Beijing to Moscow Trans-Mongolian Trains

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Distance
7622 km

1 train
on the route

Runs
once a week

Travel time
5 days

44 stops
on the way

Price from
810 USD

The Trans-Mongolian train carries travelers on a 7622 km route from Beijing to Moscow via the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. While this route requires a Mongolian visa, it is one day shorter than the 6-day, 8961 km alternate route through northern China. This route, like the longer Chinese route, runs weekly, and both have additional trains making the reverse Moscow to Beijing via Ulaanbaatar journey.

Beijing to Moscow Trains

Beijing to Moscow Trans-Mongolian Train Tickets

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Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

Do I need a Mongolian visa to travel from Beijing to Moscow by train?

As the #033/043 Beijing to Moscow train passes through Mongolia a visa may be required depending on your country’s relationship with Mongolia. Be aware that you cannot obtain a visa onboard the train.

How long is the Beijing to Moscow train ride?

On the Trans-Mongolian route (train #033/043 Beijing to Moscow), the journey takes approximately 5 days and 10 hours.

Does the Beijing to Moscow train have a dining car?

Yes, trains on the Beijing to Moscow route will have a dining car, with meals running from $5-$20. The menu changes periodically and is different for each train. Note that cash purchases require rubles (RUB) when the train is in Russia, tughrik (MNT) in Mongolia and yuan (RMB) in China.

Can I buy a hop-on hop-off ticket on the Beijing to Moscow route and get off in cities on the way?

No, railroad office rules require that you purchase tickets to each city you visit. There are no stopovers or flexible tickets. It is also recommended that you plan all stops on your trip and book tickets in advance, as ticket availability and price are less favorable the closer you get to the day of travel.

Can I bring my pet on the Beijing to Moscow train?

Yes, you can bring your pet in a 2nd class cabin, so long as you book all 4 berths. Make sure you also have the proper veterinary documents.

Testimonials

Beijing to Moscow Trans-Mongolian Train Route: History, Things to See

Tracing part of the tea road from the mid-seventeenth century, the Trans-Mongolian railway has a rich history. Along this route, Chinese delights like porcelain and tobacco made their way into lands where they were exotic. Lighter fabrics like silk and cotton were traded for Siberian furs. On the tea road, tea first traveled from Beijing to the trading hub Zhangjiakou. Camel caravans lugged it across the Gobi Desert, through Ulaanbaatar and Ulan-Ude. After crossing Lake Baikal, the tea arrived in Irkutsk and was traded even further. This path travels from China into the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mongolia and finally ends in Russia. It’s thousands of kilometers long.

The railways in Mongolia were short and sparse prior to the arrival of the Trans-Mongolian. It connected both Mongolian cities and connected Mongolia to its neighbors.  In 1947, the railway was constructed, reaching Ulaanbaatar in 1949. Next it breached the Gobi Desert into China in the following decade.

The quickest route between Beijing and Moscow by train, the Trans-Mongolian, was inaugurated in 1961.  China and the USSR couldn’t maintain the diplomacy that had facilitated construction of international tracks in previous decades. The Chinese blocked the Trans-Mongolian until the 1980’s. Today, the conflict still manifests in the fact that the wheel frames switch to different gauges at the border.

Sights on the Trans-Mongolian Railway:

Beijing: In case the wonders of Beijing don’t speak for themselves for you yet, imagine that the Great Wall of China is only one of many sites. Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven all await visitors here.

Datong: Early Chinese Buddhist cave art exists in all its splendor in Datong. In Yungang Grottoes, which consist of more than 250 caves, UNESCO has seen much worth preserving. Datong itself is a considerably sized Chinese city.

Ulaanbaatar: This capital of Mongolia traces its roots back to nomadic times when it was a more basic settlement. The National Museum of Mongolia, Choijin Lama Temple Museum, Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs, and the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery are all worth visiting for those interested.

Ulan-Ude: Here, Tibetan Buddhism in Russia finds its spiritual center and is located near the south-eastern shore of Lake Baikal. The grandest Buddhist temple in Russia, the Ivolginsky Datsan, is here. It’s also the capital of the Republic of Buryatia.

Get ready to be whisked along on a smooth and magical ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Purchase your ticket safely and securely, then relax and let your train adventure begin!

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