This fascinating tour combines the classical highlights of Russia’s glorious cities of Moscow and St Petersburg where we discover the stories behind the cities’ key landmarks and the architectural legacy of the Tsars. From the splendour of Moscow’s Red Square and the Kremlin to St Petersburg’s magnificent Imperial palaces, this is an amazing chance to experience some of Russia’s most iconic sights.
The Holiday Inn Moscow Lesnaya is a modern 4-star hotel situated in central Moscow. All the en-suite rooms are air-conditioned and feature flat-screen TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and minibar. The hotel also offers a cosy lobby bar, restaurant and small fitness centre.
Situated on peaceful Vasilievsky Island in St Petersburg, the 4-star Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky is located in a 19th-century building with modern, stylish interiors. The hotel features a spacious lobby bar, restaurant and traditionally-styled pub as well as a sauna and gym.
We fly to Moscow and transfer to the Holiday Inn Moscow Lesnaya, our base for the next three nights.
Day 2 – Moscow
Our stay in Russia’s capital starts with a guided city tour. We see many of Moscow’s famous sights including Sparrow Hills, the Moscow State University and Red Square. Our guide also takes us to explore some of the famous Moscow Metro stations. Known as the ‘Palaces of the People’ when they were first built, they boast beautiful sculptures, bronzes, mosaics and crystal chandeliers.
Day 3 – The Kremlin, Armoury Museum & Alexander Garden
We enjoy a guided tour of the Kremlin, the former residence of the Russian Tsars. This architectural ensemble of unique beauty took shape between the 15th and 20th centuries. There is also time to walk around the grounds and visit one or more of the cathedrals located on Cathedral Square.
In the afternoon, we visit the Armoury Museum. Located within the Kremlin itself, the Armoury Chamber is the treasury of the Russian Tsars and includes a unique collection of gold and silver items, state regalia, coronation dresses and famous Fabergé eggs. We also enjoy a visit to the Alexander Garden which runs along the west wall of the Kremlin, named in honour of Emperor Alexander I.
Day 4 – Train from Moscow to St Petersburg
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and head to the railway station for the fast train to St Petersburg. On arrival, we transfer to the Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky where we stay for the next four nights.
Day 5 – St Petersburg
A full day of sightseeing awaits us in St Petersburg. We start with a guided city tour to view some of the most celebrated sights of this historic city, including St Isaac’s Cathedral and the magnificent Winter Palace, home of the Romanov Emperors for two hundred years, which now houses the State Hermitage Museum.
In the afternoon, we visit the Peter and Paul Fortress. Built to guard the city of St Petersburg, its location on Hare Island still dominates the River Neva. The cathedral located in the fortress’ grounds is the oldest building in St Petersburg and now houses the remains of the last Russian Tsars.
Day 6 – Catherine Palace
We travel to Pushkin to visit the Catherine Palace. Originally commissioned by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I in 1717, the palace was later redesigned on a scale to rival Versailles with elaborately decorated blue and white facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids and pilasters and some of the most extravagant interiors in Europe, including the world-famous Amber Room.
On our return to St Petersburg we enjoy a free afternoon to explore more of the city at our leisure.
Day 7 – State Hermitage Museum & Traditional Russian Folk Show at Nikolaevsky Palace
We enjoy a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum, housed in the magnificent Winter Palace. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, the museum houses one of the finest art collections in the world with over 2.7 million items including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rodin, Rembrandt, Rubens and the French Impressionists.
Later, we head to the Nikolaevsky Palace to enjoy an evening of traditional Russian folk music and dance.
We check out of our hotel and head to the railway station for the fast train back to Moscow. From here we transfer to Moscow airport for our return flight home.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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