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Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

Moscow & St Petersburg Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights

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St Petersburg & Moscow | A Grand Cultural Tour of Russia

Imagining a city of innumerable churches shaped like Chinese pagodas, Napoleon was compelled onwards in is quest to conquer Moscow. After glimpsing its “cupolas glittering like stars in the sunlight” from Poklonnaya Hill, he entered Russia’s imperial capital only to find it abandoned…

The year was 1812 and Russia faced imminent collapse under the onslaught of Napoleon’s troops.

Poklonnaya Hill, on the outskirts of Moscow, is one of many places you will discover as you journey with us on the Moscow & St Petersburg Grand Cultural Tour of Russia.

Inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s novel, War and Peace, and its recent BBC adaptation, the tour brings to life Russia’s rich history, spanning a cultural period from medieval Russian iconography to 20th century avant-garde art and literature.

Including (among many other activities) visits to the houses of the great literary giants, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Dostoevsky, private guided viewings of masterpieces at the Russian Museum and Tretyakov Gallery and backstage tours of the world famous theatres, the Mariinsky and Bolshoi, the full breadth of Russia’s artistic achievements are explored.

The incredible splendour of Russian architecture is on display during tours of all the great palaces including the Winter Palace, Small and Large Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine’s palace (Tsarskloe Selo), Pavlovsk Palace, Yusupov Palace and the Kuskovo Estate.

Many special activities including a canal boat trip of St Petersburg and a private pre-opening tour of the Hermitage, led by its curator make the tour extra special.

Selecting additional options, such as tickets for Russian classical music, opera and ballet concerts will further enhance the experience.

The hotels offer luxury accommodation, excellent food and beverage and exceptional service. High quality authentic Russian restaurants have been selected throughout.

Join us as we journey through the cultural history of Russia!

Tour Highlights


  • Moscow City Sightseeing tours including Walk in Red Square, Visit of Lenin Mausoleum, Kremlin and Armoury Chamber and Exclusive Late Opening of St Basil’s Cathedral and Walking tour of Old Arbat

  • Guided tour and journey on Moscow Metro

  • Private Backstage Tour of Bolshoi Theatre

  • Guided visits of State Tretyakov Gallery, Leo Tolstoy’s Country Estate, Yasnaya Polyana and Tolstoy House Museum, Kuskovo Palace Estate & Park

  • First Class Travel on the Sapsan High Speed train from Moscow to St Petersburg

  • Borodino battlefield tour, including Borodino Panorama Museum


  • Tickets for performances at the Bolshoi Theatre

  • Visit Park of Fallen Idols during City Tour

  • Visit Cold War Bunker on Taganka

St Petersburg

  • City Orientation Tour of St Petersburg including Peter & Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral and Saviour of the Spilled Blood, Nevsky Prospekt and The Hermitage

  • Hydrofoil trip to and visit of Peterhof Palace

  • Guided visits of Catherine’s Palace (Tsarskloe Palace) and Pavlovsk Palace and Park

  • Russian Vodka Tasting at Vodka No. 1

  • Guided visits of Russian Museum at Mikhailovsky Palace and Yusupov Palace

  • Private Canal Boat Ride and Dinner at Russian Empire restaurant

  • Special Early Opening of the Hermitage with Tour by Curator, Professor Alexei Lepork. Includes guided visits of the Winter Palace and Small & Large Hermitage Buildings

  • Guided visits of Pushkin Museum and Apartment, Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum and Dostoevsky’s Museum followed by Dostoevsky themed walk

  • Lunch with a Russian family in a dacha


  • Tickets for performance at Grand Philharmonic Hall

  • Tickets for performance at Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre

  • Visit to the ERARTA museum

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Day 1 Moscow

Evening* | Walk in Red Square, Visit Lenin's Mausoleum & Exclusive Late Opening of St Basil’s Cathedral | Dinner at the Artists’ Gallery with Introduction to Rest of Tour

Meeting in the foyer of the hotel, the tour commences with an evening walk and dinner in central Moscow.

Made famous during the 20th Century, when the might of the Soviet armed forces were broadcast throughout the world, Red Square is a potent symbol of Russian power.

No less iconic is St Basil’s cathedral, or as it is officially named "The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat". Built by Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) between 1555 and 1561 to celebrate the capture of Kazan, a Mongol stronghold 400 miles south of Moscow on the River Volga, it is a beautiful example of medieval Russian architecture. During your exclusive late opening your guide will bring to life the cathedral’s fascinating past.

Final resting place of the embalmed body of Lenin, the Lenin Mausoleum is a constant reminder of the Soviet state. A pyramid of cubes cut from red granite and black labradorite, it is a prominent Moscow landmark.

Behind it are the graves of other famous communists including Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev and Yuriy Andropov. Lenin’s wife and sister are also buried here, as are the first man in space, Yuriy Gagarin, writer Max Gorky and American John Reed, the author of Ten Days that Shook the World, the author's account of the 1917 October Revolution

Overnight | in Moscow

Meals included: D

*Please advise your Grand Cultural Tours Travel Adviser at time of booking if you require a transfer from the airport or pre-tour accommodation.


Day 2 Moscow

Morning | Visit Kremlin and Armoury Chamber

Citadel of the Tsars, headquarters of the Soviet Union and now the residence of the Russian president, the Moscow Kremlin is the ultimate symbol of Russian power and authority.

A fortress surrounded by red-brick walls and imposing towers, it is one of the largest architectural ensembles in the world.

Your tour will take in all the key sites including the Grand Kremlin Palace, Ivanovkaya Square, Cathedral Square with its three outstanding cathedrals; the Assumption, Archangel Michael and Annunciation and the Kremlin’s Armoury Chamber, a rich treasury of ancient Russian imperial regalia, military armour and other historically significant artefacts.

Afternoon | Lunch followed by City Sightseeing Tour of Moscow | Walking tour of Old Arbat | Backstage Tour of Bolshoi Theatre

Sparrow Hills (Vorobyevy Gory) provides the best panoramic view of Moscow, its river Moskva, and Stalin’s Seven Sister skyscrapers, including the Moscow State University.

It is also the setting for the closing apocalyptic scene of Mikhail Bulgakov’s 20th century novel, The Master and Margarita, considered to be one of the best novels from the 20th century.

A short distance from Sparrow Hills is Poklonnaya Hill, where Napoleon first gained sight of Moscow, as so brilliantly chronicled by Leo Tolstoy in his novel War and Peace.

Next you travel to Novodevichiy Convent, a beautiful fortified cloister and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the southern outskirts of Moscow.  Built in the Baroque style, it is an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts. It is also where Peter the Great confined his half-sister, Regent Sophia, for the rest of her life, to ensure his grip on power was unassailable.

Moving on to Novodevichiy Cemetary you will discover the stories behind some of Russia’s most eminent people; the burial site is the place of rest for the playwright Anton Chekhov, writers Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Bulgakov, composers Sergey Prokofiev, Alexander Skryabin, Dimitri Shostakovich and opera singer Fyodor Chaliapin, as well as the politicians Nikita Kruschev and Boris Yeltsin.

Next you will enjoy a stroll through the most famous street in Moscow; ulitsa Arbat within the Old Arbat district. Once a bohemian enclave of 19th century writers, poets, artists and intellectuals, today it is lined with antique shops, book stalls, cafés and restaurants and is popular with Muscovites and visitors alike.

Finally, the magical world of the Bolshoi Theatre will be revealed during a backstage tour. Founded in 1776 by Peter Urussov, who organized the first regular actor troupe by order of Catherine the Great, its premieres include Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and the operas Boris Godunov by Musorgsky and Ruslan and Ludmila by Glinka.

Evening | Dinner in central Moscow

Overnight | in Moscow

Meals included: B, L, D


Day 3 Moscow

Morning | Visit Kuskovo Estate & Park

A visit to Kuskovo Estate and Park reveals the immense wealth of the Russian aristocracy during the period prior to the Revolution in 1917.

Owned by the Sheremetevs, one of the wealthiest aristocratic families, the estate was also home to their 200,000 serfs. The Neo-Classical palace, made entirely of wood and completed in 1777 is the main attraction. The Estate also contains geometrical French style gardens.

Afternoon | Lunch at a Traditional Russian Tavern before a Visit to Tretyakov Gallery

Named after its founder, the great Moscow industrialist and patron of the arts, Pavel Tretyakov, the State Tretyakov Gallery is the greatest collection of Russian art in the world.

Effectively Russia’s national gallery, its painting collections are wide ranging, including 18th and early 19th century secular portraiture, 19th Century Realism paintings by leading members of the Wanderers movement and major works by late 19th and early 20th century avant-garde artists. The Gallery also contains a fine collection of iconography from the 12th to 19th century.

Your Expert will introduce you to this wide spectrum of Russian art during a guided tour. Particular attention will be paid to the astonishing 50-year period of creativity leading up to World War I.

Moscow’s internationally acclaimed avant-garde scene, embodied in works of the Primitivism movement, which was influenced by indigenous folk art, shaman mysticism and the foreign influences of Cubism and Futurism, will also be explored.

Evening | Dinner at Bolshoi Restaurant with Optional* Performance of Bolshoi Ballet

Overnight | in Moscow

Meals included: B, L, D

*Please inform your Grand Cultural Tours representative at time of booking whether you would like to attend the Bolshoi Ballet performance after your meal at the Bolshoi Theatre restaurant.


Day 4 Moscow 

Morning | Visit to Leo Tolstoy’s Country Estate, “Yasnaya Polyana”

Buried on the edge of the ravine in Old Zakaz forest, within Leo Tolstoy’s country estate, Yasnaya Polyana, there is a green stick with a secret written on it, that if discovered and revealed would mean no more wars or illnesses and an end to suffering. The Legend of the Little Green Stick told to Tostoy when he was a child, by his beloved eldest brother Nikolai, remained a powerful metaphor for the writer throughout his eighty-two years, as he struggled to define the meaning of life.

This morning the world of Tolstoy will be brought to life during a tour of his cherished country home, Yasnaya Polyana.

Especially of interest to lovers of Tolstoy’s works, is the study which contains the desk at which he wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Decorated with paper, pens, candlesticks and a glass paperweight presented by a workers' union, you will perhaps be able to sense the presence of this giant of Russian literature. Books and periodicals, studied by Tolstoy to help him grasp “the sound and smell” of the epoch of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as ensure historical accuracy, are also on display.

Beyond the study is the dining room, which played host to Russian greats such as Prokofiev, Gorky, Chekhov and the Russian painter Repin, whose works adorn the walls.

There is also Sophia's bedroom, with its little desk on which she painstakingly transcribed Tolstoy’s manuscripts.

Perhaps most poignantly, you will be able to visit Tolstoy’s place of burial, at the site of the little green stick…

Afternoon | Lunch followed by Return to Moscow by Coach | Dinner at Leisure

Time to relax at the hotel. 

Evening | Dinner at Leisure      

Overnight | in Moscow  

Meals included: B, D


Day 5 Moscow - Borodino

Morning | Travel to the Battlefield of Borodino 

Lunch | at Borodino

Afternoon | Visit the State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve

The State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve is located 120 km west of Moscow.

Founded on the precise spot of the Battle of Borodino which took place in 1812, the Borodino museum is the oldest battlefield museum in the world.

In 1961 it was reorganized and now comprises historic monuments and the landscape of the Borodino Battlefield. In 1995 the museum was given the highest status for a Russian museum; the Object of Special Value of Historic and Cultural Heritage of the Peoples of Russia.

Today, the reserved area is over 100 square km with a protected area of 645 square km. 

The historic landscape of the Borodino battlefield comprises around 300 monuments, fortification sites and historic buildings from the 17th – 20th centuries including:

  • Russian and French army fortification sites

  • the graves of General Bagration and General Neverovsky (hero of Leipzig, 1813)

  • the Main Monument (1839) commemorating all Russian warriors from the Rayevsky battery site

  • the Borodino Savior Convent (1820-1870), now a nunnery

  • the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of the God (Black Virgin, 18th Century) in the village of Borodino

  • monuments marking command posts used by Kutuzov and Napoleon

  • 34 Russian regiment monuments commemorating the Battle of Borodino

  • the defensive works of World War II; pillboxes, communication trenches, antitank ditches (1941–1942)

  • graves with monuments to the soviet soldiers who defended (in 1941) and freed (in 1942) the area

  • sculptural monuments of Russian commanders

  • the Old Smolensk Road (dated 14th to 18th Century)

  • historic villages and architectural monuments (17th - 19th Century)

Return to Moscow

Evening | Dinner at Leisure

Overnight | in Moscow

Meals included: B, L


Day 6 Moscow - St Petersburg

Morning | Tolstoy House Museum

Reminding him of his country residence, Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy acquired the house with garden in the Khamovniki district of Moscow, which is now preserved as the Tolstoy House Museum.

As you view the portraits and belongings of his ancestors, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the world into which Tolstoy was born and his privileged upbringing. A room featuring bullets, battleground soil and medals from the Crimea, where he served in the Russian army, shelves holding the 22,000 books he amassed, in the 15 languages he spoke and cabinets of letters from Russian tsars and even Mahatma Gandhi, along with many other objects, all provide fascinating insight into the workings of his mind.

Afternoon | Lunch in Moscow before Sapsan High Speed Train to St Petersburg

With a maximum speed of over 155 mph, the Sapsan high speed train connects Moscow to St. Petersburg with a journey time on average of 3 hours 45 minutes. Sit back and relax in first class seats as you are whisked to St Petersburg!

Evening | Dinner and Russian Vodka Tasting

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B, L, D


Day 7 St Petersburg

Morning | Russian Museum Visit at Mikhailovsky Palace

The State Russian Museum is a remarkable collection of national art, tracing the development of the visual arts in Russia from its origin in Byzantine icon-painting to the richly varied avant-garde experiments of the early 20th century, when Russian art finally exploded onto the international stage.

Your Expert will introduce you to the breadth of the museum’s world renowned collections. 

Among the many masterpieces, is llya Repin’s Barge Haulers on the Volga painted in 1873. The most versatile of all the Russian Realist painters, Repin’s masterpiece, considered revolutionary at the time, celebrates the barge haulers’ dignity and fortitude whilst condemning those who sanctioned such inhumanity to man. 

Afternoon | Lunch at Leisure

Evening | Dinner at Leisure

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B


Day 8 St Petersburg

Morning | City Orientation Tour of St Petersburg including Peter & Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral and Saviour of the Spilled Blood, Nevsky Prospekt and The Hermitage

"It is too early to thank God" and with that, Ignacy Hryniewieck, a young member of the Narodnaya Volya (“People's Will") movement, threw a bomb at tsar Alexander II. Mortally wounded, the tsar was taken to his study at the Winter Palace, where he later died at 3.30pm on the 13th March 1881.

Built on the spot where the assassination took place, the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood is just one of many of the city’s landmarks you will visit during this morning’s tour.

Other sites include Nevsky Prospect, Peter & Paul Fortress, St. Isaacs Cathedral & Square, Senate Square, the Kazan Cathedral and the Singer Sewing Machine Head Quarters, which today is the Dom Knigi, the House of Books.

You will also pass The Hermitage buildings including the Winter Palace, Small and Large Hermitage and walk along the Neva River with its many canals and bridges.

Afternoon | Lunch followed by Guided Tour of Yusupov Palace

On the night of the 16th December 1916, Grigory Rasputin, the Russian peasant & mystical faith healer, was brutally murdered in the basement of Yusupov palace. Despising of Rasputin’s influence over the Romanov tsar Nicholas II, a group of monarchists, led by the wealthy aristocrat Prince Felix Yusupov, committed the gruesome crime.

During your tour of the palace, you will enter the exhibition dedicated to this historical event.

Constructed in the neoclassical style, Yusupov palace was completed by renowned architects of the time, during the period from 1760 till 1850. The stately rooms are richly decorated and contain unique West European works of art as well as 19th century musical instruments. The highlight of the palace is the Rococo style theatre, built as a miniature of the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre.

Yusupov Palace was also used in the filming of the recent BBC War & Peace TV Series.

Evening | Private Canal Boat Ride* | Dinner at Leisure

It’s a completely different experience to view St Petersburg from the water.

During your private canal boat ride you will see how the sloping granite embankments appear as pedestals upon which the city’s magnificent architecture sits.

With an open air terrace on the upper deck you can marvel at the views, whilst the lower deck provides tables and chairs in which to relax and take in the sights in comfort. All the while, your guide will bring to life fascinating tales of the city’s rich history.

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B, L

*Private canal boat ride (season permitting).


Day 9 St Petersburg

Morning | Special Early Opening of the Hermitage with Tour by its Curator, Professor Alexei Lepork | Visits to the Winter Palace, Small & Large Hermitage Buildings

Upon entering The Hermitage, the force of Russian history hits you, as so many of the Russian Empire’s most momentous events took place within its walls.

The residence of the Romanov dynasty for almost 300 years, it encompasses a grand ensemble of buildings, including the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage and Large Hermitage and is now one of the largest museums in the world.

Housing an immense collection of masterpieces by some of the world’s greatest artists including works by Michelangelo, Veronese, Giorgione, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Goya, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso, a visit to the Hermitage is a “must” for anyone visiting St Petersburg..

It also includes the best collection of ancient Scythian Gold artwork. Scythian paganism and mythology would later inspire works by some of Russia’s greatest poets and artists, including Alexander Blok, Andrei Bely, Rimsky-Korsakov and Igor Stravinsky.

Within the palace complex, the White Dining Room, with its mantel piece clock stopped precisely at the moment Russia succumbed to communism (2.10am on the 25th October 1917) and the extravagant Pavilion Hall, which combines Renaissance, Gothic and Oriental motifs and has twenty-eight crystal chandeliers which illuminate the sumptuous room, are particularly evocative.

The Winter Palace has also played its role in mass popular culture. It not only appeared in the BBC’s recent War and Peace TV Series, but also Sergei Bondarchuk’s Oscar-winning 1967 Soviet era adaptation. It was at the heart of the action in the Russian film director, Sergei Eisenstein’s influential film, October: Ten Days That Shook the World, which included shots of the storming of the palace.

A tour of The Hermitage will be led by its curator Professor Alexei Leporc.

Afternoon | Lunch followed by Hydrofoil to Peterhof Palace

Often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", Peterhof was built by Peter the Great after his victory over the Swedes at Poltava in 1709.

Peter employed over 5,000 labourers, serfs and soldiers supported by architects, water-engineers, landscape gardeners and sculptors. The palace was officially opened in 1723.

As well as the most comfortable way in which to arrive at Peterhof, the Hydrofoil trip across the Gulf of Finland, is also a befitting way to travel, given the importance of maritime history to Peter and St Petersburg.

Evening | Optional Performance at Mikhailovsky Opera* and Ballet Theatre | Dinner at Leisure

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B, L

*Please advise your Grand Cultural Tours Travel Adviser at time of booking if you would like to include a performance at the Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre.


Day 10 St Petersburg

Morning | Visit of Pushkin Museum and Apartment

On the afternoon of the 27th January 1837 Alexander Pushkin, considered by many to be Russia’s greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian literature, was killed in a duel. His brother-in-law, the dashing French military officer, George D’Anthès, who Pushkin believed to be his wife’s lover, was his killer.

You will discover more about this tragic incident, as well as other fascinating insights about this literary giant, during a guided tour of the Pushkin Museum and Apartment, where the writer lived between 1836 and 1837.

The apartment is a carefully preserved example of a nobleman's residence of the 1830s. Especially of interest is Pushkin’s study where he wrote the epic novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, and The Queen of Spades, both of which were later turned into operas by the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Lunch | With a Russian family in a dacha

What better way to feel at home in Russia than to dine in a dacha hosted by a Russian family?

Today you will be hosted for lunch by a St Petersburg family, in an informal atmosphere at an authentic dacha. It is a unique way to gain insight in to the social and political life of the city.

Afternoon | Visit Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum

The youngest and probably the greatest of the "Mighty Handful" of composers, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, strove to create a Russian style of classical music in the late 19th century.

A prolific composer, he is perhaps most famous for his fifteen operas, nearly all of which are based on Russian history or folklore. More than two thirds of them were composed whilst living in the Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Apartment Museum.

Four rooms in the museum are reconstructions of original interiors. The centrepiece is a grand piano once played by Scriabin, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky (among others) at Rimsky-Korsakov's celebrated musical soirees, which attracted leading lights of St. Petersburg's cultural world, including the opera singer Feodor Chaliapin and the painters Ilya Repin, Vasiliy Serov and Mikhail Vrubel.

Afternoon | Early afternoon lunch at Café Idiot | Dostoevsky’s World

No Russian writer exemplifies more than Fyodor Dostoyevsky his St Petersburg literary credentials. Born in the city, he wrote most of his works here, the most famous of which, Crime and Punishment, was a literary sensation and is considered to be his first great work.

Today you will be introduced to Dostoevsky’s world, stepping back into 19th Century Russia, by first visiting the Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum before walking in the footsteps of Crime and Punishment’s protagonist, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov.

The rooms of the Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum display the writer’s personal belongings and furnishings and are where he lived from 1878 until his death in 1881. Another part of the museum includes editions of Dostoyevsky's books published during his lifetime, a collection of illustrations and photographs signed by the writer (and famous contemporaries) and manuscripts and portraits.

Next you will visit the writer’s tomb at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra’s Necropolis followed by a walk in the old part of the city, then onwards to Sennaya Square and surroundings, before following the path taken by Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment.

Evening | Optional Performance at Grand Philharmonic Hall* | Dinner at Leisure

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B, L

*Please advise your Grand Cultural Tours Travel Adviser at time of booking if you would like to include a performance at the Grand Philharmonic Hall.


Day 11 St Petersburg

Morning | Catherine’s Palace (Tsarskloe Palace)

When Natasha Rostova and Prince Andrei fell in love at the Tsar's New Year's Eve ball, it became one of the most memorable scenes of the BBC’s recent War & Peace TV Series. It was shot within the shimmering gold ballroom of Catherine’s Palace (Tsarskloe Selo), a lavish rococo-style mansion on the outskirts of St Petersburg.

Today you will walk in the footsteps of Tolstoy’s literary characters, Natasha and Prince Andrei, during a guided visit of the palace, gardens and park.

Designed by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli for Tsarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, the imperial palace was the summer residence of the tsars.

Later, the Scotsman Charles Cameron, was commissioned by Catherine the Great to redesign the palace’s interiors to her neo-classical taste. Cameron also constructed an ensemble of buildings next to the palace, including the Agate Rooms and Neo-Classical Cameron Gallery.

Perhaps the most impressive room is the Amber Room, an 18th century chamber decorated entirely with panels of amber and gold. The original, regarded as an “eighth wonder of the world”, had gone missing at the end of the Second World War, rumoured to have been stolen by the Nazis. In 1982 the Soviet government proceeded to build an exact replica, which took over 20 years to complete and was opened by President Putin in 2003.

And of course the palace’s magnificent parks and gardens provide the ideal setting for a morning stroll.

Afternoon | Lunch followed by Guided Tours of Pavlovsk Palace and Park

This afternoon you will enjoy a visit to Pavlovsk Palace and Park. Commissioned by Catherine the Great for her son, Paul, in celebration of the birth of his son, the future Alexander I, it has a distinct charm, as opposed to the grandeur of Tsarskloe Selo.

Designed by the architects Charles Cameron and Vicenzo Brenna, who were given precise directions by Paul’s wife, Maria Fyodorovna, the palace buildings are made up of a mixture of neo-classical and more elaborate designs.

Around the English style gardens are dotted a Palladian mansion, the Doric Temple of Friendship and the Apollo Colonnade. A most picturesque view is that of the Visconti Bridge, designed by Andrey Voronkin, which passes over the river Slavyanka that flows through the gardens.

Evening | Dinner at Leisure

Overnight | in St Petersburg

Meals included: B, L


Day 12 St Petersburg          

Morning | Time at leisure

Lunch | Farewell to Russia lunch*

Meals included: B


*Please advise your Grand Cultural Tours Travel Adviser at time of booking if you require a transfer to the airport or post-tour accommodation in Russia.


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  • 11 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast each day in high standard 4 star hotels

  • 6 dinners & 6 lunches

  • The services of an Expert in Russian Cultural History throughout the entire tour

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager throughout the entire tour

  • First Class high speed rail travel on the Sapsan train from St Petersburg to Moscow

  • All activities and tours as described


Not included

  • Medical and travel insurance

  • Visa

  • Flights

Julia Korn

Julia Korn

Julia Korn, Senior Researcher, The National Pushkin Museum, St. Peterburg, is an English speaking lecturer and Guide renowned as an authority on the works and life of the great Russian literary poet, playwright, and novelist, Alexander Pushkin. 

Julia was born in St. Petersburg and in 1985 graduated from the Philological Department, St. Petersburg University, specializing in Russian Literature and History.

During the last 20 years Julia Korn has been Senior Researcher at the National Pushkin Museum in St. Petersburg and has published articles on Russian literature, history and the arts.

Fluent in English, she acts as the International Liaison Officer for the Museum. In this capacity she has travelled to the U.S.A. many times and in 1999 helped coordinate the renowned International Pushkin Conference at Stanford University, California. Julia is also the St. Petersburg Representative of the International Pushkin Charity Fund "Pushkin Legacy", which concerns itself with the preservation and conservation of the legacy of Alexander Pushkin.

In 1997, Julia became Director for the Stars of St. Petersburg Ballet Tours presenting fully staged productions throughout western America regularly and in 2003, Julia qualified with an Art Management Course from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.

Well travelled herself, Julia has a keen insight into the special needs of the discerning traveller, providing services for guests with special interests in the arts, music, ballet, history and literature.  Since 1993 she has applied her combined skills working as a tour leader and guide for groups as well as private clients and has qualified in numerous courses and acquired all the licenses to conduct tours in all the major museums and palaces in and around St. Petersburg.  

Distinguished past clients have included the Paul Getty Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute, the “Save Venice” Charity Foundation, Eugene O’Neil Theatre Centre, the  Florence Academy of Arts, the family of Vice-President Al Gore,  Sir Douglas Myers, Prince and Princess George and Katharina Yourievsky (descendants of the imperial Romanov family), The Earl and Countess of March as well as numerous cultural, business, and political leaders. 


4 star centrally located hotels in St Petersburg and Moscow, hand selected for their quality accommodation, service and location.


Passports and Visas

For general Foreign Office advice regarding passport validity for UK citizens, please click here.

A Visa is required for for all UK citizens entering Russia. Click here for further information regarding the Visa applicaiton process.  

If you require assistance with your Visa application, Grand Cultural Tours do provide a Visa processing service (at an additional charge).


Foreign Office Travel Advice including Health & Safety Information

Click here for general Foreign Office travel advice.


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a pre-requisite for booking a tour with Grand Cultural Tours. If you do not currently have travel insurance and would like to contact our partner travel insurance company, please click here for more details.



The currency of Russia is the Russian Ruble. The currency code is RUB and the currency symbol is руб. Click here for Foreign Office money advice.



Click here for the BBC's Moscow weather page 

Click here for the BBC's St Petersburg weather page.


Reading list


Flight Duration

2 hours 30 minutes (departing from London)

Dates & Prices

Start Date(s) Price excluding flights* Single supplement

* Please click here for more information regarding flights for this tour.

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