Get a glimpse into the world’s largest country and experience the distinctive allure of Russia, a land abundant with intrigue and history. Like an intricate matryoshka doll, Russia is a multi-layered country with discoveries around every corner. Begin your journey in Moscow, Russia’s dynamic capital city. Enjoy a walking tour of Moscow’s historic Kremlin and Red Square where you’ll stand in awe of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Get acquainted with Russia’s epicurean roots on an immersive food tour. Enter the imposing Winter Palace and tour the Hermitage Museum, the second-largest museum in the world. Discover the lavish summer residence of Russian Tsars, the Catherine Palace. Cruise the regal streets of St. Petersburg in a vintage Soviet car. Full of energy, surprises, and grandeur – Russia awaits.
• Explore the heart of Moscow with a guide as you take in the Kremlin and Armoury Museum.
• Discover the largest collection of paintings in the world on a guided tour of the renowned Hermitage Museum.
• Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise along the Moscow River.
• Explore the opulent summer home of Russian aristocracy at the magnificent Catherine Palace.
• Take a tour where you’ll learn about the tensions surrounding the great “Space Race” or take a guided tour of the Tretyakov Gallery.
• Get a true taste of local culture during an immersive walking food tour where you’ll learn about Russian culinary traditions.
• Dine at a classic Georgian restaurant and sample dishes popularized during Imperial Russian times.
• Get introduced to Russian cuisine and culture during dinner at a local restaurant.
• Navigate Russia’s bustling capital like a local when you travel via the stunning Moscow Metro system.
• Ride through the historic streets of St. Petersburg in a vintage Soviet car.
• Join a local expert for an in-depth conversation on life behind the Iron Curtain.
Related Services Available to Add:
Day 1: Overnight Flight
You’re on your way to an unforgettable journey to one of the most magnificent countries in Europe.
Day 2: Moscow, Russia - Tour Begins
Welcome to Moscow, Russia’s glamourous capital city where beguiling architecture, complex history, and posh culture thrive. Let the energy of this intriguing city wrap around you and inspire your curiosity.
Day 3: Moscow
Your journey through Moscow begins with a short ride on the Metro, Russia’s incredibly elegant and efficient public transit system. With lavish mosaics, ornate stained glass and stunning architecture, each stop on the Metro is like a mini-museum with its own unique allure. Arrive at the Kremlin (UNESCO), the beating heart of Moscow and the seat of power in Russia. Home to a stunning collection of wealth from eras when tsars reigned supreme, this fortress complex is a can’t-miss glimpse into Russian history. Enjoy a guided visit of the Armoury Museum, home to a priceless collection of Imperial crown jewels, weaponry, and Faberge eggs. Continue on your exploration of the Kremlin with a visit to the Assumption Cathedral*, designed in the ornate Old Russian style. In the bustling Red Square of Moscow**, pause to admire the iconic domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Next, visit GUM, the lavish department store at the heart of the city. Later, a local expert reveals a bit about life “behind the Iron Curtain,” during an informative lecture about Soviet society. This evening, enjoy a traditional Russian dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Moscow
This morning, it’s your choice! Choose between a themed tour, “Back to the USSR,” where you’ll gain insight into the tensions between the U.S. and former Soviet Union and the great “Space Race” -OR- take a guided tour of the Tretyakov Gallery, one of the most significant art museums in Russia with over 100,000 artistic works. Next, an epicurean adventure awaits! Get a taste of local flavour as you stroll the streets with a local guide and savour authentic dishes found on the tables of many Russian families. See Moscow’s most iconic landmarks from a new point of view as you float along the picturesque waters of the Moscow River. The evening is yours to soak in the splendours of your final night in Moscow.
Day 5: Moscow - St. Petersburg
Enjoy a leisurely morning before hopping aboard a high-speed train to St. Petersburg, the “Venice of the North” and Russia’s Imperial capital. Spend the remainder of the day independently exploring this thriving hub for art, history and culture as you wish. Tonight, delight in traditional Georgian cuisine at a favourite local restaurant. Savour the exotic comfort food and drink of a region that has been producing wine for over 8,000 years.
Day 6: St. Petersburg
Experience the Imperial Russia of your dreams, full of regal beauty and iconic sights. A panoramic tour of St. Petersburg brings this historic city to life. See St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the famed Palace Square. Go inside the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg’s most elabourate church. After getting acquainted with this vibrant city, you can opt to spend the remainder of your day at leisure or take an optional tour of the meticulously landscaped grounds and soaring fountains of the Peterhof Grand Palace***, better known as the “Russian Versailles.”
Day 7: St. Petersburg
Welcome to the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg’s most iconic building and the former home of Russian tsars. Built for Peter the Great, this Russian wonder is a true glimpse into the glory of Russian aristocracy. Enter the breathtaking green and white complex and make your way to the incredible Hermitage Museum for a guided tour. Second in size only to the Louvre, the Hermitage is home to the largest collection of paintings in the world, with works from the likes of Monet and Matisse.
Day 8: St. Petersburg
Take a step back in time with a tour of the magnificent Catherine Palace. Built in 1717, the Rococo palace was once the opulent summer home of Russian tsars. It’s said the building was torn down and rebuilt six times to satisfy the grand visions of Peter the Great’s daughter, Elizabeth. Enjoy exclusive early access here and marvel at the robin’s egg blue exterior and the lavish décor of the interior rooms. Next, we’ll see St. Petersburg from a different perspective - from the interior of a vintage Soviet car! Feel as if you’ve entered a different era as you ride through the city in luxury. Tonight, get one final taste of Russian culture and cuisine during a farewell dinner and traditional folk show.
Day 9: St. Petersburg - Tour Ends
Today, say do-svidaniya (goodbye for now) to Russia as your Imperial journey comes to a close.
Operated by Collette.
® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.