Friday 15 May 2015. Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival you will be met at St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport and transferred to to your hotel for check in. Tonight, our welcome meeting takes place, where you'll meet the rest of your group and tour leader. Spend the rest of the evening at your own leisure - your tour leader can recommend some local bars and restaurants for you to try out.
Overnight: St Petersburg
This morning a city tour will give us a run-down of St Petersburg's key areas. Travelling by mini bus, we will drive along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum and university districts with photo stops at attractions such as The Bronze Horseman and St Isaac's Cathedral. Later, we will enjoy a guided tour of the incredible Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace - home to one of the biggest and best art collections in the world. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or further explore before the main event this evening.
Tonight at approximately 9pm we set off to spend the night touring the Museums of St Petersburg, accompanied by our guide, with private transportation and inclusive of entrance fees. Over thirty of St Petersburg’s most respected museums and art galleries will stay open from 9pm on Saturday 16th May 2015 until 6am the following morning for this wonderful annual event, which is accompanied by unique exhibitions, street art and performances around the city. The city of the Tsars becomes a hive of late night activity as people flock to see some of the St Petersburg's finest cultural offerings and take advantage of the wonderful Russian ‘White Nights’ when the sun barely sets!
In previous years at this event we visited the following museums: The Museum of Political History, the Planetarium, the Geological Museum, The Gallery of Modern Art and St. Isaac’s Cathedral where we enjoyed a classical music performed by the city Symphony Orchestra.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Breakfast
St Petersburg - Moscow. We start today's touring with a visit to Peter & Paul Fortress and the Peter & Paul Cathedral, which houses the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. Then we'll head out to city to explore the beautiful gardens of Peterhof on the Gulf of Finland in the summer or visit Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo in winter (or Pavlosk Palace if Catherine Palace is closed).
Often referred to as Russia’s ‘Versailles’, the gardens of Peterhof are a wonderland of greenery and flowers, sweeping vistas and ornate architectural decorations, with spectacular gold fountains. At Catherine Palace its the exterior and the interiors of this lavishly decorated building that really catch the eye - and the lavish Amber room is a real highlight! After stopping for a hearty traditional lunch at a local restaurant, we'll continue on for a guided tour of the exquisite interior of The Church on Spilled Blood.
Meeting back at the hotel at an agreed time, we gather our bags and travel to the railway station for our overnight journey by train to Moscow.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
Moscow. An early morning arrival brings us into Moscow - not only the capital of Russia, but also the political and cultural heart of the country. As well as boasting some of the country’s most recognizable landmarks, Moscow is also home to internationally acclaimed museums and art galleries, respectable retail havens in the form of malls, markets and boutique-style shops.
Following check-in at our hotel we will hop on the Moscow Metro and head into the heart of the city. Here we will discover the delights of Red Square, home to St Basil’s, the GUM department store and Lenin’s Mausoleum, on a walking tour. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
This morning we head back to Red Square for a tour of the Kremlin - Russia's political powerhouse, with a guided walk through the grounds. Here we’ll see numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the tsar bell - the largest bell that never rang. Later there will be free time for you to further explore the area. Why not venture inside St Basil's Cathedral, or pay your requests to the grandfather of Communism at Lenin's Mausoleum.
Alternatively we offer an optional guided tour of a formerly top secret Cold War bunker today which can be booked locally. Up until recently this Stalinist-era Soviet Bunker was a secret symbol of Soviet Power. Hidden beneath an ordinary two storey apartment building in Moscow, 18 floors below ground level, this 75,000 square foot facility was constructed covertly, in the 1950s, to protect against the threat of a US nuclear attack. In the 1990s, with the Cold War thawing, this bunker came off the top secret list and is now open to the public.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Wednesday 20 May 2015. Our Night at the Museums tour comes to an end after breakfast and hotel check-out.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The spacious rooms at Hotel Moscow are simply furnished, with modern amenities and en suite facilities. Many of the rooms boast wonderful views of the Neva River and Alexander Nevsky monastery. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and there are five restaurants on site to enjoy delicious International and Russian cuisine. While the Panorama Bar on the 8th floor offers tasty beverages and incredible views of St Petersburg's historic centre. The Hotel Moscow is centrally located just off Nevsky Prospekt. The hotel is just 2 minutes walk from Alexander Nevsky Square Metro Station.
Formerly part of the Olympic Village at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Divided into two wings, Gamma and Delta - thhe Izmailovo Gamma Delta is part of one of the biggest hotels in the world. The rooms are comfortable and with modern amenities and there is also a number of excellent restaurants plus a gym and swimming pool. On arrival to the hotel guests are often welcomed with chocolate and still bottled mineral water. Well located with good access to transport links.
The tour - fantastic, the Guide - sensational. In fact the guide made the tour. From arrival at the airport to departure Dasha literally moved mountains to ensure all group members were taken care of and certainly went beyond the job description to ensure our trip was special. Extermely informative, great disposition and all in all congratulations On the Go; great tour.”