From the Imperial Capital to Siberia

13 Days 4 Nights in the train 5,929km UNESCO All year
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Tours  Trans-Siberian Railway tours From the Imperial Capital to Siberia

St Petersburg → Moscow → Irkutsk → Listvyanka


  On this trip from St Petersburg to Lake Baikal via Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Railway, you will visit three Russian cities that are completely different from each other with their own architectural style, history and fate.

  You will visit the imperial capital of St Petersburg with its magnificent palaces, elegant parks and world famous art galleries. Here you will see the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Catherine Palace with its Amber Room – three of the main gems of the city.

  You will then be amazed by the scale of things in Moscow, one of the largest cities in Europe, with its crazy rhythm of life, giant Soviet-era buildings and stunningly beautiful Red Square, Kremlin and metro.

  Finally, after travelling 5,000km on the longest railway in the world, you will arrive in the ‘Russian Paris’ of Irkutsk, one of the oldest Siberian cities, from where you will be able to go to the deepest lake in the world - Lake Baikal.

  On this single trip you will see some of the best cultural and natural sights Russia has to offer, travel a large section of the Trans-Siberian, explore the imperial capital, the ancient capital and a provincial Siberian city, and be enchanted by the magic of Baikal. The trip can be easily extended further along the Trans-Siberian to Vladivostok or to Beijing via Mongolia. In addition, it is also possible to include some of the Golden Ring cities on the trip.

 DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN ST PETERSBURG

 Arrival in St Petersburg. Transfer to your hotel. A driver with a sign saying   will wait for you in the arrival area of the airport. Free time in the city: although if you arrive in the morning and have energy we can organise an excursion for this day.

 DAY 2 | ST PETERSBURG CITY TOUR - HERMITAGE

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  City tour of St Petersburg with an excursion to the Peter and Paul Fortress - the highlights of this tour include:

  • Admiralty (exterior) – one of the most beautiful and recognisable buildings in the city. It was the first building to be built on the left-bank of the Neva.
  • Bronze Horseman – the first monument to Peter the Great to be erected in Russia. It was unveiled as a gift from Catherine the Great to recognise the achievements of Peter the Great and it took over 12 years to finish the project.
  • Strelka of Vasilievsky Island – St Petersburg is built on 42 islands and the largest of them is Vasilievsky Island. It was Peter the Great’s idea to have this island serve as the cultural and trade centre. With this aim a trading port was built on the tip of the island, which became known as the Strelka.
  • Palace Square – the main square in St Petersburg, which gets its name as the Winter Palace stands here. In the centre of the square is an obelisk dedicated to Emperor Alexander I and his victory over Napoleon.
  • St Isaac’s Cathedral (exterior) – one of the most famous and beautiful domed cathedrals in the world. Its scale is impressive: in height and capacity it is only beaten in Russia by Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. It stands at 101.5 metres tall and has a capacity of 14,000 people.
  • Saviour on the Blood Cathedral (exterior) – this cathedral was built on the site where members of the People’s Will terrorist organisation fatally wounded Emperor Alexander II. The cathedral was elaborately decorated in the ancient Rus style, reminiscent of Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral, and not the classical style typical for St Petersburg. According to the wishes of Emperor Alexander III, an ornate canopy was erected over the very site where his father fell.
  • Field of Mars – in this memorial park victims of the February Revolution of 1917 were buried and an eternal flame was lit.

 Guided tour of the Peter and Paul fortress – this fortress marks the very starting point of St Petersburg and the rest of the city grew from this point. At first the fortress had a military role in defending the new city from the Swedes and was the first bastion to be built in Russia. Later on the fortress became a prison for political prisoners. In addition, the fortress’s Ss Peter and Paul's Cathedral serves as the burial place for practically all Russian ruling emperors and empresses, excluding Peter II and Ivan VI.

 Guided tour of the State Hermitage – an art gallery located in the Winter Palace which was once the official residence of the Russian emperors. The current version of the palace is in fact the fifth incarnation to be built on the banks of the Neva and undoubtedly the most proportional and exquisite of them all. It was built in the baroque style according to a project by architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Today the building holds one of the most famous art galleries in the world, but even these masterpieces have difficulty in outshining the interiors of the palace itself.

 Duration: 8 hours |  Transportation: by private car and by metro

 DAY 3 | CATHERINE PALACE IN PUSHKIN

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Guided tour of the Catherine Palace in Pushkin - this is of one the largest palaces in the suburbs of St Petersburg. The architectural style of the palace, reminiscent of the Winter Palace with its decorative contrasts of colours, is typical of the baroque style so popular in St Petersburg. The interiors of the palace are decorated in various artistic styles, but are predominantly baroque or classical. Several of the premises that were renovated in the mid-19th century were given a make-over in the style of historicism. Also found here is a full reconstruction of the Amber Room, which, as its name suggests, is a room completely decorated with amber. The original room was looted by the Nazis during the Second World War and to this day its whereabouts are unknown.

 Duration: 6h |  Transportation: by a private car

 DAY 4 | FREE DAY IN ST PETERSBURG | 0km - 650km

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Free day in the city. You can spend this day either exploring St Petersburg by yourself or by ordering an additional excursion, including an excursion outside of St Petersburg.

 Transfer to Moskovsky Railway Station of St Petersburg.

 17:20 | Sapsan high-speed train to Moscow.

 Duration: 3h50

 21:10 | Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to the hotel.

 Night in Moscow.

 DAY 5 | CITY TOUR OF MOSCOW - THE KREMLIN - MOSCOW METRO

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 City tour of Moscow - the highlights of this tour include:

  • Red Square - Russia's main square, where you will find Lobnoe Place, St Basil’s Cathedral, the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the GUM department store.
  • Christ the Saviour Cathedral - an eparchial cathedral and the main cathedral of Russia. Services here are led by the patriarch of Moscow and All Rus, the Russian Orthodox equivalent of the pope in Rome. An earlier version of the cathedral was blown up by the Bolsheviks to make way for the grand plans to build a Palace of the Soviets, however this project was never realised and an open-air swimming pool was created instead. The cathedral was rebuilt after the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Lenin’s Mausoleum – since 1924 the embalmed body of the founder of the Soviet Union has been lying here.
  • Ulitsa Varvarka – this is one of the oldest streets in Moscow and many of its historical buildings have been preserved.
  • GUM department store – one of the oldest surviving shops in Russia and a real architectural masterpiece from the 19th century, with an added Soviet vibe.
  • Aleksandrovsky Gardens – the gardens were opened after the fire of 1812 where the river Neglinnaya used to flow before being diverted in underground tunnels. In 1856 the gardens, then known as the Kremlin Gardens, were renamed in honour of Emperor Alexander I. In area they occupy 10 hectares and you can find several interesting monuments here. In addition the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a guard of honour and an eternal flame is located here.
  • Lyubyanskaya Ploschad – standing on this square is the former headquarters of the KGB, now home to the FSB. During its KGB days, prisoners were executed in its cellars.

 Guided tour of the Moscow Kremlin - the Moscow Kremlin is the main sight in the city and situated in the very heart of the capital. Its impressive walls and towers, golden domed churches, ancient chambers and grand palaces rise up on Borovitsky Hill over the River Moscow and create an uniquely beautiful architectural ensemble.

 Guided tour of the Moscow Metro – this underground system of palaces is like no other metro system in the world. The main central stations are decorated with statues, reliefs, monuments, paintings, mosaics and stained glass created by some of the country’s leading artists.

 Duration: 8h |  Transportation: walking excursion

 Night in Moscow.

 DAY 6 | FREE DAY IN MOSCOW

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Free day in Moscow - you can explore the city yourself of go on one of our day tours - for example – a day tour to the Golden Ring cities of Vladimir and Suzdal.

 Night in Moscow.

 DAY 7 | EUROPEAN RUSSIA | 0km

 Breakfast in the hotel.

 22:30 | Transfer to Yaroslavsky railway station.

 23:45 | Departure on the premium Rossia train for Irkutsk and the start of the Trans-Siberian part of your trip.

 DAY 8 | THE URALS | 0km - 1,397km

 Day and night in the train. During the way you will pass:

  • Vladimir - one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, and the old and significant city of Nizhny Novgorod

On this day you will pass cities on the approach to the Urals and beyond the mountain range.

  • Perm – one of the oldest cities in Russia which now has an interesting mix of historical buildings and modern art. It also has its own version of the giant Tsar Canon, the original of which is in the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike the Moscow version though, this version has fired many times. The Perm Territory is known for its beautiful nature and even anomalous events.
  • Yekaterinburg – this city is considered the capital of the Urals and by population is Russia's fourth city (after Moscow, St Petersburg and Novosibirsk). Just outside the city is the border between Europe and Asia. The city also has a metro system which was the last to be built in the Soviet Union and the only one in the Urals. Many of its stations are decorated with stones, minerals and gems which are found in the Urals.

 DAY 9 | SIBERIA | 1,397km - 3,300km

 On the train. Today you will pass the following cities:

  • Tyumen – a major centre for Russian gas. During the Second World War Lenin's embalmed body was evacuated here.
  • Omsk – one of the largest cities in Siberia which from 1918 and 1920 served as the capital of the White Russians during the Civil War. The largest cathedral in Siberia is found here, and the author Mikhail Dostoevsky was imprisoned in the city for four years.
  • Novosibirsk – considered the capital of Siberia and its largest city (the third biggest in Russia). Here you will find the largest opera theatre in Russia, which has a capacity of 1774 people. Novosibirsk also has the largest railway station on the Trans-Siberian and is an important transport hub. 

 DAY 10 | EASTERN SIBERIA | 3,300km - 4,647km

 Day in the train. During the way you will pass:

While travelling through Eastern Siberian your train will make a stop at:

  • Krasnoyarsk – a major city located on the banks of the great Siberian river of the Yenisey. It is the centre of the one of the largest federal subjects in Russia, whose northern border is washed by the Arctic Ocean.
  • In the evening the train will stop at the small station of Taishet, where the Baikal-Amur Railway, another great railway line of Russia, starts.

 DAY 11 | IRKUTSK | 4,647km - 5,153km

 07:20 | Arrival in Irkutsk. 

  Breakfast in the cafe.

 City tour of Irkutsk - the highlights of this tour include:

  • 130th quarter - a historical part of Irkutsk with a concentration of old wooden buildings and houses dating from the 18th century. It is a unique place where you can walk around and take in the cultural heritage: estates, mansions and other houses over 100 years old.
  • Angara Embankment – the embankment runs for several kilometres. It is a favourite place for locals and visitors to stroll and has a viewing platform from where you can enjoy great views of the river and surrounding area.
  • Lace House - one of the most beautiful 19th century wooden houses, which is decorated with delicate carved wooden window frames and tiles.
  • Sukachev Estate – a lovely 19th century wooden estate once owned by Vladimir Sukachev, a local patron of the arts and the founder of the Irkutsk Art Gallery. On the territory of the estate you will also find a stable, a coach house, a house for guests and servants, a pavilion and an art gallery.
  • Exaltation of the Cross Church – this church dates from 1760 and is one of the brightest and picturesque churches in the city. Its pear-shaped domes are an example of Ukrainian baroque but its décor is more reminiscent of Buddhist temples. One theory says the Buddhist motives are due to the Chinese merchants who funded the construction. Another theory is that it was a deliberate attempt to convert Buryats to Orthodoxy.
  • Emperor Alexander III Monument – this monument was unveiled here in 1903 to mark the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway - a project of the emperor. Its site was selected as the midpoint of the Siberian section of the railway. In 1920 the monument was removed and in 2003 it was returned as part of the centenary of the Trans-Siberian. Guided tour of Taltsy Transfer to Listvyanka.
  • Our Lady of Kazan Church - one of the most beautiful churches in the city. It was built in 1892 out of red brick in the Byzantine Revival architectural style.
  • Triumphal Arch of the Moskovskie Gates - this arch was built on the site of the original arch which was erected to mark the 10th anniversary of Alexander I becoming emperor.

 Duration: 3h |  Transportation: by a private car

 Transfer to Listvyanka village. On the way you will stop at Taltsy Wooden Architecture Museum.

 Distance: 77km

 Guided tour of the Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture - the museum holds cultural and everyday artefacts from Siberian villages ranging from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Among the buildings here there are estates of well-off peasants, government offices, religious schools, churches and even a tower of a stockade.

 Duration: 1h

 Night in Listvyanka.

 DAY 12 | LISTVYANKA CITY TOUR

 Breakfast in the hotel.

 Excursion around Listvyanka - the main highlights of the excursion include:

  • Viewing platform over the source of the River Angara – the River Angara is 1779km long and the only river to flow from the Baikal. In the local Buryat language its name means ‘cleft’ or ‘mouth’ and was so named for its wideness which allows a lot of water to flow from the lake. In winter the source of the Angara hardly ever freezes. Situated here is the Shaman-Rock - the summit of a large rock which was flooded with the creation of the Irkutsky hydro-electric station and which has historically been an important site for performing shamanistic rituals.
  • Lake Baikal Museum – the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the lake, its flora and fauna and the process of water flowing in and out of the lake. Here you can see the various life forms found in Lake Baikal in an exposition which takes the form of a large aquarium which is the height of a person. The five aquariums have a total volume of 45 cubic metres and hold examples of the fish found in Baikal as well as the celebrated seal of Baikal which is known as a nerpa. The museum also offers a unique opportunity to virtually descend the lake to its very bottom.
  • Ascent of the Chersky Rock (755m) – the summit of one of the coastal hills in Listvyanka. Here there is a viewing platform from where you can enjoy spectacular panoramas of practically the whole of the southern part of Baikal. On the horizon you will see the white summit of the Khamar-Daban mountain range, below you is the source of the River Angara with the Shaman-Rock, behind you is Port Baikal and to your right you will see the Angara right up to the Irkutskskoe Reservoir.
  • St Nicholas’ Church – in the beginning of the 18th century the Russian merchant Ksenofont Serebryakov found himself in a violent storm on Lake Baikal. During the storm he prayed to St Nicholas to save him, as St Nicholas has long been seen as the protector of sailors. Serebryakov survived and in 1846 erected a church on the shores of Lake Baikal dedicated to St Nicholas. The church holds icons from the 17th century.

 Duration: 3h | Transportation: walking excursion

 Free time in Listvyanka. 

 Night in Listvyanka.

 DAY 13 | DEPARTURE LISTVYANKA

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Distance: 77km

 Transfer to the airport or Irkutsk Railway Station.

Date of the tour

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Number of travellers

Adults:
Children (6-16):

Accommodation:

Cost of the tour in

Adds-ons

Included
  • Private transport service according to the programme
  • Private guide service according to the programme
  • Entrance tickets to museums.
  • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast.
  • Train tickets of a category of your choice
  • 24h emergency support during the tour
  • Visa support documents
Not included
  • Plane tickets to/from Russia
  • Tips for a guide or driver
  • Meals (except for breakfast where stated)
  • Evening performances such as the ballet at the Bolshoi.
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Additional
information

  • The tour is available the whole year round, 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 October.

• CANCELLATION POLICY 

DATE OF CANCELLATION

CANCELLATION CHARGES

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%

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