Trans Siberian Railway: The Stunning Journey (7600 Km) from St. Petersburg to Beijing
Epic doesn’t even begin to describe this trip. The great Trans Siberian railway offers arguably the greatest, most spectacular journey that any avid traveller can experience by train.
Image By: Boccaccio1
Like our previous feature on the incredible ‘Stockholm to Oulu Road Trip’, this edition on the cross country journey from Russia to China is a must for anyone’s bucket list.
So, hop on the Trans-Siberian to see some of the best destinations and natural landscapes that both Europe and Asia have to offer.
Our Trans Siberian Railway Journey Begins up North
The experience begins in St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s oldest and most historic cities. Here, you’ll find The Hermitage, also known as the second largest museum in the world. There’s also the Tsarskoye Selo, a stunning collection of palaces, gardens, and monuments.
Image by: Güldem Üstün
Apart from its traditional offerings of Russian culture and high art, St. Petersburg is also known for its colourful and eclectic architecture which ranges from Baroque, to Soviet, Neoclassical and modern.
The city also played host this past summer to the World Cup, with the St. Petersburg Stadium as the main venue and a shining example of must-see, modern architecture.
Designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, the stadium resembles a spaceship and was inspired by the Toyota Stadium in Japan.
Boarding your First Train
Once you’re done admiring all that St. Petersburg has to offer, head on over to the Moskovsky railway station to board your first train to Moscow.
The railway is actually a major transport system for people living in northwestern Russia, and it will take you through Leningrad, Novgorod, Tver, and finally Moscow. Here in the Russian capital, you won’t find a more historic or picturesque, urban location than Red Square.
Image by: Коля Саныч
The famous Kremlin
The Most Famous Spot in Moscow
This public city square is what separates The Kremlin – former royal citadel and current official presidential residence – from St. Basil’s Basilica, the iconic Russian Orthodox church that is so unique it has no comparable architectural contemporaries.
The Red Square has been involved in so many of the country’s massive and influential political events that it’s been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Moscow, the Trans-Siberian railway will take you east, further into the cold embrace of Siberia. If you think northwestern Russia is beautiful:
wait till you see this part of the railway.
To the Heart of Siberia
The journey through cities like Yekaterinburg (another World Cup venue), Novosibirsk, and Kansk will take you deep into the wild heart of Siberia, a fairy tale landscape preserved in its glorious natural state.
You can take this opportunity to visit Lake Baikal near the city of Irkutsk, a vast natural lake that is estimated to be the deepest on the planet.
If you have time to spare and really good boots, this massive lake is the best place to experience the local culture. Hike, purchase exotic herbs and spices, try out some winter sports, and spot the gorgeous wildlife that inhabits Siberia.
Image by: bfatphoto
Image by: miquitos
From Irkutsk, the journey takes you down to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
Time for Another Country
Don’t be fooled by the name of the famous Black Market here in the capital – this legal public market is the best place to score Mongolian cowboy boots, high quality carpets, hides and fur, cashmere clothing, fried lamb dumplings, and many other unique things – all at the lowest possible prices.
Just be wary of the professional pickpockets here, as World Adventurer reports that they are known to target clueless tourists exploring the market.
Image by: erdenebayer
The Black Market
Our Final Trans Siberian Railway Destination
The next and last stop is of course Beijing, the capital of China and a beacon of international commerce. The must-see places here include The Forbidden City and certain sections of the Great Wall.
From west to east, the Trans Siberian railway journey will allow you to see the best of both worlds. This is why it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the beauty of two continents in one epic journey.