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Highlights of Moscow and St Petersburg

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Uncover the unique sights of Russia’s grand cities

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2022 Tour code: MPJ22

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Moscow

We fly from London Heathrow to Moscow, via Germany. We stay in Russia's cosmopolitan capital for three nights. Upon arrival at our hotel we experience the spirit of Russian hospitality with a traditional welcome ceremony. We're greeted and served bread and salt - a folk custom associated with long and happy friendships.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Exploring Moscow

With the largest population of any city in Europe, Moscow is a vibrant metropolis with a wealth of captivating history, culture and architecture. We delve into this incredible heritage today on a guided tour.

We discover reminders of the city's fascinating past at every turn, from its Stalinist skyscrapers to its rainbow-hued cathedral domes. First we visit Sparrow Hills, one of the highest points in Moscow, where we soak up wonderful panoramas across the sprawling city. We continue to the Temple of the Holy Trinity, a white-washed structure topped with aquamarine domes, before heading to the world-famous Red Square.

Standing in the Red Square, we're surrounded by centuries of history and a kaleidoscope of colour; red brick walls and gilded church roofs in swirls of blues, greens and yellows. Some of the most iconic sights in Moscow are found here, from the multi-coloured domes of Saint Basil's Cathedral to Lenin's Mausoleum, where it's possible to view the body of the former Communist leader.

Our final stop is the prestigious Moscow State University. Founded in 1755, it was the first Russian university and boasts the title of the tallest educational building in the world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Kremlin

We visit arguably the most famous landmark in Russia, the Kremlin. Located in the heart of Moscow, this imposing red brick fortress is surrounded by 18th-century towers and is a striking sight.

Step back in time as we take a tour of the extensive grounds. The Kremlin has played a part in the most important political events in Russian history, a fact that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status, and it's still the seat of government today. We have an insight into its history as we walk amongst places where decisions that have both shaped Russia and affected world politics were made.

Later we enjoy something unique; a tour of Moscow's Metro system, which dates back to the 1930s. Discover marble and bronze halls decorated with chandeliers and stained glass, where vaulted ceilings are supported by elegant columns. The magnificent stations also feature a wealth of art and sculpture, making them truly breathtaking to behold.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - By rail to St Petersburg

We leave Moscow on the modern Sapsan train. Named after the Russian word for Peregrine Falcon, this high-speed train takes us to St Petersburg in style.

Our journey gives us a glimpse into the Russia that exists outside of its main cities, as we're whisked from the heart of Moscow through the industrial towns of the suburbs, and across stark pastoral landscapes.

We arrive in St Petersburg. Smaller, more peaceful, and many would say more visually appealing than Moscow, the city has a romantic, more European atmosphere that's comparable to the likes of Paris or Vienna. We stay here for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Sightseeing in St Petersburg

We uncover the grandeur of St Petersburg as we head out on a guided tour. We see the Peter and Paul Fortress, an elegant citadel founded in 1703 that was later used as a prison for criminal political activists. Since the 1920s, the site houses the St Petersburg Museum of History, and we're free here to admire the enthralling exhibitions.

Later, we transfer to the St Petersburg Museum of Russian Vodka where we enjoy a taste of Russia's national drink. We sample three different types of vodka; classic, juniper, and Żubrówka - a variety that contains bison grass blade, alongside a traditional snack of mushroom and cabbage pies.

This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore St Petersburg at your own pace. With its grand boulevards and open squares, the city is a delight to explore. You could visit one of the excellent art galleries, or relax in a chic coffee house.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Peterhof Palace and the Hermitage

We discover one of St Petersburg's cultural highlights, Peterhof Palace and Park. Sometimes referred to as a Russian Versailles, the opulent complex and UNESCO World Heritage site is 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 we see some of the most lavish artworks and ornaments that the world has to offer, set within gardens that stretch out almost to the sea shore.

We continue to the Hermitage. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and housed in the grandest rooms of the Royal Winter Palace, this mesmerising museum is one of the most famous in the world. We have time here to admire its incredible collection, featuring over three million fascinating artefacts from different countries and eras.

Next, we indulge in afternoon tea at the Literature Café, a historic restaurant that was frequented by famous Russian writers in the 19th century. We enjoy tea served from authentic Russian samovars - elegant, handmade teapots noted for their beautiful workmanship - alongside tempting traditional pastries. This evening, we sit down to a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - London

Leaving St Petersburg, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London Heathrow, via Germany.

Includes
  • Breakfast