Best Trans-Siberian Train - The Rossiya Overnight Train
Tri-color white-blue-red bands decorate the cars of the legendary Rossiya, the Russian Railways train 001/002, renown worldwide for running on the Trans-Siberian rail route from Moscow to Vladivostok, the longest in the world. The week-long journey has become highly favored among adventure-seekers who want to see the genuine, diverse and breathtaking beauty of Russia.
The Rossiya train is recognized as a tourist train with English-speaking car attendants, meals included in the tickets price (1st and 2nd class), clean restrooms with new fixtures. Covering 9259 kilometres and connecting 2 continents, the train runs through 14 regions, 90 cities, and 2 time zones. This regular overnight train has 3 car classes and departs only on odd days. It takes a total of 144 hours to get from Moscow to Vladivostok on this train.
It is a real adventure traveling from Moscow straight to Vladivostok as it takes a week to travel. Smarter travelers plan on breaking up the journey, spending a day or two in major city connections before continuing on for yet another day or two. The Trans-Siberian route is one of the most complex train routes in the world and needs to be planned thoroughly that is why we've prepared a map and schedule of Trans-Siberian trains which will definitely help you to plan your trip accordingly.
As it takes a whole week for the train to travel from one destination to the other, think of the food and water during the trip. There is a restaurant car with daily offerings, but for many, it’s usually better to plan on bringing non-perishable food for the trip. You can always ask the car attendant for some tea/coffee and a snack. The restaurant car is located in the middle of the train and it is easily reached from any side of the train. It is open 24/7 and the staff is happy to assist you with your requests. A wide selection of traditional Russian food and drinks is available (vegetarian and baby menu upon request). It is important to note that only cash is accepted onboard the train, so make sure to get some before boarding. If you are traveling in a 1st class compartment you can order food from the restaurant car to be delivered to your cabin.
As for other travel tips, a sharp knife is usually useful for slicing bread, sausages, or vegetables, either purchased ahead of time or on platforms during the trip, and can be handy for other things like baggage repairs (also take a pocket sewing kit, too, of course). Plastic cutlery and napkins are also extremely useful, as are wet-naps (life-savers also when it comes to personal hygiene). There are other things to consider taking along, including sandals or slippers, so that you don’t have to fasten up every time you want to leave the compartment. As to reading material, carrying a phrasebook is an absolute must if your Russian is at a beginner level, or rusty. You’ll also, perhaps, want to bring along a Russian novel (anything from Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita” to Dostoyevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov”) to keep you in an appreciative frame of mind for the culture you are experiencing in this amazing journey.
Note, that smoking is strictly prohibited on all Russian Trains and there is no special area where you can do that. If you are a smoker, the only option is to smoke outside while the train makes a stop (but do not miss your train!). The Cyrillic “РОССИЯ” at the top of each car makes it a very difficult train for passengers to miss. Toilets with small wash-basins are located at each end of the car. There is no shower aboard, which is why we recommend breaking your train trip in to a couple of legs at the major cities along your way.
Travel Classes Onboard Rossiya Train
These are compartments for 4 travelers with 2 upper and 2 lowers beds. Each compartment has a table, a mirror, lockable doors and a large panoramic window. Bathrooms with small washbasins are located at each end of the car. Tea and coffee are available for purchase onboard the train. Snack is included in the ticket price and it may vary depending on the carrier.
3rd class car is an open compartment (no doors) with 2 lower and 2 upper bunk beds and two additional side beds in each compartment. The lower side berth may be transformed into a window table with two seats when not being used as a bed. Bedding is included in the ticket price. Meals, drinks and snacks are available for purchase at the car-restaurant on most overnight trains. Since there is no privacy in 3rd class cabins we do not recommend this class to our customers. A/C is not available.
1st class cabin (SV in Russian) is designed for 2 people. It is a typical cabin for overnight trips. Cabins are air-conditioned and ticket price includes bedding, newspapers and meals.