Osnova [основа] is a Russian word meaning "basis, base, framework, foundation, ground, or backbone". This defines exactly our Osnova or Basic trips. They are the framework for all our trips, with a range of itineraries along the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Osnova Trips are budget friendly and without frills, but with all the essentials for a smooth trip.
Our Osnova tours are perfect for those travelling on a limited budget or with time restrictions. The Osnova packages include all train tickets, arrival transfer in each stop with budget accommodation and essential tours.
The trips run weekly, throughout the year. There are no minimum group sizes and are completely flexible if you wish to add extra tours or upgrade to a different class berth on the train. We keep the costs low by offering the standard, regular and good reliable trains, but you can upgrade to better (branded or express trains) where available.
We offer a range of Osnova trips in each direction, so you can start in Beijing, or start in Moscow.
Understanding the tour codes:
OS - stands for Osnova (as opposed to PO Polny).
BM - signifies the route (Beijing to Moscow).
4 - the number of stops (Beijing - Ulaanbaatar - Irkutsk - Moscow is 4).
K - some times we use a suffix to denote a small variant of a trip (K stands for Krasnoyarsk for example).
The quickest and cheapest route is to travel directly between Beijing and Moscow without stopping. There are two direct routes, via Mongolia, or via Manchuria and taking 6 and 7 days, respectively.
You can also book a trip including Ulanbaatar and so stopping at the three capital cities of China, Mongolia then Russia.
Perhaps our most popular route is to start in Beijing, stop in Ulanbaatar to experience the Mongolian Open Steppe, then into Russia and a short stop in Irkutsk to visit Lake Baikal before heading onto Moscow - four cities (four capitals if you include Irkutsk as the 'capital' of Siberia) and four unique environments and cultures in 11 or more days.
We also have tours including Krasnoyarsk in the heart of Siberia and Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains if you wish to make further stops before arriving in Moscow. All these destinations can be added or removed from any itinerary giving you total flexibility.
All Westbound Osnova tours include transfer on arrival in Moscow, a city tour and your first night in a mini- hotel in a room with private bathroom (or dorm if you prefer). The hotel is in the centre of Moscow on New Arbat street, just a two minutes from the metro.
Moscow to Beijing
The quickest and cheapest route is to travel direct from Moscow to Beijing without stopping. There are two direct routes, via Mongolia, or via Manchuria.
You can also book a trip including Ulanbaatar and so stopping at the three capital Cities of Russia, Mongolia then China.
Perhaps our most popular route is to start in Moscow, take a short stop in Irkutsk to visit Lake Baikal before heading onto Ulanbaatar to experience the Mongolian Open Steppe, and finally across the Great Wall into China and your destination of Beijing - four cities and four unique environments and cultures.
You have the option of adding more stops in Russia, including Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains and Krasnoyarsk in the heart of Siberia, both places are an excellent way to break the Trans-Siberian journey and a part from being interesting cities in their own right, offer excellent countryside activities.
All Eastbound Osnova trips include one night in a centrally located and stylish mini hotel in Moscow with a city tour, transfer to the Trans Siberian train on departure from Moscow and two nights at a central hotel in Beijing. The hotel is in the centre of Moscow on New Arbat street, and in Beijing just across the street from the station upon arrival. Both are close to the metro for exploring these sprawling cities.