Arrive in St. Petersburg. You are met at the airport and your transfer to the hotel is included. Hotel accommodation.
You begin the day with a city tour of St. Petersburg. Today you discover the architectural riches of the city, including major sites such as the Spirit of Basil Island, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and Cathedral of the Spilled Blood. You make a stop at Vasilyevsky Island for the best views of the city and Smolny Cathedral, the “prep school” to Russia’s noble class. From here you drive to the famous bastions of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the birthplace of St. Petersburg. The rest of the day is free to spend as you please.
Today you’ll spend a full day taking a comprehensive, guided tour of the world-renowned Hermitage Museum. Here you see the apartments of the Winter Palace, the Malachite Room and the famous collection of world art that focuses on European painting from the middle Ages to the 20th century. The evening is free.
A morning excursion includes a trip to Petrodvorets (Peterhoff), Peter the Great’s summer palace, best known for its golden fountains that reach from the palace down the hill to the Baltic Sea. An afternoon is at leisure. This evening, experience the rich traditions of Russian folk song and dances including a Russian cuisine dinner.
Today’s morning starts with a tour of Catherine’s Palace at Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), a royal estate constructed for Empress Elizabeth. This spectacular rococo palace is without a doubt one of Rastrelli’s finest creations, surrounded by a beautiful park with monuments and sculptures by Italian masters. The afternoon and evening are free.
You spend the morning visiting Youssoupov Palace on the banks of the Moika River. The palace is famous for its art treasures, magnificent family theater and the cellars. Visiting the cellar, you’ll learn of Rasputin’s assassination in 1916, carried out by Felix Youssoupov and his friends. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the sights and unexpected delights of St. Petersburg. Tonight your tour ends on a festive note as you enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions.
Your trip draws to a close as you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral. One of the postcard symbols of St. Petersburg, this cathedral takes you on a trip into fascinating history and offers a bird’s eye view of the city from the colonnade under its gilded dome.
Russian Museum. After Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, this museum houses the second largest collection of Russian art, including over 320,000 icons, paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art.
Kunstkammer - Chamber of Curiosities. Now officially called Peter the Great’s Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, the Kunstkammer is the oldest state museum in Russia. Started by Peter the Great himself in 1704 with the purpose of collecting and examining natural and human curiosities and rarities, the museum remains one of the world’s largest centers where human cultural heritage is studied.
Venice of the North. You will find out why this epithet is used to describe St. Petersburg if you take a boat excursion on the numerous canals and small rivers crossing the city. You will sail by beautiful palaces and mansions, under many bridges, each of them an architectural masterpiece.
Russia’s Crown Jewel: