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An air of aristocracy remains in St. Petersburg, Russia's former capital - remnants of an imperial legacy left behind by great tsars and tsarinas who sought to create an elegant city that would rival Europe's most magnificent cities. It's hard to believe the elegant waterways and opulent palaces you'll encounter over the next few days conceal a cityscape that was once a swamp. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for dinner.
The tales of Romanov royalty come to life as you join a Local Specialist for an exhilarating sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg's iconic sights. See the Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt and St. Isaac's Cathedral. Learn how the enduring presence of The Bronze Horseman ensures the city will never yield to enemy forces, then explore the Peter and Paul Fortress, the final resting place of the tsars and tsarinas whose magic touch can still be seen in the pastel façades of this glorious city. This afternoon, you could choose to embark on an Optional Experience to the Hermitage to see one of the largest and most valuable collections of art in the world.
What a treat! You have a full day on your own to get lost in the mystical allure of this former capital. Enjoy a leisurely start to your day and take to the streets, spending your day admiring the ornate Baroque façades that house theatres, museums and palaces. Take a stroll along Nevsky Prospekt and watch the avenue come to life from the comfort of one of its elegant cafés.
Tsar Peter the Great wasn't afraid to think big and you'll have a full free day to see how his dream of creating a city that would rival the most beautiful capitals in Europe was realised. There's no better way to explore it than taking to the waters of the Neva and cruising along the city's canals - the perfect vantage point from which to capture some of St. Petersburg's most iconic landmarks
Leave St. Petersburg behind, bound for the 'Birthplace of Russia', the ancient city of Novgorod. Here you'll delve into the legacy of the Rurik dynasty which ruled Russia for over seven centuries. You'll view the Millennium Monument, St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kremlin whose fortified red façades overlook the Volkhov River. Tonight, dinner is served at your hotel
Big and bold, Moscow towers unashamedly above other cities, claiming its rightful spot as the deserving modern-day capital of Russia. But first, pay a brief lunch visit to the Tver region. Arriving in Moscow, spend some time delving into the victories and tragedies that have shaped this magnificent city. You'll have an opportunity later to embark on an Optional Experience to visit an illuminated Red Square and Moscow's grandiose Metro stations, themselves great works of art. Here style and substance coexist effortlessly making Moscow's Metro the most beautiful subway system in the world.
Moscow oozes grandeur around every turn, from the colourful domes of St. Basil's Cathedral to the imposing Red Square - the site of grand celebrations, fierce fighting and the seat of Russian power for centuries. A Local Specialist will reveal some of its iconic sights, past the spires of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin Walls. An Optional Experience to the heart of Moscow will take you behind the scenes of its red walls to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and Ivan the Great's Bell Tower. Admire great imperial riches during your visit to the Treasure Chamber of the Russian tsars, including priceless Fabergé eggs, resplendent Imperial carriages and Catherine the Great's diamonds.
Rub shoulders with the locals this morning, immersing yourself in Moscow's vibrant kofe culture before a full day to explore the city your way. From catching a few rays in Gorky Park to shopping up a storm in GUM, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, there's something to satisfy every interest in the Russian capital. You could choose instead to join an Optional Experience to the 14th-century Sergiyev Posad, a place of pilgrimage and the largest religious and cultural centre in Russia.
You've walked in the footsteps of Peter the Great and discovered Russia's vibrant culture, haunting history and imposing monuments on this epic encounter with two fairy-tale imperial cities. All that's left is to say a fond do svidaniya to new friends and prepare to return home. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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.
With our Local Specialist, we'll have the opportunity to experience one of the largest and most valuable collections of art in the world. Set in the splendor of the Winter Palace, with its elaborate interiors, the Hermitage is not to be missed. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 44
Soak up the atmosphere and romance of this former imperial capital, known as the "Venice of the North." Board a private boat to cruise through the canals and along the River Neva. You'll sip champagne as your Local Specialist provides commentary about the city that has inspired artists for generations.
Adult Price: € 46
On this full-day tour, your Local Specialist will take you to the villages of Pushkin and Petrodvorets, where you will visit Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Gardens. Recently restored, Catherine's Palace is most famous for the fabled and wholly unique Amber Room. Located on the Baltic, Peterhof Gardens are modeled after those at Versailles. Following a guided tour, you'll have time to enjoy a stroll as you marvel at the gilded fountains. In case of closure or unavailability of Catherine’s Palace, we will visit the delightful Palace of Pavlovsk, which was built by Catherine the Great. The price will then be €73.00. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel the optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 92
There may be an opportunity to attend a ballet performance in the historic atmosphere of a Tsarist-era theatre. Subject to availability of tickets and performance. Price will vary from €100-€130, depending on the venue and the Ballet Company. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel the optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
A chance to attend one of the best Russian folklore programs in St. Petersburg. You’ll enjoy a high-energy performance featuring Cossack dances, songs, instruments and costumes from around Russia. During intermission, sample local champagne and vodka. An unforgettable experience! This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 67
Your Local Specialist will offer a guided tour of the interiors of two iconic churches. The Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood, built to commemorate the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, has one of the country's most intricate displays of mosaic icons. Additionally, St. Isaac's Cathedral is the 4th-largest cathedral in the world. Designed by a French architect, its immense interior is comprised of malachite and other precious materials. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 44
This tour pays tribute to one of Russia's noble and royal families and provides an explanation for the collapse of the monarchy. You'll visit the opulent interior of Yusupov Palace, one of the grandest noble residences in the country, and learn about the plot to murder the mystic Rasputin.
Adult Price: € 49
Often cited as the most beautiful subway system in the world, Moscow's grandiose Metro stations are decorated with mosaics, stained glass and bronze statues. They're also one of the few remaining places featuring Communist iconography. We'll see them with our Local Specialist and complete our visit with a walk through Red Square, where the evening illuminations should provide enviable photo opportunities.
Adult Price: € 37
Discover ancient cathedrals, the world's largest cannon and the emperors' bell. You'll also visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Built on the site where the Soviet government dynamited the original Cathedral, it was funded by donations from millions of Muscovites. Finally, we'll take a stroll through the famous Arbat street. Once inhabited by the tsar's artisans and equerries, often referred to as Moscow's Montmartre, it's lined with càfes, restaurants and shops selling local souvenirs. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: € 57
Skip the queues with our Local Specialist and journey through the Treasure Chamber of the Russian Tsars - one of the most important museums in Russia due to its unique collection. You’ll see priceless Faberge eggs and Catherine the Great's diamonds and many gowns. You’ll also discover the Imperial carriages, which are studded with precious stones and gold; coronation thrones; and other one-of-a-kind items from the Romanov Dynasty. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: € 56
68 km from Moscow, Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era) is the center of the Orthodox faith and Russia's most important pilgrimage site. With our Local Specialist, we'll visit the recently-renovated Troitse-Sergiieyeva Lavra, a working monastery, unique in the fact that it still operated during the atheist years of Communist rule. We'll also have time to browse the markets, where you might like to buy locally-crafted lacquer boxes or Matryoshka dolls. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: € 56
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