Insights on Trans-Siberian travel

You are here

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Trans-Siberian Railway?

By definition, the Trans-Siberian railway is the longest railroad of Russia and the world, connecting the central part of the country with the Far East. If you look at the Trans-Siberian railway route map, you'll see that the train begins its journey in Moscow, following further through the Volga River, turning to the Ural Mountains and Siberia.

In the city of Yekaterinburg, the train turns to Omsk and Novosibirsk, crossing the Ob River, following Krasnoyarsk and heading to the Yenisei. Further, the road goes to Irkutsk, winding along the southern coast of the majestic Lake Baikal. The train runs through a small territory of the Gobi Desert and Khabarovsk, straight to the final destination, Vladivostok. The total Trans-Siberian Railway length adds up to around 9200 kilometers (5716 mi)!


How long does it take to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway?

Generally, traveling from one side of Russia to the other takes 7 days provided that you go by Moscow to Vladivostok direct train without any stops en route. However, if you plan to discover more of Russia and explore some destinations during 1 to 2-day stops along your way from Moscow to Siberia, the time can vary a lot, depending on which cities you plan to stay in and for how long.

Time Zones

How many time zones does the Trans-Siberian Railway cross?

Traveling Trans-Siberian railroad can be compared with traveling through time as the railway covers 8 time zones! Interestingly, Russia has a total of 11 time zones. Moreover, the difference in time between Moscow and Vladivostok is 7 whole hours! Thus, when it's afternoon in the Russian capital, it is dinnertime in Vladivostok.


Is the Trans-Siberian Railway safe?

In general, the Trans-Siberian train journey is quite safe. However, we would advise to consider the human factor and recommend to take a ticket to the compartment with a door that can be locked from the inside (these are 1st or 2nd class sleeper cars of regular Russian trains) as to not to worry about all the valuable things you take with you. It is a simple precaution but never keep your valuables unattended or scattered around the compartment, especially while you're sleeping.

Best Time to Go

What is the best time for Trans-Siberian Railway journey?

Planning a voyage of a lifetime, you can't but think about the best season for your Trans-Siberian expedition. Well, it is hard to advise upon this question as the answer totally depends on what type of landscape you are attracted to most. If you are charmed by the pictures of white slopes and dense forests covered with crunchy snow, you should definitely plan your trip between November and February.

​But, anyway, we guess you won't be surprised at all by hearing that the most popular months for trips to Siberia along the world's longest railroad are between May and August. This time of the year provides the most comfortable weather conditions to explore the cities at all the Trans-Siberian stops as well as to admire breathtaking views of Siberian taiga, gorgeous Lake Baikal, sloping hills of Mongolia, and a lot more both from the train window and during stops.

Top Stops

What are the best stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway?

The first thing you should take into the account is that you can start your Trans-Siberian journey either from the west or the east. The choice of the direction depends on whether you are going to make Moscow, Vladivostok, Ulan Bator, or even Beijing the last point of your trip.

Usually, a Trans-Siberian tour includes such Russian cities as Moscow, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk, and Vladivostok. Each of the cities mentioned has something unique and special that will help you to see Russia and its culture from different angles so it is really hard to distinguish the best destinations. However we can assure you that any Siberian railroad tour won't do without visiting the real gem of the region, stunning Lake Baikal, so the stop in Irkutsk is an unmissable one.

If you decide to enrich your vacation by immersing into the charms of Asia, you may extend your Trans-Siberian itinerary with the northern capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg as well as the capital cities of Mongolia and China. You may read more about the best stops on the Trans-Siberian railway on the Most Famous Russian & Siberian Cities page.

How to Travel

How to travel along the Trans-Siberian Railway?

For sure, touring such a distant, yet exciting route is always full of wow-moments and totally depends on your time, budget and a little bit of imagination. As we have already mentioned, the term Trans-Siberian may include also Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Manchurian extensions so again, it's all up to you.

Of course, traveling directly from Moscow to Vladivostok and seeing all the passing beauty just from the window of the train is an unforgivable mistake considering all the possibilities the Trans-Siberian route offers. If you plan many stops on your way, be sure that you manage all the logistics carefully as in such case you'll need to book lots of trains. Anyway, you may always choose an easy way and turn for help to us, which is going to be more efficient and worry-free.
Number of Bridges

How many bridges does the Trans-Siberian Railway cross?

The Trans-Siberian railroad crosses 16 large rivers, including the Volga, the Irtysh, the Kama, the Ob, the Yenisei, the Amur, and some others. The total number of bridges that the train passes from start to finish is 3901. Interestingly, the summed distance of all these bridges is more than 100 km (62 miles)!