Kick things off in St Petersburg. Originally constructed as Russia’s ‘eyes into Europe’, the city has been the backdrop to countless catastrophes, but today, the 21st-century city is a thriving cultural capital; discover clubs and live music, an experimental art scene, cosy wine bars, great tea houses, and a multicultural food offering. Experience the impressive architecture, visit the spectacular Hermitage Museum and discover the live music scene.
A final day exploring and then take your first overnight train to Moscow, get to know your fellow adventurers and plan a list of sights you want to hit once you arrive in Russia’s capital.
Head to Red Square for an immediate WOW factor. You’ll find yourself slack-jawed on the cobbled square (surprisingly not red) staring in awe at the gingerbread masterpiece of St. Basils. Wander to Zaryadye Park for a great vantage over the striking skyline or chill in Gorky Park, a favourite among locals. Try the local fare, some of the best has Georgian and Asian influence.
Roll past changing landscapes and head to the dining car to meet fellow travellers and practise your Russian.
Go for a refreshing swim and try the lake’s famous fish. Hike along the picturesque shores, see if you can spot some of the seals endemic to the lake and soak up the scenery of Siberia before boarding the train again.
Enjoy a final day in the city before boarding the train to Ulan Ude and the Republic of Buryatia, the original home of the Buddhist-Shaman Buryats.
Ask your Honcho about organising a trip to the Old Believers Village. See the wonderful colourful houses, traditional dress and enjoy a hearty meal with your hosts. The singing, dancing and infectious joy of the people will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Fancy something for free? Take in the giant Lenin head in the centre of town - it really is enormous!
On the rails again and leaving the home of the home of the Buryats we travel to Mongolia and the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Settle into life as a nomad in a traditional ger camp. If you’re feeling adventurous, ride across the valley on horseback or try your hand at archery. Enjoy a peaceful sunset before getting cosy around the campfire with a few airags (fermented mare’s milk).
Visit the magnificent statue of Genghis Khan on the way back to the city and enjoy exploring this fascinating city with its’ myriad of evening hotspots. Maybe a Mongolian BBQ to fill you up for the final train journey.
Take the train through the magnificent Gobi Desert toward the Chinese frontier.
Wander down hutongs (alleyways) and people-watch at Tiananmen Square. Test your haggling skills at one of the many markets and devour Peking Duck in its hometown. Visit the Forbidden City before heading to the hills for a stroll along the most peaceful part of the Great Wall, Huanghaucheng.
All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation (2 twin share hotel nights, 7 hostel nights, 2 nights at a Siberian guesthouse, 1 night at ger camp, 8 nights on the train (4-berth). Please note that private facilities are not guaranteed.)
Honchos throughout your journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All departure and arrival transfers en-route *
* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.