The longest railroad in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railroad connects Russia with Mongolia, China and the Sea of Japan. It is subdivided into three different routes for travelers to choose from: the Trans-Mongolian, which takes you from Beijing through Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and on to Moscow (or vice-versa); the Trans-Manchurian, which takes you from Siberia through Manchuria to Beijing, and the Trans-Siberian, which will take from Moscow to Vladivostok.
Of course, there are many interesting places to stop along the way. You can either ride the Trans-Siberian railroad as part of a tour group or on your own, although naturally if you travel independently you will have more flexibility when it comes to how much time you spend where.
Wikitravel has an excellent guide to help you plan the logistics of your trip, including how to buy tickets, what to pack, and where to get food. This article on Matadortrips.com has a bunch of excellent suggestions for day trips and excursions if you’re traveling independently.
One other thing that you definitely should research ahead of time is visa requirements. Depending on your route and how far you take the railroad, you could end up spending time in Russia, China and/or Mongolia. To keep your trip from being unintentionally derailed (pun intended), it would be prudent to understand the entry requirements for each country before you travel.
Mongolian Visa Requirements
If you are an American citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Mongolia as long as you don’t plan to stay longer than 9o days. However, if you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you do need to register with the authorities.
Chinese Visa Requirements
The requirements for obtaining a Chinese visa are fairly straightforward for tourists, but you will need to make sure that you have your visa in hand before you attempt t0 cross into China. If you will be crossing the Chinese border more than once during your journey, you should request a multiple-entry Chinese visa. For more information, see Chinese Tourist Visa Requirements.
Russian Visa Requirements
Russia has a fairly restrictive and complex visa system. Learn more about what’s needed by reading Getting a Russian Tourist Visa, but remember, you’re probably better off seeking professional assistance.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you get all of the necessary documents for your journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. We’ll research your itinerary and let you know exactly what visas are required, then we’ll walk you through the application process and deliver your paperwork to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.