This article sums up some fundamental tips when getting the train for Trans-Siberian travel. It will reveal the basic elements you need to consider to make your journey a success, especially for first-time overseas train-travellers.
Go on the adventure of a lifetime and embark on a journey across Europe and Asia with the transcontinental Trans-Siberian train. If it isn’t already on your bucket list, it will be now. Spanning through an astonishing seven time-zones, this train seems like a time-travelling machine that will take you to several destinations starting in Moscow straight through Omsk, Chita, and Khabarovsk. The train also splits at Shenyang in China with a section travelling on to North Korea.
If it is your first time booking a ticket for the Trans-Siberian journey, you will want to do your research. This journey can be epic if you plan correctly. If you weigh up your options, you will be able to make the most out of your journey and make it a memorable trip.
Which route will you take?
There are three different routes you can take: Moscow to Vladivostok, Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia and Moscow to Beijing via Manchuria. Depending on your budget and how comfortable you want your journey to be, you can choose to go first class or second class.
The price will vary for different routes but a second class one-way ticket tends to be around $800. A first class ticket will normally cost $1130 when you book the Trans-Siberian express tours through a local Russian travel agency. You will also find the majority of journeys take around six or seven nights depending on what option you go for so it’s always best to check the schedule before booking.
If you want to splash out you can even book your own private cabin with luxurious sleeping compartments which offers the ultimate comfort.
Tis’ the season for a Trans-Siberian tour
Choosing the season is also another important aspect of the planning process to consider. The railway operates throughout the year and of course you want to be immersed in the best views along your journey and the weather will greatly impact this. Choosing to go in the summer months is a great idea due to the longer days and generally nicer weather. If you fancy a winter trip, the heated trains will offer a comfortable ride whilst you see the breathtaking Siberian landscapes coated in white sheets of snow. However it’s also good to remember the days will be shorter and when you hop off to visit different places, you will need to wrap up and add some extra layers!
Where do you want to end up?
When planning your first Trans-Siberian journey, you need to carefully consider where you want your final destination to be. Checking out the route map online will help you to visually pinpoint locations of where you want to stop off along the way and also where you want to end up. There are so many options – Korea, Japan, China and Vietnam to name a few. Looking at the map will open your eyes to all the fascinating places you can end up when choosing certain Trans-Siberian express tours.
So, you have decided where you want to go but there are several things you must do to finalise the booking and make sure certain things are in place to ensure the success of your adventure. Below we have outlined some of the basic guidelines you need to tick off the checklist.
1) Buying your tickets – Your first step to starting your dream trip is purchasing your Trans-Siberian train ticket. You can do so online or go through a local agency that may be able to get you a good deal.
2) Book your connections – it’s wise to book any connecting flights, trains or ferries in advance so your transitions between destinations will be seamless.
3) Book your accommodation – depending on how many stops you make you will have plenty of hotels to book. Finding good price comparison sites like Expedia will help make this process quicker and easier.
4) Don’t forget your visa! Visas may be the last thing on your mind but it is essential you sort out your visa within three months of travelling.
Now you have covered the basic steps of travelling through Trans-Siberia by train, you will be able to start planning with confidence. If you follow the steps and make sure everything is covered, there’s no doubt you will have an unforgettable adventure.