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Easy Pace Russia with Christmas Markets

Operated by: Insight Vacations

8 Days from $2,114 per person
Christmas in Red Square, Moscow

Countries Visited

Russia ...more Russia

Locations Visited

St. Petersburg, Moscow ...more St. Petersburg, Moscow
  1. Day 1 Welcome To St. Petersburg

    Airport transfers depart from St. Petersburg airport at 2:30 pm and 5 pm. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 7 pm for a friendly Welcome Dinner served with wine. 

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  2. Day 2 St. Petersburg Sightseeing

    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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  3. Day 3 The City Of Tsars

    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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  4. Day 4 The Hermitage Museum

    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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg
  5. Day 5 High-Speed Sapsan Train To Moscow

    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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  6. Day 6 Moscow, A Russian Revelation

    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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  7. Day 7 Exploring The Kremlin

    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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  8. Day 8 Farewell Moscow

    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. 

    meals Breakfast
Price Includes

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. With a Local Expert, visit St. Catherine's Palace and the Amber Room. 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
  • Petrodvorets: Explore the formal gardens, bursting with awe-inspiring cascades, sparkling fountains and golden statues
  • 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. Explore the opulent Metro stations, described as 'underground museums.' Visit one of the cathedral's and the Armoury Chamber when you venture inside the Kremlin
Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

St. Petersburg

Russian Folklore Show

Come and hear the balalaikas ringing out! A spectacular evening of traditional music, song and dance! This fun-filled show will have you clapping along to the rollicking Cossack dancers and girls in brightly colored costumes as they sing their sweet harmonies.
Adult Price: €58

Russian Ballet Performance

With its flawless, graceful movements, heartfelt music and spectacle, Russian ballet can conjure up a range of powerful emotions. While in St. Petersburg, there may be the opportunity to attend a ballet performance. This optional experience is subject to the availability of tickets and performance. Pending on availability and the venue, the price may vary from €80-€110. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €110

Yusupov Palace

Don't miss this chance to visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and scene of Rasputin’s murder. Hear the fascinating story of the Siberian monk and his influence on the Imperial Family as you are led through the beautifully restored interiors to the room where his murder took place!
Adult Price: €49


Moscow By Night

As the sun goes down Moscow takes on a completely different complexion. A local expert shows you the major monuments of this bustling city by night. Admire the evening magic of the famous Red Square once the day time crowds have dispersed—the floodlit towers of the Kremlin, twinkling Gum Department Store and magical domes of St Basil's Cathedral bathed in romantic light.
Adult Price: €29

Excursion To Sergiyev Posad

A wonderful excursion takes you to Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era), renowned center of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it served as a place of pilgrimage and the religious capital of Russia. Within the old walled city, admire the fairy-tale golden and blue domes of the Troitse Sergiyevo Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all monasteries. Afterward, enjoy time to browse for locally made Russian handicrafts, wooden toys and Matryoshka dolls at the local market.
Adult Price: €53

Russian Mosaic

The complex history of Russia is fixed in the soul of the people and this experience focuses on historical events that have shaped the nation. Drive out to the Victory Park Complex - an emotional tribute to those who fell on the battlefronts of a war. Continue with a visit to the Borodino Panorama Exhibition which brings to life the Battle of Borodino, one of the most important events in Russia’s history and immortalized in Tolstoy’s epic, ‘War and Peace.’ Finally at the Novodevichy cemetery, see memorials to such greats as Khrushchev, Chekhov, Mayakovsky, Prokofiev and Eisenstein. (On occasions when Borodino is closed, we will visit the Memorial Park complex instead.) 
Adult Price: €42

Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Sunday, August 20, 2017
The guide was terrific. The hotels great and buses very comfortable. Very good bus drivers.
A reasonable price for me.
Trusted Customer
Sunday, August 6, 2017
The representatives were courteous and helpful every step of the way. This was our sixth tour with Grand European and we have always been very pleased.
Wonderful hotels and the best local guides allowed us to get a good sense of St. Petersburg and Moscow as we covered lots of ground in a week. All the optional tours were exceptionally good. Our tour guide was extremely helpful and professional throughout our journey. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to extend their understanding and appreciation of Russia.
Karen Harman
Sunday, May 21, 2017
We have traveled with Grand European for the last 5 European trips that we have taken together and until this year have found their customer service to be impeccable. However, when I had questions or concerns this year prior to the trip, I found the responses I received to be short or curt and made to feel like my concerns were foolish. Also, we discovered at the airports, that we had little time to get from point A to point B and we struggled to get to our gates on time. I now remember that when we booked the flights, I was askied if "everyone is able bodied?" I didn't realize that meant that we would almost have to run to make our flights. We both were "able bodied" when I booked the trip, but things have changed and I am very slow now. Had I been like before, we still would have found it difficult to get to the gates in the time allowed. In the future (if we book again), I will scrutinize the times between flights better. Another thing that occurred, that I don't think GET would have been aware of is that Indianapolis airport could not print all of our boarding passes there. They could only print the first flight (Air Canada). We were told that we had to get the rest printed when we got to Toronto. But, our flight from Indy to Toronto was delayed leaving Indy and arriving in Toronto. Then we had to go through customs and were sent through another customs area as well and by the time we could make it to the Lufthansa ticket desk to get boarding passes printed, printing of boarding passes was closed even though the flight was not due to leave for another hour! We had to be reticketed by Air Canada as it was their fault that we arrived late. Try as they might to get our luggage back and get both bags tagged correctly, it didn't happen. So, we arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, 4 hours later than we should have, missed the shuttle and had to get our own cab to the hotel and we had no checked bags. With the help of our tour director, the bags arrived 5 days into the 9 day trip, but due to time constrains on our departure from the hotel in St. Petersburg to leaving on the high speed train to Moscow, we had to hire a taxi to go to the St. Petersburg airport at 6am and get our luggage and then hire a taxi to return to the group. In between arriving in St. Petersburg and the day we were to leave, we had to go out and purchase some clothes so that we were warm in the cold and snowy weather of St. Petersburg. I am telling you all of this so that you understand what problems it causes when there is not enough time booked between flights to go through customs and get to the terminal let alone have to have boarding passes printed! The tour itself was wonderful and there is no better tour director than Maja Poljansek (and we have had several really good ones with GET and Insight). She was the bright spot of our trip.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're sorry to hear about the trouble you had with your flights and delayed luggage.  We do try to allow ample time for changing flights and customs but have no control over airline flight delays or computer issues. We would be happy to help contact the airline for possible compensation due to their delay and lost luggage.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Only 2 evening meals were included and usually the optional excursions have included some dinners, but not this trip. I feel that dinners should be included as we had to hunt for places to eat or eat at the hotel and pay additional. It would help if we could see a list of optional excursions and what that includes when deciding about trips.
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