Discover two of the world's most exciting and intriguing cities! Moscow, Russia’s capital, is renowned for its rich Soviet and Tsarist history along with its diverse culture, while St Petersburg - with its beautiful bridges, opulent palaces, parks and canals - is often considered to be the most European city in Russia. The Essential Moscow & St Petersburg tour offers an amazing opportunity to see the highlights of Russia’s two greatest cities within five exciting days.
Day 1 - Arrival in Moscow and free time
Upon arrival at the Moscow airport, you will be greeted by a local guide who will accompany you on a private transfer to your 4-star hotel, located in the historical centre of the Russian capital. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax or to start to explore magical Moscow and get a taste of what you are about to experience.
Day 2 - Full day city tour in Moscow (half walking/half by car)
After breakfast, you will be met at your hotel by one of our knowledgeable local guides, who will accompany you on a fascinating walking tour of central Moscow, before taking you by car to see some of the best historical sights spread across the city in the afternoon.
Your first excursion will be The Moscow Kremlin, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Residing on the West Side of Red Square, The Kremlin is set apart from the city and guarded by the Kremlin Regiment. Within its walls are stunning buildings boasting the sublime palaces and sumptuous Russian Orthodox cathedrals and churches.
Built in 1482, The Kremlin used to be home to Russian Tsars and Communist leaders. It was also the religious centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. Today, it is where the president lives and runs the Russian government.
After lunch the day’s tour continues from the heart of the city, at Red Square where you will see the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum, amongst other remarkable buildings and statues. Please note that fees to St Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin's Mausoleum are at an additional cost.
Moscow State University
Your excursion continues along the Moskva River Embankment, the ideal place to stop and take in the magnificent views of the Kremlin. Other important sights you will see include the Cathedral of the Christ the Saviour, New Maiden’s Convent and the Moscow State University. Then, you will travel to Sparrow Hills, one of Moscow’s most famous observation points and the perfect opportunity to soak up the outstanding Moscow views.
The day’s tour ends at Manezhnaya Square, a pedestrianised area in Moscow built by Stalin in the 1930’s and famed for its communistic style architecture from that period.
The rest of the evening is free for you to do as you please; perhaps use it as an opportunity to enjoy some of Moscow’s lively nightlife.
Day 3 - 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.
Should you wish to spend your afternoon in Moscow, why not taking an additional excursion in the Russian capital? We recommend the State Tretyakov Gallery private tour or the River Cruise on Radisson boat.
Upon arrival in St Petersburg, you will be collected from the railway station and taken by private transfer to your centrally located 4-star hotel. Following check-in, you will have free time to relax and unpack or take in some of what St Petersburg has to offer.
Day 4 - Full day city tour in St Petersburg by car
St Petersburg View
Today will see the following masterpieces of St Petersburg – Nevsky Prospekt, the Admiralty, Moscow Railway Station, Alexander Nevsky Monastery, Kazanskiy Cathedral, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Palace Square, the Hermitage, and even more.
Your private tour will take you to the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood – a fascinating structure built in memory of the Tsar Alexander II who was assassinated on this spot in 1881. It features five onion-shaped domes decorated elaborately in jeweller's enamel.
After lunch, your tour will continue with a visit inside the Peter and Paul Fortress, the first ever structure built in St Petersburg and originally designed to be a defence fortress. Next, it’s onto the Field of Mars which was a parade ground. Originally it was called the Grand Meadow and renamed the Tsarina’s Meadow after Catherine I (wife of Peter the Great). It was finally called the Field of Mars in early 19th century. It is where the remains of people who died during the February revolution of 1917 are buried.
Later on, you will be transported back to your hotel and you can enjoy relaxing or take in some more of St Petersburg at your leisure.
Day 5 - Free time and departure
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, followed by more free time. 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).