Classic Russia – 5 nights
St. Petersburg 3N - Moscow 2N
The perfect introduction to Russia's two prominent cities.
Day 1: Arrive St. Petersburg
Arrival in St. Petersburg. Transfer from airport to the hotel and check-in.
Day 2: St. Petersburg
A.M. City tour including visit to Peter and Paul Fortress
The city was founded in 1703 and was named in honour of patron saint of its founder. St Petersburg is known as the cultural treasure house of Russia and it is often reffered to as an Open-air Museum. There are more than 140 museums and around 100 theatres. St Petersburg together with its palaces, museums, theatres, distant suburbs and their parks is renowned piece of the world’s cultural heritage. The city is also known as “Venice of the North”. The streets and squares of the city are ornamented by brilliant sculptures. Among them is the famous Bronze Horseman, the monument to Peter the Great, which became one of the symbols of St.Petersburg.
P.M. Tour to the Hermitage
The museum contains one of the largest collections of pieces of art in the world. The collection is housed in 4 buildings & the most famous of them is the Winter Palace, the former Royal residence.
Catherine the Great created the first Hermitage and its embryonic art collection, and though “respectable” citizens were admitted after 1852, it only became fully accessible following the revolution of 1917. The collection of the Hermitage numbers over three million items, among them there are examples of prehistoric culture — Egyptian art, the art of Antiquity, Scythian gold — and a great collection of Western-European paintings and sculptures.
Day 3: St. Petersburg
Tour to town of Pushkin (the former summer residence of Catherine II)
Located twenty-five kilometers south of St. Petersburg, the town of Pushkin, came into existence when Catherine I built a little surprise palace here for her husband, Peter the Great. The park-and-palace ensemble of Tzarskoje Selo (Tzar’s village), the former country residence of Russian royal family is a fascinating specimen of the world architecture and gardening of XVIII–XIX cent. Its three parks take up the total square of 600 hectares and contain over 100 architectural constructions ranging from gorgeous palaces and magnificent monuments to smaller pavilions and park sculpture.
The compositional centre of the whole complex is the Catherine Palace where one can find fine objects of applied art, furniture, Russian and West European painting, unique collections of porcelain, amber, arms, bronze and sculpture. Totally there are about 20 thousand exhibits in the museum collection. Bolshoy Catherine Palace is a remarkable example of Russian baroque architecture. The existing palace was built between 1744 and 1756.
Day 4: St. Petersburg – Moscow
Transfer from hotel to airport. Flight or high-speed train from St.Petersburg to Moscow. Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to hotel & check-in.
Then proceed for a City tour.
Moscow’s history covers about two thousand years, though the earliest annals set the date of its foundation as 1147, which is the official “birthday” of the city. The heart of the city is the Kremlin which stands on the crest of a hill above the Moskva River. It is flanked by the Red Square, that is crowned by the unique and gorgeous St. Basil’s Cathedral. Besides the ancient historical buildings Moscow has many modern buildings — Moscow State University, the Central Stadium in Luzhniki which hosted the 1980 Olympic Games, and the Ostankino TV Tower (536 meters high). Moscow is the city of theatres, among them is the world famous Bolshoi Opera and Ballet House.
The city tour includes visiting both the historical center of the city (the Red Square, the Sofiiskaya Embankment with the building of the St. Sophia Cathedral and the panorama of the Kremlin walls, etc.) and its modern part (the Lenin (Vorobievy) Hills — the highest place in the city, providing a beautiful view; the Poklonnaya Hill where there is a monument commemorating defenders of the city during the World War Two, etc).
In the evening, visit the Moscow Circus for an unforgettable show.
In a country where Ivan-durak (John the Fool) was the most popular folklore hero, the circus inevitably became one of the most beloved forms of national art.
Day 5: Moscow
Visit the Kremlin (the territory) and the Armoury Chamber
The Kremlin has always been perceived as a symbol of power and mighty of the Russian state. Each era in the history of Russia left its significant architectural trace in the Kremlin. On the territory of the Kremlin there are buildings of 5 Russian Orthodox Cathedrals among which the most famous is the Cathedral of Assumption (1475–79) — Russia’s principal church; the Bell Tower named after Ivan the Great (1505–08); the Tsar Bell — the biggest bell in the world (1733-35); the Tsar Cannon with the largest caliber of any gun in the world (1586); the Grand Kremlin Palace (which is a group of several buildings with the main section dating back to 1838–1849); the Arsenal (early 19th cent); the Palace of Congresses (1961) and many other objects.
The Armoury Chamber, a treasure-house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex. The museum collections were based on the precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars’ treasury and the Patriarch’s vestry. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin’s workshops, others were accepted as ambassadorial gifts. One of the world’s largest museums of applied art, it contains items ranging in age from the 4th cent. A.D. to the 20th century, arranged in thematic collections — i.e. weaponry, jewelry, Russian and West European silverware, precious textiles and embroideries, regalia, carriages and ceremonial harnesses.
Day 6: Depart Moscow
Transfer from hotel to airport.
Golden Ring – 2 nights (extension from Moscow)
Moscow - Vladimir - Suzdal - Ples (Green Stop) - Kostroma - Yaroslavl - Rostov-the-Great - Zagorsk - Moscow
The “Golden Ring” of Moscow is a ring of ancient historic Russian cities, northeast of Moscow. The picturesque towns have been called "open air museums" and feature unique monuments of Russian architecture of the 12th–18th centuries, including kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals, and churches.
Day 1, Sun: Moscow — Vladimir — Suzdal
08:00 — Departure from hotel in Moscow.
11:00 — Arrival to Vladimir, city tour including the Golden Gates (1164), the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral (constructed in 1158–61, rebuilt in 1185–89).
Departure from Vladimir for Suzdal.
Vladimir is one of the towns of the Gold Ring located 170 km from Moscow. The town is situated on the banks of the Kliazma river, a small tributary of Volga. It was founded in 1108. The town is recognized by UNESCO as one of the most valuable treasures of the international heritage.
14:00 — Arrival to Suzdal, city tour including Kremlin, Spaso-Evfimievsky Monastery, the open-air museum of wooden architecture.
Suzdal is the town that was awarded The Golden Apple Prize by the International Journalists’ Organization for preservation of its architectural ensemble and tourist development in the area. The name of Suzdal appeared in the annals for the first time in 1024. The first stone church was built here in the 12th century. In Suzdal there are 33 churches, 5 monasteries, 7 chapels and no any modern constructions in the centre of the town.
18:00 — Check-in to the hotel “Pushkarskaya sloboda” in Suzdal. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2, Mon: Suzdal — Ples — Kostroma — Yaroslavl
09:30 — After breakfast departure from Suzdal to Kostroma.
On the way — a “green stop” in Ples (small town located 65 km from Kostroma).
Ples is a small town located in picturesque place on a bank of the river Volga, it is an ideal site for a picnic or a walking tour. Ples was a home place of a Russian artist Ivan Levitan who was inspired by the local nature to paint his famous landscapes.
We invite You to try the traditional Russian hospitality of the 18th–19th centuries: a housewife will greet You, invite to the “izba” (a wooden house) and offer to taste her cooking; a husband, craftsman, will show his works of handicraft.
14:00 — Arrival to Kostroma. HD city tour of Kostroma including Ipatievsky Monastery and the Church of Resurrection-on-Debra.
Kostroma is known as an important trade and handicraft centre in the Old Russia. In the 17thcentury it became the 4th largest city of Russia, after Moscow, Yaroslavl and Nizhni Novgorod.
19:00 — After city tour in Kostroma departure for Yaroslavl. Checking in hotel “Ring Premiere”. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
In 1010 Prince Yaroslav the Wise founded a fort on the banks of the Volga that is later turned into a beautiful town. The abundance of frescoes and ceramic ornaments in its churches earned the town the title of the “Florence of Russia”.
Day 3, Tue: Yaroslavl — Rostov the Great — Pereyaslavl-Zalessky — Zagorsk
08:30 — After breakfast check out from hotel and departure to Moscow. Visits on the way: city tour in Yaroslavl including visit to Transfiguration Monastery.
12:00 — City tour in Rostov the Great.
Rostov the Great is the town frequently referred to as “a symphony in stone” and “Russia’s Eternal city”. It is about 193 km from Moscow. The town was founded in A.D. 862. Rostov is famous for its enamels, they are the trademark of the town.
14:00 — “Photo-stop” in Pereyaslavl-Zalessky.
Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, the “town on waters”, is the birthplace of the Russian Navy. The town was founded by Price Yury Dolgoruky in 1152, five years after the foundation of Moscow.
16:00 — Arrival to Zagorsk. Visit to St. Trinity — Sergius Monastery.
17:00 — Lunch in local restaurant in Zagorsk.
In Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad) there is the monastery of St. Trinity — St. Sergius that is a kind of Mecca for Orthodox piligrims. The monastery is a museum of national importance, it is also a major religious centre.
The trip ends in the evening in Moscow.
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