Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Moscow

Moscow (or Moskva in Russian) is the capital city of Russia. It is a major tourist destination, and plays an essential politica, economic and cultural role for the country.

The city is host to an extensive transport network, including four airports, nine rail termini as well as the Moscow Metro system.

How to get to Moscow from
Route 1:

Russian Railways have recently introduced an upgraded overnight service direct between Paris and Moscow, called the Trans-European Express. The trains on this route reach speeds up up to 200km/hr as they travel through five different countries en route. 

The train carries a range of Luxury, First and Second Class carriages, as well as a restaurant car. The sleeping compartments are configured as either 3-berths, 2-berths or single berths. You can opt to share a multiple berth compartment with a stranger, if you would rather not pay the extra for a single berth. Each compartment doubles up as a sitting room during the day time, with beds that fold down for the evening. Each room has its own basin, and towels, linens and toiletries are provided. 

The train's Luxury carriage offers four compartments, arranged as single or twin compartments with private bathroom facilities, as well as telveision system and complimentary breakfast. 

A dining car is attached for the length of the journey, although it is Polish between Paris and Warsaw, and Russian between Brest and Moscow. Each carriage also has a samovar, which provides hot water for drinks and snacks.

If this route doesn't take your fancy, there are alternative ways of reaching Moscow from Western Europe, including journeys from Cologne, Brussels, Helsinki and even Amsterdam.

Route 2:

The Amsterdam to Moscow sleeper train is a EuroNight sleeper service, also calling at stations including Berlin and Cologne. It runs once a day, every day, with a variety of sleeping options, and covering a total distance of 2,757km.

If travelling to/from Scotland or northern England, this route can be quicker than rail-only alternatives, when combined with the Harwich - Hook of Holland (Stena Line) service.

The sleeping car has ten compartments which are configured as either 3-berths, 2-berths or single berths. You can opt to share a multiple berth compartment with a stranger, if you would rather not pay the extra for a single berth. Each compartment doubles up as a sitting room during the day time, with beds that fold down for the evening. Each room has its own basin, and towels and toiletries are provided.

There is a dining car that serves the train between Rzepin and Warsaw, so make sure you bring some extra food and drink with you to last the journey. The carriage attendant is also able to serve tea to passengers en route.

Route 3:

An epic train journey has recently been re-created by Russian Railways in an attempt to link the Russian capital, Moscow, wih the South of France at Nice. The route is designed (perhaps unsurprisingly) for Russians wanting to catch a bit of sun, and hopes to revive some of the glamour of long distance train journeys.

The two day journey doesn't come cheap, with prices starting at over €300, and going as high as €1200. It isn't your average journey however, with comfortable rooms and furnishings. Each compartment has two berths, which can be shared or sole occupancy. Breakfast is included in ticket prices, and is served in the dining car. There are a number of different (tasty) options to choose from.

The rooms, while comfortable, can be a bit on the warm side, and unfortunately the windows don't open, preventing passengers from making the most of air conditioning au naturale! They also lack power sockets, so you will need to bring plenty of old fashioned reading material, or be prepared to make the most of the wide range of views on offer.

Passports and visas are checked at the Poland/Belarus border. At the border, the wheel gauge is changed, but passengers stay onboard for this process. Passengers who aren't Russian will require a transit visa to travel through Belarus. This can be obtained from the Belarussian Embassy. You will be removed from the train if you do not have an appropriate visa.

Want more information? Shaun Walker has written a good in-depth account of his journey on the Nice to Moscow train for the Independent.

Route 4:

Travelling to Australia without flying is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, but also one of the most rewarding overland trips imaginable. The total journey time is something like five weeks in total, and in that time you will sit on numerous trains as well as ships. There are a few different ways that this trip can be made, but the quickest utilises the Trans-Siberian Railway as a tool for crossing continental Asia.

Singapore / Indonesia - Australia

The most difficult part of this journey is the leg between Indonesia/Singapore and Australia. The problem is, that there aren't too many good options for travelling between the countries without flying. In fact, there are only three real ways to do it, and that is by cruise liner, cargo ship or on-board a private yacht. If you wish to try any of these options, read the details found in the route details below for more detailed information.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could head to the harbour and ask around to see if anyone is in a position to carry you on their boat. Darwin in Australia is known to be a good spot to try, as many boats heading our from Australia stop here en route.

Route 5:

Often considered to be the most interesting of the Trans-Siberian rail journeys, the Trans-Mongolian route is made onboard Train 4, and takes six days to travel between the cities, across Mongolia via Ulan-Bator and the Gobi Desert.

Places to Stop:

There are plenty of good places to stop en route, in order to break the long journey up a bit. The best spots include:

  • Yekaterinburg
  • Yunguang Caves
  • Ulan Bator; and
  • Lake Baikal

Of course, you get to see plenty from the window of your train too, including the Gobi Desert and Lake Baikal.

For a good choice of hotels with discount prices, visit Hotels in Moscow for more information.

What to Bring:

There are a few items that you would be well-advised to take with you on your Trans-Mongolian trip, including:

  • Pocket knife (useful for cooking/food);
  • Phrase book;
  • Cutlery (saves using your hands!!);
  • Travel towel (space saver, and not provided);
  • and Baby-wipes (for on-the-move washing).
Route 6:

One of the longest rail journeys in the world (although not quite the longest) is made between Moscow and Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

You have the choice to travel on the more expensive and faster Rossiya service, or alternatively it is possible to book tickets for slower, less expensive and less comfortable alternatives (Route 904). Most travellers will want to take the faster Rossiya service however, so this page is dedicated to this specific journey.

The seven-day journey is made every other day, in either direction. It is considered to be one of the best Russian train services, due to punctuality, staff service and level of upkeep. Two class options are available:

  • 1st Class - 2 berth compartments - Spalny Wagon (SV)
  • 2nd Class - 4 berth compartments - Kupé

Traveller's shouldn't feel like they have to do the journey in one go. Why not take the chance to visit a few of the destinations en route. You may be particularly interested in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude.

Visas:

The benefit of the Moscow - Vladivostok route, as opposed to the other Trans-Siberian routes such as the Trans-Mongolian, is that you only need one visa (Russia). Make sure you allow plenty of time before your journey to ensure that you have the appropriate visa for your route. If you are booking your journey through an agent (like Real Russia), they may be able to sort out your visa for you. This is likely to occur a commission fee, but could be much less stressful in the long-run. Make sure you hold on to any customs forms you are given along the way to avoid problems later down the line.

Route 7:

Since late 2009, the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been linked by a high-speed Sapsan train route. This route has cut down journey times between the two cities to just four hours. Named after the Russian word for peregrine falcon, the trains reach speeds of up to 250km/hr.

The Sapsan is reportedly very reliable, with services arriving on-time or early in most cases. Information on-board the trains is provided in both English and Russian.

Flightless Holidays in Moscow

The Trans-Siberian Express in Winter

Join Great Rail Journeys for this epic rail holiday on-board the Trans-Siberian Express.

£9,850