000 km through 11 time zones, with a speed limit of 50 mph and takes 19 days to traverse Russia’s vast landmass – from the frigid north to the tropical south. In winter it runs as far east as Irkutsk and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia before finishing at Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. It passes some of Russia’s most spectacular scenery including Lake Baikal, Siberia’s largest freshwater lake, the snowcapped Siberian mountain range and the Trans-Siberian desert.
The adventure begins when you arrive in Vladivostok, where you’ll board the luxury rail car for your three-night voyage through the rugged wilderness of northern Asia. You’ll pass through forests, grasslands, and towns before arriving in China, where you’ll join other passengers aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle train.
Explore the ancient capital city of Beijing, which was ruled over by emperors long ago. Then head west to Kazakhstan, where we will stop overnight in the beautiful Almaty region. See the highlights: the ancient Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Herat; the desert oasis of Kyzyl Kum ; and Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia before traveling across the Gobi Desert into southern China. We will visit Guangzhou, then travel on to Shanghai where we make our final stopover.
In addition to the cultural and educational experiences, you’ll enjoy wonderful natural beauty throughout this fascinating journey – mountains so green they seem painted on canvas; valleys blanketed in fields of emerald rice terraces; towering sandstone cliffs carved with Buddhist statues; majestic waterfalls tumbling down steep hillsides; verdant tea plantations, riverside villages and deep gorges where water rushes between sheer mountain walls.
With more than 500 stops en route, there are plenty of opportunities to get off the train for some R&R during free time. There is also an option of taking an optional train tour to see sights such as the Great Wall of China, Tianjin port, Beijing Opera Theatre, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, etc..
What can we do on board the Trans-Siberian Railroad?
There’s so much to see on board the Trans-Siberian: museums, churches, chapels, libraries, restaurants, souvenir shops, cinemas, live shows, concerts and cabins featuring a private jacuzzi, sauna, bath tub, cable TV and an en suite bathroom complete with toiletries, shower and towels.
Trains have 2nd class 4-berth compartments called kupé, open-plan bunks called platskartny & a restaurant car, see the photos below. Two routes to China: Although the main Trans-Siberian line runs from Moscow to Vladivostok, most western travelers head for China on one of two branches, the Trans-Mongolian line or the Trans-Manchurian line, see the route map.
Trains from the Rossiya from Moscow to Vladivostok. Most western travelers head for China on one of two branches, the Trans-Mongolian line or the Trans-Manchurian line, see the route map.
Trains from Moscow to Peking: Train 3/4 from Moscow to Beijing using Chinese coaches. Trains from Moscow to Pyongyang: For those who want to visit North Korea, there are regular Trans-Siberian trains that leave Moscow twice daily stopping off at Khabarovsk & Vladivostok en route. Tickets range from 2,100R for a hard seat to 5,600R for a soft sleeper with private facilities, but they’re very popular so booking ahead is advisable. Photo courtesy of Alexander Nefedov. Moscow to Ulaanbaatar : Another route to Mongolia is via Ulaanbaatar, for many years the capital city of Mongolia.
Russia’s railways were nationalized in 1926, so they’ve always had a very different feel to their European counterparts. When Europeans talk about steam locomotives hauling goods wagons along tracks that stretch out into forever, Russians call theirs “trams” – because they’re pulled by horses rather than engines. And there’s a lot of rails. If there weren’t enough space for everything, the railways would simply extend themselves further and wider until they were too wide to continue building. This makes it hard to gauge distances accurately.
Russia’s capital is one of the world’s largest cities, but despite having the highest population concentration levels in Europe and North America, Moscow actually boasts quite low living standards. Sculptural design of the Moscow Subway: a model of “Moscovskaya Pravda”, a propaganda poster created in the 1930’s. This is part of an extensive project designed by architect Boris Iofan to redesign the Moscow subway system in the Soviet Union. As part of this endeavor, he developed a modernist aesthetic based on the principle of “aesthetics of space.” He proposed that the best way to understand his designs would be to imagine them as architectural forms rather than just images or maps drawn on paper.
For example, his famous design for the Central Station of Moscow has a triangular form inspired by the structure of the human body, and is meant to serve as a symbol of power. Few places are as iconic than St. Basil’s Cathedral with its colorful onion domes that makes it look more fairy-tale like than the Walt Disney Castle itself -and the red square with the GUM department store and the Kremlin’s red brick walls and 18 towers.
Suzdal via Trans
First mentioned in 1024, Suzdal is one of the oldest cities in Russia, and being protected from development, the medieval architecture, rural atmosphere and fairy tale setting is still well preserved, with more churches per capita than any other city in Russia. Suzdal is part of the “Golden Ring”, a ring of cities northeast of Moscow which preserves the memory of the most important and significant events in Russian history. These towns are like open-air museums, and among the most picturesque in Russia – we would love to get a glimpse of what seems to be the idyllic picture of Russian village life.
Lake Baikal via Trans
Formed almost 50 million years ago, Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake on the planet, containing 20% of the earth’s fresh surface water. Except around Baikalsk and Selenga Delta, the water is completely safe to drink due to the filtering action of the different types of sponge that live in its depths. The deep blue lake surrounded by sharp mountains looks absolutely stunning, and we would love to explore the area.
Ust-Orda via Trans
While visiting this village might only be possible when buying Russian train tickets, we would love to get a better insight into the lives and culture of the Buryats. The Buryats are the largest of the Siberian minority groups, where Shamanism and Buddhists traditions come together.
Irkutsk via Trans
While we don’t normally listen to others complaining about places, when we get a lot of recommendations about how awesome a place is we definitely believe that there must be some truth in what they say. We’ve heard from many people about how great Irkutsk is, from how cute the town is with traditional Siberian wooden cabins to how friendly the locals there are and how relaxed the vibe is in the city. Can’t wait to see it for ourselves! Have you traveled on the Trans Siberian Railway? If so, what places would you recommend, and if not, what places do you dream of visiting?
Enjoy a Russian Tea Ceremony
While most people associate vodka as the typical drink for Russia, tea is also an old traditional drink in the country. Even though tea was brought in from China (during the 16th century), Russia has developed its own unique traditions surrounding this drink. Typical Russian tea is a combination of two or three types and flavors – these different teas are brewed dark and in separate pots. When mixed together in the cup, additional hot water is added to dilute the mixture.
What are your best tips of things to do when traveling through Russia?