Day 1: St Petersburg
Welcome to Russia and the start of your winter holiday! Upon arrival you will be met at St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Later tonight you’ll be treated to dinner with the rest of your group at the hotel, followed by an informative welcome meeting. Remainder of the evening at leisure – your tour guide can recommend some local bars for you to try out. Overnight St Petersburg (D).
Day 2: The Hermitage
This morning a driving tour will give us an introduction to St Petersburg. We will make our way along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum and university districts and a few photo stops will be made along the way at places such as the magnificent St Isaac’s Cathedral and The Bronze Horseman. Later, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace, which houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore. Overnight St Petersburg (B).
Day 3: St Pete’s Sightseeing
We start today’s touring with a visit to Peter & Paul Fortress and the Peter & Paul Cathedral, which houses the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. Then we’ll head out to city to explore beautiful Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo (or Pavlosk Palace if Catherine Palace is closed). At Catherine Palace the exterior and the interior of this lavishly decorated building really catch the eye – particularly the spectacular Amber room. After stopping for a hearty traditional lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll continue on for a guided tour of the exquisite interior of The Church on Spilled Blood.
Meeting back at the hotel at an agreed time, we gather our bags and travel to the railway station for our overnight journey by train to Moscow. Overnight sleeper train (B, L).
Day 4: Red Square
An early morning arrival will bring us into Moscow where we will head to our hotel for check-in. This afternoon we will ride the capital’s efficient Metro to Red Square, for a walking tour. Here we will see the fantastical St Basil’s Cathedral, the iconic Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the glitzy Neo-Russian facade of the GUM shopping mall.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore more of Moscow. Cultured out? Moscow’s restaurants and clubs are open ‘til very late! During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour. Overnight Moscow (B).
Day 5: The Kremlin
This morning we head back to Red Square to pay our respects to Lenin – the grandfather of Communism, at his eerie mausoleum. It is here that his embalmed body has lain in state since his death in 1924. Later we will continue to the Kremlin – Russia’s bastion of political might, where we will enjoy a guided walk through the grounds, seeing numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the tsar bell. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore independently. Overnight Moscow (B).
Day 6: Goodbye Russia!
Our tour comes to an end after breakfast and hotel check out. (B).