Days
19
Price from
5615USD
Map of Splendours of Russia including Russian Federation

Peer into Russia's past and present on this comprehensive tour through some of Russia’s less explored cities, towns of the famous Golden Ring as well as jewels in the crown, Moscow and St Petersburg. Explore the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg, and on to Siberia. Traverse a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and explore the legends the past with visits to palaces, museums and iconic Red Square. This is the ultimate trip in this expansive and endlessly intriguing country.


Start
Moscow, Russia
Finish
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Destination
Russia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PCRRC
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 & 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.

  • Join in local life and customs as you share a meal in a Russian home in the fairytale-like Golden Ring town of Suzdal

  • Marvel at the opulence of Peter the Great’s grand palace gardens and fountains of Peterhof

  • Discover treasure-upon-treasure at the incredible art collection housed in St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, the former Winter Palace of Catherine the Great

  • Tackle part of the Trans-Siberian journey in comfort (twin share) and get a real sense of the vast expanse of this country.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes one overnight train journey (approx. 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)
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 the 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 Rasputi
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
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 final optional dinner with your group. Look back over your Russian journey together as you celebrate the end of your trip.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This is a combination trip. The first part of your adventure finishes today and there are no activities included, so you'll have free time during the day until the 6pm group meeting to meet your new travel companions.
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.
Transfer to the train station and take the Strizh high-speed train to Vladimir. These trains reach up to 250km/h, with the journey taking just under two hours. You will need to be able to carry your own bags through the train station and onto the train. From there you will transfer by private minivan to Suzdal (approximately 30 minutes). The town is a main stop on Russia’s legendary Golden Ring, the circle of ancient and former capitals that played an important part in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church and hold the memories of significant events in Russian history. The fairytale-feel historic small town of Suzdal is filled with contrasting examples of early Russian architecture, where onion-domed monasteries stand next to decorated little wooden cottages. Here there are opportunities to drink mead by the riverside with a symphony of cathedral bells in the air, and peek inside the crumbling churches that line the narrow streets and alleys. Tonight you’ll share a meal of hearty regional flavours with local friends.
Accommodation
  • Pushkarskaya Sloboda Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suzdal - Home-cooked dinner
Optional Activities
  • Suzdal - River Cruise (Commentary in Russian only) - RUB350
  • Suzdal - Mead Tasting - RUB280
  • Suzdal - Belfry Climb - RUB100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Since we only stay in Suzdal overnight, it's suggested to bring an overnight pack with you while leaving your main luggage at the hotel in Moscow.
Get to know Suzdal a little better today with a walking tour of this ‘open-air museum’. Take in the sights – the grandeur of the Kremlin, the opulent frescoes of the Cathedral of the Nativity, the trading square, market and monastery (approximately 3 hours). This tour is made even more memorable by the sight and sound that will greet you when you enter one of the main cathedrals – the angelic, clear and ethereal voices of a local choir. The beautiful sound will fill and transform the space like the sunlight that streams through the windows. You will leave Suzdal in the afternoon and return to Moscow by train, arriving at approximately 8pm (expect approximately 3 hours total travel time back to Moscow).
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suzdal - Guided Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, with a local guide by your side, enter cobbled Red Square, surrounded by the brightly coloured domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, the opulent GUM Department store, the fairy-tale building of the State Historical Museum, and the imposing walls of the Kremlin. From the days of Ivan the Terrible to the military parades of the Cold War, the square has long been at the heart of Russian history. We have the option of travelling to begin the tour by Metro (1 station, plus approximately 10 minutes walk to and from the station) or on foot (approximately 30 minutes walk total), which takes you through interesting historic streets. Enter the Kremlin grounds, home to the oldest and most important churches in the country, and the tombs of Tsars and Tsarinas. Walk through the soaring towers and cathedrals of the political and spiritual heart of Russia before entering the Armoury Museum, home to an eye-bulging former royal collection of Faberge eggs, coronation robes and glittering jewels. This afternoon is a free for you to explore the city’s wonders. Perhaps take the metro to see elaborately decorated stations unlike any other – the fascinatingly decorated 'Palaces of the People'. Otherwise you might relive the nation's turbulent past at Victory Park, travel back to the beginnings of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery, or pick up some souvenirs at the Izmailovo Markets. Maybe step inside the colourful St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square. Legend has it that tsar, Ivan the Terrible, had the two architects blinded so that they couldn't build anything as beautiful.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Moscow - Izmailovo Vernisazh Markets - RUB10
  • Moscow - Victory Park Museum - RUB400
  • Moscow - St Basils Cathedral - RUB500
  • Moscow - Tretyakov Art Gallery - RUB500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
On occasion Lenin's Mausoleum and Red Square may be closed to the public during regular opening hours for special events or without prior warning. As Moscow's premier tourist attractions, tickets for the Kremlin and Armoury are in high demand, and the Moscow Tourism Administration sets strict quotas to control visitor numbers. Time in each area is also limited to 90 minutes, with any exceptions possibly resulting in the guide losing their license. We ask for your understanding that the guide is under pressure to keep to the schedule. The Diamond Fund isn't included in your tour, but after the Kremlin and Armoury there may be time to visit. Entrance tickets can be purchased in the ticket office at the Armoury. The Diamond Fund is open for visitors from 10am-1pm and from 2pm-4pm. Thursday it is closed. Please talk to your leader at the Group Meeting if you are interested in this option so they can investigate pre-booking tickets.
Before leaving Moscow today, visit the Mausoleum of Russia’s most famous revolutionary – Lenin. The initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution that ushered in the era of communism, you will join the sometimes long queue lining up to visit his austere eternal resting place on Red Square. Then you will board a high speed train once again to race through the Russian countryside to one of Russia’s most celebrated cities (approximately 4 hours). Arrive in the beautiful centre of former imperial capital St Petersburg, where your private transfer will take you to your hotel.

A living museum, St Petersburg is a blend of baroque European architecture and Russian royal history, built by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, whose legacy can be felt in its enigmatic streets and showcase cathedrals and museums.
Accommodation
  • Grand Tchaikovsky Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Moscow - Red Square & Lenin's Mausoleum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
St Petersburg is truly one of Europe’s, and the world’s, finest cities. Take the day to explore this beautiful city brimming with historic centres. Today you will explore one of Russia’s most spectacular sights – the stunning Hermitage museum. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and houses one of the world's premier art collections. Your tour will begin around 10am and continue until around 2pm, however you are then of course free to continue any independent exploration. There is a cafe inside for when you need a break to recharge! The Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artefacts from all over the world and throughout history (from Ancient Egypt to the early 20th century Europe). The collection includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, a unique collection of Rembrandts and Rubens, many French Impressionist works and several sculptures by Rodin. Expert have calculated that, if you watch each item for no longer than a minute and spend 8 hours in the Hermitage daily, it will still take you almost 15 years to view all the museum’s exhibits.

Perhaps take a boat to see landmarks from a Neva river cruise or climb the belfry of St Isaacs Cathedral for a rare high view of the city. Then of course there are the world class performances at the Mariinsky Theatre to occupy your evening.
Accommodation
  • Grand Tchaikovsky Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • St Petersburg - Hermitage Museum
Optional Activities
  • St Petersburg - Boat Trip (price from) - RUB700
  • St Petersburg - Saint Isaac’s Cathedral Colonnade - RUB400
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Remember to reserve a concert of performance in advance by booking the tickets online. In particular we recommend you see what's playing at the Bolshoi in Moscow (www.bolshoi.ru) or Mariinsky (www.mariinsky.ru), as it may be difficult to get tickets when you are there, especially during White Nights (mid-summer) in St Petersburg.
This morning you travel a short distance out of the city (40 minutes by hydrofoil) to uncover the opulence of the stunning Summer Palace and Park of Peter the Great, known as Peterhof or Petrodvorets. Your memorable arrival will be a special moment, much like that of the esteemed guests and European royalty of history. Disembarking at the pier and walking up the Fountain Alley, the magnificence of the water features and the splendour of the Big Palace will all be spread out before you – a breath-taking sight. The Tsar was heavily influenced by European styles and customs and so the place is roughly modelled on Versailles. Built to impress on guests the ruler’s wealth and taste, the grounds of the park are filled with fountains, cascades and landscaped gardens, and the location right on the Gulf of Finland makes for beautiful views. The palaces (of which there are three – Great Peterhof Palace, Marly Palace and Monplaisir Palace) are fascinating not only for the elaborate halls and galleries, but also for the fact that they have been so accurately restored after being almost completely destroyed during Nazi occupation in World War II. Return to St Petersburg at 2pm, and use any free time to visit the last minute sites you might have missed. Tonight is your final night with your new travel companions, and so your leader will organise an optional farewell dinner at one of the city's great restaurants.

Accommodation
  • Grand Tchaikovsky Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • St Petersburg - Peterhof Park & Fountains (free Nov-Apr when fountains are not operating)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that your tour includes entrance to the main park, but does not include entry into the Palace itself, which requires an additional ticket (optional). If you would like to remain at Peterhof and see the Summer Palace you will need to make your own way back to St Petersburg. Some other optional sights in the park may also attract additional entrance fees.

On occasion our groups have been unable to visit Peterhof due to tickets being booked out or the park being closed without warning for an official delegation. At these times we will visit an alternative park in another of St Petersburg's suburbs.
Your Russian adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. An airport transfer is not included, however your leader or hotel staff can help you book a taxi for your flight. St Petersburg has much to offer, so we recommend that those that wish to see more extend their stay a day or two.
Optional Activities
  • St Petersburg - St Petersburg like a Local Urban Adventure - EUR50
  • St Petersburg - St Petersburg Discovery Urban Adventure - EUR50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

18 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

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

Accommodation

Feature Stay Moscow Hotel (5 nights), Hotel (12 nights)

Included Activities

  • Moscow - Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
  • Tula - Yasnaya Polyana (Tolstoy's Estate)
  • Yekaterinburg - Ganina Yama tour
  • Yekaterinburg - Guided city tour
  • Pervouralsk - Picnic at Europe-Asia border
  • Pokrovskoye - House-Museum of Grigoriy Rasputi
  • Tobolsk - City tour (Kremlin & Castle Prison Museum)
  • Tobolsk - Minsalim Folk Art workshop
  • Suzdal - Home-cooked dinner
  • Suzdal - Guided Walking Tour
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
  • Moscow - Red Square & Lenin's Mausoleum
  • St Petersburg - Hermitage Museum
  • St Petersburg - Peterhof Park & Fountains (free Nov-Apr when fountains are not operating)

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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 domestic flight from Tyumen to Moscow is 20kg.

Essential trip information

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