Travel information to the Trans-Siberian Railway. By train from Moscow to Beijing, Russian to China. How to plan your journey and buy train tickets.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most famous and impressive railway lines in the world. Over 9000km in length, it runs from Moscow to the far east of Russia to Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan. Besides this classic route there are also two branch lines to China: the route through Manchuria via Harbin and the route through Mongolia via Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator), both ending in Beijing.
Depending on the chosen route, the end-to-end trip takes between six and seven days. If you want to make stops in between, for example in Omsk or Novosibirsk you should calculate at least two weeks for the whole trip.
On the classic route of the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok there are two trains running every two days each: Train 1/2 "Rossiya" covers the route in about 144 hours and is one of the most famous Russian trains. There is also train 99/100, taking about 167 hours. Train 3/4 to Beijing on the Trans-Mongolian railway via Ulaanbaatar runs once weekly and takes 127 hours. Train 19/20 to Peking on the Trans-Manchurian railway also runs once weekly, taking about 145 hours. Besides these trains there are of course many other trains running on parts of the route.
Tickets are available either directly on the website of Russian Railways RZD or via other companies. Tickets are valid only for the booked train. Prices depend on the chosen class, and the travel and purchase date. There are commonly two classes available on all trains: "Platzkartny" (3. class) are open sleeping cars with 54 beds. There are no compartments, so you will travel in a big dormitory. "Kupe" (2. class) are sleeping cars with 36 beds in 4-bed compartments, similar to European couchettes. Some trains also convey "SV" (1. class) sleepers with 18 beds in 2-bed compartments. On trains from Moscow to intermediate stations such as Omsk there are also "Lux" sleepers with ensuite shower and WC. All trains convey dining cars.
Please consider the different visa regulations for Russia, Mongolia and China.
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