Discover the 2 incredible and powerful cities that have both driven and shaped Russia on this enlightening holiday. Starting in Moscow, we visit iconic attractions including the Kremlin and Red Square, before travelling to St Petersburg - a city so rich in history its entire centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We fly from London Heathrow to Moscow, transferring on arrival to our hotel, the 4-Star Marriott Tverskaya. We experience the spirit of Russian hospitality on arrival, with a Russian welcome ceremony that includes being served bread and salt - a tradition associated with long friendship. Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
Having played a pivotal role for centuries in both Russia's political history and on the world stage, Moscow's enormous array of cultural heritage is virtually unmatched.
Today we discover some of these attractions on a guided tour of the city. Moscow has existed in a constant state of flux; all of the resounding changes that sent seismic shock waves through the country originated here, and there are reminders from the city's long and fascinating past at every turn. From medieval cathedrals to towering Stalinist skyscrapers, with hints of regal Tsarist influence.
Later we see Sparrow Hills, which marks one of the highest points in Moscow and offers a wonderful panorama over the sprawling city below. Situated on the banks of the Moskva River, from which the city takes its name, here we also find the Temple of the Holy Trinity, a white-washed Russian Orthodox temple with aquamarine domes. We also spend time in Red Square, surrounded by many of the most iconic sights of the city, including the multi-coloured domes of Saint Basil's and Lenin's Mausoleum. Here, it is possible to view the body of the former Communist leader. Our final stop is Moscow State University, the very first Russian university and founded in 1755.
We visit the Kremlin today, a UNESCO World Heritage site and arguably the most famous landmark in all of Russia. The imposing citadel is surrounded by 20 18th-century towers, and is still the seat of modern-day government.
On arrival we take a tour of the extensive grounds, seeing some of the edifices within which decisions have been made that have shaped the country and also affected world politics. Later we enjoy a tour of Moscow's amazing Metro system, which dates back to the 1930s. Marble, bronze, chandeliers and stained glass adorn the entrance halls, and the vaulted ceilings are supported by elegant columns. The magnificent stations feature art and sculpture spanning from Soviet philosophy to the Modernist, avant-garde movement. We return to the hotel at the end of an unforgettable day.
Today we leave Moscow and travel by rail to St Petersburg, enjoying a journey on the modern Sapsan service. Named after the Russian for Peregrine Falcon, this sleek, high-speed train reaches speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Our journey takes us from the heart of Moscow, and through the industrial towns in its outer suburbs, then across pastoral landscapes as we continue to gather speed. Before long we arrive in St Petersburg, one of Russia's former Imperial capitals. On arrival we transfer to our hotel.
We enjoy a guided tour of the city's main sights today, including the Peter and Paul Fortress. Originally designed as a defensive fort, the complex was also used as a prison, holding distinguished activists including Dostoevsky and Gorky. Today the site is preserved as an enthralling museum, and we are free to admire its exhibitions. Later we transfer to the Vodka Museum where we sample 3 types of vodka - classic, juniper, and Żubrówka that contains bison grass blade - along with a light snack of mushroom and cabbage pies.
Today's excursion takes us to the spellbinding Peterhof Palace & Park Ensemble. Sometimes referred to as a Russian Versailles, the opulent complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its beautiful grounds filled with spectacular fountains and waterways. The string of glittering palaces were constructed by Peter the Great, who spared no expense, and as such, they display some of the finest and most lavish artworks and ornaments that the world has to offer. The impressive gardens stretch out almost all the way to the sea shore.
We continue to the Hermitage, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and set in the magnificent Royal Winter Palace. This mesmerising museum is one of the most famous in the world, offering an incredible collection of over 3 million artefacts from numerous countries and eras. This is followed by Russian afternoon tea at the Literature cafe, where we enjoy tea served in authentic samovars alongside a choice of tasty pastries. Tonight, we commemorate the end of our holiday with a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Leaving St Petersburg behind, today we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London, via Helsinki.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The Sapsan trains that run between Moscow and St Petersburg are Russian-gauge, high-speed electric express trains named after the peregrine falcon, a bird known for its incredible speed. An initiative that began running in 2009, the Saspan has become Russia's only profitable passenger service. On the outside, the train is sleek and modern, reminiscent of the Japanese 'Bullet Trains'. On the inside, the carriages are comfortable with each economy class seat featuring an adjustable back rest, a footrest, a folding table, an armrest, and individual lighting. There's also the opportunity to order food from the on-board bistro.
We stay in Moscow at the 4-Star Marriott Tverskaya Hotel. Enjoying an enviable location on the city's main street, the elegant Art-Nouveau hotel retains many original features including its beautiful glass-roof atrium. It benefits from facilities such as a fitness centre and a selection of restaurants. Rooms come equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, tea & coffee making facilities, safe and hairdryer.
Our base in St Petersburg is the 4-Star Garden Street Hotel, which enjoys a central city location. Decorated in a traditional style, on site you'll find a fitness centre, sauna, terrace area and a bar. There's free Wi-Fi throughout and each en-suite room is air-conditioned, with a flat-screen television and tea & coffee making facilities.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Room Rate From Price|
|The Ambassador Hotel||From £65 per person|
Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805.
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.