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 19 May 2017. 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
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 20th May 2017 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 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 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 24 May 2017. Our Night at the Museums tour comes to an end after breakfast and hotel check-out.
Prices & Dates
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.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 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.
Extra Tour Info
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.”