- Explore iconic Moscow landmarks like the Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral
- See one of the world's largest art collections at the Hermitage Museum
- Visit the country home of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy in Tula
- Explore ornate 18th-century Rococo Catherine Palace and Peterhof estate
|Day 1||Welcome to Moscow||Moscow|
|Day 2||Get to know Moscow, metro tour||Moscow|
|Day 3||Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin||Moscow|
|Day 4||Tula and Yasnaya Polyana||Moscow|
|Day 5||St. Petersburg city tour, Peter and Paul Fortress||St. Petersburg|
|Day 6||Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), river cruise||St. Petersburg|
|Day 7||Peterhof park and the Grand Palace||St. Petersburg|
|Day 8||Free day in St Petersburg||St. Petersburg|
|Day 9||Departure from St.Petersburg|
Day 1: Welcome to Moscow
Welcome to Moscow. Transfer from the airport to your hotel to relax after your flight. After settling in, head out to get a first look at Russia's capital.
Day 2: Get to know Moscow, metro tour
Start your day with a general tour of Moscow to see some of the city's highlights and most notable landmarks. Start your tour with a visit to several of the seven Stalin Sisters, built to compete with New York's skyscrapers. Continue to see the Triumphal Arch and the Church of Christ the Savior, as well as the panoramic views from Sparrow Hills and the Moscow State University.
In the afternoon take a tour of nearly 90-year-old Moscow Metro, constructed as a showpiece and underground palace for the capital's residents. These days nearly 9 million tourists and locals use the metro for their commutes. Make sure to get out to walk around and enjoy the different styles, as each station is built in a unique artistic style.
Day 3: Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin
In the morning, head to the city center for a visit to the Red Square, the onion-domed St. Basil's Cathedral, and a chance to see the Kremlin—the home of the Russian government—up close. This medieval fortress is one of the few in the world still functioning in its original intended purpose as a government and military center. In the afternoon, join a tour to see inside the Kremlin walls or explore on your own. Stop inside the GUM—the government department store—located opposite the Kremlin to see a Soviet-era shopping center.
Day 4: Tula and Yasnaya Polyana
After breakfast take an early express train to Tula. This small city is famous for its Kremlin and for its military and literary history. After a tour of the famous author's country estate, stop by a cafe for a cup of tea from a traditional samovar—a wood-burning tea kettle—and some pryanik spiced bread.
Day 5: St. Petersburg city tour, Peter and Paul Fortress
Get an early morning start with a 6:00 AM express train to St. Petersburg. After an easy 3.5-hour journey, check in to your hotel and head out for a day of sightseeing.
St. Petersburg has been described as the Venice of the North and is as strikingly beautiful as it is historically significant. Visitors will find the mood here to be more extravagant and relaxed than in Moscow. Much of downtown St. Petersburg was influenced heavily by European architecture, with art and buildings inspired by Classical motifs. Paradoxically, this very European city—complete with winding canals, ornate mansions, and gilded monuments—was also home to some of Russia's most critical historical moments. From the 1917 Revolution to the World War II siege, St. Petersburg's history has shaped Russia's future.
Your tour of the city today will include iconic highlights—from the Kazan Cathedral to the Academy of Sciences—as well as numerous cathedrals, notable buildings, and the expansive Nevsky Prospekt.
After a break for lunch, head across the river to the imposing 1706 Peter and Paul Fortress—the city's original citadel. Tour the grounds and learn about its history a political prison and as a burial ground for Russian Tsars.
Day 6: Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), river cruise
Spend the morning touring the countryside estates and palaces favored by the Tsars during the 18th-20th centuries. Start at Tsarskoye Selo—The Tsar Village— so called because of the many palaces that are located there. Visit the stunning 18th-century Rococo style Catherine Palace and the ornate Amber Room.
After lunch, go for a relaxed river tour of the city's many winding canals. St. Petersburg is built on 42 islands and is surrounded by a complex web of rivers, canals, channels, and a bay. You'll get great views of the 18th through 20th-century architecture from your seat in the riverboat, as well as local landmarks and famous statues.
Day 7: Peterhof park and the Grand Palace
In the afternoon drive to the sprawling estate of Peterhof, which served as a summer home for the Tsar's family. Also known as Petrodvorets, this majestic and ornate palace was built to emulate the famous Versailles gardens of France. The palace, along with the adjacent gardens, gazebos, fountains, and landscaped flower beds is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8: Free day in St Petersburg
Today is a free day to explore the city on your own. Spend the day touring one of the many museums and art galleries, or simply stroll around down one of the numerous canals and waterways.
Day 9: Departure from St. Petersburg
Depending on your flight time head out for a relaxed morning of sightseeing, then head to the airport for your flight home.