A trip along the Trans-Siberian Railway, or the Transsib, is an exciting journey that needs to be well prepared. If you had the idea of such an exciting tour on the train, then, of course, many questions arose. Where can I find reliable information about timetables and tickets? Is travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway dangerous? Do I need a Russian visa?
To make it easier to prepare, we have collected the most common questions and answers for you.
Best time to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway
If you want to travel in warm weather, select the period from June to September. The coldest season in Siberia begins in December and lasts until the end of February. Of course, a trip to the Trans-Siberian during the winter months has a special charm. But planning and preparing for a winter trip is more complicated due to the extreme temperatures in Russia and Mongolia. Please note that in winter, sightseeing and other outdoor activities due to the cold can be problematic.
Where does the Trans-Siberian Railway route go?
The Trans-Siberian Railway route runs from Moscow to Vladivostok through Siberia. Therefore, the railway line got its name. Nevertheless, the classical route branches out in the region of Lake Baikal near Ulan-Ude and continues through Mongolia to Beijing. In addition, from Moscow you can get through Manchuria to the center of China.
In which cities is recommended to stop?
On the popular Moscow-Beijing route, you should definitely visit the following cities and places: Moscow, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, Ulan Bator (the capital of Mongolia), Tereldsh National Park, Yurt and, finally, Beijing.
This list is a minimal program, as there are many more exciting places. For each stop it is better to plan at least three days.
Russian visa – whether it is necessary to travel to the Trans-Siberian Railway?
Austrians need a visa for Russia and China. A visa is also required if you are traveling to Moscow from Belarus. It is better to start preparing documents for a visa at least six weeks before the trip – if you need several visas, then even two months.
Is it dangerous to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway?
Traveling along the Trans-Siberian Railway does not promise any dangers. On trains, you will always feel completely safe, and, above all, thanks to the guides who serve the cars. In a team of two people, they are always at the services of passengers day and night.
Of course, it is better not to leave expensive equipment and valuables unattended. The same applies to all corners of the world: do not give thieves a chance! If in doubt, you can leave your wallet, laptop, mobile phone, jewelry and all other valuables for the night in a backpack or suitcase. If you travel with large luggage, you can put it in a drawer under the bed, which is found in most Trans-Siberian trains.
Tickets for a trip to the Transsib – where to buy?
There are several ways to get tickets to the Trans-Siberian Railway:
1. At the box office in Russia, Mongolia, China and Central Europe.
2. Russian Railways (online) for Russia and all international trains en route from Russia to Mongolia.
3. In a travel agency.
Additional note: there is no Hop-on-Hop-Off ticket (when you can go and catch another train outside the excursion program) to the Trans-Siberian Railway. If you are traveling on your own, you must buy a new ticket for each leg of the journey.
How much does a trip along the Trans-Siberian Railway cost?
This question can definitely be called one of the most pressing issues. This cannot be answered with a fixed rate. The cost of a trip usually depends on your travel style (third class or luxury), Route and number of stops (the more, the more expensive). Of course, if you contact a travel agency, you will have to calculate the additional costs of this service.
What classes are available for passengers?
In Trans-Siberian trains, there are three different classes of wagons – within the classes there are also additional differences in services. Detailed information can be found on the Russian Railways website. Long-distance trains, as a rule, consist of sleeping cars: you also book a berth with a ticket. Here is a short overview:
First class: wagon-lit
This is the highest class train in which only two passengers share the compartment. There are both in Russian and in international trains.
Second class: coupe
These are compartments with four beds. Such cars are found on most Russian and international trains.
Third class: reserved seat
These wagons are compartment compartments of larger capacity, in one wagon can accommodate up to 54 passengers. However, this class is not used in international trans-Siberian trains between Russia and China.
In all classes of wagons, passengers always receive fresh linens and towels.