The Vodkatrain

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The Vodkatrain - Vodkatrain
The Vodkatrain - Vodkatrain
Alice "Vodkatrain was a winner for my boyfriend and I. It gave us a flexible, independent trip while taking care of the introduction letters, train tickets, accommodation and transfers. I was a bit wary of travel in Russia, so it was great to arrive at each destination, be taken to accommodation and then have the option of going out somewhere good for a bite to eat. We found some great places that we ..."
9 reviews
+7 Destinations
Trans Siberian
St Petersburg


  • Lake Baikal
  • Tatars of Kazan
  • Experience the youth culture in St Petes
  • Red square
Age range
18 to 35 year olds
Hostel, Sleeper Train, Yurt
Max Group Size
Train & Rail
Travel style
Train & Rail, Discovery
Start in Beijing and end in St Petersburg! With the train & rail tour The Vodkatrain, you have a 21 day tour package taking you from Beijing to St Petersburg and through Beijing, China and 7 other destinations. The Vodkatrain is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hostel as well as an expert guide and more.

9 Reviews

Rather Poor
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  • A
    Written on September 14, 2015
    5.0 - Excellent

    Great places to visit and all so varied! Liked the mix of independent travel on the trains and the local guides to show you the highlights - Kate S

  • A
    Written on August 18, 2015
    5.0 - Excellent

    The journey covered so many cities in countries that would be difficult to travel through as a solo traveller. Vodkatrain creates a way to see these and remove the intimidation and replaces it with an awesome group trip. Highlights included; UB, Horse riding at the Ger Camp, nightlife in Mongolia, Mongolia BBQ, St Peters walking tour, Peking Duck, Train times, Moscow cathedrals, Sauna and Lake Baikal. - Chloe Edwards

  • A
    Written on August 18, 2015
    5.0 - Excellent

    Highlights included my honcho Joanna (any group who received Joanna will have a great time, one of the best people/honchos I have ever met!) (Victor was excellent guide too, lots of information, really knows his city!) , Lake Baikal and Ger camp. Awesome trip, well run!! - Dane H- Victoria

  • A
    Written on August 18, 2015
    5.0 - Excellent

    This trip has been the experience of a lifetime, so many memories I'll treasure forever. This Vodkatrain tour has been very ell structured/planned, met my expectations and even exceed some with the help of the honchos. -Rebecca JN - Melbourne, Australia

  • The Vodkatrain reviewer 5
    Written on September 6, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    An amazing experience. Not recommended for fussy travellers but for those with a sense of adventure and a laid-back, positive attitude you will love this trip! The visa support, ample pre-departure info, pre-booked accomodation and transport, as well as having a local to hang out with in each destination make this trip stress free, while still leaving you to create your own adventures in each destination rather than being shunted around in a group following a fully booked itinerary. LOVED IT.
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  • The Vodkatrain reviewer 6
    Written on September 5, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    An epic trip! The honchos were brilliant and being locals showed us a side that we would not have been able to see if we had been independent. I couldn't have asked for a better experience!
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  • The Vodkatrain reviewer 7
    Written on August 24, 2012
    1.0 - Bad

    Dissapointing as we were charged nearly 100 times the face value of the train tickets in China as well as the fact that we have to wonder around into randon buildings to actually get our tickets. £600 for 3 single rail tickets in China. Face value just under £100 - what is the remainin £500 for?!
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  • The Vodkatrain reviewer 8
    Written on August 23, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    All my honchos were FANTASTIC - Olga, Anna, Marina, Odka and Roxy. Loved them all. Also really enjoyed all my time on the trains - get out there and meet people, you'll have a ball! You're certainly roughing it a little, but i really enjoyed the novelty, and slept well every night, possibly due to the vodka. yes kids, if you meet the right people, it really can be a vodkatrain. The hotels and hostels were decent picks as well, especially the 'chalet' at Lake Baikal, though for the amount you pay, I would have appreciated a few more meals included - maybe some breakfasts at least?
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  • The Vodkatrain reviewer 9
    Written on August 22, 2012
    4.5 - Excellent

    Vodkatrain was a winner for my boyfriend and I. It gave us a flexible, independent trip while taking care of the introduction letters, train tickets, accommodation and transfers. I was a bit wary of travel in Russia, so it was great to arrive at each destination, be taken to accommodation and then have the option of going out somewhere good for a bite to eat. We found some great places that we wouldn’t have without the local knowledge of the honcho, but we didn’t feel like we were locked in to a set iterary – it was ok to opt out if we wanted to head off by ourselves. Highlights were: ballet and hermitage in st. Petersburg – honcho helped us get discounts at each. In Moscow the Armoury was unreal! Very expensive but THE BEST EVER MUSEUM I have been to. If you’d like to see some Tsar history it is well worth it. Loved the sauna at Lake Baikal- the accommodation there was great too – like you are at your grandmother’s place- lovely after 4 days on the train! Mongolia ger camp was spectacular – covered in snow! My boyfriend proposed there- so we will both remember it forever. Beijing was great too – we went off by ourselves to the 498 arts precinct and enjoyed the Peking duck – 2 nights in a row. Train was an experience – it was fun having the group to share the experience with. My advice would just be to buy some food or drinks from the train staff (even though you can do a shop before you get on the train). They look after you better if you do. For example, after hours of a hot train carriage ( and battles to open windows) we bought some snacks and the thermostat was turned down. It was great to see the change from Europe to Asia and meet people along the way.
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Download PDF Brochure
  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Days 1-3: Beijing
  2. Day 4: Trans Mongolian Railway
  3. Days 5-6: Terelj National Park
  4. Day 7: Return to Ulaanbaatar and on to Irkutsk
  5. Days 8-10: Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
  6. Days 11-13: Irkutsk and aboard the Trans Siberian Railway
  7. Days 14-15: Kazan
  8. Day 16: To Moscow
  9. Days 17-18: Moscow
  10. Day 19: Moscow to St. Petersburg
  11. Days 20-21: St. Petersburg

What's included

Expand all
  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Additional Services

Download PDF Brochure

Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

    • What is the itinerary for this tour? What are the inclusions and extras?

      Day 1 - Start your journey in Beijing. Meet your Honcho and head out to the night markets.
      Day 2 - Beijing - Peking Duck anyone?
      Day 3 - Take a wander through the hutongs or ride a rickshaw.
      Day 4 - Morning departure aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway - The first train and an opportunity to spot your first camel in the Gobi.
      Day 5 - Early afternoon arrival into Ulaanbaatar - Enjoy the nightlife in this quirky capital and try your own throat singing!
      Day 6 - Head out to Terelj National Park and our ger camp - Enjoy life on the Mongolian steppe.
      Day 7 - Settle into life as a nomad, try your hand at archery or go for a hike.
      Day 8 - Return to Ulaanbaatar and depart for Irkutsk in the evening.
      Day 9 - Trans Mongolian Railway - Head north into Siberia.
      Day 10 - Morning arrival into Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal - Are you brave enough for a swim?
      Day 11 - Lake Baikal - Pack a picnic and enjoy a hike along its beautiful shores before returning to Irkutsk and a late evening departure for Kazan.
      Day 12 - All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway!
      Day 13 - Trans Siberian Railway - Make your way to the dining car and practice your Russian.
      Day 14 - Arrive Kazan in the afternoon - Capital of Tatarstan.
      Day 15 - A full day to enjoy the sights of this fascinating city and to party the night away.
      Day 16 - Kazan and onto Moscow - Get amongst the locals in Kazan's bustling Bauman Street.
      Day 17 - Arrive Moscow - Spend some time in Gorky Park - a favourite spot amongst locals.
      Day 18 - Moscow - Explore the glitz and glamour of the GUM department store and be sure to make some time to visit the Kremlin.
      Day 19 - Moscow and overnight train to St. Petersburg.
      Day 20 - Arrive St.Petersburg - Take in the sights and discover the local live music scene - your Honcho is sure to have some favourite spots.
      Day 21 - St.Petersburg - Journey concludes.

      Visa support for pre-booked services

      Services of Vodkatrain Honchos in Beijing, Ulaanbatar, Terelj National Park, Irkutsk, Listvyanka (Lake Baikal), Kazan, Moscow and St.Petersburg.

      Accommodation on a share basis (twin/triple or dorm rooms, private facilities not guaranteed)

      Accommodation in traditional gers in Mongolia

      4-berth train tickets Beijing - Ulaanbaatar - Irkutsk - Kazan - Moscow - St.Petersburg

      All departure and arrival transfers en-route. Please note: Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included. Please see the ‘Extra Stuff’ section for details on booking these services.

      Extra stuff
      Linger a little longer. Pre and Post tour accommodation including visa support… stay as long as you like.

      Why not travel further West into Scandinavia and the Baltics? Ask us about getting you down to Tallinn, where we can hook you up with our friends at Busabout for their Scandi-Baltic Adventure.

      Get me to the airport on time. Take the hassle out of arriving and departing… splurge on a transfer.

      Rail Packs. Explore China and Vietnam at your own pace with a collection of the best rail tickets, pre-booked for your travel pleasure.

    • What is the age range on this tour?

      The age range for this tour is 18 to 35 year olds.

    • How do I get a Chinese visa?

      You will be required to organise your own Chinese visa for this trip. We recommend contacting your local embassy to help you with the process of obtaining this visa.

      It is solely your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the necessary documentation to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries to be visited.

      Information about these matters is given by Sundowners Overland.

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    What are people saying about TourRadar?

    • Ellen22nd July 2018
      Booking on line was easy and all confirmation details, including invoice, deposit and final payment was informative.



    The Vodkatrain


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    About the countries

    Useful things to know before you go


    Yuan Renminbi

    Plugs & Adapters

    ChinaChinaChinaMongolia and Russia


    Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.


    These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
    Recommended for China, Mongolia and Russia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
    Hepatitis A
    Recommended for China, Mongolia and Russia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
    Recommended for China. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
    Recommended for China, Mongolia and Russia. Ideally 3 months before travel.
    Hepatitis B
    Recommended for China, Mongolia and Russia. Ideally 2 months before travel.
    Recommended for China and Mongolia. Ideally 1 month before travel.
    Yellow fever
    Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for China and Russia. Ideally 10 days before travel.
    Japanese B encephalitis
    Recommended for China and Russia. Ideally 1 month before travel.
    Tick-borne encephalitis
    Recommended for China, Mongolia and Russia. Ideally 6 months before travel.


    Beijing is the starting point and St Petersburg is the endpoint.
    Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
    TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Vodkatrain booking. The remaining balance is then payable 75 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 8 December 2018 the full payment of $0 is necessary.
    Cancellation policy
    No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 75 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $0 for The Vodkatrain, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable. If you cancel via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
    Some departure dates and prices may vary and Vodkatrain will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
    Credit Cards
    The following cards are accepted for Vodkatrain tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express


    Covering a total distance of approx 7,178 km.
    • Beijing (China)
    • 1,151 km
    • Terelj National Park (Mongolia)
    • 63 km
    • Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
    • 521 km
    • Irkutsk (Russia)
    • 281 km
    • Lake Baikal (Russia)
    • 281 km
    • Irkutsk (Russia)
    • 3,529 km
    • Kazan (Russia)
    • 718 km
    • Moscow (Russia)
    • 633 km
    • St Petersburg (Russia)

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    No Cancellation Fee
    TourRadar does not charge any additional cancellation fees. You can cancel the tour up to 75 days prior to the departure date. If you cancel your booking for The Vodkatrain via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
    5 Genuine Reviews
    All reviews are verified from travellers who went on The Vodkatrain