The world’s largest country offers it all, from historic cities and idyllic countryside to artistic riches, epic train rides and vodka-fuelled nightlife. If ancient walled fortresses, glittering palaces and swirly-spired churches are what you’re after, focus on European Russia. Here Moscow and St Petersburg are the must-see destinations, twin repositories of eye-boggling national treasures, political energies and contemporary creativity. Within easy reach of these cities are charming historical towns and villages, such as Veliky Novgorod, Pskov and Suzdal, where the vistas dotted with onion domes and lined with gingerbread cottages measure up to the rural Russia of popular imagination.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Departure from the hotel.
Panoramic tour of Moscow – Stop at St. Sofia Embankment of the Moskva-river; The Bolshoy Stone Bridge; stops at Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts; the new monument to Peter the Great; Gorky Park; stop at New Maiden Convent; observation platform of Sparrow (Lenin) Hills; Viktory Park and Poklonnaya Hill with World War II Memorial; Kutuzov Avenue; White House.
Lunch on your own
Metro Tour- The Moscow Metro is the most popular and, that is why, the most overcrowded public transport facility of the city. The fi rst line of the Moscow Metro was opened in 1935. Currently, there are over 150 stations. The Metro stations were des igned and embellished by prominent Russian architects, artists and sculptors. Their great talent and decorative skills created a peculiar underground network of great artistic value. The gamut of original materials, which were used to ornament the stations, is so wide that the Moscow
Metro may be called a unique Museum of Geology or even a peculiar Museum of Arts.
Old Arbat walking tours. Overnight at hotel.
Russian chocolate is famous all over the world factory in Moscow, Red October has 5 production departments. “Red October” uses for production only natural products doing without synthetic preservatives and substitutes. Total range of raw materials used amounts to about 100 types. Apart from the Central Technological Laboratory, each production department has its own laboratory which provides thorough quality control starting from arrival of raw materials to the department and finishing with the acceptance of finished products at the warehouse. You will have the opportunity to not only to see how the chocolate is produced, but also to taste it!
Moscow Circus is one of the oldest in Russia, and the traditional home of the world-famous Circus. Initially, the circus was most famous for its trick riding acts, but an increasingly wide variety of performers joined the repertoire, and later the stars of the show became the clowns. In 1946, the Clown Studio was established, and its alumni included the great clown and comic actor Yuri Nikulin, who performed at the circus for over twenty years and became Chief Producer there, as well as starring in a number of extremely popular Soviet-era film comedies. The Nikulin circus has been renamed in honor of this much-loved performer, and a statue of him stands in front of the building. Although it’s called the ‘Old’ Circus – to differentiate it from the Big Circus on Prospekt Vernadskogo – it was in fact completely rebuilt in the 1980’s, and the building and the auditorium seem more like a theater than a big top, with a plush red interior and comfortable seating. The shows at the Nikulin Circus also have a very theatrical feel to them, with quite a formal atmosphere, a serious approach to circus artistry, and the acts normally connected by a particular theme or narrative thread.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Departure from the hotel
City tour in St. Petersburg– Nevsky Prospect,Palace Square and Winter Palace+, Spit of the Vassilievsky Island, University Embankmant, Main Building of the State St.Petersburg University, Admiralty, Senat Square, Monument to Peter the Great (Bronze Horseman), St.Isaak’s Cathedral and St.Isaak’s Square, Field of Mars+ and Summer Gardens+, Cruiser Aurora, Smolny Cathedral.
Peter and Paul Fortress Tour– The Peter and Paul Fortress is located on Hare Island, on the right bank of the Neva river. It was designed by Peter the First. It has never been used as a fortress and its bastions were turned into political cells. Nowadays it is a museum of architecture and history. The Peter and Paul Cathedral was the burial-vault of Russian emperors since Peter the Great.
Overnight at hotel.
Meet your expert guide at your central St Petersburg hotel and walk to the departure jetty on the Neva River. Along the way, stride out along Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main avenue lined with elegant buildings. Straddling the Neva, St Petersburg is honeycombed with historical canals and more than 300 bridges, all making a cruise along the Neva wonderfully scenic and interesting. Step aboard your comfortable sightseeing boat and hear about the history of the Neva, and St Petersburg’s founder, Peter the Great. One of Russia’s most beloved tsars, Peter established the city in 1703 with the building of the Peter and Paul Fortress, intending it to be his ‘Venice of the North.’ As you cruise, watch for many top St Petersburg attractions that flank the Neva’s waters. See the Peter and Paul Fortress that was the city’s first building, and sail by other magnificent landmarks, including St Michael’s Castle and the Anichkov Palace. Snap photos of the Summer Garden with its marble statues, and of the Aurora, the 19th-century battleship that fired the first shot of the October 1917 Russian Revolution: a blank that signaled to the revolutionaries to storm the Winter Palace. Glimpse the ornate Mariinsky Theatre, known as the Kirov Theater in Soviet days, and pass sights including New Holland Island, St Nicholas Naval Cathedral and St Isaac’s Cathedral, the massive Russian Orthodox church topped by a gleaming gold dome. After around two hours, your boat returns to the original departure jetty, where your cruise ends.