We traveled with Trans Siberian railway for two weeks and now we would like to share with you places which are worthy to visit along the way. So let’s go!
Our first trip took us from Moscow to Kazan. We were traveling together in one part of carriage with family (3 women and 2 sons). Women were very friendly and funny. They tried to confess us first because they were curious about our journey. Then they prepared a feast with sausages, eggs, bread, cookies etc and we just hungry stared at them (we underestimated it!). After dinner, they secretly took some alcohol and went to sleep 😀 All lights went out around 10 pm and there was silent in the whole coach. Anet slept in the upper side and Tom in the lower side. Tom was sleeping like a baby and women acroos him were so enthusiastic because he was so cute! 😀
1st stop: Kazan travel guide
The journey from Moscow to Kazan took 14 hours and this stop was according to us as one of the best. First we put our backpacks at the train station. We could leave them in the middle locker 24 hours for 280 RUB.
Quick itinerary of what we did
- Kazan Kremlin is a large complex with lot of beautiful buildings that are listed by UNESCO. The dominant building is Kul Sharif mosque that you can see below on the photo. Entry to the area is free. You have to pay only if you want to visit some museum but we didn’t visit them personally so we have no idea if it is worthy.
- Building of Ministry of Agriculture (Fedoseyevsaya street) interested us from the outside. We saw the street built in the building even from the Kremlin and it looks even better from the near.
- The promenade along the river Kazanka (opposite the Ministry of Agriculture Building) is perfect place for relax and escape from the city centre. You can find there many restaurants, bars or wooden deck chairs that we appreciated most.
- Bauma street is ideal for those looking for something good to eat (for example to eat Dom Chaya with authentic Tatar cuisine).
- Ulitsa Kayuma Nasyri street famous for its typical Tartar architecture.
- If you have still some time in Kazan we would recommend you walk along the Volga river where you can find also places which look like small beaches.
In the evening we got on the train towards Yaketerinburg. We bought seats because of the price and occupancy but it was beginner’s mistake! We found there uncomfortable seats, screaming children, toilet on which you have to stand and endless 15 hours journey. While people were leaving and coming during the journey, we were the only ones who drove for 15 hours in this seating coach, and now we understand why. It was endless, the train stopped in every village and toilet began to stink after few hours. Well everything was wrong!
2nd stop: Yekaterinburg travel guide
The stop in Yekaterinburg was our salvation, we finally got out of the hell and could go out of the train, walk, move and relieve our buttoms. The city is located in the center of Eurasia, on the border between Europe and Asia. It is ranked as third in terms of the size of the economy, culture and tourism.
Quick itinerary of what we did
First we put our backpacks in luggage room, which is located in Business lounge next to the Burger King and costs 340 RUB for 24 hours. After we went to the city center. We were hungry so we decided to taste a pinch of Asia (we are full of russian cusisine ). With a true Chinese chef and very affordable prices, restaurant Jang su fulfilled our expectations.
This city has solved the classic problem with finding some monuments in an interesting way. They simply connected all points of tourist interest using the red line on the pavement. The whole route is about 6,5 km long and it tooks about 4 hours including photoshooting and looking for snack.
The most interesting places include Church upon the blood, Keyboard monument, Sevastyanov Estate (the most opulent building in town) or Beatles. For lovers of views, we recommend Visotsky observation deck, from which you can see historic centre of the city or domes of churches.
The journey to Novosibirk was our longest but didn´t ind it at all. we woke up in the morning for breakfast, then took a nap, read books and suddenly was lunch time. After lunch, a nap, watching from the window, book and suddenly dinner can be served. Ocasionally we went out for walks in the largest cities because train stops there for about half an hour. There was silent and order in the train all the time. which may be due to presence of a security guard who regularly passes the train to check the situation :).
3rd stop: Novosibirsk travel guide
We arrived to Novosibirsk at 8 pm. Honestly we will not tell you a lot about this city because we stopped here mainly for shower and hygiene (we recommend Big Ben hostel 😀 ). We took and evening walk around the city and we saw Lenina square and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. We are not so excited about this city compared to other towns. But shower was good and refreshing! Finally we smell good again 😀
4th stop: Irkutsk travel guide
Irkutsk is our penultimate stop at the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city is located in southeastern Siberia and it is the 6th largest center of Siberia. We feel that we are approaching east part of Russia. The largest difference between west and east of Russia are seen in public transport and prices. Old and broken roads, missing sidewalks and tram that seems to break up at any moment. We are also surprised by efficiency of work as there is a lady who collects fares in every tram. We feel that when the ticket machine are introduced here, half of people will lose their jobs 😀 Finally we feel like in Russia we imagined before our trip.
Irkutsk is ideal starting point for Baikal trip, Olkhon island, Listvyanka and Slyudyanka, where you can take regular minibuses or private cars. You can find articles about Lake Baikal here: Ultimate guide to lake Baikal and Listvyanka travel guide top thing to do see
Quick itinerary of what we saw
- Kazan cathedral (viz photo) which is an Orthodox church built in NeoByzantine style. In front of the temple is aosis with gardens, fountain and mini zoo. Opening hours is from 8 am to 7 pm. It is located about 2 m from city center and you can walk there or take a tram number 4.
- The historic center of Irkutsk where are old merchant houses, churches, museums and little further you can find real russian blocks of flats.
- The Church of the Cross was built in siberian baroque style.
- Central market where you can find food, clothes, electronics and other stuff.
Budget stay in Irkutsk: If you want to find cheap and clean accommodation in the city center, we would recommend you Super Hostel which has also kitchen and washing machine.
Where to eat in Irkutsk? Right next to the Hostel we found a delicious and cheap restaurant specialised on russian pelmeni, you have to try it! It is called Krutoy Zames Pelmenaja 🙂
5th stop: Ulan–Ude travel guide
Ulan-Ude is our last stop on the route from where we take a bus to Ulaanbaatar. We didn´t have time there because we came at 5 am, then we picked up our bus tickets in hotel Buryatia and after we went directly to the bus stop with buses to Mongolia (Stary Avtovokazal). We chose company Baikal Naran tour and everything was without any problem 🙂 More info here: https://baikalnaran.com/en/nashi-uslugi/avtobusnyi-bilety.html.