Days
12
Price from
2445GBP
Map of Russia in Depth including Russian Federation

Take an in-depth history lesson of revelatory Russia.

Peer into Russia's past on this in-depth tour through some of Russia’s lesser-known, but no less fascinating cities. Spend 12 days exploring the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg and through to the Siberian cities of Tyumen and Tobolsk. Listen to the fascinating stories of a Siberian folk artist, traverse a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and explore the legends of Tolstoy and the Romanov family with visits to their residences and final resting places. This is the ultimate trip into Russian history for the curious traveller.


Start
Moscow, Russia
Finish
Moscow, Russia
Destination
Russia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PCRR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery and learn about history through the lives of the famous Russians who now rest here.

  • Journey to Leo Tolstoy's estate at Yasnaya Polyana where he wrote his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina, plus enjoy a traditional lunch of his household recipes.

  • Visit at town that marks Russia’s transcontinental divide, toasting the Europe-Asia border with a champagne and caviar lunch.

  • Stop at Yekaterinburg and visit Ganina Yama, learning about the fate of the Romanovs – the last royal family of Russia.

  • Be wowed by the delicate carvings and craft of a Siberian shaman and folk artist in Tobolsk.

Is this trip right for you?

  • A highlight for many visitors to Moscow is the Kremlin and Armoury Museum. This trip does not include the Kremlin, so if you are keen to visit during your time in Russia you will need to extend your stay either before or after the trip. Alternatively, our Essential Russia (PCRH) or Splendours of Russia 19-day combination trip (PCRRC) both include the Kremlin and Armoury Museum.

  • This trip includes one overnight train journey (approximately 27 hours). Train travel is an essential experience in Russia and a great chance to see the grand scale of the country and interact with its people. You will stay in a comfortable twin share cabin, with shared toilet facilities. Please note there is no shower on board.

  • It’s best to pack luggage that you’ll be able to comfortably carry, as you’ll have to do so yourself for the duration of the trip (to-and-from hotel and on-and-off transportation).

  • If you would like to see ballet performances in Moscow or St Petersburg, please be advised to book the tickets online well in advance so as not to miss out.

Itinerary

Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to today's contemporary society. Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. You will be collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel if you have booked an airport transfer with us prior to travel. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your group leader. After the meeting, perhaps head with everyone for an optional dinner so you can get acquainted with your fellow travellers and enjoy your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Moscow - Moscow Behind the Icons Urban Adventure - EUR56
  • Moscow - Moscow Underground Urban Adventure - EUR56
  • Moscow - River Cruise - RUB700
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour - RUB1650
  • Moscow - Red Square & Lenin's Mausoleum - Free
  • Moscow - Tretyakov Gallery - RUB500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. Please also have two copies of your passport, visa and migration cards ready. Your leader will collect one; the other is for you to keep on you at all times whilst on the trip.

As there is a lot to do in Moscow, we recommend you spend a couple of extra days before or after your Russia In Depth tour to fully explore the city. You will have tomorrow afternoon and evening free to see more of Moscow, however if you wish to see the Kremlin or one of the acclaimed ballet performances, we suggest you pre-book tickets well in advance.
This morning, hop on the metro and join your leader on an tour to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery. The fortress like Convent is a true architectural masterpiece of the 16-17th century, representing the Baroque style popular in Moscow at the time. It has also played a crucial part in Russia's political and religious history. Next to it is the peaceful cemetery, where many of the greatest Russian minds rest forever, including Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Konstantin Stanislavskiy and many others. Learn about their life and stories which also contain some of the most important parts of Russian history. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in this magnificent city. Moscow’s metro system is renowned for its beautifully crafted stations, adorned with high ceilings, curved archways, and in some instances, chandeliers. Stalin’s vision was to create a metro system that would resemble 'palaces for the people' and, even moving roughly nine million people each day around Moscow, they are palatial, meticulously clean and an easy way to get around. So why not spend some time hopping on and off the metro to see some of the most beautiful stations? Your leader will be able to help you with more directions. Otherwise, maybe take the time to visit Red Square and Kremlin if you haven't already, or take a cruise on the Moscow river. Tonight, you might want to watch one of the renowned ballet performances on offer at a grand theatre such as the Bolshoi – be sure to book in advance so you secure a seat.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Moscow - Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The Metro is the easiest way to get around the city, although do be warned it can be very busy during peak times. Taxis can be expensive, although rideshare apps are now popular and much better value. Traffic jams can be a big factor in getting around, so underground is often the best option! In the Metro there are escalators in combination with stairs and tunnels (there are no lifts), so using the Metro does still involve a lot of walking. Your leader can give you an orientation to help you feel confident in using the Metro.
This morning, travel from Moscow to Yasnaya Polyana – the birthplace of writer Leo Tolstoy (approximately 3 hours). Yasnaya Polyana is his former estate and is now a lovingly preserved museum. Here is where he wrote his aclaimed novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His grave is also within the grounds. Lunch will be included here, where you'll taste traditional specialties from Tostoy's day. Afterwards, continue on to Kozlova Zaseka Station Museum, commonly known as the 'last station'. This is where Tolstoy set off for his final journey, and the station has kept its unique 19th century appearance. Today is all about exploring a time gone by and understanding the life of this famous writer and icon of Russian literature. In the late afternoon, take the short journey to Tula, where you will stay overnight. If there is time, your leader will take you for a walk around the Kremlin and central parts of town. Enjoy an optional dinner out with the group before relaxing for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tula - Yasnaya Polyana (Tolstoy's Estate)
  • Tula - Kozlova Zaseka Station Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
In the morning, travel back to Moscow, taking approximately 4 hours. You’ll have a small amount of time in Moscow to purchase snacks or drinks for tonight’s train journey, and then late in the afternoon, board your train to Yekaterinburg (approximately 27 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
This is a great chance to experience a train journey in Russia - a quintessential experience. You will stay in twin share cabins on the train. Bedding is provided (sheets, blankets and pillows), hot water is available for making drinks and there is a toilet at the end of each carriage. A restaurant carriage serves simple Russian dishes ordered from the menu for lunch and dinner. Breakfast will be included, other meals and snacks are optional and at your own expense. At peak times we may not be able have all group members in adjacent cabins and may be spread throughout the carriage or different carriages.
Enjoy breakfast included in the dining car this morning and spend the rest of the day watching the countryside pass by as you traverse this section of the Trans-Siberian railway. Arrive into Yekaterinburg in the late evening and transfer to your hotel for a restful night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is time to stretch your legs and explore the fourth largest city in Russia. Named after Peter the Great’s wife, Yekaterina, and known as Sverdlovsk during the Soviet era, Yekaterinburg is located near the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In the morning, take a guided city tour of Yekaterinburg, strolling along the main streets and learning about its history and development as a major intersection in the Ural Mountains. Walk along the man-made dam 'Plotinka', catching a glimpse of the Cathedral on Blood and learning how it got such a name. Head to the former KGB headquarters and see the Black Tulip memorial – commemorating victims of the Afghan Wars. Finish in downtown, where you’ll have an optional lunch. In the afternoon, drive to the monastery complex of Ganina Yama outside of the city – the location where bodies Romanov royal family were discovered down a mine shaft after their horrific execution. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yekaterinburg - Ganina Yama tour
  • Yekaterinburg - Guided city tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Yekaterinburg is close to the Europe-Asia border and so today, you will visit one of the monuments that symbolise this 'border' between West and East. This monument was the first, opened in 1837, and is located in the town of Pervouralsk. It was built when the country was preparing for its first visit by Emperor Alexander II to the Ural region. The journey takes around 1 hour. Enjoy a picnic lunch, including champagne and caviar. Transfer back to Yekaterinburg in the afternoon, with an evening at your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pervouralsk - Picnic at Europe-Asia border
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a morning transfer to the Siberian city of Tyumen (approximately 5 hours). Founded in 1586, Tyumen was the first major city in Siberia. Walk down the Tura Embankment and over Lover’s Bridge and visit the Aleksandrovsky Garden. This evening, enjoy an included dinner of northern Siberian cuisine with your group at Chum Restaurant-Museum. It’s a unique institution that feels like you’re in a lodge deep in the Siberian wilderness.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the morning, transfer to Pokrovskoye (approximately 1.5 hours). Here, you will visit the House-Museum of Grigory Rasputin – a mysterious man who had great influence over the Romanovs, and who died at the hands of conspirators in St Petersburg. His original house was demolished in 1980, however in 1991, Marina and Vladimir Smirnov reconstructed the house opposite its original position and opened a private museum. After visiting the museum, continue on to Tobolsk (approximately 2.5 hours). Lunch is included today.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pokrovskoye - House-Museum of Grigoriy Rasputin
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, take a guided city tour of Tobolsk, visiting the Kremlin and the old Castle Prison, where prisoners including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Tsar Nicholas II served sentences. Tobolsk is rich with history, and your knowledgeable guide will provide great insight into the past. In the afternoon, take a fascinating visit to Minsalim’s workshop – a welcoming artist and sometimes shaman who creates traditional carvings from bone, wood and rock. Check out his refined work over a cup of tea and learn about some of the cultures who have long called Siberia home. If you have time, you could explore the old town beneath the Kremlin's gatehouse, or the Governor's House – one of the best in Siberia and also known as the Museum of the Family of Nicholas II, opened in 2018.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tobolsk - City tour (Kremlin & Castle Prison Museum)
  • Tobolsk - Minsalim Folk Art workshop
Optional Activities
  • Tobolsk - Governor's House (Museum of the Family of Nicholas II) - RUB600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is quite a long travel day where you will transfer back to Moscow. Take private transport back to Tyumen (approximately 4 hours), then head on an afternoon flight to Moscow (approximately 2 hours). Depending on flight schedules and traffic from the airport, you should be back in Russia’s capital early evening, in time for a optional dinner with your group. Look back over your Russian journey together as you celebrate the memories you've made.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities included today, so you are free to leave at any time. If you didn’t have time before this tour to explore Moscow, we encourage staying a few more days as there is really so much to see and do in this beautiful city. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Hotel check out time is at 12pm. You will be able to store your luggage at the hotel during the day after check out if your departure isn't until later in the day.

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Overnight sleeper train, Public bus, Metro, Plane, Taxi

Accommodation

Feature Stay Moscow Hotel (2 nights), Hotel (8 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Moscow - Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
  • Tula - Yasnaya Polyana (Tolstoy's Estate)
  • Tula - Kozlova Zaseka Station Museum
  • Yekaterinburg - Ganina Yama tour
  • Yekaterinburg - Guided city tour
  • Pervouralsk - Picnic at Europe-Asia border
  • Pokrovskoye - House-Museum of Grigoriy Rasputin
  • Tobolsk - City tour (Kremlin & Castle Prison Museum)
  • Tobolsk - Minsalim Folk Art workshop

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please note in order for our local operator to book train tickets in Russia, below information must be provided to us no later than 40 days before departure. This information should be exact the same as per your passport. Additional fee will apply for changing train tickets if wrong details are provided.
• Passenger's full name (first, middle and last)
• Full Passport Details (number, expiry, issued)
• DOB
2. A Complimentary Arrival Transfer is included in the cost of the trip. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking or no later than 14 days prior to arrival.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available to book on this trip including all nights except the overnight train.
4. Gratuities included only for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Please see our Tipping section of these trip notes for more information.
5. Check -in luggage limit for the included domestic flight from Tyumen to Moscow is 20kg.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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