Easy Pace Russia with Christmas Markets

9 Days from $1,924 per person

Style: Premium | Pace: Leisurely

Russia is a whole new place come winter, with its snow-dusted cities and the festivities of Russian Orthodox Christmas in full swing.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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Overview

Russia is a whole new place come winter, with its snow-dusted cities and the festivities of Russian Orthodox Christmas in full swing.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. Airport transfers depart from St. Petersburg airport at 2:30 pm and 5 pm. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 6 pm for a friendly Welcome Dinner served with wine. 

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  3. Morning sightseeing with your Local Expert includes views of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the fortress of St. Peter and Paul and Decembrists' Square. Travel along Nevsky Prospekt for views of the great Cathedral of Kazan and the iconic, onion-domed Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. The rest of the day is yours to explore. Perhaps experience the festivities of the annual International Winter Festival where St. Petersburg showcases an array of culture from the regions of Russia, combined with Christmas traditions from all over the world. Or, if you'd prefer to relax, head back to your hotel where you can make the most of its luxury facilities.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  4. In the little town of Pushkin, visit St. Catherine's Palace with a Local Expert. A ‘Golden Enfilade' of suites lead to the restored Amber Room, a truly unique and spectacular chamber solely decorated with amber panels, gold leaves and mirrors. Later, cross the Neva River to Peter and Paul Fortress, where St. Petersburg's foundation stone was laid in 1703. With a Local Expert, visit the fortress to see the imperial tombs of the Romanov rulers and learn the secrets of Russian history.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  5. Located in the Winter Palace, the Hermitage is one of the world's greatest museums. Marvel at this fabulous collection of paintings and ornaments, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore, shop or relax.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  6. Enjoy a relaxed start in the morning, or perhaps visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and the scene of Rasputin's murder Later, board your high-speed Sapsan train and relax in modern luxury and comfort as you swoop to Moscow in just a few hours. On arrival in this fascinating city, you are transferred to your hotel for a leisurely three-night stay. Famous for its unique history and colorful architecture, explore Moscow's enchanting city center and get lost in its captivating Modern art scene.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  7. Begin your exploration of the Russian capital with a Local Expert. Start in Red Square, lined by Moscow's landmark buildings. At one end rises the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, in front of the Kremlin stands Lenin's Mausoleum, while on the opposite side, the grand GUM department store offers a variety of glamorous goods. During your stay, you will visit one of the Metro stations which Stalin called ‘Palaces for the People.' Gain a local insight into the themes depicted among the marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. You will also view the crown jewels and Fabergé Egg collection of the Imperial Russian Family. In your free time, you may like to wrap up warm and venture out to explore the dazzling festivities of the Christmas season. Snow-covered stalls are crowned with twinkling fairy lights, while vendors serve warm drinks and food. When Moscow's Journey into Christmas begins, each district becomes part of the festival, offering everything from exciting street shows and concerts, to master cooking classes of traditional Russian foods. There really is something for everyone.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  8. In the morning you are at leisure to relax or explore the Russian capital as you wish. The Christmas Markets offer plenty of unique art pieces and classic Russian ornaments. Perhaps visit the Borodino Panorama Exhibition, or take an Optional Experience to the renowned center of ancient Russian art and architecture, Zagorsk. In the afternoon, walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress to visit one of the cathedrals as well as the Armoury Chamber. Later, enjoy delicious food, great wine and wonderful company as you toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  9. It's time to say goodbye to Moscow and your fellow travelers. Departure transfers will arrive at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport at 5 am, 8 am and 11 am and at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport at 5 am, 10 am and 1 pm. 

    meal(s):Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
29 Dec 18 6 Jan 19 checkmark $2,050$1,948pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now
6 Jan 19 14 Jan 19 $2,025$1,924pp Early PaymentPay by Oct 25 Request Quote Book Now

Please note it is necessary to obtain a Russian Tourist Voucher and a Russian Visa for this tour. It is your responsibility to obtain both documents prior to travel. The $50 fee for the Russian Tourist Voucher is included in the cost of your tour. However, the fee for the Russian Visa will be an additional charge.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement

Single Room Supplement: from $500 per person

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $70 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival at St. Petersburg airport, transfers operate at 2:30 pm and 5 pm. Return transfers on the last travel day arrive at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport at 5 am, 8 am and 11 am and at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport at 5 am, 10 am and 1 pm.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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Always included in your GET vacation

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Included Quality Dining

7 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.

Top Rated Highlights

  • St. Petersburg Christmas Markets: Russian Christmas Markets are unique. St. Petersburg brings to life the traditions and festivities from the regions of Russia, combined with those from around the globe. Explore on Dec 23, 30 & Jan 7 departures.
  • Moscow Christmas Markets: The entire city is involved in the celebration of the season with each of Moscow's districts adding their own influence to the fair. Rare, handcrafted treasures are waiting to be found, while soul-warming, local and global foods will keep the cold at bay. Explore on all departures.
  • St. Petersburg: Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you St. Isaac's Cathedral, the fortress of St. Peter and Paul and Decembrists' Square. As you travel along the bustling Nevsky Prospekt, see the Cathedral of Kazan and the iconic Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.
  • St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, visit St. Catherine's Palace and the Amber Room.
  • Petrodvorets: Explore the formal gardens, bursting with awe-inspiring cascades, sparkling fountains and golden statues.
  • St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, explore the stunning former Winter Palace of the Tsars, now the spectacular Hermitage Museum, one of the world's greatest repositories of European art.
  • Sapsan Train: Sapsan in Russian, translates to falcon. Relax in modern luxury and comfort while you swoop by rail from St. Petersburg to Moscow in just four hours.
  • Moscow: Explore this fascinating capital with your Local Expert. Visit Red Square to admire the landmark buildings of St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin and Lenin's Mausoleum.
  • Moscow: Explore the opulent Metro stations, described as 'underground museums.'
  • Moscow: Visit one of the cathedral's and the Armoury Chamber when you venture inside the Kremlin.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Russiamust have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Russia will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in Russia is the Ruble. While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Russia, you’ll usually find better exchange rates in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Russia. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Russian food is rich and hearty, with a strong preference toward soups, herring, pickled vegetables, savory pancakes and rye breads. Try specialties such as beef stroganoff, borscht soup (beetroot soup) and pelmeni (meat dumplings). Russians love sweets and pride themselves on their desserts, especially the traditional ponchiki (hot sugared doughnuts). Vodka is popular and is often served straight or can be flavored with herbs and spices.

  • Russia’s continental climate varies dramatically, with temperatures reaching the high 80s during summer heat waves and normally plummeting to single digits during winter months. We suggest bringing a variety of clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping has become more common throughout Eastern Europe in recent years.  In Russia, it’s acceptable to leave 5-15 percent gratuity when dining out if a service fee has not already been added to your bill. It’s always a good idea to tip in cash and also important to note that some restaurants in Russia will not accept credit cards.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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