See Russia's capital cities in a 6-day highlights tour. Start in Moscow and explore the iconic Red Square, Kremlin fortress, and 90-year-old metro system. Take an express train to St. Petersburg to see Orthodox Cathedrals, the world-famous Hermitage art museum, and European-inspired gardens. Visit the sprawling Peterhof estate to see ornate fountains and an extravagant summer palace that matches Versaille's opulence.

Highlights

  • See iconic Moscow highlights like St. Basil's Cathedral and the Red Square
  • Explore ornate Rococo architecture in St. Petersburg's palace district
  • Visit one of the world's largest art collections at the Hermitage Museum
  • Follow the footsteps of medieval Russians in 17th-century Krutitskoye Podvorye

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Moscow Moscow
Day 2 Classic Tour of Moscow, Red Square, and The Kremlin Moscow
Day 3 Medieval Moscow, Metro Tour Moscow
Day 4 St.Petersburg city tour, the Hermitage St Petersburg
Day 5 Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof St Petersburg
Day 6 Departure from St. Petersburg St Petersburg

Detailed Itinerary

Moskva River at night
Moskva River at night

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. 

Red Square in front of the Kremlin walls
Red Square in front of the Kremlin walls

Day 2: Classic Tour of Moscow, Red Square, and The Kremlin

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. 

After breaking for lunch, 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. 

The house of Boyar Romanov
The house of Boyar Romanov

Day 3: Medieval Moscow, Metro Tour

Spend the morning exploring the older parts of Moscow. Start with a visit to the remaining sections of the Kitai Gorod wall and learn about how the largest city in Europe defended itself against invasions. From here you can walk the medieval sections of Moscow, although many of the buildings you see were built in the 18th-20th centuries. Stop by the Romanov Boyar house to see a museum devoted to the Russian nobility's lifestyle during the 16th-17th centuries. From here head out to the 17th-century Krutitskoye Podvorye, a restored Orthodox estate and personal metochion of the church leadership.

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. 

One of the many canals in downtown St. Petersburg
One of the many canals in downtown St. Petersburg

Day 4: St. Petersburg city tour, the Hermitage

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. Break for lunch at one of the city's many cafes and restaurants, then continue to the Hermitage, one of the world's greatest art museums. This massive collection is housed partially in the old Winter Palace, the St. Petersburg home of the tsars. Enjoy the interior of the museum—the architecture is as much on display here as the art itself.  

The sprawling Peterhof estate
The sprawling Peterhof estate

Day 5: Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof

Spend today 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. 

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 6: Departure from St. Petersburg

One of the several bridges which separate each night to allow ship traffic
One of the several bridges which separate each night to allow ship traffic to pass

Depending on your flight time head out for a relaxed morning of sightseeing, then head to the airport for your flight home.