Polny BM4 (UI)

15 days / 2 stops – from €2,075 (per person, twin share)

15 day itinerary with tours in Mongolia, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal and Moscow

Tour Introduction
One of the most popular routes, this 15 day trip will take you to the main destinations along the Trans-Mongolian Railway. The two-stop trip showcases the most popular highlights of the Trans-Siberian route, with a two-night tour of the Open Steppe, staying in a traditional Mongolian ger, and a few days by the shore of Lake Baikal.

Beijing — Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian Open Steppe — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Siberia — Moscow 

Departure dates
Several departures each week. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing departures and onward travel.

Tour includes
√  Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√  Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√  Beijing: 1 night 3* hotel; departure transfer: hotel to train station
√  Ulaanbaatar: arrival and departure station transfers; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel
√  Mongolia: 2 nights Open Steppe tour program
√  Lake Baikal: all transfers; 2 nights guesthouse accommodation
√  Guided tour of Lake Baikal Museum and Listvyanka Village (time permitting)
√  Listvyanka activity: 5-hour guided hiking excursion (or alternative)
√  Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√  Moscow: arrival transfer; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel, guided city walking tour

Prices (per person)
€3,020  – based on solo travel
€2,075  – based on two people travelling together
€1,915  – based on three people travelling together
€1,775  – based on four people travelling together

»  Trans-Mongolian train journey, travelling 7,621 km from Beijing to Moscow across two continents.
»  View remnants of the ancient Great Wall, the Gobi desert and Mongolian Open Steppe; and traverse the wide expanse of Siberia, passing countless rural villages in between the main cities en route to Moscow
»  2 night guided program in the Gun Galuut area on the Open Steppe; kayak, hike or horse ride or visit local nomad family
»  Relax by the shore majestic Lake Baikal, enjoy a tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal Museum + hiking excursion (or alternative)
»  Orientation city tour of Moscow

Flexibility – tour programs and accommodation
Upgrade to first class or private second class cabin 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 extra nights in Beijing and a guided city tour or excursion to the Great Wall Add an extension from Moscow to Saint Petersburg with extra nights accommodation in Moscowovernight or express day train and accommodation in Saint-Petersburg, along with a number of additional Moscow tours and Saint-Petersburg tours.

Compare to: Polny BM5 (UIE); Polny MB4 (IU)

Day 1
Beijing arrival
Staying 1 night at a centrally located 4* hotel. We can book extra accommodation and tours in Beijing, as well as domestic train tickets around China in advance of your Trans-Mongolian train journey.

Day 2
Beijing departure
Morning transfer to Beijing Main Railway Station for the start of your Trans-Mongolian adventure. Depart on train #23 a little before 7:30am. The train meanders through the Yanshan mountains north of Beijing and past the Great Wall, before arriving at the Chinese border town of Erlian. (B) 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. 

Day 3
Train to Ulaanbaatar
Wake up to the Gobi and cross central Mongolian steppe. Arrive to Ulaanbaatar (locally called UB) early afternoon around 14:35. Meet your driver on the station platform for a transfer centrally located 3* hotel. Free evening to explore Ulaanbaatar on your own.

Day 4
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
Meet your guide after breakfast for a city tour, and a 2 hours drive 120km east out of UB to the Ger Camp. Settle in to your comfortable and traditional ger for 2 nights and explore local surroundings.
During your time on the steppe your guide will explain local customs and offer cultural excursions to local nomad family and other sites such as the Genghis Khan monument. Horse-riding can be arranged and paid for locally. Or you can relax at the camp or hike to nearby hills. If away from Gun Galuut, a picnic lunch will be provided.  Enjoy a mix of local and western menus in the ger restaurant. (B|L|D)

Day 5
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities.
All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch. (B|L|D)

Day 6
Gun Galuut | Ulaanbaatar | Train to Irkutsk
Free time before returning to Ulaanbaatar. Early afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #305 mid-afternoon. (B)

Day 7
On train – Mongolia – Russia border crossing / Irkutsk arrival | Lake Baikal – Listvyanka Village
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.
Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal before arriving in Irkutsk a little after 3pm; meet your local guide/driver on station platform. Enjoy a guided city tour of
Irkutsk before transfer to Listvyanka, the main village on the shore of Lake Baikal (70km from Irkutsk). Staying two nights at a comfortable guesthouse. Guided tour of Lake Baikal Museum.

Day 8
Listvyanka | Excursion
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (5 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. Free evening in Listvyanka. (B|L)
for alternative excursions, check out the 
Lake Baikal tour programs.

Day 9
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Free morning before transfer to Irkutsk. Staying at a boutique hotel in a district showcasing the wooden architecture of the city.
Guided walking tour to the main sites in the city center, including Karl Marx Street, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Epiphany Cathedral and the former Polish Cathedral. (B)

Day 10
Irkutsk | Train to Moscow
Free day in Irkutsk to explore the city’s fabulous wooden architecture. Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the city center is reasonably easy to navigate on foot. 
Pick up supplies for the four-night train journey.
Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #69 a little after 4pm. Spend the next few days relaxing in your comfortable cabin, enjoying the unfolding views of Siberia. (B)

Day 11 On train crossing 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.

Day 12
On train
Passing cities such as Ekaterinburg and Perm as you cross the Ural Mountains and the geographic border of Asia and Europe.

Day 13
On train
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.

Day 14
Moscow arrival
Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavskaya station) early morning, around 5am; meet driver on station platform. Transfer to centrally located 3* hotel. Freshen up and have breakfast before guided city tour. (B)
Note: For guests arriving in the early morning on train #69 (around 5am), 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.