White Nights and Museums - 6 days
Are you a lover of the arts and fascinated by history books? If the answer is yes then you'll want to head to Russia for the annual Long Night of Museums event which takes place every May, when St Petersburg offers free entry to its leading museums and art galleries for those who want to browse its collections until the early hours of the morning. Couple this with a few days in the capital city of Moscow and you've got an unbeatable week.
Friday 17 May 2019. 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. Later tonight you'll be treated to dinner with the rest of your group at the hotel, followed by an informative welcome meeting. Remainder of the evening at leisure - your tour guide can recommend some local bars for you to try out.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Dinner
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 who's exteriors and interiors are lavishly decorated and really catch the eye – Catherine Palace’s lavish Amber room is a real highlight!
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 18th May 2019 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. This morning a driving tour provides an introduction to the beautiful city of St Petersburg. Travelling by bus we will make our way along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum and university districts and 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 much of the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. We will also pay a visit to the impressive Church on Spilled Blood. Later, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Hermitage - which houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth.
This evening we board our overnight sleeper train bound for Moscow.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch
This morning we arrive into Russia’s capital. Taking the metro, we will make our way to the legendary Red Square for the start of our walking tour. Here we will take in sights such as the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ritzy GUM department store. At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral. We also tour the mighty Kremlin, with a guided walk through the grounds to see numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the Tsar Bell - the largest bell that never rang! If open, you can pay your respects to the grandfather of Communism at Lenin’s mausoleum. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join some of our optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast, Lunch
If you have booked the optional Inside a Soviet Bunker Tour Bolt On then we will 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. During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join some of our optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour. All optional excursions are subject to availability, and are booked and payable locally.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Wednesday 22 May 2019. Our Night at the Museums tour comes to an end 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 travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
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 when necessary.
Asteria Hotel, St Petersburg
Set on the banks of Fontanka River, Asteria Hotel enjoys a prime location in the city centre just a few minutes walk from St Petersburg's famous Nevsky Prospekt. This 3-star hotel features a restaurant and bar, plus free WiFi throughout the property.
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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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.”