Osnova Trips - Westbound

Osnova [основа] is a Russian word meaning "basis, base, framework, foundation, ground, or backbone" and exactly explains this type of tour.

Our Osnova tours are perfect for those travelling on a limited budget or with time restrictions. The Osnova package include all train tickets, arrival transfer in each stop with budget accommodation and essential tours.

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Osnova Basic Tour, Beijing to Moscow direct (Trans-Mongolian Line). 7 days

980 ITINERARY: From one Capital city to another crossing six time zones. Departure from Beijing is every Wednesday throughout the year. This is the most popular direct trip, six days and five nights on board and you travel for a total of 7,622 km.

PRICE: Standard Class from € 980*
PRICE: Deluxe Class upgrade from € 435*

WE SUGGEST: A fine option if you are really short of time, but consider breaking the journey by adding at least one stopover, particularly in the summer months.

ALTERNATIVE OPTION: The Trans-Manchurian route bypasses Mongolia, takes one day longer, but departs Beijing on a Saturday, which may suit you better. Ask us for this alternative itinerary if you prefer the less tourist route.

DATES: This trip runs year round on the same schedule - depart from Beijing each Wednesday at 11:22, arrive in Moscow following Monday at 13:58.

More Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 980
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 1,115
GROUP PRICE: Three people booking in Second Class € 940
TRAIN UPGRADE: Upgrade to first class deluxe € 435
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 40

TRIP NOTES: You travel in a Chinese train with Chinese staff all the way to Moscow. You travel through Mongolia on this trip and will need a transit visa.

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Train ticket on Chinese train #3, five nights on board, second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: ticket delivery and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night central budget hotel, guided city walking tour (3 hrs)
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

PRICE EXCLUDES: Not included in the price are visa costs, extra accommodation and tours in Beijing and Moscow, onward travel to St Petersburg and out of Russia, food on train.

Day 00    Arrive Beijing - tour and accommodation options
Day 01    Departure assistance at train station (or ticket delivery to Beijing hotel). Depart Beijing main station (北京站) on train #3 at 11:22 (Wednesday only)
Day 02    On train crossing Mongolia
Day 03    On train crossing from Mongolia into Russia
Day 04    On train, across Siberia
Day 05    On train, crossing Euro Asia border
Day 06    Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavsky station - Яросла́вский вокза́л) at 13:58. Meet driver on platform and transfer to City Comfort Hotel
Day 07    Guided city walking tour (3 hrs - 10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Route Map
Trans-Manchurian Beijing to Moscow Route Map
Price Notes

All prices based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

You travel on a Chinese train which has Standard Class four berth, second class cabins. Deluxe Class on train #3 has two berth, first class cabins, with attached wash-room.


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Osnova Basic Tour: Beijing to Moscow, stopping in Ulaanbaatar (1 night UB + 2 Open Steppe) and Irkutsk / Lake Baikal (2 Listvyanka + 1 Irkutsk). 15 days

ITINERARY: Visit amazing countryside and four great cities on this, the most popular route we offer. Start off with an overnight train journey from Beijing to Ulanbaatar, where you will stay in a traditional ger on the Open Steppe. Move on to Irkutsk for a night and include a tour to Lake Baikal for two days before travelling across Siberia to Moscow.

PRICE: Standard second class from € 1,470*

WE SAY: Our most popular trip for those wanting to experience the different cultures you pass through, but still limited on time and budget.

DATES: Depart Beijing once a week on a Tuesday until May 2016. Twice weekly departures in summer 2016, probably¹ on a Saturday and Tuesday.

More Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 1,470
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 1,725
GROUP PRICE: Three people booking in Second Class € 1,390
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 85

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: ticket delivery and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: arrival and departure transfers between station and guesthouse, 1 night guesthouse (private room with bathroom) + day use
✓ Mongolia / Open Steppe: 2 night guided Elstei Open Steppe program, including: transfers, 2 nights Elstei ger lodge (full board), English speaking guide, UB city tour; excludes: Chinghis Khan museum entrance and extra transfers if required for tour excursions; horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally
✓ Lake Baikal: arrival transfer: Irkutsk to Listvyanka, 2 nights Sasha's Guesthouse: private room, share bathroom (incl. breakfast)
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night private apartment or hostel (dorm), transfer Irkutsk city centre to station
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night central budget hotel, guided city walking tour (3 hrs)
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, extra accommodation and tours in Beijing and Moscow, onward travel to St Petersburg and out of Russia, food on train. No minimum group size, the tour runs at least once per week.

Route Map
Trans Mongolian Popular Route Image
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 00    Arrive Beijing - tour and accommodation options
Day 01    Departure assistance at train station (or ticket delivery to Beijing hotel). Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 02    Arrive Ulaanbaatar 14:35; meet driver on platform, transfer to Zaya's guesthouse, 1 night
Day 03    Meet guide at guesthouse. Enjoy a city tour, including Gaandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and Zaisan Hill. Travel to Elstei Ger Lodge on the open steppe (approx. 60kms). Settle in to your traditional Mongolian ger before exploring the open steppe with your guide (B|L|D)
Day 04    Continue exploring; visit Chingis Khan Monument and a local nomad family (B|L|D)
Day 05    Return to UB and freshen up at Zaya's Guesthouse. Transfer to station. Depart Ulaanbaatar on train #263 at 20:35 (no dining carriage)
Day 06    On train crossing from Mongolia to Russia
Day 07    Arrive Irkutsk at 07:15. Meet guide/driver on platform and transfer to Listvyanka. Staying at Sasha's Guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 08    Day on the shore of Lake Baikal, with free time to explore (B)
Day 09    Return to Irkutsk by yourself (guide will provide instructions); staying at the Irkutsk Hostel (dorm or upgrade), 1 night (B)
Day 10    Free day before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:28
Day 11    On train, across Siberia
Day 12    On train, passing from Asia into Europe and the Ural Mountains
Day 13    All day on train
Day 14    Arrive Moscow 04:11. Meet driver on platform and transfer to City Comfort Hotel. Guided city walking tour (3 hrs - 10am)
Day 15    Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Either departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.

Standard price is based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

† Train #69 is a standard passenger service, operating an almost daily service, but arrives in Moscow during the night. It is possible to book a fast/firmenny(branded) passenger service on train #1 'Rossiya' which passes Irkutsk every other day. There is a supplement for this train, which is the flagship service of Russian Railways.


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Osnova Basic Tour, Beijing to Moscow, stopping in Ulaanbaatar (1 night UB + 2 Open Steppe), Irkutsk & Lake Baikal (2 Listvyanka + 1 Irkutsk) and Ekaterinburg (2). 16 days

1,725

ITINERARY: A 16 day tour. Start off with an overnight train journey from Beijing to Ulanbaatar, where you explore the Open Steppe. Move on to Irkutsk and a trip to Lake Baikal for two days before travelling across Siberia. Stop again in Ekaterinburg for two nights with an excursion to the EurAsia border. Finish in Moscow with city tour and overnight accommodation.

PRICE: Standard second class from € 1,725*

WE SAY: A great budget trip which gives the ability to really explore the main tourist destinations along the Trans-Siberian railway, including little visited Ekaterinburg.

DATES: Depart Beijing once a week on a Tuesday until May 2016. Twice weekly departures in summer 2016, probably¹ on a Saturday and Tuesday.

More Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 1,725
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 2,090
GROUP PRICE: Three people booking in Second Class € 1,640
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 135

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: ticket delivery and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: arrival and departure transfers between station and guesthouse, 1 night guesthouse (private room with bathroom) + day use
✓ Mongolia / Open Steppe: 2 night guided Elstei Open Steppe program, including: transfers, 2 nights Elstei ger lodge (full board), English speaking guide, UB city tour; excludes: Chinghis Khan museum entrance and extra transfers if required for tour excursions; horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally
✓ Lake Baikal: arrival transfer: Irkutsk to Listvyanka, 2 nights Sasha's Guesthouse: private room, share bathroom (incl. breakfast)
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night private apartment or hostel (dorm), transfer Irkutsk city centre to station
✓ Ekaterinburg: arrival transfer, 2 nights guesthouse (shared bathroom), countryside excursion
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night central budget hotel, guided city walking tour (3 hrs)
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, extra accommodation and tours in Beijing and Moscow, onward travel to St Petersburg and out of Russia, food on train.

START DATES: Depart Beijing every week on a Tuesday until May 2016. Twice weekly departures in summer 2016 (* probably a Saturday and Tuesday). No minimum group size, the tour runs at least once per week.

Route Map
Trans-Siberian Railway tourist destinations route map
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 00    Arrive Beijing - tour and accommodation options
Day 01    Departure assistance at train station (or ticket delivery to Beijing hotel). Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 02    Arrive Ulaanbaatar 14:35; meet driver on platform, transfer to Zaya's guesthouse, 1 night
Day 03    Meet guide at guesthouse. Enjoy a city tour, including Gaandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and Zaisan Hill. Travel to Elstei Ger Lodge on the open steppe (approx. 60kms). Settle in to your traditional Mongolian ger before exploring the open steppe with your guide (B|L|D)
Day 04    Continue exploring; visit Chingis Khan Monument and a local nomad family (B|L|D)
Day 05    Return to UB and freshen up at Zaya's Guesthouse. Transfer to station. Depart Ulaanbaatar on train #263 at 20:35 (no dining carriage)
Day 06    On train crossing from Mongolia to Russia
Day 07    Arrive Irkutsk at 07:15. Meet guide/driver on platform and transfer to Listvyanka. Staying at Sasha's Guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 08    Day on the shore of Lake Baikal, free time to explore (B)
Day 09    Return to Irkutsk by yourself (guide will provide instructions); staying at the Irkutsk Hostel (dorm or upgrade), 1 night (B)
Day 10    Free day before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:28
Day 11    On train, across Siberia
Day 12    Arrive Ekaterinburg at 22:07, transfer to central guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 13    Tour to Countryside and Romanov Monastery (3 hrs). Free afternoon in Ekaterinburg
Day 14    Own transfer to station, departing on train #67 at 13:10 (daily departures)
Day 15    Arrive Moscow at 16:58. Meet driver on platform and transfer to City Comfort Hotel
Day 16    Guided city walking tour (3 hrs - 10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Normally departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.

All prices based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.


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Osnova Basic Tour, Beijing to Moscow, stopping in Ulaanbaatar (1 night UB + 2 Open Steppe), Irkutsk & Lake Baikal (2 Listvyanka + 1 Irkutsk), Krasnoyarsk (2) and Ekaterinburg (2). 18 days

2,010

ITINERARY: 18 day tour. Start off with an overnight train journey from Beijing to Ulanbaatar with a night in the city and an overnight trip to the Open Steppe where you stay in a local ger. Move on to Irkutsk and a trip to Lake Baikal for two days before travelling across Siberia. A short trip on to Krasnoyarsk in the middle of Siberia for two nights and stay in a traditional countryside home 'dacha' before moving on to European Russia and a stop in Ekaterinburg to see the EurAsia border and the Romanov's Monastery. End up in Moscow with accommodation and a city tour.

PRICE: Standard second class from € 2,010.

WE SAY: For those of you with enough time, this 18 day trip with options to extend in Mongolia (and other cities if requested) is the perfect tour to see the various cultures and landscapes along the Trans-Mongolian train journey.

DATES: Depart Beijing once a week on a Tuesday until May 2016. Twice weekly departures in summer 2016, probably¹ on a Saturday and Tuesday.

More Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 2,010
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 2,610
GROUP PRICE: Three people booking in Second Class € 1,845
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 135

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: ticket delivery and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: arrival and departure transfers between station and guesthouse, 1 night guesthouse (private room with bathroom) + day use
✓ Mongolia / Open Steppe: 2 night guided Elstei Open Steppe program, including: transfers, 2 nights Elstei ger lodge (full board), English speaking guide, UB city tour; excludes: Chinghis Khan museum entrance and extra transfers if required for tour excursions; horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally
✓ Lake Baikal: arrival transfer: Irkutsk to Listvyanka, 2 nights Sasha's Guesthouse: private room, share bathroom (incl. breakfast)
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night private apartment or hostel (dorm), transfer Irkutsk city centre to station
✓ Krasnoyarsk: return station transfers, 1 night countryside dacha, 1 night city hostel + refresh
✓ Krasnoyarsk: guided city tour (car)
✓ Ekaterinburg: arrival transfer, 2 nights guesthouse (shared bathroom), countryside excursion
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night central budget hotel, guided city walking tour (3 hrs)
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

PRICE EXCLUDES: Not included in the price are visa costs, extra accommodation and extra tours in Beijing and Moscow, onward travel to St Petersburg and out of Russia, food on train.

START DATES: This tour is guaranteed to depart every week.

Route Map
Trans-Siberian Railway tourist destinations route map
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 00    Arrive Beijing - tour and accommodation options
Day 01    Departure assistance at train station (or ticket delivery to Beijing hotel). Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 02    Arrive Ulaanbaatar 14:35; meet driver on platform, transfer to Zaya's guesthouse, 1 night
Day 03    Meet guide at guesthouse. Enjoy a city tour, including Gaandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and Zaisan Hill. Travel to Elstei Ger Lodge on the open steppe (approx. 60kms). Settle in to your traditional Mongolian ger before exploring the open steppe with your guide (B|L|D)
Day 04    Continue exploring; visit Chingis Khan Monument and a local nomad family (B|L|D)
Day 05    Return to UB and freshen up at Zaya's Guesthouse. Transfer to station. Depart Ulaanbaatar on train #263 at 20:35 (no dining carriage)
Day 06    On train crossing from Mongolia to Russia
Day 07    Arrive Irkutsk at 07:15. Meet guide/driver on platform and transfer to Listvyanka. Staying at Sasha's Guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 08    Day on the shore of Lake Baikal, with free time to explore (B)
Day 09    Return to Irkutsk by yourself (guide will provide instructions); staying at the Irkutsk Hostel (dorm or upgrade), 1 night (B)
Day 10    Free day before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:28
Day 11    Arrive Krasnoyarsk at 11:42, transfer to city hostel, 1 night.  Afternoon guided city walking tour (3 hrs.)
Day 12    Transfer to countryside Dacha, your guide will help you settle before leaving you for your overnight stay (B)
Day 13    Free morning before transfer to station, departing on train #69 at 12:16 (B)
Day 14    Arrive Ekaterinburg at 22:07, transfer to central guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 15    Tour to Countryside and Romanov Monastery (3 hrs). Free afternoon in Ekaterinburg
Day 16    Own transfer to station, departing on train #67 at 13:41
Day 17    Arrive Moscow at 16:58. Meet driver on platform and transfer to City Comfort Hotel
Day 18    Guided city walking tour (3 hrs - 10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Either departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.

Standard price is based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.


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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).

All Westbound Osnova tours include transfer in Moscow and your first night at a comfortable mini-hotel, with private bathroom (or dorm if preferred) as well as a city tour. The hotel is in the centre of Moscow on New Arbat street, just a two minutes walk from the Metro.