Trans-Siberian Route on a Limited Budget
Osnova MB4 (IU)
13 days / 2 stops – €1,355 (per person, twin share)
13 day itinerary with budget tour services in Moscow, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal and Mongolia
The popular Osnova packages are perfect for those travelling on a limited budget or with time restrictions. The two-stop trip showcases the most popular highlights of 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.
Moscow — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Siberia — Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian Open Steppe — Beijing
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
√ Moscow: 1 night budget hotel, guided city walking tour; departure transfer
√ Lake Baikal: arrival meeting and transfer; 2 nights budget guesthouse accommodation (private room, shared bathroom)
√ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Angara hotel; departure transfer: hotel to train station
√ Mongolia: 1 night Open Steppe tour program; 1 night central UB guesthouse (private room), station transfers
Prices (per person)
€1,640 – based on solo travel:
€1,355 – based on two people travelling together:
€1,295 – based on three people travelling together:
€1,230 – based on four people travelling together:
» Orientation city tour of Moscow
» Explore Listvyanka on the shore of beautiful Lake Baikal
» 1 night in a traditional Mongolian ger in Terelj National Park
Flexibility – tour programs and accommodation
Upgrade to first class or private second class cabin
Add an extension from Saint-Petersburg to Moscow with accommodation in Saint-Petersburg, overnight or express day train and extra nights accommodation in Moscow, along with a number of additional tours in Saint-Petersburg and Moscow.
Substitute tour programs at Lake Baikal, or on the Mongolian Open Steppe, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget
Add extra nights in Beijing and a guided city tour or excursion to the Great Wall
Moscow arrival and city tour
Arrive Moscow___ (optional arrival transfer can be added). Staying at a centrally located budget hotel, 1 night.
We can book extra accommodation and tours in Moscow, along with an extension from Saint-Petersburg.
Enjoy a guided orientation tour of Moscow (usually at 2pm or switch to following morning – 3 hrs).
The Moscow guides have their own personal touch, while of course visiting the main sites and introducing you to the diversity of Moscow’s architectural styles from Russian-Moscow Baroque and Art Nouveau to the Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish influences. The three-hour walking tour generally includes: 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.
Free morning in Moscow before transfer to Yaroslavsky station. Depart Moscow for Irkutsk around 2pm. (B)
Passing Perm mid-afternoon, and Ekaterinburg in the evening, traversing the Ural Mountains, marking the geographic border between Europe and Asia.
Stroll along to the dining car or buy fresh produce from local vendors as you stretch your legs on the platform. The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Omsk and Novosibirsk.
On train across Siberia
The train traverses the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898 crossing the river Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk. It is the half way point on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian line. The train winds around the Sayan mountains with some lovely views.
Irkutsk | Listvyanka
Arrive in Irkutsk a little before 6:30am; meet your driver / guide on the platform. Transfer to Listvyanka. Accommodation at Sasha’s Guesthouse for 2 nights (incl. early check-in).
Listvyanka | Lake Baikal
Free time to explore the village, go for a hike in Baikal National Park, and/or visit the interesting Limnological museum.
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Return to Irkutsk by yourself (guide will provide instructions).
Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans-Siberian Railway and has an old center very easy to navigate on foot with lovely Siberian wooden architecture and an amazing history of fires and rebuilding.
Staying overnight at a central 3* hotel.
Irkutsk | Train to Ulaanbaatar
Early transfer to station. Depart on train #306 at 08:08 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday departures only).
Passing southern shore of Lake Baikal during the day (B)
Passing Ulan-Ude in the afternoon, the train meanders along the Selenge River to the Russian border.
Cross the Russian – Mongolian border in the evening, spending time in Naushki (Russia) and Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) for immigration and customs formalities. Custom and immigration procedures are carried out on board the train before continuing on and travelling alongside the Orkhon River and the open plans of Northern Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar | Terelj National Park
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar early morning around 7am. Meet your local guide on the station platform. Chance for breakfast before beginning tour. Travel east of UB (approx. 60km) to Terelj National Park, with a side-trip to the Chinggis Khan monument. Arrive at the ger camp and settle in. Explore the valley with your guide, visiting a local nomad family, and hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) offering a view of Terelj valley.
Your guide and driver will return to UB in the evening.
Terelj National Park
Free day in Terelj National Park to enjoy at your leisure.
Train to Beijing
Early transfer to station. Depart Ulaanbaatar on train #24 at 07:30.
The southern plains of Mongolia are very flat and the green grasslands slowly give way to the barren open landscape of the Gobi desert.
The Mongolian – Chinese 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.
Following the formalities, the train continues its journey through the mountains north of Beijing.
Arrive at Beijing Main Station around 14:35. End of tour, unless you booked additional services.
Beijing | Tour extensions
Explore Beijing on your own, or add on accommodation in Beijing, and guided tours, such as: The Great Wall, The Summer Palace, 2008 Olympic district, 798 Art District or elsewhere.