The biggest question when planning a trip on the Transsiberian is probably: “How much money do I need?”
No worries, here are some guidelines to calculate your budget. Obviously, if you’re pockets are full and you wanna splurge, the prices can easily go up as your add comforts to your trip, but, assuming you’re sort of broke as we were, the prices below refer to as cheap as it gets.
- Visa: there’s no escape here, you need a tourist visa to travel in Russia, which allows you to stay up to 30 days. Here is how to get one. Price may vary depending on your nationality, but you can expect an average of 70-100 EUR.
- Train tickets: assuming you’ll be travelling in platskart (3rd class), the price may vary depending on how many stops you decide to make, still:
- A direct ticket from Moscow to Vladivostok costs about 7,200 Rubles (100 EUR), for the slower train (7-day trip) and 10,700 Rubles (150 EUR) for the faster one (6-day trip)
- Assuming you’re going from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, making some 4-5 stops (Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Ulan Ude, Khabarovsk) the price will be around: 15,500 Rubles (220 EUR)
- If you’re going to Mongolia, the train from Ulan Ude to Ulaanbaatar costs around 90 EUR (no 3rd class available, only 2nd class)
- If you’re going to China, the train from Chita to Beijing costs about 200 EUR (international trains are a lot more expensive)
- Accommodation: hostels in Russia are very cheap, with some variations depending on the city. On average, you can find hostels for 350 Rubles a night (5 EUR/night), Moscow and Saint Petersburg are more expensive, but you can still find a place for 10-15 EUR/night. Assuming you’re travelling for about 3 weeks/a month, half the nights will be spent on the trains, you’re looking at some 100-150 EUR to be spent on accommodation.
- Travel Insurance: you need it to apply for a Russian visa and it should be around 100 EUR.
- Food and drinks: Russia is cheap, you can easily feed yourself (without starving) for about 10-15 EUR/day. So in a month you’ll be spending some 400 EUR.
So, all in all, a 1-month trip on the Transsiberian will cost you around: 1000 EUR, including train tickets, visa, accommodation, travel insurance and food and extras!
PS: To that you should supposedly add the price of a flight (or whatever means you’ll be using) ticket to get to St. Petersburg/Moscow and to fly back (if you’re going back!). On average, a flight from Europe to Moscow is around 150 EUR, a flight from Vladivostok to Europe around 400 EUR.