Proposal of services
Moscow & Saint Petersburg
8 nights/9 days
Friday arrivals in Moscow

Itineray in brief

Day 1/Friday
• PM: Arrival in the international Airport (DME, SVO, VKO). Drive to the hotel. Accommodation. Eve at leisure
Option: dinner at the hotel restauran

Day 2/Saturday. Bus/Guide.
• AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Kremlin (territory and cathedrals – TBC). Armoury Museum
• PM: Orientation tour of the city – Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral (no entrance inside), GUM, Sparrow Hills, Poklonnaya Hill, Arbat shopping district
Eve option: Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy boulevard

Day 3/Sunday.Bus/Guide.
• AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Tretyakov Gallery
• PM: Izmaylovo Souvenir Market
Option: Matryoshka doll painting class

Day 4/Monday. Bus/Guide.
• AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Sergiev Posad (lunch included)
Option: Visit to Icon-painting Studio
• PM: Drive back to Moscow
Option: Metro-tour

Day 5/Tuesday. Bus/Guide.
• AM: Breakfast at the hotel.
Option 1: Visiting to Moscow Zoo
Option 2: Visiting to the State Moscow Planetarium
Option 3: Visiting the State Darwin Zoological Museum
• PM: Orientation tour with Peter & Paul’s fortress and St Isaac’s cathedral
Late check - out from the hotel. Transfer to the train-station
• 23.45: Overnight train Grand Express Moscow – St. Pet (a 4-berth compartment)

Day 6/Wednesday.
• AM: Breakfast on train board. Arrival to St Pet at 08.35. City tour with Peter and Paul’s Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral
PM option: “The St. Petersburg World of Water”, an information and education centre
Eve option: National folklore show “Feel Yourself Russian”

Day 7/Thursday.
• AM: Breakfast hotel. Hermitage Museum with Egyptian hall (that is of special interest for children)
• PM: Trip to Peterhof by a hydrofoil (and back to the city by car)

• AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure
Option 1: The St. Petersburg Bread Museum
Option 2: The Saint-Petersburg Toy Museum
Option 3: The Ethnography museum
Eve option: Ballet performance at one of the city theatres

• AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Departure transfer with guide


Detailed itinerary

On arrival you will be met in the arrival hall by an English-speaking guide. A private vehicle will take you to your hotel. Have a short tour en route. After the check in and some rest in the hotel you are welcome to enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant (it is an option)

Begin the tour with heart of the city - Kremlin
You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures one can see within its walls: 15th century cathedrals (the coronation, wedding and bury place of Russian rulers), bell-tower, Patriach’s Palace, Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the richest museum - Armoury. The Armoury has a fantastic collection of insignia of Imperial power, precious clothes, ceremonial harness and unique collection of imperial carriages. The 17th century throne of Alexey Romanov covered with a mosaic of turquoises and 900 diamonds, a pheloneon of Metropolitan Platon decorated with 150,000 pearls (it took the embroiderer 2 years to work on the pattern!), the famous Faberge eggs – one help admiring the priceless and luxurious items.. Visit the 15th century cathedrals with fantastic interiors afterwards.

In the afternoon enjoy the first sights of Moscow during the city tour, passing the main streets and boulevards of the ancient city.

Originally a commercial centre, Red Square has been at the very centre of Russian history since the 15th century, from Ivan the Terrible’s confession of his misdeeds to the people in 1550, to great demonstrations, executions and the great parades of the Soviet Union’s military might. Ironically, “krasny” originally meant beautiful; it came to mean “red” only in the last century! From the time of Ivan the Great the square was used as a huge gathering place for public events, markets, fairs and festivals. The magnificent square encompasses an area of over $ 70,000 square metres and is bounded by the Kremlin walls, St.Bazil’s cathedral, the Historical museum and GUM departments store, the shopping arcade, that was completed in 1893.
At the southern end of Red Square is the almost fairy-tale like building of St Basil’s cathedral, commissioned in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate his conquering of Kazan; legend has it that the architect was later blinded so that he could never repeat such a building that is so traditionally Russian. It is built of brick and comprises many colourful asymmetrical helmet & onion domes situated over nine chapels; the interior is full of 16th and 17th century icons, frescoes and ceiling paintings of subtle blues and pinks.

Go to the best viewpoint on Sparrow hills, from which you could easily see most of the city.

Eve option for the family
Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard
was the only circus in Moscow between 1926 and 1971 and still remains the most popular one. The circus building was opened on 20 October 1880 as the Solomonsky Circus. Known by a variety of names during the Soviet period, the troupe was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1939. Among the famous performers who worked there were the clowns Karandash, Oleg Popov, and Yury Nikulin, who managed the company for fifteen years and whose name it has born since his passing in 1997. In front of the building is a remarkable statue of Nikulin, whose son has been in charge of the circus ever since his death.

In the morning we invite you to get acquainted with the best samples of the Russian art. The founders of it, brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov used their family fortune to become important collectors of art. Pavel opened his house to the public in 1856 and later built a new gallery for his paintings, and in 1892, both brothers bequeathed their collections to the city. The Tretyakov gallery reopened in 1995 after a nine-year renovation, and houses the world’s best collection of Russian icons, as well as a fantastic collection of other pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Enjoy a tour in the halls devoted to Russian icon painting, where you will learn the painting techniques of old masters and admire medieval masterpieces and listen to fascinating stories about them.
After the tour we offer you a private concert in the beautiful Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker in Tolmachi, situated close to the gallery. The Church contains icons from the gallery’s reserve, among them – Russia’s most sacred object, the Icon of our Lady of Vladimir. As other cathedrals this church has a fantastic acoustics. The church is closed for the public, special chairs for the listeners are placed in the hall.
Since Orthodox tradition doesn’t allow musical instruments during the services, it is a capella singing, under the direction of Alexey Puzakov, one of the best choirmasters of Moscow.

In PM we offer you the visit to Russian handicraft centre – Izmaylovo, famous for its open air souvenir market. Izmaylovo is one of the oldest part of Moscow, where the second Romanov Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich had his summer residence where his son Peter the Great was brought up. At the present moment the complex occupies the territory of 17 hectares and includes: trade town (with streets of private booth-shops where the clients can see and buy great variety of traditional Russian crafts objects – famous matryoshkas, wood-carving goods, porcelain, glass, birchbark items, Russian Army uniforms, badges, etc.), traditional crafts workshops where once can see the process of creation of handicraft items, “Russian Yard” – a copy of a traditional wooden settlement with wooden churches, houses.
At the entrance the guests are met by bread and salt offered by a Russian girl in traditional costume.

Optionally enjoy the feeling of creator, having Matryoshka (the famous Russian nestling dolls) doll painting class! The guests are taken to the classes. Applied art college where they attend a lesson of traditional Russian painting of matryoshka doll. The clients get acquainted with the techniques of painting, get the set of paints and a wooden unpainted doll to make an attempt to do the painting themselves and get the painted item as souvenir.
After the painting class the guests may spend time in the market looking for the souvenirs.

Full day outside the city
This is the town around the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius (60 km from Moscow) and is one of Russia’s most important religious and historical landmarks, and still a place of spiritual pilgrimage. Dating back to 1340, the monastery is seeped in state and religious history and visitors today still get a real feeling of Medievil Russia. The monks here withstood a 16-month siege by the Polish from 1608 – 10 and they sheltered the young Tsars Peter and Ivan in the 1680’s. During Soviet times, it was the residence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church, and the wealth of beautiful churches here includes the Trinity Cathedral which alone houses 42 icons by the master, Andrei Rublyov.
It is possible to have lunch in one of the local restaurants.

Option – visit to Private icon-painter studio

Return to the city.

Option – have a metro ride in the afternoon. Moscow underground is not only the fastest means of transportation in the city but also a unique architectural ensemble. Major stations built in 30s of last century look like palaces richly decorated with marble, mosaic and semi-precious stones.

Option 1
Visitors can sometimes be a little wary of Russian zoos, but there's no reason to be - the dedication of the keepers to the animals is evident, and under-funding problems have by and large been resolved. Moscow Zoo, Russia's largest, is an increasingly respected conservation institution, but the main emphasis is on children's education and entertainment - it's more about giving the city's children a chance to see and touch farm animals than about big cats in small cages.

Option 2
Who would not want to catch a glimpse of the future? So many of us are curious about the past. And everyone is eager to learn about the present. Universarium M9, the most advanced fiberglass projection device for displaying the night sky, installed in the Large Star Hall, is truly a time and space machine. This star-machine turns fantasy into reality. Moscow Planetarium invites you on a journey in time and space. Take a look at the night sky of Moscow, Tokyo and Paris. See the past, the present, and the future of the Universe.

Option 3
The State Darwin Museum was established in 1907 by Kots as educational museum at the Moscow Higher Women’s courses. It was the first museum of biological evolution in the world.

In the eve make a late check out from the hotel and transfer to the railway-station for overnight train to St. Petersburg Grand Express

08.35 am – Arrival in St. Petersburg

In the morning the guests will have a chance to get acquainted with one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg remains one of the most romantic cities in Russia. Among the many poetical names applied to St. Petersburg the most common are “Northern Venice” and “Northern Palmyra”. The fascinating palaces and cathedrals, beautiful bridges over Venice-like canals, spacious squares and wide streets decorated with edifices of flourished baroque and impressive classical styles, monumental sculpture and lacy iron grilles and, of course, the special spirituality of this city infects everyone who visits it. In 1991 the city was placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. With numerous palaces and the world famous Hermitage on the banks of the Neva river, the city is Russia’s most popular destination, drawing visitors from all over the world throughout the year.

Visit to Peter and Paul’s fortress
Standing on a small island at the centre of the Neva delta, the fortress was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and is the oldest building in St Petersburg. Up to 1917, the fortress was mainly used for holding political prisoners, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s brother Alexander and Peter the Great’s own son Alexei. At the heart of the fortress is the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, with its landmark gold spire, where all of Russia’s pre-Revolutionary leaders were buried, apart from Peter, Ivan IV and Nicholas II.
St Isaacs Cathedral Is the main church of the city. Commissioned in 1818 by Alexander I, this imperial cathedral with its opulent interior and huge gold dome by its height occupies the 4th place in the world among domed cathedrals. The massive granite columns had to be transported from Finland on purpose built ships and rail and the dome is covered in nearly 100kg of gold; inside, there are 10 malachite columns and a beautiful iconostasis. For visitors with energy to spare, it is possible to climb the several hundred steps of the spiral staircase to the colonnade for a fabulous view of the city.

Pm option - “The St. Petersburg World of Water”, an information and education centre opened for the city’s in St. Petersburg’s first water tower, a monument of 19th century industrial architecture. The museum’s exhibits, models, installations and multimedia displays tell of the past, present and future of city’s water supply and drainage system, the use of water in everyday life and the current state of water resources. Museums of this kind enjoy great popularity in Europe, but are not yet very widespread in Russia. In addition to photographs and archive material, pipes and appliances, on the fifth floor there is a reconstruction of a genuine water-worker’s corner during the siege ( a bed, a stool and table). There is a model of the mechanism controlling the water channel with the operator standing beside it (a waxwork figure). In the annexe to left you will find a large-scale map of the Neva on the floor; special lights highlight the areas that would be floored at various levels of water. A variety of short-term exhibitions are held in the right-hand annex. Near the walls of the tower stands the statue of St. Petersburg water-carrier, pulling a barrel of water. Water was carried around the city in barrels such as this in first half of the 19th century.

Eve option.
The Nikolaevsky Palace is a beautiful example of one of St Petersburg’s great palaces, built in red and yellow brick, not far from Palace Square. It was built between 1861-1863 for Grand Prince Nicholas, the third son of Nicholas I., and then, in 1894, became home to the Kseninsky Boarding School – a private school for girls from noble families, founded by Tsar Alexander III in honour of his eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Kseniya Alexandrovna. After the revolution, the Palace was renamed “Dvarietz Truda” – or “The Labour Palace”, and became the trade unions’ headquarters. Today, the palace still houses several offices, but several of the old staterooms have been beautifully restored to their former glory. The entrance hall is impressive, with a beautiful, long, grey marble staircase, grey & white marble pillars and chandeliers.

In the morning admire the wonderful collection of the world’s biggest museum – Hermitage. Today, the museum has over 2 million exhibits within its four buildings and attracts around 3 million visitors a year. The exhibitions are diverse with works by Da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, an impressive collection of impressionists and largest collection of Titians in existence.

In the afternoon arrive to the sumptuous Peterhoff, or “Peter’s Court”, dates back to 1715 and is a former summer residence of the Russian Tsars. Most famous for its stunning golden fountains, the palace grounds house several buildings and parks – the Grand Palace (“the Russian Versailles”, now a vast museum of lavish rooms and galleries), Monplaisir (Peter’s outwardly more humble villa), the Grand Cascade (the centrepiece of the palace grounds with over 140 fountains), the Lower Park (parkland along the Gulf with more fountains and pavillions), Marly Palace and Alexandria Park. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the population of St Petersburg was invited to dine here at a great summer fete held every year.

Enjoy the tour of the palace and parks.

Option 1
The St. Petersburg Bread Museum
was founded in 1988. This is the only museum of its kind in Russia and one of the youngest museums in the city. It is situated on the premises of the Bread Bakery Plant. The museum's displays give an idea of the traditions of bread consumption in Russia, recounting the history of the baking and confectionery business and trade in the country in general and St.Petersburg in particular, from the Petrine era to the present day. The exhibits include various household utensils, examples of bread-baking equipment, works of visual art, photographs, documents, advertisements, shop signs and assorted breads. The reconstrued interior of a bakery shop evokes the atmosphere of the 19th century.

Option 2
The Saint-Petersburg Toy Museum
was established as an artistic museum with the main task of collecting, storing, exposing and studying a toy not only as a unique item of material culture, but also as a unique art form, that includes ancient national traditions and the most recent artistic tendencies. It was the insight to a toy as to the synthetic art form, existing in complex connection between the aesthetic and playing functions, and possessing the richest palette of artistic means, that predetermined the allocation of the collection of author’s artistic toy (partly represented in the “Petersburg Toy” album) as being the main museum fund. It is this very collection that predetermines the specificity and uniqueness of the Saint-Petersburg Museum. According to art critics of the museum opinion, author’s toy (strictly speaking, playing objects) born in the workshops of artist, working in different techniques: draughtsman, painters, sculptors, designers, architects etc. was formed only in the last 20 – 25 years, being rather original field of present day culture, but not yet the sphere of interests of artistic museums or toy museums. We don’t possess data about the existence of any significant collections of that kind in Europe.

Option 3
The Ethnography museum
is devoted to the culture and everyday life of the peoples of Russia. One of the world's largest ethnographic museums. The tools, domestic items, folk costumes, utensils and objects of ritual that are exhibited in the 24 halls of the museum, give an idea about the occupations of the population, their dwellings, holidays, rites and religious beliefs. Most of the exhibits illustrating the domestic culture of the various peoples of Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries are presented in the form of lifesize models. The focal point of the museum is its Special Storeroom which contains a great variety of national ornaments, weaponry and devational objects, made of precious metals, pearl and precious and semiprecious stones. Many of these artefacts are the only ones of their kind and the art of their production has long been forgotten. The displays "The Slavs of Eastern Europe" and "From the History of St.Petersburg Gubernia" dwell on the distinctive features of regional cultures.

Departure transfer with the guide to the airport