Moscow and St. Petersburg
7 nights / 8 days
Russia’s grand past unveils itself in St. Petersburg with its contemporary culture evident in Moscow.
There is always something more to be discovered in every corner of these two magnificent cities.
Day 1 Arrive Saint Petersburg, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 Morning city tour of St. Petersburg with a visit to Peter and Paul Fortress, the city's oldest building and the burial site of every tsar since Peter the Great.
Day 3 Morning travel to Pushkin to visit Catherine the Great Palace. Puskin’s beautiful palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great in 1744-1796. The centerpiece is the vast Baroque Catherine’s Palace, designed by Rastrelli and named after Elizabeth’s mother, the second wife of Peter the Great. With its golden spires and luxurious interiors is perhaps the grandest of all the 18th century baroque-style palaces. Most famous is the stunning Amber Room, the authentic panels made of amber and presented to Peter the Great were stolen by the Nazis and later returned to Russia. The diligently restored Amber Room was opened in 2003.
Day 4 Transfer to Peterhof. The imperial summer palace was built at the start of the 18th-century is on the Gulf of Finland, 20 miles from St. Petersburg. Peterhof is a combination of several palaces, containing furniture, paintings and applied art items that belonged to different generations of Russian Tsars. In front of the Big Palace is a beautiful fountain and its many tiers and ornamental golden statues offer an amazing sight. Return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil.
Day 5 Transfer to The Hermitage for a private tour. The Winter Palace, magnificently located on the bank of the Neva River, is a marvel of Baroque architecture. The museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from the German city of Berlin. Today, the Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artifacts from all over the world throughout history (from Ancient Egypt to the early 20th-century Europe).
Transfer to St. Petersburg train station and take the train to Moscow. Arrive Moscow, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.
Day 6 A tour around Moscow will include Christ the Savior Cathedral, a famous and controversial building associated with the Stalin era, and a visit to Novodevichy Convent. The 16th-century convent was once home to noblemen's inconvenient female relatives such as Peter the Great's half-sister Sophia, who was sent there against her will. The convent's Smolensk Cathedral, with its stunning frescoes and gold iconostasis, is truly one of the most beautiful churches in Russia.
Day 7 Visit the famous Kremlin grounds; the former residence of Russian tsars is an architectural ensemble of unique beauty, which was built between the 15th and 20th centuries. Cathedral Square, the center of the Kremlin with the 15th-century Assumption Cathedral, the main church of Russia; the private church of Russian tsars and the 16th-century Cathedral of the Archangel, the burial place of the tsars. Within the grounds are the Grand palace, the modern Congresses Palace and the Armory. The Armory Chamber is the treasury of Russian tsars with unique collections of gold and silver items of the 12-19th centuries, Russian arms and armor of the 12-16th centuries, the state regalia, thrones, carriages and coronation dresses of the 16-19th centuries. Continue to Red Square with your guide and visit Alexandrovsky Garden.
Day 8 Transfer to Moscow airport