8 days and 7 nights
One of the best times to visit Russia is winter. The idea of a cold, harsh Russian winter that comes to mind is far from the truth. At this time of year, all of Russia becomes festive and full of activity, the streets and parks turn into wonderlands of snow and frost with families out and about strolling and taking in the beautiful nature.
Young and old are skiing, ice skating and sledding. The theaters and museums are open and are less crowded than during other seasons. The Mariinsky Ballet and Opera and the Bolshoi Ballet are in the middle of their seasons while in the summer, they are usually away from Russia on foreign tours.
Winter is also the time of the most important and liveliest Russian holidays, New Years Eve followed by Christmas and then the Old New Year celebration.
Winter is truly the best time of year to experience the true warmth of the Russian people and enjoy Russian culture. There is nothing better than coming in out of the cold back to your warm Russian hotel or a café and having a cup of hot tea with strawberry jam! Now, that is Russia!
Arrival in St. Petersburg
On arrival in St. Petersburg you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. Your St. Petersburg tour begins right away as on the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of this truly unique and beautiful city. Welcome to St. Petersburg, 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 ï¿½ 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.
Breakfast at the hotel
Panoramic City Tour. This tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with all of the city´s major highlights. Our professional guide will take you down Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg´s most famous and vibrant thoroughfare. There you will see some of the city´s most interesting architectural monuments including the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace. You will then proceed to Vasilevsky Island - the area of the city that Peter the Great originally planned to be the city center. This island juts out into the Gulf of Finland - reminding you of St. Petersburg´s close proximity to the sea and maritime history. The tour will include a visit to St. Isaac´s Cathedral, the fourth highest cathedral in the world with a splendid interior and whose cupola holds over 100 kg of gold. You will then proceed to the Peter and Paul Fortress - a symbol of St. Petersburg and also the oldest building in the city. While there, you will visit Peter and Paul Cathedral, the burial place of the Russian Tsars from Peter the Great onward. You will then be taken back to your hotel to relax.
Lunch at a local restaurant (optional)
Visit to the Hermitage. In the afternoon we will head to one of the greatest and largest art museums in the world - the Hermitage. 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 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.
Breakfast at the hotel
Visit to Peterhof.
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. There are several small palaces and pavilions on the park territory, such as the Monplaisir, Catherine´s Block, Marli, Hermitage, the Bath Block and many more. If you are ready to walk a lot you will also enjoy a magnificent view of the Gulf of Finland.
Lunch - Traditional Russian Meal in a small Russian village of Shuvalovka.
After a great meal, guests will be invited to try their hand at folk art. Under the guidance of experienced masters they will learn blacksmithing, sculpting and painting on clay or wood. All hand made works created by the participants of workshops can be taken home.
Breakfast at the hotel
After a good breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted to the town of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo).
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 ï¿½ 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.
Transfer to the train station
Sapsan high-speed train to Moscow
Arrival in Moscow
On arrival in Moscow you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. On the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of this truly unique city.
Breakfast at the hotel
Panoramic City Tour. This tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with many of the city´s major highlights. Our professional guide will escort you on a route that includes Vorobyevi Hills where you will get an incredible view of the city from an observation point, you will proceed to Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin and one of Russia's leading schools of higher education, then on to Novodevichiy Convent, the Diplomatic Village, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect, the Arbat and much more.
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 Naziï¿½s 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.
Breakfast at the hotel
Excursion to the Moscow Kremlin and Kremlin Cathedrals.
(Please note that a visit to the Armory Chamber and the Diamond Fund is not included in the tour price. It can be added upon request for extra payment).
The Kremlin is 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 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.
Red Square is just outside the Kremlin´s walls. While walking on Red Square you will admire the Mausoleum of Lenin, the clock on the Savior (Spasskaya) Tower - showing the most correct Moscow time, the History Museum, the beautiful Cathedral of the Intercession (the Church of St Basil the Blessed), Kazansky Cathedral and many other outstanding pieces of Russian architecture.
Lunch at a local restaurant (optional)
Tour of the Moscow Metro system and the Old Arbat street.
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.
The tour will then proceed to 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.
Breakfast at the hotel
After the breakfast you will be escorted to the Park of Tsaritsino, which is especially beautiful in winter.
The Tsaritsyno Estate is located in the southern part of Moscow. The estate was constructed for Catherine the Great by the Russian architects Bazhenov and Kazakov in a romantic gothic style. The complex includes a landscape Park dated from the end of the 18th century, and a unique system of ponds built between the 16th and 17th centuries. The estate is a unique example of an Imperial summer residence that was never completed and never lived in. The collection of the Tsaritsyno museum consists of approximately 30,000 various exhibits. There are masterpieces of Russian and Western European art from the 18th - early 20th century, including an impressive collection of antique tapestries, Russian and Central Asian folk art, contemporary glassware, ceramics, furniture, paintings and a rich archeological collection.
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to airport
Say goodbye to Moscow, the capital of Russia and one of the most interesting and colorful cities in the world. We hope to welcome you back to Russia sometime in the future. Do Svidaniya or until we meet again!
Below you can see a list of hotels that we most frequently use for our tours. All the hotels are located in city centre, close to sightseeing, shopping and dining areas. In case these hotels are not available on your travel dates we will offer alternatives of a similar quality.
Arbat House is a mid-range hotel in the very centre of Moscow. It is located in a calm and well- guarded area just near Novy Arbat street. The hotel´s 5-storey building was constructed in 1984 and was totally renovated in 2006-2007. Nowadays the hotel can accommodate 100 guests in 60 rooms of 4 different categories. The hotel is an ideal place to stay at either for businessmen or tourists. All major business centres and places of interest are located nearby.
Maxima Panorama hotel is the 4th hotel in the Maxima hotels chain. The hotel welcomed its first guests in August 2009. The hotel occupies a building that was totally renovated according to the latest industry standards. Despite a bit scary fasade look, the hotel features very spacious and comfortable rooms with soft beds, new furniture, flat screen TVs and many other usefull facilities. Enjoy free WIFI access in all areas!
Really close to the Kremlin and the main exhibition centers the new Aquamarine hotel is the ideal place for business and leisure in Moscow. The hotel features 159 spacious rooms and suites with modern interior and a wide range of amenities and services. Also at your disposal: a restaurant, a bar, a fitness centre with spa facilities.
Conveniently located in a quiet part of the center of old Moscow within walking distance from Red Square and the Kremlin, the Bolshoy Theatre, Expocenter as well as Pushkin Square and Tverskaya Street - the Marco Polo Presnja Hotel is ideal for the business traveller or tourists offering proximity to the main business districts, shopping centres and important landmarks of the capital.
The Metropol is Moscow´s premier 5 star hotel. With a great location, excellent service and very comfortable rooms, the Metropol has earned a special place in the history of Russian accommodation. Prices are also quite reasonable as compared to similar properties. The hotel opened in 1901. The hotel building is an outstanding example of the Silver Age of Russian art (the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century). The Metropol Hotel owes its birth to the famous patron of art Savva Mamontov. Today Metropol is a 5 star luxury hotel located in the city center opposite the Bolshoi Theatre and is a 3 minutes walk to Red Square and the Kremlin. The hotel has a unique interior and high level of security and service.
The Hotel National was built in 1903 in the styles of electism and modern. It soon became the best hotel in Moscow and welcomed famous guests from Russia and abroad. The hotel was closed for almost four years and went through a major refurbishment and renovation in 1991-1995.Today Le Royal Meridien National Hotel is a historical landmark that has preserved not only the original architecture, but also the unique Russian hospitality. National has 206 rooms, including 37 antique suites with picturesque view over the Kremlin. The majority of them are set apart with individualized design and decor, some have unique ceiling paintings.
The new cozy Kristoff Hotel is located in the city center of St. Petersburg and has a very nice homestyle atmosphere making it a great place for both tourists and business travelers. The staff strives to fulfill even the most demanding customers´ needs. The hotel is located not far from the city´s central market, jazz club and the famous Troika restaurant.
"M Hotel" is a conveniently located inexpensive and comfortable hotel in the heart of St. Petersburg. The hotel is situated within the Golden Triangle district close to the Hermitage, the Kazan Cathedral, the Russian museum etc. There are lots of cute cafes and restaurants nearby. "M hotel" features 54 rooms including 3 suites and 8 superior rooms. Stay at this hotel, and you will definitely visit St. Petersburg again!
The hotel is located in the very heart of the city, actually in the central area with major places of interest that is usually called The Golden Triangle. So if you are a guest of this hotel all landmarks and tourist attractions are just minutes of walk away. Moreover, in addition to its great location the hotel boasts of its cozy and comfortable rooms.
The Rossi Hotel is situated in the heart of a world-known architectural ensemble of ulitsa Zodchego Rossi (Architect Rossi street). Opened in 2007, the hotel inherited the best traditions of the Russian hospitality. The comfort and luxury of its rooms are well-combined with modern technologies, that makes your stay in the hotel a pleasant experience.
The Corinthia Saint Petersburg hotel is a modern, international, five-star hotel and is the result of the renovation of two historic, 19th century buildings in the heart of Saint-Petersburg on the city`s main boulevard, Nevsky Prospect. The award-winnig refurbishment was completed in the spring of 1993 and the hotel was opened for business on May 1st of that year. It combines two buildings, a neo-classical mansion built by Arthur Lange in 1861 and the former home of the Samoilov family which overlooks Stremyannaya street. The main building housed the Hotel Hermes from 1920 to 1957 and the Baltiiskaya Hotel from 1958 to 1989. Retainig its classic facade, the interior was completely rebuilt offering a fine blend of art deco and modern facilities. Situated on the city’s main thoroughfare Nevsky Prospect, the Corinthia Saint Petersburg Hotel is central to every region of St. Petersburg. All of the major historical sites including the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, St.Isaac´s Cathedral, and the Admiralty are nearby and easily accessible from the hotel.
Domina Saint-Petersburg is the first Russian 5-star hotel of the well-known Italian chain. It is located just 8 minutes' walk from St. Isaac's Cathedral and offers air-conditioned rooms of classic design with free Wi-Fi and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel is not huge (100+ rooms on 7 storeys), but still has its own restaurant Arcobaleno with a separate street entrance, which serves mainly Italian cuisine. As the hotel is in the very city centre with a limited parking lot on the street there is an underground parking at your convenience.
These sights are included into the standard package:
The Palace and Park of Tsarskoye Selo is a former country residence of the Russian Emperors. Its three parks occupy an area of 600 hectares and have over 100 architectural monuments: from magnificent palaces and grand monuments to intimate pavilions and park sculptures. 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 bronze sculptures. The palace is also home to one of the world's most exquisite pieces of architectural and decorative art, the Amber Room, an entire room made of amber panels, mirrors and gold leaf with a fascinating history.
Russian village 'Shuvalovka' is a modern structure built in style of Russian wooden architecture of the XVIII and XIX centuries. One can visit the smithy and pottery studio, the Mill and the Nativity Chapel. There's also an ethnographic hut, built in accordance to the drawings of Novgorodian peasant house of the XIX century.
Peterhof was founded by Peter the Great as Russia's answer to Versailles. Peter the Great is famous for the westernization of the country, and the main purpose of this particular residence was to impress foreign guests and to show that Russia was able to compete with Europe in architecture and park design. The Peterhof Upper Gardens and Lower Park are genuine masterpieces of landscape design. They include over 150 fountains and 4 monumental cascades. What differentiates Peterhof's fountains from those of Versailles is that the water runs using its natural pressure without any pumps - the idea belonged to Peter the Great and it still works! The Grand Palace dominates on the park. This truly impressive building was the official summer residence of several Russian Tsars. This is one reason why the interiors are made up of different architectural styles deriving from different Ã©poques.
The fortress was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Besides the ancient fortifications, the fortress includes the Peter and Paul Cathedral, built in the early XVIII century. The cathedral includes the burial vault of Peter the Great and other Russian Tsars, the museum of Trubetskoy Bastion prison and the expositions: The History of St. Petersburg, History of the Imperial Mint as well as a printing workshop and the museum of space exploration and missilery. It is also possible to walk along the walls of the fortress and observe the fabulous architecture of the surrounding areas. Any tour to St. Petersburg is not complete without a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress.
Nevsky Prospekt is St. Petersburg's main street. It stretches from the Admilarty building up to Alexander Nevsky Monastery. St. Petersburg was the first city in Russia to be built in accordance to a plan with Nevsky Prospect being a central part of the original plan. This is one of the oldest streets of the city and each building here has a rich history behind it. Kazan Catherdal, Stroganov Palace, the Zinger building, Eliseevsky Store - are just some of the famous buildings that you can see on Nevsky.
The Hermitage is one of the greatest museums in the world. 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 many others.
The Tsaritsyno Palace was build for Catherine the Great by Russian architects Bazhenov and Kazakov in the Romantic Gothic style. The complex includes a landscape park from the end of the 18th century, and a unique system of ponds built between the 16th and 17th centuries. The estate is a unique example of an Imperial summer residence that was never completed and never lived in. The collection of the Tsaritsyno museum consists of approximately 30 000 various exhibits, including an impressive collection of antique tapestries, Russian and Central Asian folk art, contemporary glassware, ceramics, furniture, paintings and a rich archaeological collection.
The Red Square was first mentioned in the chronicles of 1434 as the Trade Square, then, after the devastating fire of 1493, it was renamed Fire Square. In the 16th century they called it Trinity Square, and in the 1660s it was finally given the name of Krasnaya, which at the time meant 'beautiful', 'best' or 'main'. Among the sights located in the square are: the statue of Minin and Pozharsky, the Mausoleum of Lenin, the Upper Trading Rows (including famous GUM), the clock at the Spasskaya Tower - showing the most correct Moscow time, the History Museum, the beautiful Church of St Basil the Blessed, Kazansky Cathedral and many other outstanding pieces of Russian architecture.
Old Arbat is 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. The street has severals statues, including Princess Turandot in front of the Vakhtangov Theatre. Old Arbat contains numerous restaurants, bars and cafes, souvenir shops and stalls.
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 for both the Russians themselves and for visitors from abroad. The stations are all uniquely designed with decorative elements including mosaics, statues, marble floors, walls and staircases to name a few.
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 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. Red Square is beneath the Kremlin's walls. There are five ancient cathedrals on the Kremlin grounds, the most famous of which are the Annunciation Cathedral, the Archangel's Cathedral and the Assumption Cathedral.
Major Moscow highlights include: Vorobyevi Hills with an incredible view of the city from an observation point; Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin; Novodevichiy Convent, the Diplomatic Village, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect, the Arbat and much more.
|hotel 3 stars||hotel 4 stars||hotel 5 stars|
|3 - 4||$1828||$2173||$2538|
|5 - 6||$1474||$1778||$2139|
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy in a specific hotel. You should add single supplement to the price in case you travel in a group but you stay at a single room. We offer discounts for groups of 7 or more. To inquire about group rates, please contact us.
Prices do not include
Tour dates are flexible. Tours can be customized to your taste. We can include additional excursions or performances on your request. We can also mix and match and adjust the accommodation to any hotel of your choice.
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 31 days before departure.
61 or more days before departure - a few equal to 15% of the entire package will be charged.
60-15 days before departure - a fee equal to 30% of the entire package will be charged.
14 days or less before departure or no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.
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.
If you are a Facebook user, we invite you to become a fan of our company on Facebook and read Russian news and travel stories. On this page, you can also learn more about our tours, get special offers and read reviews from our past customers. To become a fan, click here.
We also just launched our own Russian Travel, Culture and Literature Club on Facebook. The club was created to be a place for everyone with an interest in Russia to get to know each other and share experiences, stories, pictures and advice. Here you will also learn about interesting events taking place in Russia, lectures on Russian culture, Russian language lessons with native speakers and more. To join our club, please follow this link.