Highlights of Moscow & St Petersburg

One week, two great Russian cities
Learn Russia’s fascinating story in a nutshell on a tour that reveals the astounding cultural wonders of the country’s largest cities.
On this unique 7 day Moscow to St Petersburg tour, you'll immerse yourself in the art, history and culture of Russia and explore the contrasting styles of her old and new capitals – the majestic cities of Moscow and St Petersburg. Your tour begins in Moscow, the mega-metropolis whose blend of Imperial decadence, Soviet austerity and vibrant contemporary energy is sure to entertain and enthral.

Moscow to St Petersburg Tour Highlights

  • Panoramic Tour of Moscow: See Moscow beyond the postcard images on a private excursion by car through the city streets including a drive along the banks of the Moskva River. Visit the famous Bolshoi Theatre, pass by Gorky Park and the Novodevichy Convent and admire the city from on high at the Sparrow Hill observation platform.
  • Moscow Guided Walking Tour: Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of one of the world’s biggest metropolises and discover local haunts on foot, including the Red Square, the Kremlin and the multi-coloured domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.
  • St Petersburg Walking Tour: Admire the spectacular urban architecture, old-world grandeur and buzzing vibe on a guided walking tour of St Petersburg, including a stroll along its lively high street, Nevsky Prospekt
  • Take a hydrofoil boat trip to the World Heritage listed Peterhof Palace and Park
  • Marvel at some of the most esteemed treasures among the 3 million works of art on a guided tour of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum
  • Enjoy a day excursion to Tsarkoe Selo (the Tsar’s village) in the charming suburb of Pushkin, home of the extravagant Catherine Palace and the stately Alexander Palace.

Get acquainted with the Russian capital over three and half days, discovering Moscow's most iconic landmarks and the extraordinary people and stories behind them. Marvel at the Red Square, the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral and stroll along famous Arbat Street. Take in the sheer size of this global mega-city on a panoramic mini-coach tour and rub shoulders with the locals as we explore Moscow's historic city streets on foot.

We've prepared a fantastic selection of optional activities for your evenings out exploring Moscow's vibrant cultural and artistic scene. Let us arrange a sumptuous dinner cruise along the Moskva River or an unforgettable night at the opera or Russian ballet in the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre.

The second half of our tour will show you a different side to urban life in Russia. From Moscow, we'll travel to St Petersburg on the Sapsan, a high-speed rail line connecting two cities 700km apart in a four-hour journey.

With half the population of Moscow, St Petersburg is calm and relaxed in comparison. While Moscow was the seat of Soviet power, St Petersburg has long served as a window to the western world and is the most European of Russia's major cities. It's also extraordinarily beautiful - a riveting metropolis of canals and bridges often referred to as the 'Venice of the North'. St Petersburg is synonymous with imperial grandeur and elegance. "Piter" (as it is fondly called by the locals) is overflowing with history, home to gilded palaces, splendid 18th and 19th-century avenues and enormous royal estates just outside of town.

Take in the city’s architectural highlights, discover its classical riches and check out its lively contemporary art scene.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Moscow

St Petersburg

3, 4 or 5* hotels

City Sightseeing

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

7 days / 6 nights

     

1-25

Private - Any Date

Itinerary

Day 1:Moscow: arrival

Welcome to Moscow, the monumental capital of Russia! On arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your driver and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in the hotel or getting acquainted with the local area on your own.

As an option*, we suggest you spend the evening on a sumptuous dinner cruise, taking in the sights and sounds of this mesmerising city by night.

Day 2:Moscow: Tretyakov Gallery and city tour

Today’s tour is designed as an overview of the city, to give you a sense of Moscow’s sheer size, and an impression of how the capital has changed throughout the ages.
Start with a tour of the 19th century Tretyakov State Gallery, the world’s foremost depositary of Russian fine art, containing over 130,000 exhibits, with work by Rublev, Kandinsky, Repin and many others. We’ll get to the gallery via a Metro Tour, stopping on the way to marvel at some of the most elaborately decorated stations of the world famous Moscow subway system.

You’ll visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of the most important churches in Russia. Beside the cathedral is a bridge with fantastic views of this part of the city. Next, we explore the Red October district, and a vibrant hangout for Moscow’s youth, with its old industrial alleyways and lovingly restored courtyards lined with chic cafes, designer studios and galleries.

After a break, the second half of the day consists of a wandering sojourn through some of Moscow’s most famous streets and squares. Walk through Lubyanskaya Square, the notorious former headquarters of the KGB. Next, visit the starkly contrasting Theatre Square to see the stunning Bolshoi Theatre. Stroll along Tverskaya and Nikolskaya streets, the city’s main boulevard and home to the landmark Yeleseyevskiy Grocery Store, a former palace turned luxury providore. We’ll also explore Boulevard Ring, where Russian nobles built their exquisite 18th and 19th century mansions, and Kutuzoyskiy Avenue with its Triumphal Arch.

Driving through the new business district, we’ll enjoy a panoramic drive along the Mosvka River, where a huge, controversial state of Peter the Great was erected. Pass by the legendary Gorky Park and the White House before a stop at the architecturally stunning Novodevichy Convent, and the observation platform at Sparrow Hills, for a bird’s eye view over this staggering megalopolis.

Later, we suggest you relax in one of the city’s quirky cafes before an evening stroll along the main streets. Moscow never sleeps, so you’ll always find something to capture your attention.

Day 3:Moscow: Kremlin and Red Square

Our in-depth Moscow discovery starts with a walking tour of historical city centre. Enjoy Moscow’s main attractions including the Red Square, the State Historical Museum, GUM (a luxurious shopping centre), the colourful Saint Basil's Cathedral and other sights.

Almost every building in the historical centre of Moscow is associated with different events and celebrated personalities of the Russian history and culture. You will hear the stories from the most important places in the city: the Red Square, with its fantastic "stone flower"; St. Basil Cathedral, one of the symbols of Moscow; fancy Manezhnaya Square and the Zero Kilometer, (the starting point for all Moscow roads); Alexander’s Garden with its WW2 memorial eternal flame, and a chance to watching a changing of the guards.

Have a delicious lunch in one of the multiple downtown cafes or restaurants and continue the day with a tour of the Kremlin and Armoury museum.

The Kremlin was the heavily fortified residence of the Russian tsars. After the Revolution of 1917 the USSR Government moved in it. Now it is the seat of the Russian President and a cultural museum complex consisting of palaces, cathedrals and museums. You will tour the grounds of the Kremlin and visit strikingly beautiful cathedrals such as the Assumption Cathedral where Russian tsars and emperors were crowned; Archangel Cathedral - the burial vault of the Russian tsars until 18th centuries; and Annunciation Cathedral, a home church for the royalty. You will get to meet the 2 prominent Russian tsars in person: the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon, the biggest in the world. The Kremlin will surely reveal you some mysteries of the Russian state and soul.

You will also visit the Kremlin’s Armoury Chamber, famous for Tsar regalia such as jewellery, crowns, orbs and sceptres, royal carriages, a huge arms and armour collection, gifts to the Russian Tsars from leaders of the West of the Far East, as well as an illustrious collection of Faberge Eggs.

Take your time to relax as we prepare something special as an option* for this evening. After dinner at our hotel we head out for an unforgettable night at the opera or the Russian ballet at the iconic Bolshoi Theatre.

Day 4:Moscow to St Petersburg

Your last half-day in Moscow is free for you to enjoy this magnificent city on your own. Or you may opt-in for an optional* excursion to Izmailovo Kremlin and Craft and Flea Market.

An open-air cultural complex, the Izmailovo “Kremlin” (actually a modern building designed in the Imperial style) is a colourful complex home to several interactive museums. One is dedicated to Russian folk art, another to bread, and yet another to vodka. It includes a wooden replica of the summer palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, where visitors can experience a traditional Russian meal. It’s also home to the Church of St. Nicholas, named after the patron saint of crafts and trade.151 feet tall, it’s the tallest wooden church in the country. Next to the kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century, when it was an avant-garde market selling paintings, crafts and other valuable wares. Taking the appearance of a town, with roofed stalls lining a maze of walkways, it is divided into two tiers: the Vernissage for souvenirs and traditional handcrafts, and the flea market for all else. The bazaar is attended by merchants from regions all over Russia and is a favoured shopping destination for locals and tourists alike, brimming with items from books, baskets, retro toys and furniture to Soviet memorabilia, fur hats, nesting dolls and traditional artwork.

After lunch, you will be transferred to a train station and board a Sapsan – a Russian high-speed train, which will whisk us to our next destination, St Petersburg, completing the 700km journey in four hours. Upon arrival you’ll be met by a driver and transferred to your centrally located hotel.

Day 5:St Petersburg: Hermitage and city tour

Meet your friendly and knowledgeable St Petersburg guide in the lobby and begin your discovery of Russia’s ‘Cultural Capital’ with a walking tour of the city’s most popular attractions. Your walking tour will include Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg’s fanciful high street, the Anichokov Bridge and Palace, viewpoints over the Fontaka and Moika Rivers, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Palace Square and the Senate Square, with its bronze horseman monument to Peter the Great and the Church of the Spilled Blood. You’ll also get the chance to stroll the grounds of the magnificent Peter and Paul Fortress on the banks of the Lena River, a burial place for the Russian emperors from Peter the Great to Nicholas II.

Take a walk at the Palace Square and admire the beauty and grandeur of the Winter Palace, the most glorious Tsar residence in Russia and now a part of the vast Hermitage museum. Enjoy a private guided tour of the Hermitage museum. Ask as many questions as you can think of while exploring this colossal repository of classical and modern art, including the world’s largest collection of paintings.

As an option* for this evening, we invite you to enjoy the traditional Russian dance performance in Nikolaevsky Palace.

Day 6:St Petersburg: Peterhof

Take a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Peterhof (Petrodvorets). We’ll travel by fast boat, in order to escape the morning traffic jams. Once the opulent summer resort of the Romanovs, today Peterhof is a huge open-air museum and a testament to Peter the Great’s contribution to the city’s development. Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who ordered the expansion of the Grand Palace, greatly extended the park and the famous system of fountains, including the majestic Grand Cascade.

As an option*, enjoy a self-guided tour of the recently opened Faberge Museum, a private collection of over 4,000 Faberge Eggs and other bejewelled objects of desire, elegantly displayed inside the stunning Shuvalov Palace. Or, you may choose to take a tour of Yusupov Palace on the Moika River, best known for being the scene of the assassination of Rasputin. Having survived much of the WWII destruction that wreaked havoc on many of St Petersburg’s suburbs, it’s one of the area’s few aristocratic homes to have retained many of its original interiors. This tour also allows us to visit Mikhaliovsky Castle, an unusual architectural phenomenon featuring an eclectic mix of styles. Even stranger is its connection to Emperor Paul I, one of the most eccentric and controversial figures of Russian royalty. It was here that Paul was murdered in his own bedroom, only 40 days after moving in.

Day 7:St Petersburg: Tsarskoye Selo and departure

Experience the extravagance of the Imperial rulers on an excursion to the suburban estates of the Romanov Tsars. Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar’s village) is now part of the nearby town of Pushkin and is one of St Petersburg’s finest attractions. Amid exquisite parks and gardens, you’ll find the baroque Catherine Palace, a dazzling testament to Catherine’s love of luxury and royal excess. Envision Catherine strolling with her beloved dogs through acres of private gardens, where remarkable structures like the Marble Bridge, the Dutch Admiralty and the Creaking Pagoda were constructed for her amusement. We’ll also see the lavishly gilded Amber Room, containing over six tonnes of amber, and the neoclassical Alexander Palace, whose tumultuous history paints a fascinating portrait of the Romanov family.

This evening marks the end of our Moscow and Saint Petersburg tour. After check-out, you’ll be transferred to the airport. Say farewell to this beautiful country… until next time!

Inclusions

Accommodation

Centrally located 3* hotels (twin/double occupancy), can be upgraded to 4* or 5*:

  • Ibis Centre Bakhrushina, Moscow, 3 nights
  • Tri Mosta, St Petersburg, 3 nights

Meals

Breakfasts at the hotels

Transportation

  • Airport and train station arrival and departure transfers
  • All transportation on tour, according to the itinerary (car, metro)
  • Sapsan train tickets from Moscow to St Petersburg ("economy plus" class) *can be upgraded to business class

Guides

Local licensed English-speaking tour guides, professional driver

Activities and sights

  • All activities indicated in the itinerary, except optional.
  • Entry tickets, according to the itinerary (slip the line policy)

*Download the detailed itinerary for more information.

Other

Russian visa support documents.

*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Not included

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
All year
Private Tour
Available US $1950 Enquire Reserve

Testimonials

Charles HardemanUSA

...an extraordinarily successful visit which more than exceeded expectations!

We have just broken away from our moorings alongside port here at St. Petersburg after an extraordinarily successful 2-day visit which more than exceeded expectations. I have to admit that I am glad that you talked me into doing things I had not done before, and initially objected to, particularly the Metro which we all felt was a special experience.

Speaking of special, you could not have assigned us to a more knowledgeable, personable and patient guide than Nadya. Her command of English and encyclopedic knowledge of Russian history, the places we visited, St. Petersburg and just all matters of importance to us during our visit is unequaled. And, she is also just one of the nicest people on earth.

And, Boris, our bus driver deserves special commendation as well not only for managing the tight time cable amidst the usual difficult St Petersburg traffic and parking conditions, he had to do it while maneuvering around preparations for the upcoming celebrations which posed all kinds of obstacles...please pass on our thanks to Boris as well.
"I would like to add my voice of thanks to the whole team behind the wonderful coordination of our two days in St Petersburg.  As a former event producer, I know just how many things go on 'behind the scenes' and how many things it takes to deliver an exceptional tour.  Our experience is one I will treasure forever.

Nadya and Borya excelled in their roles.  And, as Charles says, Nadya is a delightful young woman who is so well equipped to lead a memorable tour.  She shared so many points of interest and historical facts with us, we'd never appreciate Russia in that way from reading about it.  She truly brought Russia to life for us.

Thank you to you for all the amazing coordination you put into our visit" (c) Kathryn
With all best wishes, and a well done to you Anna,
Charles and the travelling Vikings

7 days
Moscow to St Petersburg
from
$
1,950
USD
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If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816