Day 1 - St Petersburg
Arrival at St Petersburg airport, where our driver will meet you. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 - St Petersburg, escorted city tour
As a city of Russian emperors, St. Petersburg has a ton of history to explore and incredible sights to see. Your first escorted tour of the trip provides a chance to see the most important of the city's attractions, and soak up some of its amazing atmosphere too.
Kazan Cathedral, built in a huge curve, the ornate Stroganov Palace, and the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress are all included on the tour. So is the incredible Bronze Horseman, which is a monument to Peter the Great, the elegant Mariinsky Palace and the glittering Palace Embankment.
Day 3 - Hermitage Museum
Ensure you eat a hearty breakfast today, because you're going to need it. As the biggest museum in the world, a visit to the Hermitage takes up a lot of energy – but this escorted tour will ensure you get the best from this incredible attraction. Over three million artefacts are housed within its buildings, the majority of which are kept in the beautiful Winter Palace. Only a small proportion of the collection is exhibited, but with works by the likes of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Monet on display, you're bound not to be disappointed.
Day 4 - Walking Yusupov Palace guided tour
Yusupov Palace is one of two surviving St. Petersburg residences of the monumentally wealthy Yusupov family. Its expositions reflect refined luxury, splendour of high life, human relationships and the history of rich aristocratic family. During the tour you will see luxurious decorations of the interiors: murals, carvings, marble, mirrors, gilded chandelier, expensive silk clothes and refined furniture. Yusupov Palace is perhaps most famous as the scene of the assassination of Grigory Rasputin, and is one of the few aristocratic homes in the city to have retained many of its original interiors.
Day 5 - Guided tour to Tsarskoe Selo
Optional - £95 per person
Tsarskoe Selo is a magnificent example of the extravagance of Russia's imperial past. Established by the Romanov Tsars, it's a suburban estate which in its grandeur, rivals even Versaille. Constructed in the 18th century, it consists of two vast and truly exceptional palaces set in extensive, landscaped gardens. The lavish Alexander Palace is undoubtedly impressive, but it's the Catherine Palace which is the one visitors come to see.
The Catherine Palace is renowned for its splendid baroque architecture and striking interiors, most famously perhaps its extraordinary Amber Room. Entirely unique, its walls are lined with slabs of bona fide amber – a beautiful but also incredibly expensive decorative technique. The room was looted in World War II and the painstaking and lengthy process to restore the room back to its original state cost more than $12 million.
To only focus on the Amber Room would however deny the rest of the palace's attractions. The so-called Golden Enfilade of state rooms, designed by Rastrelli, is particularly celebrated, as is the Great Hall. A vast 1,000 metres square, its double aspect and monumental, arched windows not only provide incredible views over the estate, but allow a flood of light to reflect off a myriad of mirrors and vast acreage of gilded stucco. Also, don't forget to look up. The huge ceiling is covered in one enormous fresco, The Triumph of Russia.
Day 6 – Airport departure, transfer from your hotel
Our driver will meet you in your hotel lobby and take escort you to the airport for your return flight.
If you would like to include Moscow in your trip, we also offer combined Moscow and St Petersburg tours. Call for details.
All our tours are carefully designed for you to have a free time to explore cities on your own after guided excursions. You will have a guide with you for a half a day and have chance to discover St Petersburg independently afterwards.