Arrive in Moscow, and proceed to your hotel, on your own. Welcome to Russia, the world’s largest nation, bordering European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans! Meet your Tour Manager at the hotel for check-in (after 14:00 p.m.) for a three-night stay.
Today depart with your expert local guide for a tour to the Kremlin, – the former residence of the Tsars and now the residence of the Russian President. You will also visit one of the Kremlin’s beautiful orthodox cathedrals. Cathedral Square still retains the aura of early Tsarist Russia, where the spirits of Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov and the early Romanovs loom large. Next, whilst within the Kremlin Walls, visit the Armoury Museum and get a glimpse of this unique treasure house, containing a wealth of articles of decorative and applied arts of Russia, European countries and the Orient between the 4th to 20th Centuries. Later, you will visit Tretyakov Gallery – one of the largest museums in Russia, with over 100,000 works of art including icons, paintings, graphics and sculpture. Tonight why not join the additional excursion – Moscow by Night Tour.
This morning you meet the expert local guide and proceed for a tour of Moscow – see the most beautiful sights and take a glimpse of its culture and history. The tour begins in the heart of the city at Red Square, the main square of Moscow dating back to the 15th Century. After visiting St. Basil’s Cathedral and Alexander Garden and seeing Lenin’s Mausoleum, GUM, Pushkin Square, Moscow Exchange and the State Historical Museum you move along the Moscow river embankment. On the way enjoy views of the Kremlin and continue with the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior. You then proceed to the Vorobyovy Gory Hills, also known as Lenin’s Hills, one of the seven hills on which Moscow is built and the highest point in Moscow where you can see a great panoramic view of the city and the Moskva River. Later you pass the Triumphal Arch and through the Memorial Complex at Poklonnaya Hill and Victory Park to end the tour at Manezhnaya Square. Thereafter, experience a true sense of being a ‘Moskovite’, with a guided tour of the elaborate Underground and Metro system, before taking a stroll up one of Moscow’s oldest streets, Old Arbat.
Early breakfast at hotel. Coach transfer to the train station at 05:30 a.m.; SAPSAN speed train to St. Petersburg at 06:45 a.m.; arrive at 11:00 a.m. in the morning at St. Petersburg, the most European of all Russian towns and cities. Founded by Tsar, Peter I, the city celebrated its 300th Anniversary in 2003. Often referred to as the Venice of the North, Paradise, and City of White Nights to name but a few of the names given to this majestic city. After lunch, proceed with your expert local guide to visit the Hermitage, former residence of the Russian Tzars (the famous Winter Palace) and one of the world’s greatest museums. The Winter Palace not only physically dominates Palace Square and the south embankment of the Neva River, but also plays a central political, symbolic, and cultural role in the three-century history of the city. This stunning palace, an architectural masterpiece in itself, contains a collection over 3,000,000 works of art representing the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The collection includes works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, French impressionists, sculptures and treasured icons, coins and Tsars’ jewellery. Later check-in at your hotel for a three-night stay.
This morning you meet the expert local guide and proceed for a panoramic tour of the St. Petersburg, a city of palaces and museums, broad avenues and winding canals. St. Petersburg’s short history has endowed the city with a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. Still considered Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg reflects the country’s extraordinary fate like no other city, and its uniquely rich atmosphere exerts a powerful grip on even the most jaded traveller. On your tour see the Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood. Then there’s the famous Aurora warship, the legendary ship whose canon-fire gave the signal, on the order of Lenin, for the beginning of the Great Socialist Revolution more than 90 years ago. Later this afternoon, enjoy a boat cruise along the banks of the Neva River and canals.
After breakfast depart for the town of Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo), where you will find a jewel of Russian baroque architecture – Ekaterina the Great Palace (with Amber room) and park. Later proceed for a visit to the Peterhoff, also known as Peter’s Palace (entrances to the Park and Grand Palace included). Built on the seashore the palace and the park became Peter the Great’s summer residence. The palace is reminiscent of the great Palace of Versailles in Paris, France. This veritable gem of art is the coming together of the majestic palace, wonderful park with its 176 fountains of various forms and styles, cascades and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. The magical fountains were first turned on in 1721 and operate to this date. Peterhoff, has been and remains a symbol of the finesse, grandeur and wealth of the Russian Empire. This evening why not join the additional excursion – visit to Hermitage Theatre for a ballet performance of Swan Lake.
This morning check-out of the Hotel (before 11:00 a.m.) and proceed for your flight / home, on your own. The tour ends, and it is time to say farewell to all the friends you have made on tour.