Group Tour Golden Ring, Moscow and St. Petersburg

8 days and 7 nights

  • Route
    Moscow - Vladimir - Suzdal - Saint-Petersburg
  • Languages
    English-speaking guide is guaranteed. Other languages are on request.
  • Accommodation
    This tour includes accommodation at 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) - day train – Vladimir - Suzdal (1 night) - night train – Saint-Petersburg (3 nights)

On this tour you will visit both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russia’s greatest museums, monuments and other highlights are located in these two cities. Start discovering Russia in vibrant and expressive Moscow and end your trip with a visit to St. Petersburg, the splendid “Northern Venice” considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Europe. Saint Petersburg was the Tsarist capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years, until the capital was moved back to Moscow in 1918. Explore the difference between both of these beautiful and exciting cities and contrast them with the peace and tranquility of the Golden Ring.

Day 1, Moscow

Peter I Monument, Moscow, Russia
GUM department store, Moscow, Russia

Arrival in Moscow, our representative will meet you at the airport. Arrival transfer without guide. Accommodation at the hotel.

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

Gorky Leninskiye, Moscow region, Russia
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

09:30 Our guide will meet you at the hotel's reception desk. Excursion outside of Moscow 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 and 19th centuries. The estate changed owners several times 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

09:00 check out of hotel with luggage.10:00 tour of Kremlin Grounds and Armory. 14:30 transfer to railway station. Departure to Vladimir by day train (15:30-17:19 hrs). Transfer to Suzdal and accommodation at hotel. Dinner at hotel.

The Kremlin is a fascinating structure, 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 Kremlin is 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. The Kremlin has always been the spiritual centre of Russia. You will see several ancient cathedrals on its territory the most famous of which are the Assumption Cathedral, the Archangel's Cathedral and the Annunciation Cathedral.

Day 4, Suzdal and Vladimir

Russian wooden heritage
Suzdal, Russia

09:00 city tour of Suzdal including Kremlin grounds, Cross-vaulted Chamber, Cathedral of the Nativity, Spaso-Efimievsky Monastery with bell ringing. Museum of Wooden Architecture in summer and Gold Room in winter. Lunch. City tour of Vladimir with visits to Assumption or St. Demetrius Cathedral, Museum of Lacquer Miniatures. Bogolubovo. Dinner. Departure to St. Petersburg by night train (23:00- 09:45), 1st class, 2-berth compartments.

Vladimir is the former capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality founded in the 12th century, located 179 kilometers to the east of Moscow. There are many interesting sights, old churches, monasteries and museums in the city. A little information on Vladimir. There is a dispute about the founding date of the city, either 990 or 1108 but regardless, the city's most significant events occurred during the 12th century. Under Yuri Dolgoruky´s son, Andrei Bogolyubsky (1157-1175), Vladimir prospered becoming the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. The city's Golden Age is considered to be from the early 12th century until the Mongol invasion in 1237 during which the Golden Gates and the Cathedral of the Assumption were constructed. The architecture of Vladimir's white stone cathedrals, towers, and palaces are unique and unlike other buildings in Russia, their exteriorsare elaborately carved with high relief stone sculptures. The decline of Vladimir began when it was attacked and overrun by the Mongol-Tatars in 1238. A great fire destroyed 32 limestone buildings on the first day alone, while the grand prince and all his family perished in a church where they sought refuge from the fire. The bishop of Vladimir managed to escape. Vladimir never fully recovered but from 1299 to 1325, the city was the seat of the metropolitans of Kiev and All Rus until the see was moved to Moscow.

Suzdal dates back to 1024. In its early history, it was the capital of several principalities and later on became an important religious center. The town is full of churches and at one point in its history had 40 churches for approximately 400 families. Today the town only has a population of around 10,000 and has retained its country village feel with many of the roads remaining unpaved and livestock roaming the streets. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant due to its rustic, country feel combined with its medieval monuments. In short, Suzdal is an extremely special place and we are certain that you will enjoy your time there.

Bogolyubovo is a small settlement located 10 km north-east of Vladimir. Bogolyubovo was the residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky built between 1158 and 1165 at the mouth of the Nerl River. Andrei spent 17 years of his reign here until his murder in 1174. Russian Orthodox Christians believe that Bogolyubovo was founded on the spot where Andrei Bogolyubsky saw a vision of the Virgin Mary who appeared to him in a dream-like vision holding a scroll in Her right hand, and commanded him to build a church and monastery on the place of the vision. On this spot the Church of the Intercession of Neri was constructed. Today the church is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Day 5, St.Petersburg

10:00 meet guide at railway station. Three-hour city sightseeing tour with photo stops, no entrances included. In the afternoon visit to Peter and Paul Fortress (1,5 hours), check in to hotel. In October-April Day 5 visit to the Hermitage, on day 6 city tour and Peter and Paul Fortress.

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 6, St. Petersburg

09:30 meet guide for visit to Hermitage museum (10:30-13:00)

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 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 Meet guide for out-of-town excursion to Peterhof (Petrodvorets).

Peterhof (Petrodvorets) is a jewel of Russian art, a town of parks, palaces and fountains. In the past, it was used as an exquisite summer residence by the Russian Tsars. You will visit the Grand Palace - the largest and the most famous palace of the residence which was often used for gala receptions. After this you will proceed to the Lower Park (Nizhny Park) which is a genuine masterpiece of landscape design. The park is adorned with more than 150 fountains and 4 monumental cascades. There are several small palaces and pavilions on the park’s territory, such as the Monplaisir, Catherine´s Block, Marli, Hermitage, the Bath Block and many more. If you are ready for a walk, you will also enjoy a magnificent view of the Gulf of Finland

Important: during the low season (October - April) you will visit Pushkin (Catherine Palace) as a substitute. 

Day 8, St. Petersburg

Nevskiy prospect, St Petersburg, Russia
Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange,  Russia

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

ATTENTION! The order of sightseeing visits may change depending on each museum’s availability and public events.

Prices and Terms

Prices include:
- hotel accommodation: Moscow - Holiday Inn Lesnaya (standard room), Suzdal - Sokol or alternative of same category, St. Petersburg - Radisson Sonya Hotel (standard room)*,
- tickets to all museums,
- transportation to museums and for excursions,
- transfers on arrival and departure in Moscow and St. Petersburg,
- train tickets for 2nd class seat train Moscow - Vladimir and 1st class train 2-berth compartments Vladimir - St Petersburg,
- English-speaking guide service,
- breakfast at hotels,
- full board on Golden Ring itinerary ,
- visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.  PLEASE NOTE: your passport should be valid for no less than 6 months after the planned departure from Russia and it should have at least 2 blank pages. The process of applying for visa may take a long time and we recommend that you start in 3 months before your trip. In case you are booking the trip last minute, we recommend that you check with the Russian Consulate in your country whether you have enough time for visa application process. In case you have to cancel your trip because of visa issues standard cancellation policy will be applied. 

* 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. 
- 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. 
- Travel insurance. We highly recommend to purchase travel insurance before embarking on your trip to Russia. It’s always good to have extra protection while traveling far from home. Click here to learn more.

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

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