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Overview

Girdling the planet like a ribbon of steel, the 9200 km (5720 mi) Trans-Siberian Railway is not only one of the greatest train journeys in the world, it’s also the longest, with services taking at least seven days to complete the entire route from Moscow to Vladivostok. Clickety-clacking across the divide between Europe and Asia (the low Ural Mountains), the line delivers travelers to some of the most fascinating locations Russia has to offer, with most lured out of their cozy compartments at least once along the way to discover places like booming Ekaterinburg, elegant Irkutsk, mind-boggling Lake Baikal or orientally exotic Ulan-Ude. In ...

Girdling the planet like a ribbon of steel, the 9200 km (5720 mi) Trans-Siberian Railway is not only one of the greatest train journeys in the world, it’s also the longest, with services taking at least seven days to complete the entire route from Moscow to Vladivostok. Clickety-clacking across the divide between Europe and Asia (the low Ural Mountains), the line delivers travelers to some of the most fascinating locations Russia has to offer, with most lured out of their cozy compartments at least once along the way to discover places like booming Ekaterinburg, elegant Irkutsk, mind-boggling Lake Baikal or orientally exotic Ulan-Ude. In fact, staying on the train all the way is not recommended; getting off as much as you can definitely is! In Eastern Siberia the line splits three ways. From Ulan-Ude you can take the Trans-Mongolian line to Ulaanbaatar and onward to China. Farther east a line barrels down to the Chinese border and on to Beijing, while the main tracks continue to Vladivostok. But the branch line of all branch lines must be the BAM Railway, which starts as a set of points at Tayshet (between the Eastern Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk) and runs for over 3000 km (1865 mi) to the Pacific, passing through some incredibly remote landscapes along the way.

Marc Di Duca
About the Expert

Marc Di Duca has written and updated more than 40 guides, mainly for Lonely Planet but also for AA, Thomas Cook, Berlitz and Bradt. Having spent the last 20 years exploring the former communist world, his main field of expertise is Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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Marc Di Duca for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It extends from Moscow to Vladivostok, with connecting branches into China, Mongolia and North Korea.
  • Language: Russian
  • Currency: Russian Rouble
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The trip can be made any time of year, though temperatures along the line can reach as low as -60F in winter and 104F in summer.