tour@expresstorussia.com

Group tour Taste Of Russia

8 days and 7 nights

  • Route

    Moscow - Veliky Novgorod - St. Petersburg
  • Languages

    English-speaking guide is guaranteed. Other languages are on request.
  • Accommodation

    This tour includes accommodation at 3-star and 4-star hotels
  • Group Tour

    This is a group tour. There will be other people in your group.
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Itinerary

Moscow (2 nights) - night train - Velikiy Novgorod - Saint-Petersburg (4 nights)

Taste the Russian culture, traditions and way of life by visiting 3 completely different cities: Europe's largest megapolis Moscow,provincial Novgorod with the spirit of the medieval Rus and the oldest masterpieces of Russian architecture and gorgeous Saint-Petersburg with glittering baroque palaces and romantic canals.

Day 1, Moscow

Arrival in Moscow, our representative will meet you at the airport. Arrival transfer without guide. Hotel check-in

Moscow is the capital and the largest city in Russia as well as the largest metropolitan area in Europe with a population well over 10 million. This amazing city has served as the capital of the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Moscow has had a tumultuous history dating back to medieval times when it was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki (Yuri of the Long Arms, known for the length of his arms!) in the early 12th century. It has seen numerous invasions and sieges from the Mongols to the Poles and Lithuanians to the Crimean Tatars to Napoleon and finally the Nazi's but it has persevered and today is a thriving metropolis. The city is filled with unique architecture from the Kremlin and Red Square to giant Stalin skyscrapers to new office blocks built during the economic boom of recent years and it contains a strikingly beautiful metro system. The city is the center of political as well as economic power in Russia and visitors can feel the energy in the streets. There is always something going on in Moscow and there is so much to see. Your tour will give you valuable insights into Russia's history, its art and most importantly its culture and people. Welcome to Moscow, we are sure you will have an unforgettable stay with us.

Day 2, Moscow

09:30 Guide will meet you at the hotel's reception desk. Out-of-city limits excursion to Gorki Leninskie, lunch included. In the afternoon you will have a  3-hour city sightseeing tour with photo stops, no entrances included.

Gorky Leninskiye is an architectural and park ensemble dating back to the 18th-19th centuries. The estate changed several owners before it was 'nationalized' in 1918, after the revolution. At that time the neoclassical mansion - the heart of the ensemble - was turned into a sanatorium for the higher echelons of the Bolshevik Party. The estate became especially famous due to the fact that Lenin spent the last ten months of his life here with his wife and siblings. After his death, the estate was turned into a museum and it was extremely popular with Soviet citizens until the fall of the Soviet Union.

Day 3, Moscow

10:00 tour of Armoury and Kremlin Grounds; 14:30 Walking shopping tour in Arbat Street. Moscow metro. 20:00 transfer to the railway station for departure to Veliky Novgorod by night train (dep. 21:50 arr. 06:10).

The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure, at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city's former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlinis the center of Russia's political life and State power and has been home to Tsars, General Secretaries of the Soviet Union and Russian Presidents. Red Square is beneath the Kremlin's walls. The most impressive cathedrals on the territory of the Kremlin are the Annunciation Cathedral, the Archangel's Cathedral and the Assumption Cathedral.

Old Arbat street, one of Moscow's oldest streets. The street has gone from being the headquarters of Ivan the Terrible's secret police, the Oprichina to the center of aristocratic life in Moscow in the 18th century to finally being the center of the Russian intelligentsia and bohemian life in the capital. You will be told of the street´s interesting history and view the street's artisan culture. You will also have the opportunity to view and purchase souvenirs from the street's many craftsmen.

One of the most astonishing city attractions is the Moscow Metro which is well known for the outstanding design of its halls and stations. The Moscow Metro is one of the largest and most grandly built metro systems in the world. It was meant to be a showcase of the Soviet Union's achievements both for the Russians themselves and visitors from abroad. The stations are all uniquely designed with decorative elements including mosaics, statues, marble floors, walls and staircases to name a few.

 

Day 4, Veliky Novgorod

Arrival in Veliky Novgorod, transfer to Volkhov hotel. Check in for short rest. Breakfast. 10:00 City sightseeing tour with visit to St. Sofia Cathedral, lunch, visit to Yuriev Monastery and Wooden Architecture Museum, transfer to railway station for departure to St. Petersburg by train 18:45-21:33.

Novgorod. The full medieval title of the town is 'His Majesty Lord Novgorod the Great'. Translated from Russian, the name 'Novgorod' means roughly 'New City'. Despite its name, Novgorod is among the most ancient cities of the East Slavs - first mentioned in 859. The city lies along the Volkhov river just below its outflow from Ilmen lake. Due to its geographical location, Novgorod was never conquered by the Mongols during the time of the Golden Horde. That is one of the reasons why no other Russian city can compare with Novgorod in the variety and age of its medieval monuments.

 

Day 4, St. Petersburg

21:33 arrival in St. Petersburg, transfer railway station - hotel, check in.

St. Petersburg is the former capital of Imperial Russia, home of the Tsars and one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities. St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 on the banks of the Neva River and the Gulf of Finland. The city has seen its share of historical events including the Decembrist revolt, the palace coup and murder of Tsar Pavel, the intrigues of Catherine the Great, the assassination Tsar Alexander II, the influence of Rasputin on the Russian royal family, the Revolution of 1905 and the October Revolution of 1917 which brought the communists to power. During WWII, the city then known as Leningrad, went through a harrowing two and a half year blockade and siege by the Nazi invaders resulting in the deaths of over 1 million of its citizens. Today, St. Petersburg is Russia's second largest city with a population of over 5 million. It is also known as the center of Russian art, culture and literature - former citizens included Pushkin and Dostoevsky just to name a few. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of beautiful palaces and monuments including the Winter Palace. The city is also known as the Venice of the North because of its location on various islands in the Neva River and its many canals and bridges. St. Petersburg is home to the world famous Hermitage Museum which contains one of the world's largest collections of art including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso as well as many other old masters and impressionists. We are sure that you will find St. Petersburg one of the most if not the most fascinating places you have ever visited. Welcome to this most beautiful and mysterious of cities.

Day 5, St. Petersburg

10:00 city sightseeing tour with visit to Peter & Paul Fortress.

The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of Saint Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The fortress contains several notable buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which has a 123 meter bell-tower and a gilded angel-topped cupola. The cathedral is the burial place of Russian emperors from Peter the Great to Alexander the Third. The sandy beaches underneath the fortress walls are among the most popular in St. Petersburg.

Day 6, St. Petersburg

10:00 Hermitage visit

The Winter Palace, one of the buildings of the Hermitage museum is one of the most wonderful palaces in North Eastern Europe and today is one the world's finest museums. The museum consists of five historical buildings including the Winter Palace - the residence of the Russian Tsars. The museum contains over 3 million pieces of art with dates ranging from high antiquity to the present day. Among the Hermitage's treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens and a large collection of impressionists and post impressionists including Matisse and Picasso as well as many others. We will spend 3 hours at the museum, however, to view the collection in its entirety would take almost 15 years, spending 8 hours a day in the museum and taking one minute to examine each exhibit.

Day 7, St. Petersburg

09:30 out of city tour to Pushkin

The Palace and Park of Tsarskoye Selo is a former country residence of the Russian emperors. It is a fascinating monument of the world's architectural and gardening arts of the XVIII-XIX centuries. Its 3 parks occupy an area of 600 hectares on which are located over 100 architectural monuments: from magnificent palaces and grand monuments to intimate pavilions and park sculptures designed by masters of the Venetian school such as P. Baratta, A. Tarsia and D. Bonazza. The center of Tsarskoye Selo is Catherine Palace, containing exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and Western-European paintings, unique collections of porcelain, amber, arms and decorative bronze sculptures. The Palace also contains the Amber Room - a truly unique work of craftsmanship - a room made entirely of amber. The room was looted by the Nazi's during WWII but luckily most of its pieces were recovered. The room was fully rebuilt in 2003. Tsarskoye Selo was also the main residence of the last Tsar Nicolas II and his family.

Day 8, St. Petersburg

After breakfast - departure transfer to the airport (no guide)

ATTENTION! The order of sighseeing visits may change depending on museums availability and public events.

Prices and Terms

23 Sep - 30 Sep 2017
1/2 double $1971
single $2545
7 Oct - 14 Oct 2017
1/2 double $1971
single $2545
21 Oct - 28 Oct 2017
1/2 double $1971
single $2545

Prices include:
- hotel accommodation: Moscow: Novotel Moscow Centre Hotel (standard room), Veliky Novgorod: Volkhov hotel (for 3 hour rest) and St Petersburg: Sokos Palace Bridge Hotel*
- tickets to all museums,
- transportation to museums and for excursions,
- transfers on arrival and departure without guide both in Moscow, Veliky Novgorod and St. Petersburg,
- English-speaking guide service on excursions,
- meals: Moscow and St Petersburg - breakfast at hotels, Veliky Novgorod: breakfast, lunch,
- one-way train tickets from Moscow to Veliky Novgorod 1st class, approximate time: dep. 21:50 arr. 06:10,
- one-way train tickets from Veliky Novgorod to St. Petersburg 2nd class, approximate time: dep. 18:45 arr. 21:33,
- visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.

* Might be substituted with an alternative.

Prices do not include:
- Optional services
- Theater tickets
- Visa processing costs. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. To learn more about this option, please visit the Full Visa Support page
- International airfare. Our Russian tours are offered as land only where you arrange your own airfare and we meet you at the airport and handle everything else. You can easily book the discount tickets yourself through our own discount internet ticket office.
- Travel insurance.

Payment policy:
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 21 days before departure.

Cancellation policy:
35 days before the tour starting date and more: 10% of the tour price per person
20 days and less before the tour starting date: 50% of the tour price per person
10 days and less before the tour starting date: 75% of the tour price per person
2 days before the tour starting date or no-show: 100% of the tour price per person

Very often travelers coming to Russia have many questions concerning our tours, accommodation, visas, transfers and more. To see the answers to the most frequently asked questions, please consult our FAQ page.

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