These two Russian cities offer architectural icons, world-class museums and cultural showcases in abundance.
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These two Russian cities offer architectural icons, world-class museums and cultural showcases in abundance. And thanks to the Sapsan high-speed rail link, you can experience them both in one manageable week. You’ll begin by touring Moscow’s Red Square, marvelling at the Byzantine colour of St Basil’s Cathedral. Later you’ll explore the vast Kremlin, including the Grand Kremlin Palace. Moving on to St Petersburg, you’ll witness the treasures of the astounding Hermitage Museum and stroll amongst myriad fountains at the extravagant Peterhof Palace.
6 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
International flights. Prices are based on return flights with Lufthansa or Swiss International Air Lines from London Heathrow via Frankfurt or Zurich.
Supplements may apply from other airports
9 meals: 6 breakfasts (days 2-7) 3 dinners (days 1, 3 and 6)
VIP door-to-door travel service
Services of a tour manager
Travel in destination by coach
Train journey from Moscow to St Petersburg
6 included excursions and visits
Tours of Moscow (with early entrance to the Kremlin and Armoury); and St Petersburg
Entrance to Peter and Paul Fortress; Catherine Palace; Hermitage Museum; and Peterhof Palace (early entrance)
Day 1 UK - Moscow
VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Moscow. On arrival, your coach will transfer you to the Azimut Moscow Olympic Hotel (4-star) or Radisson Blu Belorusskaya (4-star).
Day 2 Moscow
After breakfast you are taken on an orientation tour of Moscow. During its 850-year history, it has witnessed times of glory and darkness, growing into the centre of Russian political, cultural and economic life. The tour includes the famous historical centre of Moscow, Red Square and the fairy tale St Basil’s Cathedral in its colourful Byzantine splendour. Continue to the best viewpoint on Sparrow Hills, from which you could easily see most of the city. Visit the refined New Maiden Convent, with 16 gilded domes, founded in 1524. Here many noble women, including Peter the Great’s first wife and his sister, took vows and spent the rest of their lives. In the afternoon visit the famous Tretyakov Gallery, founded by Moscow Merchant Pavel Tretyakov, who began collecting the finest works of Russian artists in 1856. It is a unique museum where you can get acquainted with the best samples of Russian art. Moscow underground is not only the fastest means of transportation in the city but also a unique architectural ensemble. Major stations built in the 1930s are richly decorated with marble, mosaic and semi-precious stones. During a short tour learn great facts about these ‘underground palaces’ as you visit the oldest and the most beautiful metro stations.
Day 3 Moscow - Sapsan train - St Petersburg
You’ll visit the heart of the country, the Kremlin, this morning. You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures you can see within its walls - 15th century cathedrals (the coronation, wedding and burial place of early Russian rulers), the bell-tower, the Patriarch’s Palace, the Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the richest museum, the Armoury. A special early entrance has been arranged to visit the Armoury which has a fascinating collection of Imperial insignia including precious clothes and a unique collection of carriages. You can see the 17th century throne of Alexei Romanov covered with a mosaic of turquoises and 900 diamonds, the phelonion of Metropolitan Platon made of Italian velvet and decorated with 150,000 pearls, and of course the famous Fabergé eggs. You will visit all three cathedrals, Assumption, Annunciation, and Archangel; but please note that on very rare occasions one of them might be closed during your visit for restoration or a church event. This afternoon you’ll travel by high-speed Sapsan train departing from Moscow and arriving into St Petersburg in just over four hours. On arrival you’ll transfer to the Marriott Vasilevsky (4-star) or Sokos Vasilievsky Hotel (4.5-star), your base for the next four nights. Please note: A late dinner is included this evening, due to the time of arrival into St Petersburg.
Day 4 Pushkin
St Petersburg is a city of haunting magnificence - an imperial capital that seems to have been built as a monument to its own passing. The city has witnessed so many dramatic events that one may find it hard to believe that it is a mere 300 years old. Founded in 1703 to be the most European city of Russia, it remains Russia’s ‘Window to the West’ - just as Peter the Great envisioned it to be. In 1991, the city was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. You’ll visit the palace of Pushkin, formally called Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar’s Village), then later known as Detskoye Selo (Children’s Village) during Soviet times. It was renamed Pushkin in 1937 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poet Pushkin’s death. At Catherine Palace, see the world famous Amber room and formal gardens of Yekaterinsky Park, named for Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, for whom the entire village was a gift.
Day 5 St Petersburg
Following breakfast you’ll start the day with a visit to the extraordinary Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and most respected art museums in the world, containing works by Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Michelangelo. The main building of the Hermitage Museum, ideally located on the bank of the river Neva, is the Winter Palace built in 1754-1762, which was once the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Later take an orientation tour of the famous Peter and Paul Fortress, founded in 1703 by Peter the Great - the oldest building in St Petersburg.
Day 6 St Petersburg
You have an included excursion today to the opulent Peterhof Palace and Gardens, built by Peter the Great to impress European royalty. Here, over 175 fountains dominate the gardens, and include the Great Cascade, in front of the palace, that commemorates the Russian victory over the Swedes in 1709.
Day 7 St Petersburg - UK
This morning is at leisure before you transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Important information about your destination
Visa is not included, please call for details. Please note: • With so many highlights to see, this is a fast-paced itinerary and there is a considerable amount of walking involved. • From mid May to late June, St Petersburg experiences the ‘White Nights’ season. The city takes on a strange light, as summer takes over from the long winter months and, as the residents enjoy almost round-the-clock daylight, they find cause for celebration.
Magnificent Moscow & St Petersburg is located in Escorted Tour, Russia. Accommodation rating is the operators own rating and may not be the official rating. Hotel details correct at 03/04/2020