Osnova BM4 (UI)
14 days / 2 stops / from €1,500 (twin share)
14 day itinerary with budget tour services in Mongolia, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal and Moscow
The popular Osnova packages are perfect for those travelling on a limited budget or with time restrictions. This two-stop trip showcases the most popular highlights along the Trans-Siberian route, with a chance to spend a couple of nights on the Open Steppe, staying in a traditional Mongolian ger, and a few days to explore the natural wonder of Lake Baikal.
Beijing — Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian Open Steppe — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Siberia — Moscow
Several departures each week. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing departures and onward travel.
√ Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√ Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√ Mongolia: arrival transfer: train station to central guesthouse; 2 night Open Steppe tour program
√ Lake Baikal: arrival meeting and transfer; 2 nights budget accommodation (shared bathroom) in Listvyanka guesthouse
√ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* hotel; departure transfer: hotel to train station
√ Moscow: arrival transfer; 1 night budget hotel, guided city walking tour
Prices (per person)
€1,870 – based on solo travel
€1,500 – based on two people travelling together
€1,445 – based on three people travelling together
€1,365 – based on four people travelling together
» 2 nights in a traditional Mongolian ger in Terelj National Park. Hike or horse ride in the national park
» Relax by the shore of majestic Lake Baikal
» Orientation city tour of Moscow
Flexibility – tour programs and accommodation
Upgrade to first class or private second class cabin. Add accommodation in Beijing, or upgrade the included accommodation in the stopovers and Moscow.
Substitute tour programs on the Mongolian Open Steppe or at Lake Baikal, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget.
Add an extension from Moscow to Saint Petersburg with extra accommodation in Moscow, overnight or express day train and accommodation in Saint Petersburg, along with a number of additional Moscow tours and Saint-Petersburg.
We can book accommodation and tours in Beijing, as well as domestic train tickets around China in advance of your Trans-Mongolian train journey.
Beijing | Train
Meet your local guide at Beijing Main Railway Station in the morning for the start of your Trans-Mongolian adventure. Depart on train #23 a little before 7:30am. The train travels westerly before turning north and passing through the Yanshan mountains north of Beijing and passing sections of the Great Wall, before arriving at the Chinese border town of Erlian.
The Chinese – Mongolian border crossing takes around five hours for immigration and customs procedures and for changing the bogies to accommodate the different gauge railway lines between China and the rest of the Trans-Mongolian / Siberian network.
Train to Ulaanbaatar
Wake up to the sunrise of the Gobi and across the central Mongolian steppe. Visit the Mongolian dining car for a hearty breakfast.
Arrive to Ulaanbaatar (locally called UB) around 2:30pm; meet your driver on the station platform for the transfer to your centrally located guesthouse. You have time to explore Ulaanbaatar, e.g. visiting the Gandan Monastery, Sukhebaatar Square and Zaisan Memorial hill.
Terelj National Park
Meet your guide at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Travel east of UB (approx. 60km) to Terelj National Park, with a side-trip to the Genghis Khan monument on the way. Settle into ger camp and have lunch at camp restaurant. Your guide will give you an overview of the valley, visiting a local family, and accompanying you on a short hike to enjoy the view over Terelj valley.
Your driver and guide will return to UB in the evening. (B|L|D)
Free day in Terelj National Park to enjoy at your leisure. (B|L|D)
Terelj National Park | Ulaanbaatar | Train to Irkutsk
Free time before returning to Ulaanbaatar. Opportunity to freshen up at Zaya’s Guesthouse (time permitting). Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #305 mid-afternoon. (B)
On train – Irkutsk arrival | Listvyanka, Lake Baikal
Cross the Mongolian – Russian border in the middle of the night, stopping in Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities. Travel through Siberian Russia, passing Ulan-Ude and the eastern shore of Lake Baikal in the early morning.
Arrival in Irkutsk just after 3pm; meet your local guide / driver on station platform. Transfer to Listvyanka, the main village on the shore of Lake Baikal (70km from Irkutsk). Staying two nights in a local guesthouse.
Lake Baikal – Listvyanka
Free day to explore Listvyanka Village and the natural surrounds. (B)
Hint: be sure to check out the interesting Lymnological Museum.
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Return to Irkutsk by yourself on the public bus (your guide will provide instructions). Staying at 3* Angara Hotel, 1 night (or downgrade to hostel dorm room). (B)
Free day in Irkutsk to explore the city’s fabulous wooden architecture. Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the city center is reasonably easy to navigate on foot.
Hint: Pick up supplies for the four-night train journey. Afternoon transfer to the station for onward departure to Moscow on train #69 a little after 4pm (B)
On train – Siberia
This is the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898 crossing the great rivers Ob and Yenisei. It is the half way point on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian line. The train will make regular stops, including longer stopovers in cities such as Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk where passengers can get off the train briefly to buy fresh produce from local vendors and stretch their legs.
On train – Euro / Asia geographic border
Passing cities such as Ekaterinburg and Perm as you cross the Ural Mountains and the geographic border of Asia and Europe.
You will notice the land become less farmed and more industrial as you leave Siberia and cross into the Ural provinces and ultimately close in on Moscow.
Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavskaya station) early morning, a little before 5am; meet driver on station platform. Transfer to centrally located budget hotel. Freshen up and have breakfast before guided city tour. (B)
Note: If arriving into Moscow early morning on train #69 at 04:56 (or a similar time) we typically book the hotel for the arrival night to guarantee early check-in on arrival. If you prefer to roll this night forward and check-in later in the afternoon please let us know in advance so that we can make the necessary adjustments.
Enjoy a terrific informative three-hour orientation tour of Moscow. All our guides have their own personal itineraries and will visit many of the main sites, including: Tverskaya street and it’s important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Aleksandrovsky Gardens and of course the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
You have a free afternoon to continue your exploration of this exciting and vibrant city and delve into the long and turbulent history of Russia, adding on extra nights and additional Moscow tours if you wish.