Moscow and St Petersburg are considered the two capitals of Russia and both cities are strikingly different from each other but amazing in their own ways. Moscow is a major metropolis which is constantly changing and whose citizens are almost always in a rush. It is the political and financial centre of the country and home to the president whose residence is located inside the Moscow Kremlin. St Petersburg is known as the Northern Capital and the Venice of the North. It is also considered the cultural capital of Russia and has a much more European feel to it than Moscow.
St Petersburg is often regarded as more beautiful than Moscow with its countless bridges and canals, stunning palaces and architectural masterpieces, all of which especially shines during the period known as the white nights when the sun does not set.
On this tour to Moscow and St Petersburg you will visit the main treasures of both capitals, including the Red Square and St Basil Cathedral, the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow and St Petersburg’s Hermitage. The tour is perfect for those coming to Russia for the first time and can be combined with visits to the Golden Ring or a trip on the Trans-Siberian. The tour is based on you arriving in Russia in one city and then leaving from the other, as this will save time and is the best option for seeing both cities. If you arrive and depart from the same city then one extra night at a hotel and an extra train (or plane) trip will need to be added.
This itinerary is best for first visits to Russia for this particular duration of stay, but as this tour is completely private you can modify it according to your preferences and special requirements.
1 DAY / ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW
Arrival in Moscow and transfer to the hotel. Free time in the city.
2 DAY / CITY-TOUR OF MOSCOW
Breakfast in the hotel.
Today you will explore the main sights of the Russian capital. The tour includes a panoramic excursion of Moscow by car with stops at significant landmarks of the city such as:
Victory Park (Park Pobedy) on Poklonnaya Hill - Moscow’s main memorial complex dedicated to the Second World War.
Novodevichy Monastery - one of the oldest monasteries in Moscow, having been founded in the 16th century; it is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Viewing Platform on Sparrow Hills - a popular viewing platform in Moscow from where you can enjoy spectacular views of central Moscow.
Seven Sisters - also known as Stalin’s Skyscrapers these seven gothic buildings were built on the orders of Stalin and are visible from all over the city.
Christ the Saviour Cathedral - this is the main cathedral in Russia and the focus point for religious ceremonies in the country. It was rebuilt in the early 2000s as the original was blown up after the Revolution.
House of the Government - also known as the White House, this building played a significant role in modern Russian history during a confrontation between the Soviet authorities and those seeking to bring about the end of the USSR.
Ulitsa Tverskaya - Moscow’s main thoroughfare starts and the Kremlin and heads to Tver (after which it is named) and then on to St Petersburg.
Duration: 3-4h | Transportation: By a car
Walking city tour of central Moscow. The highlights of the tour are:
- Aleksandrovsky Gardens – city gardens located next to the kremlin which have several interesting statues.
- Red Square – Russia’s most famous and most beautiful square where you will find St Basil’s Cathedral.
- GUM - the Russian equivalent of Paris’s Galeries Lafayette or London’s Harrods with a Soviet atmosphere and an interesting history.
- Lenin’s Mausoleum – the resting place of the founder of USSR.
- Bolshoi Theatre – one of the most famous theatres in the world.
- Zaryadye Park - this new park does not just have beautiful landscapes, but also offers a new angle for viewing the Kremlin, the River Moskva and the historical churches of Ulitsa Varvarka.
- Christ the Saviour Cathedral – the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church.
- Lubyanka Building – once the headquarters of the KGB, now home to the FSB.
Guided tour of St Basil Cathedral – this is, of course, one of the calling cards of Russia. The cathedral was built on the orders of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the conquest of the Kazan Khanate, and as the key battle was fought on the Feast of the Intercession, the cathedral is officially known as the Intercession Cathedral. However, it is almost universally known as St Basil’s Cathedral, even though it is only a side chapel that is actually dedicated to St Basil. Up to 1600 it was the tallest building in the Russian capital.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: By metro
3 DAY | ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Guided tour of the Tretyakov Gallery – home to one of the world's largest collections of Russian art. Since its foundation in 1856, the gallery has collected has more than 170,000 exhibits including some of the most famous Russian artworks and ancient icons.
Tour of the Zamoskvorechie district - this district gets its name due to its location beyond the Moskva River. It is today one of the most picturesque of Moscow’s districts, with many old mansions and churches of various architectural styles: Russian uzorochye, baroque, classical, empire and Russian revival.
Guided tour of Moscow metro - the most beautiful metro system in the World. You will see the best examples of Soviet Metro System and learn about the secrets it has.
Boat trip along Moskva-river - while relaxing on the boat you get to enjoy the sights of central Moscow from a whole new angle.
Duration: 7h | Transportation: by metro
4 DAY / TRAIN TO ST PETERSBURG
In the evening, transfer from the hotel to the railway station to catch a high-speed train to St Petersburg. The way takes about 4h.
Upon arrival in St Peterburg - a transfer to the hotel. Night in St Petersburg
5 DAY / ST PETERSBURG CITY TOUR
- Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral – the oldest part of St Petersburg. The fortress’ cathedral is now a shrine holding the tombs of almost all emperors and empresses of Russia.
- Nevsky Prospekt – St Petersburg’s main thoroughfare.
- Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral – Russia’s equivalent of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, complete with a large colonnade.
- The Field of Mars – a memorial established after the Russian Revolution.
- Saviour on the Spilled Blood Cathedral (exterior) – a beautiful cathedral somewhat reminiscent of Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral, built on the site of the assassination of Emperor Alexander II.
- St Michael’s Castle (exterior) – a residence built for Emperor Paul, where he was subsequently assassinated.
- Anichkov Bridge – one of St Petersburg’s most beautiful bridges decorated with four statues of youths taming wild horses.
- Bronze Horseman – an equestrian statue of Peter the Great which has become a symbol of the city.
- St Isaac’s Cathedral – the largest cathedral in St Petersburg, the current version dates from 1818 and features a huge dome.
Boat cruise along the canals - St Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North due to its numerous canals. This all makes for a great boat trip along the canals and from this vantage point, you can see practically all of the city’s most famous sights.
Duration: 5-6h | Transportation: By private car and by boat
6 DAY / WINTER PALACE
Guided tour of the State Hermitage (Winter Palace) – a private tour around the world-famous art gallery which is located in the Winter Palace, the former residence of the Russian imperial family. Although the gallery houses an outstanding collection of European Art, often the interiors of the palace itself attract the most attention. Your guide will show you the highlights which may otherwise be missed if you are looking around the massive complex yourself.
Tour of the Cathedral on the Spilled Blood - this is the most famous cathedral in St Petersburg and often compared to St Basil’s in Moscow. It was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally injured by a terrorist’s bomb. It marks a break with St Petersburg’s classical style and a return to a traditional style known as Russian revival or Russian pseudo-gothic. Inside, the cathedral is literally covered with mosaics from the floor to the ceiling.
Duration: 6h | Transportation: walking tour
7 DAY / PETERHOF PALACE
Tour to Peterhof Grand Palace and the Park - the Peterhof estate was established at the very beginning of the 18th century by Peter the Great as one of the most luxurious summer imperial residences. It also provided direct access to the sea which was so crucial for Peter’s plans. This tour will include:
Grand Palace - this is the main architectural complex at the estate and was once the official home to the Russian emperors and many balls and receptions were held here. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War and took decades to restore.
Grand Cascade - Peterhof is especially famous for its wonderful fountains of all sorts of shapes and sizes. The biggest and most extravagant one is the Grand Cascade which stands outside the Grand Palace. It consists of three waterfall steps, two grottos, 75 fountains and 255 bronze sculptures and other decorative details.
Lower Park - this part was created along the lines of landscaped gardens of France and retains some features of its French origins. It also has over 150 fountains.
Duration: 6h | Transportation: by a car
8 DAY / DEPARTURE ST PETERSBURG
Transfer from the hotel to the airport.
- The tour is available the whole year round starting on any day, but please take into account that the museum’s working hours and days-off vary so we reserve the right to change the itinerary while trying to save the excursion programme.
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
- Transportation in Moscow, where travel by metro is designated, can be changed to a car upon request, but please note that the transport situation in Moscow is not very good, so you could get stuck in a traffic jam.
- Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
- During state holidays and celebrations, Red Square may be closed (either partially blocked off or completely closed).
- The price of the tour may be increased during the period of the White Nights (11JUN-10JUL) and when the International Economic Forum (end of May or beggining of June) is being held in St Petersburg. Please check the price when booking.
- All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
- Best time to travel on this route: from the end of April to mid-October and from December to mid-March.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|