If you have decided to take a holiday on the Trans-Siberian Railway, there is much to consider, and the time of year you travel will have a bearing on the experience. As one would expect, the summer is the high season, and temperatures can range from 20-45C, and with that in mind, here is a brief rundown of what to expect during all of the seasons.
From May to August sees the most foreign visitors, and if you plan on going during the summer, make sure you book your berth well in advance. First class tickets sell very fast, and if you are planning your trip for the following year, now would be a good time to get the ball rolling.
If you are planning to take the Trans-Siberian train from Moscow to Vladivostok, the summer is the best time, although prices are slightly higher, as you would expect. Insects come alive during the summer, and ticks can be an issue, as can mosquitoes, but as you are constantly on the move, things quickly come and go.
Be prepared for very low temperatures, which can reach –50 in eastern Siberia, but with the right clothing, a winter trip is unique in so many ways. Everything is covered in snow, and the days are very short, which can take some getting used to, but there are some positives to going in the winter. Lake Baikal is beautiful at this time of the year, and not only can you walk on the ice, you can experience dig sledding and ride on a snowmobile, which is the best way to experience this huge volume of fresh water.
Tickets are a lot cheaper in the winter and you will not meet that many tourists, yet there are a few romantic couples who brave the cold to experience a magical ambience that can only be found travelling through Russia in the winter.
Spring and Autumn
The weather is unpredictable during these times, and late March and early April sees the ice thawing, yet, for many foreign visitors, this is the ideal time to travel. Autumn is very short in this part of the world, and this is when there is more chance of rain, especially the western side of Russia. There are many websites with information about travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway at all times of the year, and if you are lucky enough to be able to choose when you take this trip, you should research the Internet and see what you can find. Beijing is particularly pleasant in the autumn, with clear skies and a pleasant breeze, while also hosting many Chinese festivals.
If you are not comfortable in cold climates, you should avoid the winter, and by discussing your needs with an established tour operator, you can make an informed decision. Spring is a very popular season, with many people travelling in April and May, when the days get longer and temperatures start to rise, while autumn is a green time of year.
**This is a collaborative post**