Follow in the footsteps of Russia's last ruling aristocrats - the Romanovs. Starting in St Petersburg - the city of the Tsars, head down to Russia's mighty capital city - Moscow and then ride the Trans-Siberian railway to Yekaterinburg, crossing the Ural Mountains, bound for Siberia.
Tuesday. Welcome to Russia! You will be met upon arrival at St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport and transferred to your hotel for 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. Remainder of the evening at leisure - your tour guide can recommend some local bars for you to try out.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Dinner
This morning a driving tour will give us a run-down on some of St Petersburg's key areas. Travelling by mini 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. Later, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Hermitage - which houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore. Most of the city sights are dotted along and just off the main thoroughfare - Nevsky Prospekt. It’s an easy city to find your bearings and get around. St Petersburg has a spirited restaurant, bar and jazz club scene, plus some of Russia’s best beers.
During our time in St Petersburg there may be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a canal cruise (May to September), a traditional Cossacks performance or a night at the Russian Ballet. 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 payable locally.
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 of the 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 it's 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. Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow; not only the capital of Russia, but also the political and cultural heart of the country. After hotel check-in we will take a ride on the Moscow Metro to the legendary Red Square, where we will enjoy a guided walking tour. Here we will find the fantastical St Basil’s Cathedral, the iconic Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the glitzy Neo-Russian facade of the GUM shopping mall. Red Square is a constant hive of activity and an excellent place to people watch: see stone-faced police officers doing their rounds, young couples enjoying a romantic stroll through the square, and stiletto-clad shoppers returning from a day of retail therapy. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own 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.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
This morning we will return 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 - book and pay 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 this bunker came off the top secret list and is now a museum, open to the public.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Moscow – Yekaterinburg. As your last day in Moscow, now is the time to see any last minute sights or stock up on Soviet souvenirs before you begin our journey to Yekaterinburg. As this tour runs in conjunction with other tours, today you will also bid farewell to those ending their tour in Moscow, and to your tour leader who has escorted you thus far. Later in the afternoon you will start your independent journey east bound on the Trans-Siberian line.
Overnight: Trans-Siberian train to Yekaterinburg | Breakfast
Although founded in 1723 to exploit the mineral riches of the surrounding Ural Mountains and Siberia, what really put Yekaterinburg on the map in the western world was the tragic event that occurred here in 1918. For it was in the cellar of a house, where now the beautiful Church on the Blood stands, that Tsar Nicholas Romanov II and his family were executed.
Our tour takes us to this very church where you’ll see a sculpture dedicated to the Tsar and his family, the area of their execution and a modest exhibition on their lives. Out of town, we will visit Ganina Yama - the monastic complex set in Taiga forest, where the Romanov family remains were unceremoniously dumped and later discovered. After taking a break for lunch, we will continue to the Mineral or Railway Museum and out to the famous Europe/Asia border marker where you can stand with a foot on either side of the boundary marker!
Overnight: Yekaterinburg | Breakfast, Lunch
Today is free for you to take advantage of all that Yekaterinburg has to offer as a wonderful outdoors destination. You will be able to choose from a range of exciting options that can be booked and paid for locally. In the summer you can try your hand at rafting, work up a sweat hiking or visit a Koptelova - a traditional Siberian village). While in the winter, you can take full advantage of the sub-zero temperatures with a thrilling dog-sledding ride or ice-fishing! Please contact us for further details.
Overnight: Yekaterinburg | Breakfast
Thursday. Our tour comes to an end today after breakfast. After hotel check-out a departure transfer will take you to the railway station or airport for your onward travel.
Note: If you’d like to return to Moscow rather than depart from Yekaterinburg, we can arrange transportation aboard the train. Call us for rates.
Prices & Dates
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.
Chekhov Hotel, Yekaterinburg
Converted in 2009 from a nineteenth century mansion, the Chekhov hotel is a popular boutique hotel in the heart of Yekaterinburg. The comfortable rooms are modest in style with furnishings that hark back to the property's past with the modern staple of free WiFi. A buffet breakfast is served onsite with complimentary tea and pastries available throughout the day, perfect for refuelling between sightseeing. The hotel is well located close to the central square of the city and next to a local supermarket and plenty of restaurants.
Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on 2 recent reviews
The whole holiday was amazing.”
Loved the small group. The itinerary was great. Felt it hit the high points for each city. The extra excursions were also great. Was enough time to do things on our own, if we wished. Loved that we travelled locally on the subway in Moscow.
The overnight train rides were more comfortable than expected.
Tatiana was great. Very friendly, and informative!!
Also, a BIG BIG thanks for Constantine who met us at the train station in Yekaterinburg. He was so friendly and knowledgeable. Gave us highlights and details that were just perfect in the short ride form the train station to the hotel. GREAT hotel in Yekaterinburg too. I would say the BEST that we stayed in. The city excursion and trip to the Asia/Europe border was wonderful. We also hired Constantine's company for the "Boris Yeltsin" tour, which was also terrific!!
Overall, I had a great time! I see other trips you are offering that look interesting too!!!”
Perfect pace of the tour - good balance of organized activities and free time. I loved every minute of it! Russia is an incredible country definitely worth visiting.”
We had such a good time in Russia - thanks for recommending Route of the Romanovs. We loved St Petersburg and Moscow and the train from Moscow to Yekaterinburg was very entertaining with the locals.
Would love to do it all again but there's more of the globe to see.
Stunning trip, the scenery was beautiful! We just wished we'd booked all the way to Beijing!”
First of all, let me say thank you for everything. The "Route of the Romanovs" tour turned out to be a fantastic experience. All of our guides were top-notch and very fun. I will definitely consider On the Go the next time I get the itch to travel. I do very much want to go to Turkey...
The whole holiday was amazing.”