Moscow and St Petersburg
In this itinerary rich with culture and history, explore the Soviet relics of Moscow, then admire the colorful and elegant imperial architecture of St Petersburg. Explore the contrast between Russia’s two cities and what it is that makes each one unique.
At a Glance
Enjoy tours of Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow - we can also recommend some less well known sites to visit
Expert guides will look after you from your arrival to your departure
Enjoy the very best hotels in both these fascinating cities
Let our guides show you the highlights of St.Petersburg, the city of the Czars
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation.
This week-long itinerary will introduce you to the highlights of Russia's new and old capital cities: you will experience the glory of the Czars in Moscow's Kremlin museums and the summer palaces of St Petersburg, as well as getting a taste for modern, dynamic, post communist Russia.
On arrival in Moscow you will be transferred to the city center in style, before checking into your hotel and enjoying your first taste of Russian hospitality. All the hotels we work with are very centrally located, so you can spend the first evening of your trip getting your bearings around Red Square.
We can arrange a private guide and driver for the duration of your stay, and on the first day in Moscow we would recommend driving up to Sparrow Hill, to enjoy the panoramic view of the whole city from one of Stalin's famous 'Seven Sister' tower blocks, before heading into the city to visit Red Square, the famous arcaded GUM department store, and Lenin's mausoleum.
Spend your second day in Moscow shopping on Arbat Street, visiting the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, or admiring the city's finest collection of painting as the Tretyakov Gallery. Other opportunities not to miss are the spectacular communist-era metro stations, decorated with bronze statues and elaborate chandeliers. If you would prefer to do something more esoteric, we can arrange a visit to a government cold war command bunker or to a cosmonaut training center!
Thanks to the new high speed 'Sapsan' rail link, you can reach St Petersburg in great comfort in three hours and 45 minutes. The station is in the city center, so soon after we pick you up you will be on Nevsky Prospect, the city's most famous boulevard, on your way to a luxurious five star hotel.
The Northern Capital of Russia is home to some of the country's best palaces, monuments, and theatres. Over the centuries the Czars developed the city into a breathtaking architectural ensemble: we will find you a fantastic and luxurious base to explore everything this exciting and vibrant city has to offer.
After your first evening in St Petersburg, perhaps sampling the caviar at the hotel's famous vodka bar, you will be collected the following day for some sightseeing in the city. One of our team of local experts will escort you on a guided tour of the Peter and Paul fortress in the morning, before showing you the best of the city's 18th century palaces and elegant canals. In the afternoon spend as much time as you like enjoying the masterpieces of the Hermitage museum, housed in the city's most impressive building, the Winter Palace, on the immense Palace Square.
During the rest of your stay we can include tours outside the city to Pushkin, where you can visit the magnificent palaces and gardens built by the Czars in the 18th and 19th centuries. The highlight for many is the chance to see the Catherine Palace, famous for its lavish decoration, culminating in the 'Amber Room'.
The next day travel to the Baltic Sea to see the fountains of the 'Great Cascade', the world's largest fully-functioning 18th century fountain complex, at the 'Peterhof', Peter the Great's summer residence. Or, if you would rather stay in the city, why not visit the Yusupov Palace, and see where the owner tried, and eventually succeeded in murdering the monk Rasputin.
For something more off the beaten track, try a visit to a vodka museum, an afternoon painting your own Matryoshka dolls or learning to prepare a stroganoff with a real Russian housewife!
For aficionados of ballet and classical music, no visit to St Petersburg would be complete without a visit to the world famous Mariinsky theatre: Scott Dunn can not only book the best seats but we can even arrange a memorable backstage tour.
The itinerary described here gives a guideline, as our consultants will tailor make the ideal Russian itinerary to suit your needs and interests.
Location & Directions
Ritz Carlton Hotel is located at the beginning of Tverskaya Street next to the Kremlin and Red Square in the heart of Moscow. Grand Hotel Europe is situated in the heart of St Petersburg within walking distance of the Winter Palace Square and Hermitage Museum. It is also conveniently located next to the Russian Museum, the Philharmonic Society and the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
When to go
The main tourist season is between June and August, when the weather is the warmest. Standout seasons to visit Moscow and St Petersburg are late spring (May or June) and early autumn (September or October), when the city’s parks are filled with flowering trees or colorful leaves.
The deepest, darkest part of winter is undeniably cold but if you are prepared it can be an adventure. Furs and vodka keep people warm and snow-covered landscapes are picturesque. A solid snowpack covers the ground from November to March. The city gets fired up to ring in the New Year, when Muscovites emerge from their warm homes into the winter night for free concerts and fireworks.