In this post you will learn how and where to buy and book tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway (Trans-Siberian for short). You will learn that there are many different ways to purchase tickets. Some of these ways are cheap but complicated, while others are much easier but more expensive. In the following we will introduce each of these ways!
FIVE ways to get tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway!
Option #1: Purchase at the station counter in Moscow
The cheapest but complicated way for foreigners, is to buy at the station counter in Moscow. Note that Moscow has several terminus stations – the Trans-Siberian Railway departs from the so-called Yaroslavl station, located outside the ring in the northeast of the metropolis. At Yaroslavl station, tickets for all train connections can be purchased at the service counter. And, of course, this also applies to the routes of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok, Mongolia or Beijing.
The big BUT: Tickets can of course only be purchased if the trains are not fully booked. However, for the Trans-Siberian Railway routes to Mongolia and China, demand far exceeds supply. Since tickets can be pre-ordered and the major travel agencies usually secure tickets in advance, if you buy spontaneously in Moscow, you will most likely be disappointed.
This is thus an extremely risky route that is usually out of the question for tourists.
Option #2: Purchase a ticket for the Trans-Siberian Railway through the Russian State Railways website
Another cheaper but much safer way is to buy through the online store of the Russian State Railways (RZD). Depending on the class, a ticket from Moscow to Vladivostok costs between 10,000 and 40,000 rubles. This is roughly equivalent to 100 to 400 euros. Depending on when you book, the cost may be slightly higher or lower.
Three classes are available, which differ according to the number of beds in the cabin. In the first class, a cabin with two beds is occupied, and in the second class there are four beds in one cabin. The third class is a large compartment with numerous beds. The latter can be partly uncomfortable, but on the other hand it represents a Russian experience in itself.
Tickets can be purchased in the online store. This is the link to the English-language website of the Russian State Railways: Ticket Shop of the RZD.
Option #3: Booking a ticket for the Trans-Siberian Railway via “Real Russia”
A slightly easier way is to buy through the planner at realrussia.co.uk. Just visit the website trains.realrussia.co.uk/transsib, choose the class and the route. After booking you will receive a confirmation. An additional great service from Real Russia is that trains that are newer and in better shape than others are marked separately with “firm”.
Option #4: Tourist Packages: Book tickets through Western tour operators
For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that there are also numerous Western tour operators that offer tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway. The advantage here is that this is usually the least risky and easiest way to get tickets for the Trans-Siberian. In addition, these are usually sold in packages that include stops and sightseeing.
Option #5: Private Trains
Are you looking for a true luxury experience? Then you should consider buying first class tickets or even buying a ticket for a charter train. These are not the standard Trans-Siberian Railway trains, but charter trains that run specifically for tourists with high expectations. For example, a renowned provider of luxury travel is Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. We have summarized all important information about the purchase, costs, advantages and disadvantages of such providers on this page for you!
Conclusion: This is our recommendation!
For a purchase of standard tickets, we recommend Real Russia’s Tour Planner for tourists. Tickets there are cheap, but at the same time easy to book. In addition, it is very unlikely that there will be any problems due to errors in booking or the like. True premium rides are offered by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. For information on purchasing luxury tickets and the ride itself, see this post..