If you’re lucky enough to take Trans-Siberian tours via a railway trip, you’re certainly in for a treat. From hip cultural spots to historic sights, there’s a lot to take in.
10 highlights of the Trans-Siberian Railway:
Vladivostok serves as a strategic naval outpost and between World War II and the Cold War the outpost was closed to most of the world. Today, the city is thriving and if you get the chance to stop for a tour you will enjoy such sights as the vibrantly painted railway station as well as Our Lady Grieving Orthodox Church – the only church of its kind that was permitted to remain in the city when Stalin reigned. Other fascinating sighs include the Pacific Navy War Memorial as well as the Krasny Vympel steamboat. Eagle’s Nest is the perfect platform from which to observe the goings on in Vladivostok and a stroll through the historic naval cemetery is also a must-do.
The lively square in Khabarovsk is well worth a stroll as is a visit to the Natural History Museum next to the Amur River. You’ll get to look at numerous artefacts from the Gilyak and Goldi tribes too.
Tran-Siberian rail tours typically take you through the rolling hills of the beautiful Siberian villages where you will see old-fashioned log houses and be able to take in the remote, wild countryside.
Spend a morning in the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar and pay a visit to the National Museum where you can trace the history of none other than Genghis Khan. The Gorkhi-Terelj National Park isn’t too far from the museum and the park is great for taking in the stunning alpine scenery while visiting a felt tent and witnessing a Mongolian horseback riding demonstration.
Ulan Ude, Russia
Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic which once served as a trading post between China and Irkutsk. The village of Old Believers is a must-visit. The Old Believers are a group that dates back to the 17th Century religious exiles and they offer a fascinating insight into their culture where very little has changed since the 17th century.
Lake Baikal is known as the sacred sea by locals and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basin of the lake holds around 20 percent of the entire world’s unfrozen, fresh water. Typically a train ride will take you through 33 tunnels and past the rocky shores while you take in the incredible views. The village of Listvyanka is worth exploring and chances are a local family will invite you to their home for tea.
This important Siberian outpost was originally established by the Cossacks way back in 1652. During the early 19th century, numerous Russian officers, nobles and artists were exiled to the outpost due to their involvement in the Decembrist revolt. There are a number of historic sites to visit in the city as well as delightful Siberian and Russian cottages to wonder through when you visit the Museum of Wooden Architecture.
This is where Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, along with his family, was executed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks. You can visit the Romanov execution site which is now a church that has been dedicated to their memory.
It’s worth spending a day wandering around Kazan which is the capital of Tatarstan. You’ll find it perched on the banks of the Volga River. In the city you can tour the Kremlin which is a Qol Sharif Mosque. The Peter and Paul Cathedral is also a notable visit. Do take a trip to the Kazan Conservatory and if time permits hop aboard a private cruise around the walls of the Kremlin.
A city tour of Moscow is not to be missed. You can take a guided stroll through the Red Square, have a meal in a local restaurant and explore Moscow’s legendary Kremlin. St Basil’s Cathedral is a fascinating visit and be sure to go and see the court regalia dating back to the Romanov dynasty in the Armoury Museum. Also take in the Conquerors of Space monument that stretches an amazing 360 feet up into the sky and visit the Memorial Museum of Astronautics to learn more about the history of space.
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