Moscow to Ulaanbaatar Trains

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Distance
6266 km

1 train
on the route

Runs
once a week

Travel time
4 days

26 stops
on the way

Price from
320 USD

The 6266 km route from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator) train takes 4 days, making some 26 stops on its journey from the Russian capital of Russia to the capital of Mongolia.

The lone train on this route departs daily, with a return Ulaanbaatar to Moscow train running the opposite route each day.

Moscow to Ulan Bator Trains

Moscow to Ulaanbaatar Train Tickets

4.47 based on 25 customer reviews

Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

Can I take a train from Russia to Mongolia?

You can take one of three, actually - the Irkutsk to Ulan Bator (#305/306), the Moscow to Ulan Bator to Beijing (#003/004), and the Moscow to Ulan Bator (#005/006).

Can I use credit cards on the train?

Generally, no. You should carry sufficient cash for your trip.

When traveling on the Trans-Mongolian, what currency is accepted?

In Russia you need Russian rubles (RUB). When the train crosses into Mongolia, you need Mongolian Tughrik (MNT).

Does the Moscow to Ulaanbaatar train offer Wi-fi?

Unfortunately, Wi-fi is not available on this route.

Does the Moscow to Ulaanbaatar train have showers? Is there a restaurant car?

Yes, this train does have a restaurant car. Meals are available from about $5 to $20. You may also bring along your own food and drink. Passenger carriages do not have showers, though the staff car will have a shower that can be used for a small fee.

Testimonials

Moscow to Ulaanbaatar Train Route

The forests, steppe and cities that stretch from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar make this journey one of contrast and harsh beauty. Starting in Moscow, the train stops in quintessentially Slavic towns with churches and theatres galore. Soon, however, Europe’s familiar market towns and cathedral cities are replaced by villages swamped by forests and young cities still raw and rough around the edges. Though the Siberian forests may seem endless, they too fade away after a few days when the train swings south, off the traditional Trans-Siberian railway route, towards the camel herds and yurts of Mongolia.

The train takes five days to travel from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar. But, to truly sense the magnitude of difference in culture, landscape and history, we recommend planning breaks in the journey. Explore beyond the whirr of the carriage window and have a proper shower!

Where to stop?

European Russia

Nizhny Novgorod— A prosperous medieval Slav’ city with a hill-top kremlin overlooking the Volga and a cobble-stoned pedestrian street, Nizhny has retained much of its history. The only strikingly modern sight in this charming city is a cable car that locals use as a bus to cross the Volga.

Yekaterinburg— Though technically part of Siberia, Yekaterinburg doesn’t like to be lumped with the vast wilderness of 70% of Russia. Instead, it has nurtured its own unique, Ural identity. In one word— it's quirky! Colorful lines have been spray-painted onto the city’s main streets to guide tourists to the coolest sights which include Russia’s best street art, the QWERTY keyboard monument and the spot where the royal family was murdered.

Siberia

Novosibirsk— Fittingly for the capital of Siberia, almost every aspect of this city is large and imposing. Its neoclassical opera house is one of the world’s largest, as is the metro bridge that looms over the Ob River. On the outskirts of Novosibirsk, there’s even a once-secret, soviet town for scientists.

Irkutsk— Lake Baikal is probably what this city is best known for. While the lake is most certainly impressive, it’s a shame that the city’s quaint beauty is often overlooked. Intricately etched, wooden mansions were built to house the noble Decembrists who were sent here after their rebellion against the Tsar. Many of them now house BnBs and cafes which line Irkutsk’s pretty main street. 

Ulan-Ude— The last major stop in Russia before entering Mongolia is the capital of the Republic of Buryatia. Though, for all intents and purposes, Ulan-Ude could feasibly be considered out of Russia already. Buryats have a culture more similar to Mongolians than to Russians. Many are Buddhists, and the city with its grand temples is considered to be the capital of Buddhism in Russia. That being said, the city’s main claim to fame— a 25m bust of Lenin’s head— is distinctly Russian! 

Mongolia

From Ulan-Ude, the train diverges off the Trans-Siberian to the Mongolian border. The change in landscape is stark. Travelers weary of counting birch trees may be pleased to see the forest’s sudden thinning out into expansive, hilly grasslands. In this sparsely-populated land, the only sign of humans for miles around is usually a lone, white yurt with a livestock pen close by. Depending on the part of Mongolia, the animals inside the pen may include camels, reindeer, goats or cows. Horses are ubiquitous—cars are a luxury. Mongols are born in the saddle. Don’t miss the opportunity to go for a day of horse-trekking with a local family before the train stops in the capital.

Ulaanbaatar— Half of Mongols lives in this city. In fact, Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia’s only real city. The remaining Mongolian settlements are the size of Russian towns. But Ulaanbaatar is no modern megapolis. Like the rest of Mongolia, it seems detached from the rest of the world. The gongs of monastery bells ring across the city, coal is still used for heating (causing dense smog in the winter) and fermented horse milk tea is sold steaming-hot by street vendors. Though fermented milk may not sound appetizing to most, Mongolia is famed for its finger-licking food. Meat dumplings, stir-fry and rich stews are some of the most popular dishes. Surprisingly, vegetarians also have plenty of opportunities to feast thanks to the large, Buddhist population. Indeed, much of what makes this city fascinating only survived Soviet repression thanks to the commitment of Buddhists monks. Gandan monastery is one such example. Founded in 1838, it was the home of many famous Buddhist monks including the 13th Dalai Lama. Today, the monastery is thriving. More than 150 monks live here and visitors can see their Zen in action at the daily throat chanting prayer sessions.

A few hours south of Ulaanbaatar lies the Gobi desert and Beijing is just a day away. If you still have the stamina, finishing the epic Trans-Mongolian is as easy as hopping on the direct train that leaves twice a week. 

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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