$ 3863

The Ultimate Trans-Siberian: St Petersburg To Vladivostok

Culture
Culture
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Route complexity
min $ 3863
Per person
Tour details
Destinations: Saint Petersburg, Pushkin, Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk Oblast, Irkutsk, Irkutsky District, Lake Baikal, Vladivostok
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 3863 — max $ 8145
Group size: min 5 — max 22
Duration: 20 days
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  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive St. Petersburg

Day Schedule:

➤Meet and greet at the airport

➤Private transfer to your hotel in downtown and check-in

➤Evening free at leisure

➤Group tours: Welcome dinner

Founded by the Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703, St Petersburg was planned and built as the capital of newly emerged Russian Empire. Today, it is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Immerse yourself deep into rich Russian history, art and culture, Russian Revolution & Romanov Imperial legacy. The White Nights, luminous northern midsummer eves, are the summer weeks when St. Petersburg is sparkling like good champagne.

Your driver will be waiting at the airport/train station to take you to the cosy hotel in downtown.


Day 2. Discover St. Petersburg

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤The Winter Palace/Hermitage guided tour

➤The city sightseeing tour: St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Spilled Blood

Walking trip to the Winter Palace and the Hermitage guided tour. We insist you do it on foot. Why? Because there is no other way to understand and feel the city’s soul than to explore its secret walking trails. Let us surprise you with unusual houses, architecture, perspectives and stunning views. Today you visit one of the most important sites in Russian history and heritage, the world-famous Hermitage - the Winter Palace. Follow the centuries of sophisticated Russian history while walking through its stunning Suire of State Rooms.

You can try typical Russian food in a bistro, “stolovaya”. We will take a short walk to see the city’s iconic landmarks: St. Isaac Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, Church of the Spilled Blood. The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood is by far one of the most powerful constructions in Russian Orthodox Christian architecture; an absolutely enthralling must-see and a place where Alexander II was fatally wounded by anarchists in 1881.

Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, built in late XIX century in St. Petersburg, has a dramatic and twisted story. As a result, during the late Soviet era, the church permanently stood in a falsework. This was lasting for so, so long that finally St. Petersburg residents made an ironic belief that as soon as falsework was removed, the entire USSR would be removed as well.

Believe it or not, but the fact is: in 1991 the temple’s falsework was finally taken away and the same year, in August 1991, the end of the Soviet power has come. And this is just one of the dozens of legend surrounding one of St. Petersburg’s top must-sees.


Day 3. Peterhof Palace & More

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Guided tour to the royal Peterhof Palace

➤Guided tour to the Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral

➤Optional Faberge Museum Tour

➤Boat cruise

➤Evening free at leisure

Gardens and parks in Peterhof are spread over more than four hundred hectares and include thirty-one amazing museums and beautiful Versailles-style gardens. Interiors, as always in Russia, are all made of gold. In summer, the Peterhof is especially good thanks to its famous fountains which run naturally.

We shall visit the Grand Palace - the golden must-see! - and have a tour around the estate. Facing the Gulf of Finland, the palace - rises above the Grand Cascade and the Lower Park, stretching along the upper terrace for almost three hundred yards. The original idea for the location and general appearance of the "Upper Chambers" — as the Grand Palace was first known — belonged to Peter the Great. Throughout the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, the finest Russian and West European architects worked on the facades and the interior decor. But the greatest contribution was made by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, who transformed the Grand Palace into a masterpiece of Baroque art during the reign of Peter's illustrious daughter, Empress Elizabeth, in the eighteenth century.

The Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Hare Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were originally built under Peter the Great and designed by Domenico Trezzini. The cathedral's bell tower is the world's tallest Orthodox bell tower. Since the belfry is not standalone, but an integral part of the main building, the cathedral is sometimes considered the highest Orthodox Church in the world. There is another Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul Church in St. Petersburg, located in Petergof.

Enjoy a romantic cruise down the canals of St. Petersburg, and see some of the city’s monuments on the banks of the River Neva, all beautifully illuminated for the evening.


Day 4. Catherine's Palace & Amber Room

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤The tour to Pushkin/Tsarskoye Selo

➤The Catherine Palace and world-famous Amber Room with the guided tour inside

➤The evening is free at leisure

The Catherine Palace is the stunning Rococo palace located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 30 km south of St. Petersburg. It was the summer residence of the Russian tsars. The residence originated in 1717 when Catherine I hired German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. Construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress.

Amber Room is a reconstructed chamber decorated in amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors, located in the Catherine's Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near St.Petersburg. Constructed in the 18th century in Prussia, the original Amber Room was dismantled and eventually disappeared during World War II. Before its loss, it was considered an "Eighth Wonder of the World". A reconstruction was installed in the Catherine Palace between 1979 and 2003.


Day 5. Arrive Moscow

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Check out of the hotel

➤Transfer to the railway station to board the bullet train for 4 hours journey to Moscow

➤Meet & greet at the train station

➤Transfer to your cosy hotel in the downtown and check-in

➤Evening free at leisure


Day 6. Mighty Kremlin & The City

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤The Moscow metro tour

➤Guided tour to the Moscow Kremlin, including the Cathedrals and the Armory

➤Walking city tour in the downtown to see such attractions as the Red Square & St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, GUM, the Bolshoi Theatre, KGB Headquarters and other highlights of the downtown

➤Evening free at leisure on the Old Arbat, one of the most famous streets

The name "Kremlin" means "fortress inside a city", this construction had to protect the city from enemies. The Moscow Kremlin acquired the status of a sacral symbol representing the power of the great country. A holiday to Moscow is not complete without a visit to the Kremlin. Modern walls and towers of the Kremlin were constructed of red brick at the end of the 15th century. Now behind its walls, there are government buildings and a huge museum complex where thousands of artefacts telling about the history and the culture of Russia are stored. In 1990 both Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Russia is home for some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. Pokrovsky Cathedral, or St. Basil's Cathedral, is not just a church. It is a memorial temple constructed on Red Square in honour of the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. The main fight in which the Russian troops won a victory happened in the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos. So the temple was consecrated in honour of this Christian holiday. The cathedral consists of separate churches. Each of them is also consecrated in honour of holidays in which there were decisive fights for Kazan: Trinities, the Palm Sunday and others.

Red Square is a historical symbol of Moscow. The name of the square originated from the Russian word "Krasnaya" meaning "red" because it is related to the word "krasivaya" meaning "beautiful". The red square separates the Kremlin from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Thousands of tourists come here not only from all corners of Russia but also from around the world.

Get to know the city by taking a metro ride to the place of your first visit. Metro is the fastest ways to get anywhere in this city and to avoid traffic jams. If you want to see the Bolshoi, it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance!

The Moscow Metro was opened in 1935 with one 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) line and 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2018, the Moscow Metro excluding the Moscow Central Circle and Moscow Monorail has 224 stations (255 with Moscow Central Circle) and its route length is 381 km (237 mi), making it the fifth-longest in the world. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section 84 metres (276 ft) underground at the Park Pobedy station, one of the world's deepest. It's the busiest metro system in Europe, and a tourist attraction in itself.


Day 7. Art & History

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Guided tour to the State Tretyakov Gallery, the world's leading Russian art museum

➤Panoramic driving city tour: the Novodevichy Convent with the guided tour inside, Sparrow Hills & Moscow's iconic viewpoint, Stalin's skyscrapers tour

➤Explore the Soviet legacy at the VDNKh and take a guided tour to the Museum of Cosmonautics

The State Tretyakov Gallery is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world. The gallery's history starts in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his day with the aim of creating a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art. In 1892, Tretyakov presented his already famous collection of approximately 2,000 works (1,362 paintings, 526 drawings, and 9 sculptures) to the Russian nation. The collection contains more than 130,000 exhibits, ranging from Theotokos of Vladimir and Andrei Rublev's Trinity to the monumental Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky and the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich.

The Seven Sisters are a group of seven skyscrapers in Moscow designed in the Stalinist style. They were built from 1947 to 1953, in an elaborate combination of Russian Baroque and Gothic styles. At the time of construction, they were the tallest buildings in Europe, and the Main building of Moscow State University remained the tallest building in Europe until 1997. There were two more skyscrapers in the same style planned that were never built: the Zaryadye Administrative Building and the Palace of the Soviets.

Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva, VDNKh) is a permanent general-purpose trade show and amusement park in Moscow, Russia. Cosmonauts Alley and the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman statue are situated just outside the main entrance to VDNKh. It also borders Moscow Botanical Garden and a smaller Ostankino Park, and in recent years the three parks served as a united park complex.

In 1992, VDNKh was renamed, receiving the new acronym VVC, which remained in use until 2014. It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VDNKh is greater than that of the Principality of Monaco and has approximately 400 buildings.

Novodevichy Convent, also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery is probably the best-known cloister of Moscow. Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from the Old Maidens' Monastery within the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Day 8. Moscow: Day at Leisure

The morning is free at leisure or to explore other treasures of Moscow. At the appropriate time, transfer to the train station and board the train to Kazan. The Trans Siberian Adventure begins!


Day 9. Discover Kazan

Day Schedule:

➤Early morning arrival in Kazan, transfer to the hotel and guaranteed early check-in

➤Time for breakfast and rest

➤Full day Kazan guided tour: the Kremlin of Kazan, Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower, Chak-Chak museum and the old Tatar village

➤Tatar cuisine cooking class and Tatar lunch

The white-stone legendary Kazan Kremlin has heard almost all the languages ​​of the world during its thousand year history. From the latter half of the 13th Century to the first half of the 15th Century, the Kremlin was the center of the Kazan principality as part of the Golden Horde. Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552. The legendary building of the Kremlin is the famous Suyumbike Tower, one of the few «falling» buildings in the world. Kazan Kremlin is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Have lunch with delicious Tatar meals and learn the secrets of local cuisine at cooking master-class. After lunch, we continue the day with a city tour, Chak-Chak museum (the funniest museum you've ever been to) and a visit to a local cultural village. Evening is free at leisure.


Day 10. On board to Yekaterinburg

Day Schedule:

➤Early check out of the hotel

➤Transfer to the train station to board a train to Yekaterinburg

➤Arrive Yekaterinburg

➤Meet & greet at the train station

➤Transfer to the hotel and check-in

➤Evening free at leisure


Day 11. Discover Yekaterinburg

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Ganina Yama Monastery

➤Museum of Minerals

➤Cathedral on the Blood, place where the last Romanov Tsar was killed after the Revolution

➤Open-air military museum Verhkny Pyzhma

➤Europe-Asia Border

The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land is a Russian Orthodox church built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, and his family, along with members of the household, were shot by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. The church commemorates the Romanov sainthood.

The Ural Mountains are regarded as the border between Europe and Asia. To the west of the Urals lies European Russia, the cradle of the Russian culture. To the east lies the vast land of Siberia. The border of Europe and Asia is one of the must-visit sights in the vicinity of Ekateriburg. The monument was erected in 2004 and represents two interwined letters A and E. There you can happily put one foot in Europe and other in Asia and take some unique photographs.


Day 12. Across Siberia

Day Schedule:

➤Early check out of the hotel

➤Transfer to the train station

➤Boarding the train to Irkutsk

Train ride continues: 2 days and 5 hours on the train. There is, in fact, no one train called the ‘Trans-Siberian Express’, rather there are many trains going eastbound and westbound. One of a few things, that actually works perfectly well in Russia. You will be surprised by the scale of the system connecting together the world's largest country, thus being a bridge between Asia and Europe. In fact, you can even continue to Hong Kong, Vietnam or even Japan by a ferry. The entire system works like a Swiss watch!


Day 13. On board

Train ride continues. A long train journey is a fine opportunity to relax and calm down. Read your favourite book, talk to fellow travellers and enjoy unique landscapes.

Planning your Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian railway holidays, we use the best Russian trains available. There is 1st class, 2-berth compartments with shower (2 showers per carriage, shared) and 2nd class, 4-berth compartment (no shower).

All passengers get a proper flat berth to sleep in, provided with all necessary bedding, convertible to a seat for day use. There are washrooms and toilets along the corridor.

And here is more. The Trans Siberian is the best way to make new friends. Safe ride!


Day 14. Discover Irkutsk & Taltsy

Day Schedule:

➤Arrive Irkutsk in the morning

➤Breakfast

➤Guided city tour in Irkutsk

➤Transfer to Listvyanka village at Lake Baikal shores (65 km)

➤Visiting Taltsy Museum

➤Siberian lunch

➤Arrive Listvyanka village and check-in at the hotel

➤Evening free at leisure

➤Optional Russian banya

The open-air museum Taltsy is located 20 kilometers away from Listvyanka. The exposition features wooden buildings brought from all over Siberia. Right now, 40 landmarked buildings and 8000 artifacts dated by XVII-XIX centuries are presented as part of the exhibition.

The museum looks like an ancient village with long streets, wooden houses, water mills, and even a small school. It should be noted, that in the past real village “Taltsy” was located here. However, with the construction of the Ust-Ilimskaya hydroelectric power station, a part of the village came under the threat of flooding. Authorities decided to preserve the unique village and turned it into the museum.


Day 15. Explore Lake Baikal

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Baikal Museum of Limnology & Shaman Rock

➤Chersky Stone observation point & cable car

➤St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

➤Visit local souvenir market

➤Optional Russian banya

➤Optional Lake Baikal boat cruise

Visit Baikal Museum, Shaman Rock, St. Nicholas church and a Fish Market. Baikal Museum is a splendid museum where information about lake Baikal wildlife is kept, studied and exhibited: including the origins of the lake, the endemic flora and fauna from the surface of the lake to its maximum depth, an excellent model of the lake, etc. Shaman Rock is a natural boundary between the deepest lake in the world and the only river that flows out of the lake—the Angara river. Apparently, locals have thousands of legends about this place, which is believed to be the house of one of the Buryat gods.


Day 16. On board to Vladivostok

Day Schedule:

➤Breakfast

➤Transfer to the train station

➤Boarding the train to Vladivostok

Vladivostok is located around the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea. The city is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean. During 35 years of the Soviet era (from 1958 to 1992) Vladivostok was off-limits to foreigners and finally was re-opened for tourism. The city centre, at the edge of the water, has sweeping boulevards of ornate, century-old buildings; magnificent, decaying, and in dire need of a scrub. Further out, on the steep hills overlooking the bay, similarly decaying Soviet blocks dotted with new high-rise buildings provide accommodations for most of the city's residents.


Day 17. Far East

Another day on board, watching the scenery and catching wi fi from one city to another.

Though, it's more likely you will be more interested just to enjoy the scenery!

This is truly one of the most magnificent parts of the journey. The landscapes are unbeatable!


Day 18. Almost there

The Russian Far East is extraordinarily far from Russia's major population centres in Europe and is usually visited separately unless... by the Trans-Siberian Railway of course. The largest city in the region, Vladivostok, is a full seven time zones away from Moscow, with 9,300 km of railroad between them. The Far East is very different from popular conceptions of Russia—it is very mountainous and has an often spectacular Pacific coastline. The people in this region have more in common with those of northern China or the Inuit than to the Slavic Russians; however, Slavs predominate in the larger cities.


Day 19. Discover Vladivostok

Day Schedule:

➤Arrive Vladivostok

➤Meet and greet at the train station

➤Transfer to the hotel and guaranteed early check-in

➤Guided city tour: harbour, Submarine S-56, Golden Bridge, view point Eagle’s Nest, Vokzalnaya Square, the monument of the Trans-Siberian Railway, Vladivostok fortress museum

➤Group tour: Farewell dinner

Welcome to the capital of Primorye! Vladivostok is one of the most picturesque and interesting cities in the Russian Far East. During the Soviet time, the city was the home base of the Pacific Russian military fleet and thus entrance for international travellers was not allowed. Free access was given to tourists and visitors in 1992 after the fall of USSR.

Today we shall visit all the highlights of this Pacific city. If you travel in one the set groups, see your fellow travelers in the evening for a farewell dinner to celebrate the success of your epic Trans-Siberian train journey.


Day 20. Farewell

Take a private transfer to the airport. Congratulations! You've just completed the most amazing train journey across the full breadth of Russia, the world-famous Trans-Siberian Express!

Inclusions

Accommodation

➤Hand-picked centrally located hotels of the selected category (3*, 4* or 5* hotel of your choice)

➤4 nights St. Petersburg // 3 nights Moscow // 1 night Kazan with early check in // 2 nights Ekaterinburg // 2 nights Lake Baikal/Listvyanka // 1 night Vladivostok with early check-in

➤6 nights on board


Meals

➤Full breakfast at the hotels (except Day 1) // Full board in Mongolia

➤Group tour: Welcome dinner & Farewell dinner

➤3 lunches: Buryat lunch at Lake Baikal // Siberian lunch at the Taltsy Museum // Tatar cooking master-class with lunch in Kazan


Transportation

➤Train tickets of the chosen category: Moscow - Kazan, Kazan - Yekaterinburg, Yekaterinburg - Irkutsk, Irkutsk - Vladivostok

➤From St Petersburg to Moscow by high-speed train, standard class, 4 hours ride. Please inquire about business or 1st class upgrade and flight options

➤Superior trains on the route with a/c, heaters and dining carriage for your comfort. 1st class: one place in 2-seats compartment. 2nd class: one place in 4-seats compartment

➤Meet & greet at the airports/train stations

➤Private return airport/train station transfers

➤Metro pass in Moscow & St. Petersburg

➤Private transportation on tours as per program in a comfortable a/c car/minivan/bus (except on walking tours)

TRAIN CONFIGURATION:

1st class carriage: 2 seats compartments.

2nd class carriage: 4 seats compartments.

One seat at each leg of the train journey is included. Should you prefer to have extra seat/seats per person, please inquire.

NOTE:

All train tickets are subject to availability.

1st class train tickets supply is limited especially during peak season. If 1st class is not available/or not provided by the railway company at a certain leg of your journey, two seats in a 2nd class carriage will be provided per person at no extra costs.



Sightseeing

➤St. Petersburg full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Winter Palace and the Hermitage, Isaac Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

➤St Petersburg full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Royal Palace of Peterhof, the Peter & Paul Fortress and Cathedral, boat cruise

➤Pushkin/Tsarskoe Selo day (6 hours) guided tour: Catherine’s palace & Amber room

➤Moscow full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Moscow Kremlin (including the Cathedrals and the Armory), the Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral (outside), Lenin’s Mausoleum (outside), GUM, the Bolshoi Theatre (outside), KGB Headquarters, Moscow metro tour

➤Moscow full day (8 hours) guided tour: the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Novodevichy Convent with the guided tour inside, Sparrow Hills, the VDNKh and the guided tour to the Museum of Cosmonautics, Stalin's skyscrapers tour

➤Kazan full day (8 hours) guided tour: the Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower, Old Tatar village

➤Yekaterinburg full day (8 hours) guided tour: Ganina Yama Monastery, Museum of Minerals, Church of All Saints, Europe-Asia Border, the UMMC military museum

➤Irkutsk half-day (4 hours) guided tour: St. Epiphany Cathedral, Kirov Square, Taltsy Museum with national folk performance

➤Lake Baikal (Listvyanka) full day (8 hours) guided tour: Shaman rock, Baikal Museum of Limnology, Chersky Stone observation point, local souvenir market

➤Vladivostok full day (8 hours) guided tour: harbour, Submarine S-56, Golden Bridge, viewpoint Eagle’s Nest, Vokzalnaya Square, the monument of the Trans-Siberian Railway, Vladivostok fortress museum


Entrance tickets & visas

➤Entrance tickets to all listed attractions (except optional)

➤Russian visa supporting documents (official visa invitation letter and detailed manuals on how to apply for the visa in your country of residence)


Your comfort counts

➤Dedicated local English-speaking guide in all places as per program

➤Russian local sim card with data

➤Discovery Russia 24/7 English-speaking support line

➤Best places to stay, to eat, to go out and have fun - safe and secure with the tour operator that specializes in Russia

➤Group tours are fully escorted by a bilingual tour director

➤Group size 22 people maximum. All our group departures are guaranteed.

All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Discovery Russia
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