Note: I have converted the Chinese Yuan/Russian Ruble/Mongolian Tugrik rates to USD on 13th June 2015. The USD can is currently volatile versus the Russian Ruble so keep this in mind when you are evaluating the costs here. Ultimately, Beijing to Moscow can be completed on the cheap.

Beijing to Erenhot (also called Erlian)

  • Subway from hostel toward bus station: 4 yuan ($0.65)
  • Taxi to bus station (my share): 4 yuan ($0.65)
  • Overnight bus to Erenhot: 220 yuan ($35.50)
  • Total: $36.80

bus to erlian

bus to erlian

A very nice sleeper bus!

A very nice sleeper bus!

Erlian to Zamiin-Uud

  • Taxi near the border: 10 yuan ($1.60)
  • Bus across the border: 50 yuan ($8)
  • Shuttle bus to Zamiin-Uud train station: 1000 tugrik ($0.55)
  • Total: $10.15
Train Travel Is Fun

Train Travel Is Fun

Zamiin-Uud to Ulaanbaatar

  • Overnight train: 22,000 tugrik ($11.8)
  • Total: $11.80

Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk

  • 2 nights train: $46
  • Total: $46.00
Fine Dining On The Train

Fine Dining On The Train

Irkutsk to Krasnoyarsk

  • Overnight train: 1900 rubles ($34.40)
  • Total: $34.40

Krasnoyarsk to Moscow

  • 67 hour train: 6061 rubles ($109.75)
  • Total: $109.75
Train Restaurant Car

Train Restaurant Car

Moscow to St. Petersburg

  • Overnight train: 1692 rubles ($30.65)
  • Total: $30.65

Beijing To Moscow Grand Total: $279.55


  • Naomi from Probe Around The Globe has written a great Q&A on the Trans Mongolian Railway. Interesting to not the prices she mentions, you can save a lot of money by catching the bus from Beijing to the Mongolian border!.
  • We booked the tickets on the way, the only train sold out for us was Beijing to Ulaanbaatar but the bus/train route was just as effective.
  • We chose the lowest class at all opportunities (mostly 3rd class). We preferred 3rd class as it was more social. We did not feel endangered at all.
  • Cash is preferable with credit card only really an option in Western Russia.
  • All the trains were right on time. Be aware of Moscow time versus the time zone you are currently in.