Riding the Trans-Siberian: The End of the Line

Saint Sofia Russian Orthordox Church Harbin China

  Where you end up matters almost as much as where you begin. After days on the Trans-Siberian railway, eating instant noodles and watching Siberia flick past the windows, you have one final choice: where will you finish? A traditional Trans-Siberian ticket ends in Vladivostok. A few miles past Lake Baikal, the track splits; one route continues east, and the others leave Russia. While ... Read Full Article

Riding The Trans-Siberian Railway: Lake Baikal

Western shore of Lake Baikal

  Trans-Siberian travelers look forward to Lake Baikal. It’s the gleaming jewel in the center of Siberia, the necessary stop on the long rail journey. Everyone encounters a different version of the lake, which shifts identities depending on the desires of its visitors: Lake Baikal can be an outdoor adventure, holiday destination, ecological marvel, and spiritual retreat. The world's ... Read Full Article

Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: Irkutsk, Russia

Siberian architecture in Irkutsk

  Irkutsk makes a pretty nice exile. When Russian army officers rose up against Tsar Nicholas I in 1825, they hoped for a better Russia: land equality, more representative government. Unfortunately, the Tsar’s guards trounced the Decembrists, hanged the leaders, and sent the rest to Siberia. Packing up their wives and candelabras, the Decembrists set out for Irkutsk. At that time, the city ... Read Full Article

Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: Where to Stop in Western Siberia

Top of Krasnoyarsk Pillars in Siberia

  Between Moscow and Lake Baikal lie over 3,000 miles of track. The Trans-Siberian railroad winds through lowland plains and mountain ranges, chugging away from Russia’s urban centers and slowly out into the unknown. Or at least, that’s how it feels to a traveler, as the suburban brick and concrete fades into a pastiche of birch and meadow. This is Russia’s economic heartland and ... Read Full Article

Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: Starting in Moscow

The domes of  Sobornaya Square

Steaming red brick; gold-leafed towers; thumping nightclubs; shady parks: it’s hard to pin down Russia’s capital.  Moscow juggles between two identities, as a thriving symbol of the new Russia and the historical center of the old. The Trans-Siberian journey begins in Russia’s capital city. Moscow is big and bold and definitely differs in tone from the rest of the journey. Whether or not Moscow’s ... Read Full Article

Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: What to Bring

kupe class berth at mealtime

  This is the second of a series of articles offering advice and travel tips based on Caitlin Dwyer’s experience riding the Trans-Siberian Railway. See her first article, 'Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: Planning Your Journey'. You may also be interested in a previous article: How to apply for a Russian Visa. What exactly does a Trans-Siberian traveler need to take for a journey ... Read Full Article

Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway: Deciding on Your Journey


The Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the world’s epic train journeys.  Stretching across two continents, the railway links the frigid north Pacific to the Baltic Sea.  Between these points lie the world’s largest freshwater lake, the Forbidden City, the Kremlin, the Mongolian steppe, and untouched miles of taiga. For travelers planning a Trans-Siberian journey, the initial steps can be the most ... Read Full Article