The Trans-Siberian Railway is part of the huge Russian railway network. The railway line connects the European rail network at one end with either the Chinese or Vladivostok rail network at the other end. You can use the network to travel overland in either direction anywhere in Europe and China, Korea, Japan, or even Southeast Asia.
All memorable Trans-Siberian express railway holidays require some planning. Below, we discuss what to arrange before leaving on your trip.
Booking Your Tickets
You can book your tickets for Russian trains directly through the Russian railways’ website. While this used to be a complicated affair with the entire website in Russian, it is now fully bookable in English.
There are a few things you should note when booking your tickets, such as:
- Train times – Russian trains are usually listed in Moscow time.
- Arrival/departure stations – For example, Moscow has several stations. Take note of which station you will be departing from or arriving at to avoid potentially missing your next train.
- Check the box for linen/sheets – If you forget, you’ll be able to pay for this on the train.
- Seating – Not all berths are the same.
Buying Your Train Tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway
Once you have planned your adventure, the first thing to do is arrange your train tickets. Besides the Russian railway website, there are several ways to buy tickets, with some working out cheaper than others.
Book Connecting Flights, Ferries and Trains
Once you have booked your Trans-Siberian train ticket, you can then book your onward trains, flights and ferries within China, such as:
- Vladivostok-Japan ferry
- Beijing-Hanoi train
- Ferry to South Korea
Book Hotel Stays
To find and book your hotels in Vladivostok, Beijing, China or any other cities along the way, you may want to use a hotel comparison site or an agency to help find the most affordable hotels for your budget. It’s a good idea to book your accommodation once you have decided on your travel dates.
Apply for Your Visas
As soon as you’ve booked your Trans-Siberian train tickets, you will need to apply for your visas. You are usually able to obtain the visas within 90 days of travel.
Book Your Train from London to Moscow
The final step before you head off is to arrange travel from London to Moscow so as to connect with the Trans-Siberian. You may decide you want to travel to Moscow by direct sleeping car from Paris, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Helsinki and a variety of other places. Bookings for the European trains usually open 92 days prior to departure. You’re not able to book until the reservations open, which is why you can leave this step till the last.
Before you finalise your train tickets, remember to read up on the different seating arrangements on the train so that you can decide on the best seats for your budget and to ensure you have a comfortable and memorable journey.