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Russian history & culture 

Discover two of the Northern Hemisphere’s most extraordinary, intriguing and exciting cities on this absorbing, unforgettable tour.

This hugely enjoyable seven-day holiday combines three nights in Moscow, the beating heart of Mother Russia, and three in elegant St Petersburg, with its great squares and opulent palaces, its parks and its network of canals. Make the most of some fascinating guided tours and opportunities to join optional excursions in both cities, and enjoy a daytime train journey between the cities as you connect the two richly contrasting halves of your Russian adventure.

What does this price include?

  • Six nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at good-quality hotels in Moscow (3 nights) and St Petersburg (3)
  • Tours of Moscow and St Petersburg
  • Daytime train journey from Moscow to St Petersburg
  • Return flights from your chosen airport to Moscow, returning from St Petersburg
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Moscow and transfer by coach to your hotel, your base for the next three nights. Rest and relax after the journey, and enjoy your first evening in the city.

  • This morning our included coach tour will introduce Moscow's historic and geographic heart, where the Kremlin stands beside Red Square. See onion-domed St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's eerie Mausoleum and the GUM (the former State Department Store and now a thriving shopping mall) all if which look out over the vast space. Other highlights may include Revolution Square, the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (one of the city’s most striking landmarks), the Bolshoi Theatre and the infamous Lubyanka the former headquarters of the KGB.

    This afternoon, an optional guided walking tour will reveal some of the secrets of the Kremlin, as you pass through the turreted walls and enter a fascinating enclave of imposing buildings like the Senate House and the Presidium, the vast State Kremlin Palace concert hall and the cathedrals of the Assumption, the Annunciation and the Archangel - the last containing the Tombs of the Tsars - on Sobornaya Square, which is also the site of the magnificent Ivan the Great Belltower, the Kremlin’s tallest structure.

    This evening, why not round off a wonderful day with dinner in the city?

  • Today you're free to enjoy the city under your own steam or join our optional, full-day Highlights of Moscow tour, and head to Victory Park, where the Museum of the Great Patriotic War commemorates the Soviet Union’s sacrifices in World War Two. You'll also enjoy a visit to one of Moscow’s landmark Metro stations and to the Kremlin’s Armoury Palace, where the treasures of Russia's medieval rulers are displayed. Enjoy free time for shopping, and the chance to have dinner and spend a final evening in Moscow.

  • Transfer to Leningrad Station, say "do svidaniya" to your Moscow guide and board the train to St Petersburg. On arrival at St Petersburg's Station you'll meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel for the next three nights.

  • After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating introductory tour of St Petersburg. The city is known as the "Venice of the North", but even with its canals and innumerable bridges, it's more like Paris or Madrid thanks to the grand sweep of its squares and the opulence of its great palaces and civic buildings.

    Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, the city grew, under the stewardship of his daughter Elizabeth and the legendary empress Catherine the Great, to become a match for the finest European cities. Palace Square is home to the Winter Palace, a Baroque masterpiece that houses part of the extraordinary Hermitage Museum, and is towered over by the Alexander Column. The exquisite Admiralty building is crowned by a gilded spire and topped in turn by a weather vane in the shape of a frigate, the city’s most enduring symbol. Close by, majestic St Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the skyline, while elsewhere other highlights include the Mariinsky Palace – home of the Kirov Ballet, the onion-domed Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, and wondrous Smolny Cathedral. Across the Neva River lies the Peter and Paul Fortress, where the city began, and Peter and Paul Cathedral, the burial place of the Romanov Tsars.

    This afternoon, you’ll step through the gilded portals of the Hermitage museum to enjoy a guided tour of some of its phenomenal collection. (Entrance fees to the buildings are not included in the morning, but entry to the Hermitage is included in the afternoon).

  • Join today’s optional excursion to the Imperial Palace at Pushkin (entry fee included) and stunning gardens at Peterhof, both lovingly reconstructed since World War Two, and reflecting the grandeur of Imperial Court life under Catherine the Great and the Romanovs.

    This evening, why not join our optional excursion to the famous folklore show at the historic Nikolaevskiy Palace and immerse yourself in the traditions of Cossack dancing and folk songs over dinner?

  • Our last optional excursion includes entrances to, and a guided tour of, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and a visit to sumptuous, intimate Yusupov Palace, arguably the city’s finest Imperial residence, and scene of the murder of the "mad monk", Rasputin.

    This afternoon, transfer to the airport to check in for your flight home.

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Hotels

Moscow and St Petersburg Touring Hotels

You will be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

Further Information

  • Please note that visas are required for travel on this tour. The visa application process requires you to appear in person at the Russian embassy in either Edinburgh, Manchester or London. We will send you full application details, including your invitation letter, approximately eight weeks prior to your holiday. Please note that you can not obtain your visa until you have received your invitation letter from us. The cost of the visa is approximately £110 per person if obtained directly. The cost is approximately £187 per person if using the services of our preferred visa agency - CIBT. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the visa expiration date.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • If you'd like to join any of the optional excursions on this tour, please be aware that they are only available in advance and that it will not be possible to book them once you arrive on holiday.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. This includes reversing the itinerary. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
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