The Budgeting Bolshevik

12 nights from £1635

Duration:12 Nights
Group size:1 - 15
Suitable for: 18-35


Want to hit the highlights without breaking the bank? Travel like a local and bypass the tourist traps for a real taste of the Trans Siberian Railway. A convergence point for countless cultures, you’ll mingle with modern Mongolians and marvel at the magnificence of Moscow in an adventure that spans three countries and seven time zones.


Location: Beijing

Arrive in Beijing and meet your fellow travellers. Before meeting your Honcho at 5pm today, take the opportunity to check out the Forbidden City for a window into Imperial times, sink your teeth into Chinese culture with a visit to Tiananmen Square or take an exploration of the hutong neighbourhoods. Hutongs were first established during the Yuan Dynasty; many of these alleys are protected today to preserve traditional culture. Test out your haggling skills and try local delicacies at colourful markets.
Wangfujing Snack Street is one night spot to check out with an empty belly and an open mind. You-€™ll find a mind-boggling array of options speared on sticks or squished in buns - from deep fried insects to candied fruits and everything in between!
Want to extend your time in Beijing? Ask your Travel Advisor how! 

Location: Train - Beijing to Ulaanbaatar

Your first taste of the world-renowned Trans Mongolian Railway. Sit back, relax and watch the world transform from your window. As you roll across the legendary Gobi Desert, keep your eyes peeled for Bactrian camels among the golden terrain. Gold soon gives way to green as you enter the lush steppe, where you-€™ll start to see nomadic settlements, yaks and wild horses dot the landscape.

Location: Ulaanbaatar

Explore the unexpected vibrancy of Mongolia-€™s capital. There-€™s a real mix of tradition and modern in this urban hub. The skyline is a mosaic of intricate Buddhist buildings, brazen Soviet blocks, ger suburbs line the city boundary, and beyond, there is nothing but grasslands for hundreds of kilometres in every direction.
Mingle with ruby-robed monks at Gandan Khiid Monastery or witness the unusual array of artefacts at the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan. Sample the hearty local fare and listen to the unique talent of Mongolian throat singing -€“ one of the world-€™s oldest forms of music.

Location: Terelj National Park

Head out to a ger camp in a protected nature reserve. These are the grasslands of the Mongolian nomads, their roving traditions haven-€™t changed for hundreds of years, except for the introduction of solar power to light their gers at night. Soak up the stunning surroundings and enjoy a hike in the wilderness. If you want to horse ride across the open steppe or try your hand at archery, your Honcho can help organise this. If a local offers you a drink, it-€™s culturally rude not to accept at least one; this could be homemade vodka, or it could be the local delicacy, fermented mare-€™s milk. Bottoms up!

Location: Train - Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk

Enjoy your morning in Terelj with a hike to Turtle rock or just relax in the peaceful surrounds before we journey beyond the rolling grasslands and back to the bustling city. We-€™ll take a detour en route to visit the man himself -€“ the mighty Genghis Khan!

Location: Lake Baikal

Welcome to Russia and right into the heartland of Siberia. Settle into your shore-side home at Lake Baikal, take a stroll around the water-€™s edge and soak up the scenery. As the largest freshwater lake in the world, it holds 20% of Earth-€™s freshwater and seems to stretch on to an infinite horizon. Take a dip if you-€™re feeling brave, and taste the local cuisine. There are many species of fish endemic to the lake and they are served up in many ways; smoked, raw and barbequed. Bon Appetit.

Location: Train - Irkutsk to Moscow

Take in the cultural capital of Siberia. Early tea and fur merchants established Irkutsk as a trade outpost. It expanded during Russia-€™s revolutions as elites and intellectuals were exiled here for having opposing opinions. During this time a signature style of architecture decorated the city in wooden latticework. Today, the city is a bustling university town with plenty to explore. Have a wander and a gander before boarding an afternoon train to Moscow.
Back on the iron-way, choose your own pace. Relax and contemplate what you-€™ve discovered so far and map out what you want to do when you roll into Moscow. Or push yourself to communicate with Russian travellers. Try out some new words and get inventive with sign language, you-€™ll find yourself laughing with locals in no time. Remember to hop off at stations along the way to sample food from Babushkas, we can-€™t promise healthy fare, but it will be a welcome break from your 2-minute noodles.

Location: Moscow

Congratulations. You-€™ve survived a 7,865km jaunt across some of the world-€™s harshest terrain to arrive in Russia-€™s capital; we reckon that-€™s worth celebrating. Head to Arbat Street for a sweet treat or take things up a notch with some vodka and pickled accompaniments at one of the many bars.
Take the opportunity to visit Moscow's iconic sights of the Kremlin and Red Square. The mesmerising St. Basil's Cathedral may be one of the most Instagrammed places in the world, but you can gawk at it firsthand! There-€™s so much to see and do in this city of 10 million; from visiting an embalmed Lenin, experiencing the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games, petting feline friends at the cat cafe, or just strolling through the city soaking up the extraordinary architecture. There-€™s a buzzing nightlife too, from live music to underground dance parties to casual ping-pong bars. Whatever your niche, you-€™ll find it in Moscow.
Extend your experience: Stay an extra day or two in Moscow. Chill out in Gorky Park - a hot spot for young people and sun worshippers. Explore more of the city-€™s music scene and make some Russian friends as you party into the wee hours.

Please note this departure will run with 1 additional night in Mongolia (ger stay) and 1 night less at Lake Baikal (guesthouse).


Dates Price Single Availability
12 Nights
Standard Room View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
12 Nights
Standard Room View live deal

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Touring with Vodkatrain

For over 50 years Vodkatrain has been specialising in small group tours and independent journeys on the Trans-Siberian Railway & Mongolia – Overlanding is in our blood.

Vodkatrain exists for the explorers, the ramblers and the off-the-beaten-trackers. Those who seek something different and grab life by the adventure. Choose an overland odyssey with Vodkatrain for an authentic taste of life on and off the rails.

It’s not every day you get to unfurl the secrets of Russia along the Trans-Siberian Railway or live like a Nomad in Mongolia. For Vodkatrain, that’s our reality every single day.

Why Vodkatrain?

Intriguing destinations  -  Take the road less travelled and discover incredible places off the tourist trail.

Authentic experiences  -  Eat, drink, sleep and travel as the locals do for a genuine taste of life in each region.

Helpful honchos  -  Helpful honchos every step of the way with you for the whole journey, your Honcho is a local legend who will help you hit the highlights and discover the hidden gems.

Freedom to roam  -  With no regimented schedule, travel as a group with the flexibility to explore independently.

Adventurers unite  -  Forge friendships on small group experiences designed for 18-35s.

Small means (Extra) small  - Our group experiences cater to 12 people max. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.

Your support network  -  Our Travel Advisors are walking encyclopedias – helping you plan, book, and find your way if you get lost while you wander.


tour details

This tour is operated by Vodkatrain

12 nights from pp; per Night
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View live deal Overland adventures for 18-35 year olds
Duration:12 Nights
Group size:1 - 15
Suitable for: 18-35
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