Russia

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Russia’s main cities feel broadly European, but its history tells a different story due to the singular political path the country forged in the 20th century, which lives on in the bold Stalinist buildings that pepper Moscow. Our specialists are skilled at crafting Russia holidays that take in all the country’s paradoxes. They can help you delve into St Petersburg, advising you on which imperial palaces to visit, and how to avoid the crowds. In Moscow, they can indicate more unusual ways to experience the city (such as night river cruises), and they know where to find the best skyline views.

Then, leaving the urban behind, you discover a sleepier, more sedate Russia where the vagaries of politburos seem to have had little effect. Holidays to Russia can easily include trips to see the wooden churches of the Golden Ring, and the well-preserved half-medieval town of Suzdal.

The former USSR’s historical and cultural riches are manifold: even if you’re only planning to see Moscow and St Petersburg, it can be hard to know exactly where to go in Russia. Our specialists, some of whom speak the language fluently, are intimately acquainted with the country’s powerhouse cities. They can plan a tailor-made trip that lets you explore major Russian points of interest such as the Hermitage and the Kremlin. But they’ll also nudge you to visit the cities’ lesser-known churches, museums and banyas (bathhouses).

You may also find yourself inspired to explore farther afield. Our specialists will encourage you to venture into the great expanses of unspoiled, marshy countryside to see a completely different side of Russia. You can wander around the fairytale-like, deeply Orthodox towns of the Golden Ring, witness Ekaterinburg’s poignant monuments to the Romanov dynasty, or ride the Trans-Siberian, the world’s greatest rail journey.

Many activities in Russia focus on the country’s unique culture and rich history, with city tours of Moscow and St Petersburg allowing you to see landmark sites such as the imposing Red Square and the Hermitage Museum with its extravagant art and jewellery collections, as well as numerous palaces and fortresses with impressive architecture.

Visit the world-famous Bolshoi or Mariinsky Theatres to see a ballet performance, a quintessential Russian experience, or travel beyond the cities to take a relaxing cruise along the Volga River as it weaves through the beautiful Russian countryside, learning about the country’s culture, history and religion as you go.

Ideas for experiencing Russia

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Russia, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Theatre of Ballet Performance
    Theatre of Ballet Performance

    Theatre of Ballet Performance

    St Petersburg

    Theatre of Ballet Performance

    St Petersburg is the home of ballet - the dance was first developed here from the 18th century onward, with all of the most famous ballets being premiered here. As well as ballet, the city has a thriving musical scene, with many fine orchestras and performers. We can arrange tickets and transfers to and from your hotel to the performance of your choice.

  • Trans Siberian Railway
    Trans Siberian Railway

    Trans Siberian Railway

    Moscow

    Trans Siberian Railway

    These long-distance trains are warm, comfortable, and offer a great insight into the people and their way of life. The journey tends to be slow and very gentle, with the train stopping for hours in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.

    The compartments are small but not cramped, bedding is provided, and each carriage is serviced by a guard.

  • Sergiev Posad Excursion
    Sergiev Posad Excursion

    Sergiev Posad Excursion

    Moscow

    Sergiev Posad Excursion

    Founded in 1340 by the patron saint of Russia, St Sergius of Radonej, the fortified monastery at Sergiev Posad is one of two 'Lavra' monasteries in Russia - considered to be raised above the status of others in importance and beauty.

    A visit to the Monastery, with its working Trinity and Assumption Cathedrals decorated by the famed Andrei Rubilyov, is a journey to the heart of the Russian religious experience.

  • St Petersburg City Tour
    St Petersburg City Tour

    St Petersburg City Tour

    St Petersburg

    St Petersburg City Tour

    The city tour takes you to the main streets and squares of the city - names that stir the Russian heart - Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Bronze Horseman, the Fontanka Embankment, the Neva River, and Vassilevsky Island.

  • Moscow City Tour
    Moscow City Tour

    Moscow City Tour

    Moscow

    Moscow City Tour

    The tour of Moscow takes you through the most important sights of this great city - places that hearken back to the days of the 'Hammer and Sickle' or beyond into earlier Russian history, as well as the modern, energetic, and hugely divided city that is present-day Moscow.

  • Pushkin Village Excursion
    Pushkin Village Excursion

    Pushkin Village Excursion

    St Petersburg

    Pushkin Village Excursion

    Visit the sumptuous Tsars' Village (renamed 'Pushkin' by the communists but sometimes known as Tsarskoye Selo), which was the summer residence of the Russian Emperors.

    The palace is located around 30 kilometres from the city in secluded countryside grounds - it took the Russian nobles a week to make the move from their city residences, and the train of carriages would stretch from the village back to the city centre. Tsars' Village is a unique ensemble, comprising a number of palaces, pavilions, and the dwellings of lesser nobles and servants, in harmony with lakes and landscaped gardens.

  • Excursion to Star City
    Excursion to Star City

    Excursion to Star City

    Moscow

    Excursion to Star City

    Star city is one of the more unusual destinations that can be visited from Moscow. A military facility and home to the Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre, cosmonauts and their families live in this area.

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  • The same specialist will handle your trip from start to finish
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The best guides

  • Make the difference between a good trip and an outstanding one
  • Hand picked by us or our local partners as the best available
  • Offering more than just dates and names, they strive to offer real insight into their country

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