Moscow, the Golden Ring, and St. Petersburg

Overview

Our journey into Russia is a true insider’s experience, with our native-born Trip Leaders sharing the treasures of their homeland. We’ll see Red Square on a nighttime walking tour and hear the shimmering tones of bell ringing in the medieval towns of the Golden Ring. In romantic St. Petersburg, we have a special early admission to the opulent Hermitage, see the famed Amber Room, and enjoy a private boat ride on the atmospheric canals of this World Heritage city. We’ll enjoy the long summer twilight of Russia’s “White Nights,” and our cultural odyssey is filled with unique opportunities to meet Russians and learn about their lives, including lively meals with families in their homes.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Moscow

Along with visiting Moscow’s grand monuments, we also take a stroll among the artisans on Arbat Street, ride to ornate metro stations, have lunch with an artist at a local gallery cafe, explore the Novodevischy Convent, whose icons date from the time of Boris Godunov, and walk in Izmailova Park, with its flea market full of Soviet memorabilia.

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Days 4-6
Golden Ring / Volga River / Plyos and Suzdal / Family

Meals In the small town of Sergiev Posad, we visit the blue-domed Trinity Monastery and have a chance to paint our own matroyska dolls in an art class. We view Rostov’s ancient Kremlin, a sweeping ensemble of monasteries and churches, and the golden domes of World Heritage-listed Yaroslavl. After a private boat ride on the Volga, we head to the Holy City of Suzdal, where we learn about the ancient Russian tradition of bell ringing and hear the melodies of the giant bells. In Suzdal and the tranquil town of Plyos, we are welcomed in for meals with families in their homes.

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Days 7-11
St. Petersburg / Pushkin

Our early admission to the Winter Palace, better known as the Hermitage, lets us explore ahead of the crowds and visit the Gold Room, and we enjoy a private boat ride on the city’s legendary canals. We also visit Usupoff Palace, where Rasputin met his end, and Catherine the Great’s summer palace in Pushkin, with its dazzling Amber Room. Depart on Day 11, or join our Baltic States extension.

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Highlights

Highlights

Discover Old Russia in history-filled medieval towns along the Volga River
Explore romantic St. Petersburg, capital of the Czars, with a private boat ride on the canals
Enjoy meals with local families in their homes for a true experience of Russian culture

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5095  
Arrive: Moscow, Russia
Depart: St. Petersburg, Russia
Lodging: 10 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Cultural exploration, city walking tours, and easy country walks