Essential Russia

Essential Russia


Overview

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10% discount applies to Intrepid 18 to 29's tours only for departures booked & deposited at least 12 months prior to travel. Excludes Tailor-made, Asia Passes, Short Break Adventures and tours operated by 3rd party suppliers. Discounts apply to new bookings only. The discount applies to the land tour price only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Discount does not apply to local payments, permits, additional travel arrangements, international and local airfares. A deposit of $100 per person per tour is required on booking with full payment required a minimum of 56 days prior to departure. All tours subject to availability. Prices are per person based on twin share accommodation, low season, tour only. Prices, itineraries and inclusions are subject to change without notice. Please note that unless the departure date is marked Departure Guaranteed (DG), there might be some changes to the tour including the departure date. This offer may be changed or withdrawn without notice at any time. Other restrictions may apply.

Itinerary

Countries Visited

Russia

Cities Visited

Moscow, St. Petersburg

Tour Itinerary

Hop on this whirlwind tour through Russia from the majestic Kremlin Palace to the artsy Nikola-Lenivets Park, and finish in stunning St. Petersburg. With the hot banyas and warmth of its people, Russia ain't so cold after all, so don't be surprised if you're not Russian to leave once the trip finishes.

Day 1: Moscow
Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to the growing pains of democracy. Beneath its modern veneer – a sign of Russia's recent embrace of capitalism – Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. There’s so much to see and do in Moscow that it’s worth arriving a few extra days before the start of the trip. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening, then take an orientation walk with your leader before an optional dinner for your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine with your new friends. 

Day 2: Moscow
Visit the mausoleum of Russia’s most famous revolutionary – Lenin. He was the initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution that ushered in the era of communism, and you will join the queue lining up to visit his austere, eternal resting place on Red Square. Then enter the Kremlin grounds with a local guide, home to the oldest and most important churches in the country, where many Tsars and Tsarinas are laid to rest. Walk through the soaring towers and cathedrals of the political and spiritual heart of Russia before entering the Armoury Museum, home to an eye-bulging former royal collection of ambassadorial gifts, Faberge eggs, coronation robes and glittering jewels. 

Day 3-4: Nikola-Lenivets
Pack your bags for a two-night stay in Nikola Lenivets. The group will take the metro to Moscow Train Station and travel to the nearest town where you'll transfer to Nikola Lenivets, a 650-hectare landscape park and open-air contemporary art space. The park was created, or perhaps more accurately dreamed up, by a young Russian architect looking for a space to engage in creative activities. Some people would've started a blog, he decided to start a community. Take a guided walking tour in the park as an introduction to the history, idea and art projects inside. You won't be able to see all the projects together, but everyone will have plenty of time and freedom to explore the park at their own pace and check out the projects and activities. Optional experiences include bike hire, a woodworking workshop, yoga classes and a visit to a family farm, or simply just walk around the serene surroundings and chat with the interesting souls frequenting the park. The full story is fascinating, and can be read at: http://nikola-lenivets.org/park-about-en.

Day 5: Moscow
Travel back to Moscow for a free afternoon and evening exploring the city. Return to the Red Square if you wish, check out a few of the many museums or stroll the banks of the Moskva River.

Day 6: Moscow - Overnight train
Today your leader will take you on a tour of the super-lush Moscow metro stations. These stations are unlike any metro you've had the displeasure of riding before, and look more like elegant 1920s ballrooms than the starting point of a daily commute. Mayakovskaya Station, for example, hosted headquarters of anti-aircraft defence in 1941 as well as a Supreme Soviet session, and on the ceiling, you'll find 34 mosaics called depicting 24 hours in the Soviet sky. It's considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world for good reason. Visit this, as well as other stations adorned with more mosaics chandeliers. Head to the train station in the evening and catch the overnight train to St Petersburg.

Day 7: St. Petersburg
Arrive early into St Petersburg, Russia's current cultural, and former imperial, capital. With incredible art and architecture, this is a fascinating city to walk around. Take a quick tour with your leader to get to know the city, get your bearings and walk past iconic sights like Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral and the Hermitage Museum, not to mention the streets that played host to that ridiculous scene in Golden Eye where James Bond drives a tank through town. Shaken, not stirred, indeed. In the evening you'll take a pub crawl around town to see two different faces of the Russian drinking culture. The first is a ryumochnaya, or "vodka-glass place", which appeared in the city during the 19th-century. Enjoy traditional soviet snacks like pirozhki (small Russian pies), lard on bread, boiled eggs and mayonnaise, and bread with herring or salami. Afterwards, your leader will show you some of the modern pubs at the forefront of the ever-growing craft beer scene popular with the younger crowds. Try a Vasileostrovskoye, perhaps the most famous beer in town, or ask the bartender to suggest their favourite.

Day 8: St. Petersburg
St Petersburg is built on 42 islands and also known as the Venice of the North. Forget gondoliers though, this is a city to explore on foot and today you can spend the day crossing its rivers and canals at your own pace (which will vary depending on your enthusiasm at last night's pub crawl). Take in the ridiculous views across the city from the colonnade at St Isaac's Cathedral, or stroll down St Petersburg's main street. Pop into one of the awesome bakeries or coffee shops along the way, or maybe head down to Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra, where Russia's great musicians and writers including Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky are laid to rest in the cemetery. A whole day could be spent wandering the halls of the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world that houses one of the world's premier art collections. Whatever you choose, the city is easy to get around and your leader can help you make the most of your free day. In the evening, why not get the crew together and seek out a cosy restaurant for a final farewell.

Day 9: St. Petersburg
Your Russian adventure will come to an end today. There are no activities planned. St Petersburg has so much to offer, so we recommend that those who wish to see more extend their stay by a day or two.

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Inclusions

  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
  • Moscow - Red Square & Lenin's Mausoleum
  • Moscow - Red Square
  • Nikola-Levinets - Banya (Russia sauna)
  • Nikola-Lenevets - Nikola-Lenivets Art Park
  • Moscow - Metro tour
  • St. Petersburg - Pub crawl
  • St Petersburg - walking tour

Meals
4 Breakfast(s) Included

Style: Basix

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Accommodations

Hostel (3 nights), Hotel (2 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

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Ratings based off 107 reviews about Intrepid Tours. Currently showing 6 reviews with comments only.
By Sabera W on Aug 19, 2019

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

By Laurie T on Jan 19, 2019

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

By Justine F on Aug 18, 2018

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

By Patricia P on Mar 15, 2018

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

By Ian A on Feb 20, 2018

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

By Michelle W on Jan 26, 2018

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.


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