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Two capitals

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Day 1. Welcome to Moscow, capital of Russian tsars, Soviet leaders and Modern Russia

Our driver meets you at the airport with Bridge to Moscow sign and takes you to the hotel to check in.

Day 2. Russia under  the Tsars


We invite you to explore the historical heritage of Moscow and get to know the ancient history of Russia that is found here. This day makes for a great introduction to your tour of Russia: you practice your first Russian words, try some of the most popular Russian dishes, and learn how to navigate the city metro.
 
 Breakfast at the hotel
10 am Meeting with the guide in your hotel. Walking or going by metro to the Kremlin.

10.30 – 12.30 The Kremlin of Moscow. An ancient city and citadel, the former residence of the Russian tsars and Soviet rulers is still used today. Here you have a chance to visit the three unique cathedrals built in the 15th and 16th centuries as well as the Patriarch Palace famous for its great collection of 17th century clothing, tableware, jewellery, and other wonders of the past. You see the famous Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell and take a look at the President's residence used for receptions - the Grand- Kremlin Palace.

13.00 Lunch break in a traditional Russian restaurant. Your guide gives you an introduction to what Russians usually eat and drink. ( Lunch is not included)

14.00 - 16.00 Walking tour of Moscow center. You walk through Aleksander's gardens  where you find  the  Tomb of Uknown Soldier. Ebery hour the Change of Guards takes place there which brings a lot of people to see and take photos.  Get closer to the Bolshoi Theatre (outside only) which is the home to one of the oldest and most famous ballet and opera companies in the world. Stroll along Nikolskaya street.Explore majestic Red Square with the Lenin’s Mausoleum (outside only), learn the riddles of ancient St Basil’s Сathedral  which happened to be an iconic image of Moscow, go inside GUM  which is not a chewing gum :) but one of the fanciest department stores in Russia.  Finally  your guide takes you to Zaradye Park, an ideal place to enjoy a picturesque panoramic view of  the Moscow Kremlin and to take some pictures.
 
Tour duration: 6 hours

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Armoury Museum (1.5 hours) boasts a unique collection of treasures of the Russian tsars and emperors. Here you can see Faberge Easter eggs, Royal carriages, the oldest Russian thrones,beautifully decorated ceremonial arms, carefully preserved coronation dresses as well as many other wonders. This is something like Crown Jewels in the Tower of London but  even more impressive collection.

Bolshoi Backstage Tour (1.5 hours) gives you a chance to see everyday life of one of the world- renowned opera and ballet companies, get lost in the corridors and fabulous halls with recently restored 19th century interiors, see the main auditorium without crowds of people , learn about the most advanced technologies used in the theatre today, go behind the scenes to see a rehearsal hall and maybe even witness a rehearsal (if it is scheduled).

Russian Food Tour (4 hours)
Isn’t it exciting to taste local food while travelling? Moscow food tour is a great way to taste delicious meals you’ve never eaten before , to learn about Russian eating and drinking traditions, discuss various topics of your interest as well as get to know  "Russian soul".
 

Day 3. Moscow through centuries

 

This day you learn how Russia lived through the Soviet era and get the feel of the turbulent life of the metropolis nowadays. We explore Moscow from above and below, discover its facinating metro which is often compared to hidden undeground palaces and admire the panoramic view of Moscow from one of the hills

 Breakfast at the hotel
10 am Meeting with the guide.
Moscow Metro Tour. It boasts many beautiful examples of Soviet realist art, most of the stations resemble little museums featuring sculptures and mosaics which celebrate the glories of the Soviet days. No wonder, they are often referred as “marble palaces for the ordinary people”.

11.30 Coffee break (not included)

12.00 - 15.00 Touring the city by car is a good opportunity to see some of the most interesting places in Moscow and sparing yourself for more adventures to come. Over the course of three hours we visit the Lover's Bridge, Victory Park, and have a stop near the magnificent Novodevichy Convent, the royal cloister related to  a lot of hictorical events. The highlight of the tour is Moscow State University, a stunning example of Stalinist architecture, and Sparrow Hills, the highest point in the city with a panoramic view of Moscow, where you can take awesome pictures.

Tour duration: 5 hours

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Lenin's Mausoleum ( 1 hour) remains one of the most important Soviet Heritage sites of Moscow. During your tour you will see not only the embalmed body of the leader of Revolution but  a lot of other important burials of Soviet dignitaries such as Stalin, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko. Lenin’s mausoleum is open every day from 10 am to 1 pm except Monday and Friday.. It is subject to unscheduled closures

Dinner in a Typical Soviet Apartment (3 hours). Are you curious to meet a Russian family and visit a typical Moscow apartment? Are you willing to see the daily life of the locals, learn about their household and daily routines, some family traditions and other aspects of life? We are happy to invite you to visit one of the Russian families.

World War Two  Museum(1.5 hours)
The museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 is a good way to learn the World War II history from the Russian view point. The museum impresses you with dioramas depicting the major battles during the war.
 

Day 4. Free day.  

Breakfast at the hotel.

You may choose a number of optional tours, among which there are:

Old Tretyakov Gallery Tour (2 hours)
The State Tretyakov Gallery boasts the largest collection of Russian art in the world. The museum is famous for its unique collection of Russian icons. Besides, the gallery will be interesting to everyone who loves realistic art. Portraits, landscapes, historical paintings of the 18th – early 20th century boost a deeper understanding of the Russian history and culture (and the phenomenon of the mysterious Russian soul at that).

Sergiev Posad Tour (7-8 hours). Sergiev Posad is a picturesque town 75km to the northeast of Moscow, one of the most charming Golden Ring towns. The town is famous for its serene 14th century Trinity Sergius Lavra, one of the most important religious centers for the Orthodox and a major destination for unceasing pilgrims.

Cosmonaut Museum and VDNKh (3hours)
The museum traces the history of space exploration: the first satellite (in Russian “Sputnik”) launched in 1957, the first dogs in space, the first human flights, first spacewalk, missions to Moon, Mars and Venus. VDNKh  is a huge area with numerous Soviet pavilions and fountains which were built to show the achievments of the Soviet State.

Day 5. Welcome to St.Petersburg, Emperial capital of Russia


Check out from the hotel. Transfer from the hotel to the Leningradsky Train Station.

Morning Sapsan speed train to St.Petersburg.

11 am Meeting with your guide and your driver at the train station.
Guided driving tour of St Petersburg. During the tour we make several stops to see the most iconic sights of the city: the Aurora cruiser, Spit of Basil Island and Rostral Columns, a small and elegant Art Square, St Isaac’s Square with gorgeous views of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Mariinsky Palace, the Astoria  and the Angleterre Hotels as well as the monument to NicholasI.
13.30 Lunch break ( Lunch is not included)
14.30 – 15.30 The tour of The Peter and Paul Fortress, the place where the history of the city began. Here we enjoy the golden beauty of St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral which became the burial place of the Russian emperors from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. The walls of the fortress as well as the promenade offer a beautiful panoramic view of the Neva River.
15.30 Boat Tour along rivers and canals (and there are many of them in St.Petes). Feel the vibe of the most romantic city of Russia dubbed the Northern Venice. Here we go under numerous bridges (many of which boast really elegant railings designed by famous Russian artists) along rivers and canals and enjoy the most fascinating stories from the guide.
17.00 Your guide and driver take you back to the hotel to check in.

 Tour duration: 6 hours

Options to add:

Aristocratic Music Evening in a Palace. ( 2 hours) Willing to get a truly unique experience? We invite you to attend a Russian classical music evening in a palace. The tour gives you an opportunity to step back in time and plunge into the atmosphere of life of the nobility in the past.

Russian Folk Show in Nikolaevsky Palace. ( 2 hours) The show offers a trip of Russia through its dancing traditions. We enjoy the lyrical dances of the Russian North, the lively dances of the Cossacks from the Don, the dancing miniatures of the Urals and Siberia sparkled with subtle humor. The guests of the show are treated with a  viariaty of canapes including red caviar, as well as beverages such as vodka, champagne, red wine and others.

Day 6. The Day of Arts

Along with the Louvre, the British Museum, the Metropolitan  Museum,   one can not but miss  the visit of the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. The museum's collection has more than three million exhibits. If you spend at least a minute looking at each of them, then everything can be seen in 13 years. Even in order to simply walk through all the halls without stopping, it will take almost 5 hours. We are not goiing to spend that much time but  try to show you the most stunning rooms and the gems of the art collection.

 Breakfast at the hotel
10 am Meeting with your guide in the hotel lobby.
Walking or taxi drive to the Hermitage Museum.
The tour of the main museum complex of the Hermitage. We explore the former Gala Rooms of the Winter Palace and discover the most amazing canvases by European artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Tizian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and many others.
Optional coffee break ( not included)
13.30 – 14.00 Guided tour of The Cathedral of Our Savoir on Spilled Blood. A memorial church built on the place of Tsar Alexander II assassination. The church is one of the top attractions of the city, famous for its mosaics: they cover more than 7,000 square meters, impressing you with their beauty and artisanship.
 Finish the tour in the city center to explore more on your own.
Tour duration: 4 hours

Options to add:

A visit to the Impressionists Collection of the Hermitage ( located inside the General Staff Building) ( 1,5 hours)  You discover masterpieces by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Cézanne, Degas, Gaugin, Picasso, and other great artists of the late 19th - early 20th century.

St. Isaac cathedral ( 1,5 hours)  is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in St Petersburg. The interior is richly decorated with paintings, mosaics, gilded sculptures and bronze bas-reliefs.  For breathtaking views we recommend that you climb the colonade but make sure you are able to climb 562 stairs.

Roof top tour (1 hour) climb on top of one of the roofs of St Petersburg and enjoy the panorama of the city from an ususual angle. The roof is safe and the tour is officially allowed by the city authorities.



Day 7. The Glamour of Imperial Petersburg
A trip to Peterhoff.

Peterhoff is one of the greatest imperial ensembles outside St. Petersburg and is definitely a must-see attraction for every first-time visitor to St. Petersburg. The palace ensemble is often referred to as the “Russian Versailles" but actually it has surpassed Versailles in many aspects: it is a real kingdom of fountains ( work every day from May to October) with four cascades, a variety of unique amusement fountains, Grand Peterhoff Palace, and 5 smaller palaces.

 Breakfast at the hotel
10 am Meeting with your guide and your driver.
11 am The tour of the Grand Palace (combining shining Elisabeth’s Baroque style, elegant Catherine’s Classicism, and exotic oriental style).
* If you add the Catherine's Palace optional tour, the Peterhoff Grand Palace might be substituted to the visit to small pavilions.
The tour of the Upper and Lower Gardens of Peterhoff. You enjoy a picturesque walk through the gardens with three unique cascades and dozens of powerful water jets and admire the Grand Cascade, with its staircases, waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains and 37 gilded statues. During the tour we walk past numerous elegant royal pavilions and even watch wildlife. Squirrels love this park and generous tourists:)
1 pm Coffee break.
2 pm Driving back to St. Petersburg.

Tour duration:  5 hours

Options to add:

Catherine’s Palace Tour ( 3 hours)
The Catherine Palace is probably the most luxurious summer palace near St. Petersburg. It is located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo 30 km south of St. Petersburg. During the tour we walk through the magnificent gallery of gala rooms and discover the legendary and breathtaking Amber Room. Short walk through the park will be a great way to relax after the glamourous halls of the palace.

Yusupov Palace ( 2 hours)
Yusupov Palace on the Moyka River is famous for its luxurious interiors that were far from being inferior to those of contemporary royal palaces. During the tour we walk through sumptuous gala rooms painted in different styles and decked out with gilded chandeliers, silks, frescoes, tapestries, and some fantastic furniture and discover a unique home theatre. By the way, the palace is notorious for the assassination of Grigori Rasputin ( befriended the family of the last Russian monarch) by a monarchist group which included Prince Felix Yusupov.

Day 8

Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to the airport.

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