Beijing’s International Train Booking Office (Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 1.30–5pm; t 010 6512 0507) is at the International Hotel, 9 Jianguomenwai Dajie ( see map). Here you can buy tickets to Moscow and Ulaan Baatar with the minimum of fuss. BTG Travel have a desk for Trans-Siberian tickets that charges about the same. You can also buy tickets at the Foreigners’ Ticket Booking Office in Beijing train station though they aren’t much good on visa advice. Out of season, few people make the journey (you may get a cabin to yourself), but in summer there may well not be a seat for weeks.

Getting visas for Russia and/or Mongolia in China can be tricky, since regulations change all the time; it’s always best (and, sometimes, essential) to organize them in your own country. If you want to apply in Beijing, check first whether it will be possible; you may need to show proof of inward and onward travel, and possibly hotel bookings and an official invitation too. See Beijing embassy websites and for the latest advice. It’s a lot easier, but a lot more expensive, to book a tour; see agents and operators for a few recommended organizations.

Chinese train #3, which follows the Trans-Mongolian route, leaves every Wednesday from Beijing station and takes five-and-a-half days. A bunk in a 2nd-class cabin with four beds – which is perfectly comfortable – costs around US$690. Trains leave Moscow for Beijing every Tuesday, though in this direction you’ll likely have to buy tickets through an agency.

Russian train #19, which follows the Trans-Siberian route, leaves every Saturday from Beijing station and takes six days. A Mongolian train leaves for Ulaan Baatur every Tuesday and costs around US$200 for one bed in a four-bed berth.

See companies offering Trans-Siberian tours and packages (see Agents and operators); of course they’ll cost more than doing it yourself, but it’ll save a world of hassle.


Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
7 Chinese street foods you need to try

7 Chinese street foods you need to try

Thanks to China’s sheer enormity, travelling through the country is as much a tastebud odyssey as it is a history lesson. And eating your way around the stre…

05 Oct 2017 • Aimee White insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook