Go back in time to the days of the Soviet Union with this spectacular seven-day tour and experience the thrill of exploring something completely different. Our new Back in the USSR tour involves two of the major cities of Russia, both diverse and rich in culture and history.
During your time in Moscow, you will experience the Stalin’s Russia by visiting the famous VDNKh and a top secret Bunker 42. Once in Russia’s ‘Window to the West’, St Petersburg, you will explore key revolutionary and Soviet sights. You will also have a unique opportunity to get inside a typical Soviet home, "kommunalka", and experience a vodka tasting session in the Russian Vodka Museum, to lift the spirits up. Expect a tour like no other that will last in your memory forever.
Day 1 - Arrival in Moscow and free time
On arrival at the Moscow airport, you will be greeted by a local guide who will accompany you to the 4* Budapest Hotel, located in the heart of the Russian capital. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax or explore magical Moscow and get a taste of what you are about to experience.
Day 2 - Stalin's Moscow full day tour by car
Your private tour will begin at Red Square, a focal point for the newly created communist state. Besides being the official address of the Soviet government, it was renowned as a showcase for military parades from 1919 onward. You will see major historical landmarks, such as the Kremlin, the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum and GUM.
Then, you will immerse yourself into the fascinating history of Stalin’s Skyscrapers, or the Seven Sisters, - a huge construction project designed to convince the Soviet people, and the whole world, of the supremacy of the Soviet power.
At 1pm on September 7, 1947, during the celebration of Moscow’s 800th anniversary, the first stone of each skyscraper was laid during a special ceremony. You will discover all seven of the famous buildings, which function as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, Red Gates Administrative Building, Moscow State University, and more.
After lunch, you will visit one of the most mysterious places in Moscow - the secret Soviet Bunker 42, also known as the Cold War Museum. This tour will take you through its underground halls and corridors, where you will explore its engineering facilities and learn about its role during the Cold War. At the end of the excursion, you will be surprised by an imitation of a nuclear explosion that will show you how the bunker would have worked if it happened in real life in 1960s.
In the evening you can either choose to continue to explore all that Moscow has to offer or relax and unwind in your centrally located hotel.
Day 3 - Space Race tour by metro. Underground tour
Today you will dive into one of the greatest battles between the Soviet Union and the United States, the Space Race. You will immerse yourself in the Soviet era by going back to the Cold War times while visiting the Cosmonautics Museum and VDNKh.
Museum of Cosmonautics
We will head out on the first part of your day by car to the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, where you will marvel at one of the largest statues in Russia, the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. During your tour, you will explore the universe as seen from the perspective of the Soviets, while your guide will tell you about the history of the Space Race and the struggle for Space dominance between the Soviet Union and the United States. Walk through the halls of the Air Space museum and see the space suit of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Travel in time as you learn about the beginning of the space era, successful moon expeditions and the solar system.
After that, you will visit the famous exhibition complex VDNKh built in the 1930s-40s. Near the main entrance to the Exhibition Centre you will see the massive world-famous statue “The Worker and Kolkhoz Woman” by V. Mukhina which symbolizes the unity of workers and collective farmers — the two friendly classes of Soviet society.
After lunch you will have a guided tour of the Moscow Metro, the "Palaces for People", as identified by Joseph Stalin. Our professional local guide will show you the Russian capital’s most celebrated stations built during the Soviet period.
Following your busy day, you will return back to your hotel where you can relax and enjoy some free time or perhaps enjoy some of Moscow’s buzzing nightlife.
Day 4 - Free time in Moscow and arrival in St Petersburg
St Isaac's Cathedral
Today your private transfer with a guide will collect you from the hotel and take you to the railway station to hop aboard the high-speed Sapsan train in the direction of St Petersburg. The travel time from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Sapsan train is approximately 4 hours.
Due to a wide choice of departure times for the Sapsan train throughout the day, you can be flexible to leave early in the afternoon and spend the evening in St Petersburg or extend your afternoon in Moscow and leave either early, or mid, evening.
Upon arrival in St Petersburg, you will be collected from the railway station where you will meet your guide and be taken by private transfer to your centrally located 4-star hotel, Petro Palace. Following check-in, you will have free time to relax and unpack or take in some of what St Petersburg has to offer.
Day 5 - Full day tour of the Soviet Leningrad by car
Museum of the Political History of Russia
In 1917 St Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire, became the witness of an event which forever changed the face of not only Russia as a country, but the entire world: the October Revolution. Soon, the capital was moved to Moscow, but Leningrad (the Soviet-era name of St Petersburg) remained the second most important city of the Soviet Union.
During your guided tour you will see many important sights of the Soviet era and learn about the most important events of the revolutionary past of St Petersburg. You will go to the Smolny district - a Palladian building used as Lenin's Bolshevik HQ during the 1917 revolution.
You will visit the Museum of the Political history of Russia, mostly devoted to the Soviet period, to see the balcony where Lenin gave a revolutionary speech in 1917; see the battleship Aurora from where a shot triggered 1917’s October Revolution; visit the secret flat of Vladimir Lenion; and witness the former KGB building.
Finally, we will stop for lunch before paying a visit to the Russian Vodka Museum where you will learn about the fascinating history of vodka and, of course, get to try your own at a tasting session!
Then, you will return to your hotel where the evening is yours.
Day 6 - "Kommunalka" visit / Excursion to Kirov's Museum by car. Free time
The kitchen in Kommunalka
Today you will have an exciting excursion to a Soviet era shared apartment – “kommunalka”, and get an opportunity to get acquainted with the way of life back then.
Kommunalka is a traditional communal apartment, divided into 5-8 rooms (sometimes even more!) with one shared bathroom, one kitchen and hall as a common area. The largest distribution of common apartments were allotted after the revolution in 1917 and thus became one of the main symbols of Soviet Russia.
During this tour you will have the chance to see the way of life of the common people - which is truly a unique experience that allows you to feel the unique flavour of the country! You will meet the residents, see how they lead their household, talk to them, and have an interesting excursion through the most secluded places and take away unforgettable memories!
When unavailable, it will be substituted by an excursion to the Kirov’s Museum, where you will immerse yourself into the Soviet history.
Sergey Kirov, a top ranking communist leader, was a great supporter and a close friend of Stalin. At the centre of the museum's collection are the eight rooms of Kirov's apartment, fully preserved or restored using contemporary photographs. This elegant residence bears witness to the relative comfort enjoyed by the higher echelons of the Party, to Kirov's passion for hunting, and to the plentiful but rather peculiar range of gifts presented to Party leaders by factories and Communist organizations.
In the afternoon, you have free time to do as you please and see more of St Petersburg at your leisure.
Day 7 - Free time and departure
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, followed by more free time before needing to check-out at 12 noon. At a prearranged time, your private transfer with a guide will collect you from your hotel and take you to your point of departure.
If leaving is just too difficult for you, which it is for many of our customers, Real Russia can extend your time and arrange more thrilling excursions for you (at an additional cost).