The Trans-Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian Railway

Is it safe to travel on the Trans-Siberian railway?

There are two important parts of this question. Is it safe to travel on the train on the Trans-Siberian railway? Is it safe to travel to cities along the Trans-Siberian railway?
Even me, originally from an ex Eastern Bloc country, Hungary, have been questioned by Hungarian relatives and friends with safety concerns about my Trans-Siberian travel plans. My father warned me about the danger of getting robbed on the train, while a flatmate in London told me a story about …

The Trans-Siberian Railway

Living with Mongolian nomads

I was lucky enough to find a great host on Couchsurfing who offered me to stay at one of his nomad relative’s yurt (or ger in Mongolian, a traditional Mongolian tent). The camp was around 100 miles from the town of Baganuur – which is about four hours drive from Ulaanbataar in total.
My friend’s relatives were a traditional Mongolian nomadic herder family, they owned two yurts, one which they lived in and the other one which served as a …

The Trans-Siberian Railway

Hiking around Lake Baikal, Listvyanka

When travelling with the Trans Siberian Express, a visit to the Lake Baikal is mandatory, even if you don’t have more than a few days to spend at this stop. The best option to do this is to hop off the train at Irkutsk.

Unless you want to spend days exploring Irkutsk, a perfect itinerary would be to head towards Listvyanka with a bus the same day you have arrived in Irkutsk, and spend the night by the Lake Baikal.…

The Trans-Siberian Railway

The Russian Gangster Cemetery in Yekaterinburg

A couple of years ago, there was a buzz on the internet about a cemetery in Russia, with some extravagant tombs believed to belong to gangsters who died violent deaths during gang wars in the chaotic post-Soviet times.
A few years later, during my Trans-Siberian trip, while staying in Yekaterinburg, Russia, I have visited this less known tourist attraction at the Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery (map).
I have never been to a Russian cemetery before this visit, so it was …

The Trans-Siberian Railway

Yekaterinburg, Russia

Yekaterinburg is the financial and political center of the Ural region and the fourth biggest city in Russia. It served as a center of trade for the Ural region’s mining and heavy industries for centuries, and a home for several wealthy and influential merchant families since the tsarist times.
Now it is most well known for being the city where the Bolsheviks murdered the last reigning tsar, Nicholas II, and his family. At the place of the execution the city …

The Trans-Siberian Railway

A few days in Moscow

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is the economic and political center of the world’s largest country.
It can be said that it is a fair representation of the country’s vastness in terms of area and power; its streets are broad and the buildings are often enormous. It was never in lack of space, nor material.
The biggest impacts on the city’s development were the extensive redesign in the victorious Soviet era, stipulated by strict and utilitarian Soviet urban planning, and …