Frequently Asked Questions

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 Select one of the questions to find out the answer.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is the Trans-Siberian Railway?

The Transsiberian is a railway that goes from Moscow to Vladivostok and from Moscow to Beijing. The railway that goes from Moscow to Beijing is called Trans-Mongolian (if on your way from Irkutsk you cross Mongolia) or Trans-Manchurian (if on your way from Irkutsk you enter China and arrive to Beijing via Harbin).

The two railways (the Trans-Siberian and the Trans-Mongolian/Trans-Manchurian ones) part after Irkutsk. All in all the way up to Irkutsk is identical.

The Trans-Siberian is not actually a particular train, but rather a railway which you may travel along on different trains. These trains are of different categories, itineraries and schedule.

Where does the Trans-Siberian stop?

The trains that go along the Trans Siberian railway have many stops; the total amount is above one hundred.

On our website we provide information on most interesting destinations in Russia, China and Mongolia (see the appropriate section).

Our reservation system allows you to build an itinerary with as much stops as you like and where you like.

When does the Trans-Siberian depart?

The Transsiberian is a railway, not a train. Many trains go along the Trans-Siberian railroad. The train connection is active all year round, and does not depend on the weather conditions.

Our system of creating a Trans-Siberian itinerary allows you to build an itinerary that combines optimal train options and relevant accommodation.

You are also welcome to send us a request at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we shall email you a quote within one day.

What are the departure dates for your tours?

Our tailor made tours don’t have fixed departure dates. Travel on the Trans-Siberian never stops and you can choose the date most convenient to you. Our job is to organize everythying and combine various trains so that you can travel within the dates you selected.

With our state-of-the-art reservation system you can get an immediate quote based on your departure date. Go to our Trans-Siberian Tour Planner and follow the instructions. It is very simple.

What's the best time of the year to travel on the Trans Siberian?

The tourist season on Trans Siberian starts in May and ends in October. The high season starts in the middle of July and lasts till the beginning of September. During this period there are a lot of tourists, both Russian and foreign who travel along the Trans Siberian on their vacation. Railway tickets for this period should be booked in advance.

The Trans Siberian functions all the year round and can always offer unique experiences. Train compartments are heated, there is always plenty of hot tea, and while traveling you can enjoy the sublime beauty of the snow-covered scenery, looking forward to the moment when you can see the magnificent ice figures on Baikal created by nature itself.

Kindly be advised that certain excursions (for example in outer Mongolia) are not available during winter due to very low temperatures.

ON THE TRAIN

Where do I get meal on the train?

Each train has a carriage-restaurant (with very few exceptions not applicable to the trains we offer in our tours). The restaurant carriage is changed at each border, so if you are travelling via Trans-Mongolian route you will have a chance to taste three cuisines – Russian, Mongolian and Chinese. Payment is provided in roubles in Russia, in dollars in Mongolia and in RMB in China. A meal may cost from $15 to $35. Restaurant carriages are normally open from 9:00 till 21:00, although this is not a fixed rule. You may also buy snacks there or from the attendant of your carriage. Sometimes the train staff will pass along the train with a basket full of snacks and drinks. The prices are reasonable though higher than those you can get in kiosks on the stations and from babushkas (old ladies) who sell local food prepared by themselves. Actually buying local snacks on the stations is one of the main entertainments you can enjoy on the Trans-Siberian. The assortment is often excellent, including fresh milk, ice cream, grilled chickens, boiled potatoes, pelmeni and home-made pies, fumed meat and fish. Make sure you have coins and small change to pay to babushkas. On Moscow-Vladivostok route you can get great meals buying from babushkas only. In Mongolia this is a bit more complicated but you always have restaurant carriage at your disposal.

Are towels and bed clothes provided on the train?

Yes. There’s a symbolic price for these which can be either included into the ticket price (“ticket with services”) or collected by carriage attendant shortly after the travel starts.

Can I get hot water for tea or coffee on the train?

Yes. Each carriage is provided with a boiler enabled all the time during your trip but the short period right after the train departure. You may also acquire tea from carriage attendants at 5-10 roubles (15-30 eurocents). Tea is provided in metal pattern glass-holder, characteristic of the Russian trains.

Do the trains have climate control?

Yes, the trains have climate control system; they are heated in winter and conditioned in summer (in the way intercity trains are in Europe). During the year inside the train a comfortable temperature is maintained, also in winter when the Trans-Siberian route goes across the zones where the lowest temperatures reach 40 degrees below zero. There can be exceptions concerning air conditioning in summer as regards several trains (especially train 364/363 for certain periods).

How long do train stops last?

The regular train stops are numerous and their duration is different, from 5 up to 40 minutes. If the stop is long enough (starting from 30 minutes) you can get off to stretch your legs. But please make sure you let the conductor know you have decided to take a walk. You should get back on the train 5 minutes before it leaves.
Stops at border posts are different. In particular, the stops at Russian - Mongolian border and at Russian - Chinese border are very long, sometimes taking up to several hours. You can use this time to take a longer walk, but you should verify the train departure time first.

Where can I smoke on a Trans Siberian train?

A no smoking policy operates on all Russian trains, Trans Siberian railway included, except where permission signs are displayed. Those are usually places at the end of the carriage.

Is it safe on the train?

Trains are absolutely safe provided you observe general common sense rules, e. g. you don't leave money or valuables unattended. The conductor usually monitors people entering and leaving the carriage. If you want to have a walk during the train stop you can ask the conductor to lock the door to your compartment for the time while you are away.

Who is in charge of the carriage?
 

The person responsible for the carriage is a conductor (in Russian it is 'provodnik' if it refers to a man, and 'provodnitsa' if it refers to a woman). In each carriage there are usually two conductors working shifts, so the carriage is never left unattained. It is conductors' responsibility to monitor people getting into and leaving the carriage. They are also responsible for cleaning. 

Can I take my pet with me on Trans Siberian train?

Yes, it is possible to take animals with you when you are traveling by Trans Siberian or any other Russian railway provided the following rules are observed:

  • small domestic animals can be taken into the train compartment provided they are in a special pet carrier or muzzled and on the leash. The railway company does not provide pet carriers, muzzles and leashes. It is the owners' responsibility to make sure they have all the required items;
  • medium-size animals should be transported in a baggage car provided they have all the required medical certificates.

* the rules above concern dogs, cats and birds.

In general the Trans Siberian railway animal transportation rules are very similar to those of animal transportation by air.

However, we do not recommend taking pets with you if you have chosen a trip on Trans Siberian. The difficulty mainly lies with hotels that rarely provide services for pet owners. It is extremely hard to find a hotel that allows staying with pets.

BOOKING A TOUR

How do I book a tour?

Booking a tour with us is very simple.

If you would like to book one of our Featured Journeys, download the booking form right on the tour page, fill it out and send it to us by fax.

If you would like our travel experts to prepare a customized itinerary for you, place a request with our call center at +1-800-8777998, or send us an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please make sure to mention the cities you'd like to visit, the number of travelers in your group, and your preferences as regards train and hotel accommodation.

You are also welcome to try out our interactive Tour Planner. Add and remove cities, choose the most convenient train schedules, upgrade hotels, pick activities and excursions - and save the itinerary by sending it to your e-mail address. Our travel experts will check the availability and get back to you within 2 business days.

How long in advance should I book?

It is highly recommended to book at least 8 weeks before departure. This way all the required reservation and visa procedures go on smoothly and in a non-hurried manner.

If you book between 8 and 4 weeks in advance, provided the tour starts in summer, you request can be accepted, but it may be difficult to obtain first class tickets.

Booking between 4 and 2 weeks before departure may still be accepted, but it can be difficult to obtain railway tickets during the high season.

If the booking request is made less than 2 weeks before departure, unfortunately, with some exceptions, it can not be accepted.

If my passport is about to expire and I will have to renew it, can I still order a tour?

Yes, you can order a tour to make sure the prices will not change. In this case you have to indicate 'expired' in the booking form in the field for passport number.

Mind it please that the passport number is required to make visa support (where the passport number must be indicated). It is also necessary to buy railway tickets which also indicate the passport number.

So we strongly recommend to indicate your passport number, and apply the above-described scheme only if you book very close to your travel dates and the passport issuing dates are not known.

Do you offer group tours or private tours?

The tours we offer are not group tours. Our tours are for individual travelers or small private groups (families, friends). Travelers can choose from the list of our featured tours. Or they can order a tailor-made tour having indicated the desirable departure dates, cities to stay in, sights to see, etc.

What types of the trains are chosen for Trans-Siberian tours?

In Russia, as elsewhere, there exist different types of trains with different categories of price (regional, express, etc.) The best trains are called “firmenny poezd” and often have their own name (for example train ½ which goes from Moscow to Vladivostok is called Rossiya, train 9/10 from Moscow to Irkutsk is called Baikal Express etc). It is our concern to choose the trains with best value for price among all offered in the market to guarantee the maximum comfort and pleasant travel conditions for our clients. We always provide the train number in the itinerary and special characteristics of the train if applicable.

Do I have to pay in full to book a tour?

No. A deposit of $500 per person is enough to book a tour. Full payment is due 30 days before the tour start date.

What happens after I book a tour?

We make all pre-bookings immediately, but most tickets are issued 45-15 days before the travel date.

In 2 weeks before the tour start date you will receive a full confirmation from us, listing all trains, hotels, transfers and excursions with timings, contact names and phones of the local offices.

If you require a hotel confirmation or a tourist voucher to show at the consulate, you can get it any time after having paid the deposit.