Traveling by train is one of the most unique experiences depending on the country you are in. Before people traveled by plane, they traveled by train or by ship and that’s why the Trans-Siberian railway continues to be on many people’s travel bucket lists. It is the longest railway in the world and it spans across two continents – Asia and Europe. If you’ve been considering planning a trans-Siberian railway trip, here’s what you need to know.
In 1891, Tsar Alexander III began building the railway with the hope of connecting all of the cities and towns in his country to it. It took over 20 years for the railway to be completed, and almost 100,000 workers to build. In 1916 the railway was complete, and people could now ride the train all over Asia. All together the railway is 9,259 kilometers long.
Booking A Trip
If you want to ride the railway from start to finish, you have to decide if you want to start in China or in Russia. There are stops in Mongolia, and many neighboring countries if you transfer to other regional railway lines. You can explore Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore by rail. This is an excellent way to see different parts of Asia. Train tickets are quite affordable depending on what class you want to travel. To go from Moscow to St. Petersburg you can expect to pay around 124 euros for a night trip. You can also travel from Moscow to Beijing in a week for 1,250 euros.
Like any trip, there are some additional costs that you need to consider when planning a trip on the Trans-Siberian railway. There are different visa requirements for the countries that the railway runs through. For Russia, China, and Mongolia you will need to acquire a visa in advance and you should check regularly to see if the requirements change. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to a month to receive a visa, and the cost can range from $50 to $150 depending on the visa you select. You will also need to factor in the cost of food in the dining cars. There are a variety of different options to choose from such as fancy meals in first class, and simple fare in others.
Besides the stunning vistas rolling by, another great thing about the Trans-Siberian railway is the ability to disconnect from the world for a bit. Unless you have a SIM card for every country you travel through, you will not have access to the internet. All you need to do is snap pictures, and relax in your cabin or your seat while you go on the trip of a lifetime.
If you’re planning to go on a longer trip, then shell out for a first class cabin and travel in style.