21 days in Russia, Ulaanbaatar & Beijing Itinerary

21 days in Russia, Ulaanbaatar & Beijing Itinerary

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1
St. Petersburg, Russia
— 1 night
Train
2
Moscow, Russia
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Kazan, Russia
— 1 day
Fly
4
Yekaterinburg, Russia
— 1 day
Fly
5
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
— Few hours
Fly
6
Irkutsk, Russia
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
— 3 nights
Unknown
8
Beijing, China
— 3 nights
Fly

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1
night
St. Petersburg, Russia

Venice of the North

Built on a desolate swamp as a showcase capital of Imperial Russia, this grand city has certainly lived up to the expectations of its founder, Tsar Peter the Great.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Catherine Palace and Park as well as Russian Music Seasons. On the 23rd (Fri), pause for some serene contemplation at Nikolo-Bogoyavlenskiy Morskoy Sobor, browse the exhibits of Saint Isaac's Cathedral, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, then make a trip to Palace Square, then get engrossed in the history at The Pushkin Apartment Museum, and finally experience the emotional art of opera at Russian Music Seasons. On the 24th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: steep yourself in history at Aleksandrovskiy park and then get engrossed in the history at Catherine Palace and Park.

For where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our St. Petersburg holiday maker tool.

Thessaloniki, Greece to St. Petersburg is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone changes from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Moscow Standard Time (MSK), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Thessaloniki in July; daily highs in St. Petersburg reach 26°C and lows reach 16°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can travel to Moscow.

Things to do in St. Petersburg

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nightlife
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:

2
nights
Moscow, Russia

Third Rome

Russia's political, economic, and cultural center, Moscow remains the most populous inland city in the world, famed for its colorful history and rich architectural heritage.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Catholic Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Bolshoi Theatre and Saint Basil's Cathedral. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Red Square, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cathedral Square, then pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Basil's Cathedral, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Krutitskoe Podvorye. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Mon): see a show at Catholic Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary, then see a show at Bolshoi Theatre, and then steep yourself in history at Kazan Cathedral.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Moscow online travel planner.

Traveling by train from St. Petersburg to Moscow takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in July, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) so you can travel to Kazan.

Things to do in Moscow

Historic Sites · Nightlife
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:

1
day
Kazan, Russia

Sports Capital of Russia

The heart of Tatar culture, Kazan carries the epithet of the "Third Capital of Russia" because of its rich history and thriving economy.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Kul Sharif Mosque. On the 27th (Tue), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kul Sharif Mosque, see the interesting displays at Kazan Kremlin, and then wander the streets of Bauman Street (Kazansky Arbat).

To find traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kazan road trip planning tool.

Getting from Moscow to Kazan by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In July in Kazan, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can travel to Yekaterinburg.

Things to do in Kazan

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 28:

1
day
Yekaterinburg, Russia

Located at the meeting point of two continents, Yekaterinburg serves as the cultural capital of the Urals region.
For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Yekaterinburg online day trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Kazan to Yekaterinburg takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. The time zone changes from Moscow Standard Time to Yekaterinburg Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Kazan in July: high temperatures in Yekaterinburg hover around 26°C and lows are around 13°C. You'll set off for Krasnoyarsk on the 28th (Wed).

Things to do in Yekaterinburg

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Nightlife
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 29:

few
hours
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Famed for its scenic location, Krasnoyarsk so impressed author Anton Chekhov that he considered it Siberia's most appealing city, describing it as a "picturesque, cultured town." A convenient pit stop for passengers making the trans-Siberian journey, the city serves as the country's major railway junction halfway between Moscow and Vladivostok.
To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Krasnoyarsk road trip planning app.

You can fly from Yekaterinburg to Krasnoyarsk in 7 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. The time zone difference moving from Yekaterinburg Standard Time to Krasnoyarsk Standard Time is 2 hours. You will leave for Irkutsk on the 30th (Fri).

Things to do in Krasnoyarsk

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 30 — 31:

2
nights
Irkutsk, Russia

Paris of Siberia

The most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian railway, Irkutsk gained fame as the cultural center of Decembrist exiles.
Organ Hall of The Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic Society has been added to your itinerary. On the 31st (Sat), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Our Lady of Kazan and then add some entertainment to your itinerary with Organ Hall of The Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic Society.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Irkutsk road trip tool.

Traveling by flight from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. The time zone difference when traveling from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk is 1 hour. In July in Irkutsk, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Ulaanbaatar.

Things to do in Irkutsk

Nightlife · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your trip

3
nights
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The capital and largest city in the country, Ulaanbaatar stands as Mongolia's transport, cultural, and commercial hub.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to National History Museum and Choijin Lama Temple Museum. Visit Gandantegchenling Monastery and Dashchoilin Monastery for their historical value. Change things up with a short trip to Ariyabal Meditation Temple in Gorkhi Terelj National Park (about 1h 30 min away). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Bogd Khaan Palace Museum of Mongolia, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aryabal Meditation Temple, pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, and explore the striking landscape of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Ulaanbaatar trip itinerary builder.

You can fly from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In August in Ulaanbaatar, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to travel to Beijing.

Things to do in Ulaanbaatar

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 3 — 6:

3
nights
Beijing, China

As the political and cultural capital of China, Beijing stands at the heart of Chinese history, buzzing with the energy of its high population density and centuries of importance.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Qianmen (Zhengyangmen). Museum-lovers will appreciate The Palace Museum and Lama Temple (Yonghegong). And it doesn't end there: get to know the fascinating history of Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), take a stroll through 798 Art Zone, pause for some photo ops at Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), and contemplate the waterfront views at Back Lakes (Hou Hai).

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Beijing planning app.

Take a train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing in 31 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In August, Beijing is a bit warmer than Ulaanbaatar - with highs of 37°C and lows of 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Beijing

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Museums · Parks
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 10:

Russia travel guide

4.6
Specialty Museums · Churches · Monuments
Mother Russia
Feared and revered not long ago as the land "behind the Iron Curtain" and before that as "the land of the Tsars," Russia is a land of many contrasts. Spreading over two continents, it is also the largest country in the world and one of the most powerful. Founded by a group of East Slavs in the 10th century, it is home to over 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. They have all left their mark on the land, but the Slavic and Byzantine traditions hold a special place in Russia's rich historical and cultural legacy. The diverse natural beauty includes vast swathes of plains intersected with thousands of rivers, lakes, and dramatic mountain ranges along the southern borders. Arctic tundra, taiga, mixed forests, steppe, and desert-like areas successively carpet the land from the north to the south. Perfectly preserved ancient towns surrounded by mighty kremlins with colorful onion-domed churches attract tourists just as much as the nation's biggest metropolises, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.