Enjoy more time in St Petersburg and Moscow, with guided sightseeing of the main highlights as well as plenty of free time to explore at your own pace. Kick off your time in Russia with St Petersburg before visiting historic Novgorod and then taking the overnight train to the capital city of Moscow, home to Red Square and the powerful Kremlin.
Saturday. Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday. There's an arrival transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport to your hotel and check in. This evening you'll be treated to dinner with the rest of your group at the hotel, followed by an informative welcome meeting. The rest of this evening is at leisure - your tour guide can recommend some local bars for you to try out.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Dinner
This morning a driving tour provides an introduction to the beautiful city of St Petersburg. Travelling by bus, we make our way along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum and university districts. A few stops will be made along the way to see the magnificent St Isaac's Cathedral and The Bronze Horseman. We then visit the Peter and Paul Fortress and the beautiful Peter and Paul Cathedral which houses the majority of the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. We also pay a visit to the impressive Church on Spilled Blood. Later, enjoy a guided tour of the Hermitage Museum in the striking Winter Palace. The museum houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Breakfast, Lunch
Often referred to as Russia’s ‘Versailles’, the gardens of Peterhof Palace, which we visit from May through to mid-October, are a wonderland of greenery and flowers, sweeping vistas and ornate architectural decorations, with spectacular gold fountains. In winter we visit Catherine Palace or Pavlosk Palace - both of their exteriors and interiors are lavishly decorated and really catch the eye – Catherine Palace’s lavish Amber room is a real highlight, golden from floor to ceiling.
This evening you have the opportunity to join in on some optional excursions including a night at the ballet or a Cossack show. There may even be the chance to try your hand at preparing Russian cuisine with an interactive cooking class. All optional excursions are subject to availability, and are booked and paid for locally.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Breakfast
St Petersburg – Novgorod. As our last day in St Petersburg, today gives you the opportunity to shop for some last minute souvenirs. Perhaps purchase some traditional Russian nesting dolls or some Russian memorabilia which can be found at the canal side market near the striking Church on Spilled Blood. Alternatively, take a walk along Nevsky Prospekt. Later this afternoon we travel to Novgorod, arriving in time for dinner and a steamy Russian banya (sauna) - remember to pack your swimwear.
Overnight: Novgorod | Breakfast, Dinner
Novgorod – Moscow. Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities, located within reach of the Volkhov River and Lake Ilmen. It was formed as a town in the middle of the 10th century. A guided tour of Novgorod takes in the riverside fortified Novgorod Kremlin, the cathedral and other sights of interest. The Kremlin fortress was mentioned in chronicles as early as 1044 and today's walls and towers, despite being re-built in the 15th century, are impressive all the same. Tonight we have dinner before travelling by overnight sleeper train from Novgorod to Moscow.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Dinner
Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow - the capital that spawned dozens of spy novels. Ride on the city's efficient Metro to Red Square, where our guided walking tour begins. Take in the jewels of Russia’s capital including the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin. Continue to Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ritzy GUM department store.
At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the wildly coloured, turban domed St Basil’s Cathedral, an enduring Russian symbol commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the terrible) in 1555. Spend the rest of today at leisure.
During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a night at the famous Moscow Circus (Oct - May), a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour. All optional excursions are subject to availability, and are booked and paid for locally.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
This morning we head back to Red Square to pay our respects to Lenin - the grandfather of Communism, at his eerie mausoleum. It is here that his embalmed body has lain in state since his death in 1924. Later, continue to the Kremlin - Russia’s bastion of political might, where we enjoy a guided walk through the grounds, seeing numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the tsar bell.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast, Lunch
Today offers free time for you to further explore this exciting city, or you can opt to head down into a Soviet Bunker, by purchasing our Inside a Soviet Bunker add-on. Head 65 metres underground and explore the Underground Cold War Museum - a Stalinist-era Soviet Bunker that up until recently was a top secret symbol of Soviet Power. The rest of the day is free to explore amazing galleries, museums, plenty of cafes, shops (including the GUM department store for high rollers) and bars all within walking distance.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Sunday. Our tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Harbor Club Hotel, St Petersburg
Well-located in St Petersburg, the Harbor Club Hotel can be found on a quiet street, yet only a short walk from the bustling city centre. Its guestrooms feature modern décor, with spacious ensuite bathrooms and modern amenities including air conditioning. You’ll also find a shared lounge and bar, as well as an on-site restaurant serving tasty European cuisine. Here, guests can enjoy a continental or buffet breakfast or, if you’d prefer, there is also the option of dining in the comfort of your hotel room.
Yurievskoe Podvorie, Novgorod
The Yurievskoe Podvorie is a traditional Russian farmstead hotel. All the rooms are comfortable with good amenities. The hotel also has a fantastic restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Izmailovo Gamma Delta , Moscow
Formerly part of the Olympic Village at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Divided into two wings, Gamma and Delta - the 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.
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Great tour, enjoyed every minute. Our main guide and local guides were highly knowledgeable and the itinerary was spot on. Olga looked after us very well and we appreciated her sense of humour and expertise. All in all a great success and I now feel I know Russia from first hand experience rather than just reading about the country in the media. ”