Transsib: Moscow to Lake Baikal
This Trans-Siberian route takes you on the mystic Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow through the Siberian steppe to Lake Baikal. The train is a convenient way to discover a number of the often-overlooked jewels of the Russian countryside.
Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and Irkutsk may differ from many traditional destinations; however, culturally and architecturally they can keep up with other well-known cities.
Travel Warning for Russia
Due to the political atmosphere in Russia and the unprovoked attacks in Ukraine, we do not recommend traveling to Russia. Please inform yourself in advance about possible entry restrictions. Stay healthy and safe travels.
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Price Range: $$$
Recommended Days: 10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 95 hrs
Distance: 4,820 km
Moscow: Historical Capital Of Russia
Politically and culturally, Moscow is a world metropolis of the first order. The Kremlin, the colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square are globally recognized landmarks.
GUM, also on Red Square, is Russia’s largest department store and one of the world’s finest and most exclusive shopping addresses. In terms of cultural offerings, the sublime Bolshoi Theatre comes first with regular ballet and opera performances.
Make sure to try some traditional foods local to Moscow: Shchi (cabbage soup), Pelmeni (dumplings), Pastila (fruit confectionary), or Blini (thin savory pancakes).
Moscow Kazansky Station → Kazan | Duration: 11:30-12:55 h | Transfers: 0
There are a couple of direct regular line trains leaving throughout the day giving you plenty of options for choosing berths.
Kazan: Melting Pot Of Religions
Kazan unites the Russians and the Tatars as well as Christian and Muslim culture like no other city in Russia. Nowhere in the city can this be seen more clearly than in the heart of Kazan.
There, the Kazan Kremlin, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is flanked by the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation and the Kul Sharif Mosque.
Something worth checking out is the Temple of All Religions, a miscellaneous mix of stylistic elements from 16 different religions, which houses a gallery, a museum, and a concert hall. Back in the center of town is Bauman Street and is well known to Kazan.
Kazan → Yekaterinburg | Duration: 12:50-14:35 h | Transfers: 0
There are four connections leaving throughout the day to the next destination of Yekaterinburg/Ekaterinburg.
Yekaterinburg: Border Town Between Europe And Asia
Our next stop on this Trans-Siberian Route is Yekaterinburg, which 40 kilometers east of the geographical border between Europe and Asia. In July 1918 the tsar’s family was murdered here and today, the most famous building in the city, the “Cathedral on the Blood“, commemorates this event.
A few steps away, the turquoise blue façade of the Ascension Cathedral catches the eye. Lenin Prospekt, Yekaterinburg’s main street is lined on both sides with most of the most famous sights.
Museums, theatres, the municipal opera house, and the historic city park can all be easily reached on foot from this street.
Yekaterinburg → Novosibirsk | Duration: 19:20-21:48 h | Transfers: 0
There are three convenient connections to your next destination of Novosibirsk, an important city in Siberia. Enjoy another day and evening on the train as you watch the stunning Russian landscapes pass you by.
Novosibirsk: Capital Of Siberian Culture
The Trans-Siberian Railway plays a central role in the history of Novosibirsk. Its construction is the reason why the city was founded and today the metropolis is the economic and cultural center of Siberia.
After the Bolshoi, the Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is the most famous theatre in Russia.
The Museum of Railway History of Western Siberia pays tribute to the Trans-Siberian Railway. And the Sanduny baths allow you to relax by visiting a traditional Russian bathhouse with massages and saunas.
Novosibirsk → Irkutsk | Duration: 28:58-33:48 h | Transfers: 0
This is the longest stretch of train journey along this route but it’s well worth the anticipation building up top the famous Lake Baikal. There are a handful of connections every day to take from Novosibirsk.
Lake Baikal: The World’s Largest Freshwater Lake
Finally, the Trans-Siberian Railway will take you to Irkutsk. The town at Lake Baikal owes its nickname to the numerous beautiful wooden houses, which give the place a romantic and comfortable atmosphere.
Since Irkutsk is not located directly at Lake Baikal, it is advisable to continue to Listvyanka 65km away by car or bus. There you can stay overnight directly at the lake and make excursions whether it be dog sledding, fishing, or much more!
This route is finished but that doesn’t mean you need to be too! You can either take a direct train (3 days) back to Moscow, or continue in a direction you haven’t been yet to Mongolia, or China. Take a look at this route on the Trans-Mongolian while you’re at it.
Rolling Stones Hostel
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.