The History and Grandeur of Russia's Finest Cities
Discover the splendour of St. Petersburg and the majesty of Moscow
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Enjoy an authentic meal at a traditional Russian dacha
- Admire the incredible works of art housed in The Hermitage in St. Petersburg
- Absorb St. Petersburg from a fresh perspective during a private canal cruise
- Marvel at the majestic landmarks that populate Moscow's Red Square
- Take a trip down into the fascinating realm of a Soviet Cold War nuclear bunker
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private transfers
- Private tours and experiences focused around Russia's history and culture
- Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
- Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
- Expert guides in each destination
At a glance
A political and geographical powerhouse, the world’s largest country is filled with everything from fascinating history and culture to stunning natural landscapes and an intriguingly mysterious enigma, ensuring that Russia proves an unforgettable destination. In a country so vast, where days can be required to travel from one city to another, it’s more than fortunate that Russia’s two most splendid cities are divided by just a four-hour train journey.
St. Petersburg, the capital of Imperial Russia, and Moscow, the country’s modern-day capital, are two of the world’s most extraordinary cities. Both located in Russia’s European west, St. Petersburg is defined by its incredible palaces, grand cathedrals and snaking canals, while Moscow lends itself to a boisterous and enigmatic character, dotted with breathtaking sights and landmarks of power and austerity – both are equally unique and fascinating cities.
Starting your exploration in St. Petersburg, you’ll spend four nights in this remarkable city, discovering the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress, the beautiful Yusupov Palace and the breathtaking Faberge Museum as you gain your bearings of the city. The incredible artwork found at the Hermitage Museum and the Hermitage Collection at General Staff Headquarters Buildings will inspire you, before a relaxing canal cruise will further reveal the beauty of the city.
After a day exploring the stunning grounds and splendour of Peterhof and its palace, you’ll take a high-speed train to Moscow where you will stay for three nights, experiencing the elegant graves of Novodevichy Cemetery and the turbulent history of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour as an introduction to the capital. The magnificent and striking surrounds of Red Square will dominate your second day in Moscow, before exploration of Russia’s space programme and relics of the Cold War will bring your Russia adventure to a fascinating close.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in St. Petersburg
Accommodation in St. Petersburg
- 150 rooms
- Indoor pool
- Three dining options
- Rooftop terrace
Found in the very heart of downtown St. Petersburg, a short walk from the key attractions of this beautiful city, such as the Mariinsky Palace, the Hermitage Museum and Mariinsky Theatre, you’ll find the glamourous Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg. The hotel offers the best of both aesthetic worlds, as it is decorated in both a classic and contemporary design, and here all 150 rooms offer the perfect sanctuary for relaxing after a busy day of sightseeing, with some boasting marble bathrooms and spectacular views of St. Isaac’s Square. For dining options, head to The Lounge, an impressive fine dining restaurant with a beautiful stained-glass dome to add extra glamour to your evening. If you crave a change, you can enjoy modern Japanese cuisine at the first premium class Japanese restaurant in St. Petersburg, MEGUmi. However, if it is unbeatable atmosphere you are after, nothing quite prepares you for the incredible views found at L Terrasa, a terrace bar overlooking St. Isaac’s square and where the enchanting St. Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the skyline. After exploring the city, the Lotte Hotel offers various ways for you to unwind, such as the world-famous Mandara Spa where multiple treatment options are available along with a team of expert therapists from Bali. Here you will also find a fitness club with a sauna as well as a brilliantly blue indoor pool.
- 183 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Tea lounge
- Fitness centre
Enjoying a prestigious setting within a former palace and boasting a prime location on St. Isaac’s Square, Four Seasons Lion Palace places guests on the doorstep of some of St. Petersburg’s most famous attractions. A classic hotel of immense grandeur, the front entrance is guarded by two marble lions, leading into a striking lobby with white columns and imperial-yellow walls, barrel vault ceilings and a granite staircase, effortlessly reflecting the 1820s beauty of this 19th-century palace. Offering a choice of 183 rooms and suites, all of these spaces have been fitted out to also reflect the original 19th-century stylings of this historic building. Features include the likes of custom-built wardrobes, hazel doors and marble-walled bathrooms, while some of the more splendid rooms boast heated floors, private terraces and even floral frescoes. The dining experiences at the Four Seasons are extensive and rewarding, starting with Sintoho, a lively Asian eatery serving the likes of crab from Singapore, sushi from Tokyo and dim sum from Hong Kong. Percorso presents a wonderful journey through Italian cuisine within an ultra-stylish setting, while the Tea Lounge is a bright and airy space with a glass-roofed ceiling where guests can enjoy Russian cuisine with a glass of champagne. For a pre-dinner drink or evening cocktails, the library-style bar, Xander Bar, named after Tsar Alexander I and is a relaxing place to see out the day. Rest and relaxation at the hotel are enhanced further by the offerings of its award-winning Luceo Spa. A haven of rejuvenation set over four levels and presenting a wide range of wellness treatments, the spa is the ideal antidote to busy days exploring this stunning city.
- 83 rooms
- 86 suites
- Two restaurants
- 24-hour fitness centre
- Swimming pool at adjacent hotel
A true St. Petersburg landmark whose grandeur and presence can be found set directly opposite the imposing St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Since Hotel Astoria’s opening in 1912, this art nouveau gem has hosted some of the city’s most eminent guests. The hotel’s superb location ensures that it sits alongside the likes of The Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace as landmarks of this area of the city. A sense of splendour is found throughout the hotel, from its white marble bathrooms and teak flooring to its glitzy ballroom and exquisite Rotonda Lounge, the latter famed for its impressive afternoon teas This vibe continues across the 83 individually designed rooms, which reflect the beauty and heritage of the city, and the 86 spacious suites which combine both tradition and modernity to create an enchanting atmosphere. The Astoria Restaurant offers a range of European cuisine and classic Russian dishes in an evocative setting. The Lichfield Bar provides 24-hour service and is the perfect location for an ice-cold vodka. The afternoon teas at the Rotunda Lounge are iconic in St. Petersburg, while Borsalino has a growing reputation for its sumptuous Italian cuisine. The hotel features a spa with a sauna, steam room and treatments rooms, as well as a 24-hour fitness centre. Guests wishing to swim can use the pool at the adjacent Hotel Angleterre.
Gazing west across the blue of the Baltic Sea, Russia’s second city was created by Peter the Great in 1703 to function as a window into Europe. The 'Venice of the North', as it has been historically known, has become one of the largest economic, cultural and scientific centres of Russia and the world. It's a cultural hub too, home to more than 250 museums, while its mesmerising historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your stay here, experience its museums, galleries, ballet shows and opera performances, as well as its incredible beauty, defined by its majestic architecture, winding canals, baroque bridges, striking plazas and verdant parks and gardens.
Enjoy a rewarding first impression of the grand city of St. Petersburg with this introductory tour, beginning with a drive near the Neva River which will welcome you to the heart of Peter the Great's beautiful city. Next, visit the spit of Vasilievsky Island with its beautiful view across the river to the Winter Palace and the Peter and Paul Fortress, before driving by imposing Palace Square, framed by the Winter Palace and the General Staff Headquarters. Other highlights include the façade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the statue of Peter the Great, named the Bronze Horseman.
Spend your evening outside of the city and experience the essence of Russian dacha life. A dacha is a city-dweller’s country cottage and can vary from a summer cabin with no running water to a fine home suitable for living year-round. Dacha gardens were responsible for a significant portion of the produce grown during Soviet times, and this experience will allow you to enjoy a traditional meal with a Russian family in their home.
Start your second day with a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress. Set across the Neva River from the Hermitage, the fortress was one of the first structures built in St. Petersburg, with Peter the Great laying the cornerstone of the earthen fortress in May 1703. The intention was for it to be used to repel a Swedish invasion, and after the Swedes were defeated, the fortress was transformed into a prison in 1718. As you'll discover during your visit, the most important feature of the fortress is its role as a burial place for the majority of the Tsars, including Peter the Great. Your next stop will be Yusupov Palace, boasting on incredible interior decorated with the likes of crystal chandeliers and beautifully painted ceilings, before finishing with a stop at the Fabergé Museum to witness the largest collection of Fabergé eggs in the world.
This tour will allow you to experience one of the most famous museums in the world. Built from 1754-62 as the principal home of the Tsars and a portion of the Winter Palace, the structure was rebuilt to it lavish modern-day appearance in 1839 after being destroyed by fire. The museum originally held a private palace gallery, but today the Hermitage houses one of the largest museum collections in the world. Here you can see works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, and Rubens, as well as stunning decor and architecture, with the inlaid floors and gilded woodwork and the grand double entry staircase are works of art in themselves.
Giving you another flavour of the spectacular exterior and interior of the Hermitage and its collection, the neoclassical yellow General Staff Headquarters encircles the southern side of Palace Square across from the Hermitage's main site, and was designed in the early 19th century.
The east wing of the building belongs to the Hermitage, housing several permanent exhibits there including the museum’s renowned collection of French Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Here you can see works from the likes of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso to name a few.
The perfect tour experience for recognising St. Petersburg's former title of the 'Venice of the North', you'll take to the rivers and canals of this beautiful city for a fresh angle on its architecture and layout, enjoying a cruise along the waterways. Like Venice, St. Petersburg was originally built on many islands, and hundreds of bridges span the city. Enjoy the cool breeze as you pass by the likes of pre-revolutionary palaces along the Fontanka embankment.
Peter the Great built his estate, Peterhof, on a ridge by the Gulf of Finland, 19 miles outside St. Petersburg. The former imperial residence is surrounded by extensive parks and gardens intended to rival Versailles, complete with an array of gilded statues, magnificent palaces and gravity-fed fountains. The exterior of the massive Grand Palace with its parquet floors, lavish rooms, and grand galleries was designed by Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace. Peter's first and favourite palace, the more modest Monplaisir, sits directly on the bluff above the Gulf, where Peter could observe passing ships. Peterhof’s main attraction are more than 150 glistening, gilded, sculpted marble, granite and limestone fountains and cascades in the Lower Park. The pools, located in Peterhof’s Upper Garden, discharge their waters nearly 50 feet down to the Lower Park’s cascades and jets, creating enormous force and powering fountains all over the park.
Located outside of St. Petersburg in Pushkin, the royal residence of Catherine's Palace was originally built in 1717 by Catherine I. The palace was then enlarged in 1752 under the guidance of famed architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli who extended the facade to its current splendour. Despite experiencing damage during World War II, the estate and palace buildings have been carefully and expertly restored into a brilliant architectural monument, something you will come to appreciate during your visit.
Private transfer to St. Petersburg train station
High-speed train from St. Petersburg to Moscow
Private transfer to your hotel in Moscow
Accommodation in Moscow
- 227 rooms and suites
- Fitness centre
Set on the banks of the Moskva River just across from the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Hotel Baltschug Kempinski offers stunning views of some of the city’s most iconic attractions. Dating back to 1898, and formerly known as the Hotel Bucharest, this became post-Soviet Russia’s first five-star hotel and has maintained its status as one of Moscow’s most rewarding and prosperous hotels. Contemporary décor and fantastic amenities sit beside a sense of luxury, underpinned by exceptional service. Its 227 rooms, including 36 suites are all spacious and airy and some come with views of Red Square and the Kremlin. The hotel presents three unique places in which to wine and dine, beginning with a filling breakfast served at the Baltschug Grill. The Lobby Lounge, defined by its fireplace and cosy ambience, is the ideal place for an evening drink or a portion of dessert, while Café Kranzler is a trendy bar which serves cocktails on an open terrace. For an extra sense of indulgence, the hotel’s inviting spa offers a range of tailor-made treatments and an extensive beauty programme. In addition to this, the hotel presents numerous fitness activities and a swimming pool for refreshing dips.
- Four dining options
- Moscow's largest spa
- 180 guest rooms
- Moskovsky Bar
- Private terraces in selected suites
Found mere steps from the Kremlin and Red Square in the historic heart of Russia’s Capital, Four Seasons Hotel Moscow puts an unrivalled contemporary spin on old-world glamour. This is a wonderful modern replica of the early 20th-century Hotel Moskva which focuses on destination dining and decadent spa treatments to help guests get the most out of this city. Here you’ll find 180 luxurious guest rooms which boast living rooms with fireplaces, while upgraded suites feature dining rooms, sofa beds and saunas. Some rooms even offer inspiring views of the Red Square and the Kremlin from your private terrace. Four dining options are found here, from the signature restaurant Quadrum where you’ll find contemporary Italian cuisine and fine wines alongside views of the Kremlin and Manezhnaya Square, to the casual-chic restaurant Bystro offering contemporary Russian dishes and local specialities. A place to wind down in the evening is no other than the hotel’s Moskovsky Bar which offers inventive cocktails and an extensive Champagne list. The hotel is home to Moscow’s largest spa, the Amnis Spa where you can be pampered with a decadent caviar facial or a 24-karat gold scrub to truly feel like royalty.
During your time in Moscow, you will discover a city with a fascinating history that stretches back over 800 years, dotted with grand landmarks and intriguing museums as well as a striking character that can be attributed to its Soviet past. After ticking off some of its most impressive sights, such as The Kremlin, Red Square and Novodevichy Convent, you can discover a city with famed art and history collections, theatres and film studios, as well as an endless stream of luxury shops, superb restaurants and glitzy bars.
Begin your experience of Moscow with a drive beside some of the city's most famous sites and attractions, starting with the Duma building where Russia's governing body meets. You'll also see the Bolshoi Theatre, the imposing Lubyanka prison where the KGB was previously headquartered and Moscow State University beside the Sparrow Hills, for some stunning views of the city. You'll finally experience the World War II Memorial and Victory Park before driving along the Sofiyskaya Embankment, past the 16th century Novodevichy Convent and by the Moscow 'White House'.
In many ways, the striking cemetery found at Novodevichy Convent is just as famous as the convent itself, home to beautifully decorated graves that belong to some of the most iconic Russians of the last 150 years. Including not only artists and poets, but also political leaders, at the cemetery you can stumble across graves belonging to Khrushchev and Yeltsin, countless cosmonauts, the anarchist Peter Kropotkin, female sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko and Stalin's second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.
Upon discovering Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, you'll be faced by a landmark with a long, fascinating and tumultuous history. Originally built between 1839-1883 as a commemoration of Russia's victory over Napoleon in 1812, upon Stalin's orders, the cathedral was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931 in order to make way for a new structure known as the Palace of the Soviets. However, the soft ground on the original site could not support the foundations of the colossal building, and today, this area is instead home to the world's largest outdoor swimming pool. Throughout the 1990s, the cathedral was reborn, as the Moscow government meticulously rebuilt the structure across the decade. Today, you'll find the massive golden-domed church on the northern banks of the Moskva River.
Enjoy some delicious authentic Russian cuisine during a dinner with a local Russian family, allowing you to experience a sense of every day life for a family living in Moscow.
Start by discovering arguably one of the most recognisable symbols of Moscow and the entirety of Russia, the Red Square. It is home to some of the country's most iconic landmarks, including the Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral. You'll get the opportunity to learn more about St. Basil's Cathedral, even entering the complex to marvel at the striking interior. Your next stop will be the GUM Department Store, a glass-topped 1980s arcade lined with boutique stores, before having the chance to discover the Kremlin, including its fascinating Armoury Museum.
Moscow's Space Exploration Museum, or the Museum of Cosmonautics, is housed in the base of the monument named 'To the Conquerors of Space'. You'll be blown away by the incredible monument, showing a huge upright titanium contrail behind a rocket taking off into the sky. The museum itself celebrates the Soviet Union's exploits in space, among them sending the first man into space, the first woman into space, executing the first space walk and launching Sputnik, the first satellite. Some of the exhibits you'll see include artefacts like Yuri Gagarin's spacesuit and the first rocket engine.
Your next stop will see you discover the All-Russian Exhibition Center, better known as VDNKh, which was opened in 1959 to exhibit and celebrate the modern achievements of Soviet science, industry, culture, transport, and engineering. Ironically, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the site became a large centre of capitalist trade with numerous shops and kiosks lining the pedestrian walkways. On the edge of the complex, you can observe the titanium Sputnik Rocket Monument, which rises 315 feet into the air.
This interesting tour will give you the chance to discover one of the largest metro systems in the world, consisting of over 200 stations and 210 miles of track. Serving nearly 2.5 billion travellers every year, the metro's first station opened in 1935, and many of the stations in the city centre are true showpieces of Socialist art, decorated with the likes of statues, frescoes and mosaics, as well as marbled and gilded walls and ceilings. Of the more elaborate stations include Kievskaya Station, with its mosaic-clad walls, Ploshchad Revolyutsii with its bronze sculptures and Mayakovsky Station with its graceful arches forming domes filled with mosaics.
Located more than 200 feet below the city of Moscow, you'll discover Bunker 42, an abandoned relic of the Cold War which was built under orders of Stalin in 1951 to withstand a nuclear attack. Stocked with food and provisions, the 75,000-square-foot space was built to sustain 5,000 people for a period of three months. After completion in 1956, the area functioned as a secret communications bunker and allegedly a missile control centre. During your tour of the bunker, you'll enjoy some informative insights into the Cold War.
Private transfer to Moscow Airport
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The History and Grandeur of Russia's Finest Cities
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