5 must-do stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Taking a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway is like stepping into a magic mystery machine that will take you on a journey through some of the most scenic and historically important places in the world.

Spanning 9,288 kilometres and crossing seven time zones, the Trans-Siberian Railway has many sights to see and plenty to do to ensure you have a once in a lifetime experience. Taking information from experts and those lucky enough to travel the rail before, here are the top five “must do” stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


A perfect blend of traditional and modern architecture, Kazan is a perfect example of what modern Russia has to offer.  Being one of the largest cities in Russia is has gone under an extensive makeover in the last decade to give a much-needed jolt to the formerly industrial city.  It is also a place steeped in rich history as its World Heritage listed building, Kazan Kremlin Fortress is a step back in time to when the onion-domed cathedrals dotted the Russian landscape. 

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Lake Baikal

A lot of destinations claim to “have everything” but Lake Baikal just might as it is listed as the “biggest, deepest and most diverse lake on Earth”. It is an ideal spot to just get away from it all. Sit on the shore in rustic chairs and watch the adorable nerpas swim in its waters.  There are traditional lodges to stay in on the banks and refreshing natural thermal saunas in the winter. If you are not drawn to the crystal clear water than you might want to take a walk and see flora and fauna that only exists in this location making it one of the truly remarkable sites on the railway.

Yaroslavl on the Volga River

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The oldest city on the Volga River founded in 1010 the town is overflowing with culture and history.  The entire city is listed as a heritage site with churches going back to the 17th century. The city’s beauty is also in the detail as the amazing tiled houses with elaborate facades will get you in a DIY mood. Some of the oldest spiritual sites reside here with Transfiguration Cathedral of the Savior Monastery which was built between 1506 and 1516 as well as the beautiful and massive Church of St. John the Baptist which has been lauded as a masterpiece of architecture.


A city founded by Peter the Great it brings together two mighty cultures into one city.  The fusion of European and Asian designs litters through the city’s architecture, food, and people. It is also a time capsule of a city as before the fall of the former Soviet Union in 1991 it was a closed city that no foreign traveller could get into. This secludedness means that Yekaterinburg has a destination feel unlike any other city in Russia. With amazing zoos, gardens, and museums it is a destination must on the railway.  Many rave about the beauty of the golden domes of the Church of All Saints.


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After getting a taste of Asia in Yekaterinburg, dive all the way in with one of China’s most modern cities that still has a strong tie with tradition through its architecture and food. From the train, on the way to Beijing, you will also get to see the picturesque Great Wall of China as well as some of the most historically significant cities in China including Harbin, Changchun, and Shanhaiguan

What are you waiting for?  What would you love to do on the Trans-Siberian Railway?

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