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St. Petersburg, Russia
Add a Visit to St. Petersburg to Any Moscow Adventure
Depart Moscow by Overnight Train (Wednesday) You'll be met at your Moscow hotel and escorted to the railway station, where you'll board the overnight train to St. Petersburg. The train departs at approximately 11:55pm and arrives at 7:55am the next morning. You'll travel in a comfortable first-class, two-person sleeper compartment.
Arrive St. Petersburg, Russia (Thursday) An English-speaking guide will meet you at the train station and escort you to where your car and driver are waiting. Prepare for a wonderful introduction to one of the world's most beautiful cities. St. Petersburg is known for its many bridges and canals which is why some people call St. Petersburg "Venice of the North".
Your intro to the city includes a visit to the Piskarev Memorial Cemetery followed by the original wooden house of Peter the Great. Constructed in three days, this small, timber house is the city's oldest structure. The cottage was later encased in stone and has been a museum since 1930. Here you will see ornate furniture from the 18th century and some of the czar's personal effects.
Next, you'll depart for Palace Square and the impressive St. Isaac's Cathedral, the last neo-Classical structure built in the city. With its 72-foot high dome, the cathedral dominates the St. Petersburg skyline. The walls of St. Isaac's are 16-feet thick, and the cupola is covered with over 200 pounds of gold. The ornate interior of the building contains paintings, sculptures, mosaics and stained glass windows done by 19th-century Russian and European masters.
After your morning activities, you'll be transported to your hotel, the incredible Grand Hotel Europe. Russia's first five-star hotel, the Grand Hotel Europe first opened to guests in 1875 and combines fine antiques and period reproductions with modern hotel amenities. You'll be immersed in luxury. You'll have time to settle in and grab something to eat.
After lunch, you're free to explore the Winter Palace, better known as the Hermitage Museum. Originally a small private palace gallery, the Hermitage today houses the largest museum collection in the world.
No visit to St. Petersburg is complete without a visit to the Hermitage. The museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from Berlin. Today, scattered among six buildings and 350 rooms, the Hermitage has over 2.7 million items on display ranging from Ancient Egypt collections to early 20th century Europe. It includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, unique collections of Rembrandt, Rubens, French Impressionists (Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Monet, Pissarro), plus Van Gogh, Matisse, Gaugin and sculptures by Rodin. It has been calculated that if you decide to spend only one minute in front of each exhibit, it would take 11 years to view the entire collection in the Hermitage.
After the museum tour, you'll be on your own for the rest of the evening to have dinner, go exploring or take in a ballet or opera performance in one of the city's elegant theatres. Your guide or the hotel concierge can assist you in making your plans.
Visit Petrodvorets (Friday) The morning begins with a journey to the magnificent Petrodvorets, located 19 miles outside the city on the Gulf of Finland. The history of Petrodvorets (called Peterhoff until 1944) begins in 1704 when Peter I built a wooden house on the Gulf while overseeing the construction of the nearby Kronstadt Fortress. In 1713 he began transforming the area into an imperial residence. The palace was inaugurated in 1723 and was later expanded by the Empress Elizabeth. Dominating the estate is the Grand Palace filled with lavish rooms, intricately patterned parquet floors and grand galleries.
Petrodvorets is perhaps best known for its extensive parks and gardens, which include an incredible array of gilded statues and approximately 140 fountains. The waterworks for the system of fountains was built between 1721-1722. The intricate system of pipes and ducts of this masterpiece stretches for nearly 14 miles. The water flows downhill by force of gravity while the fountains operate according to the principle of communicating vessels. In both artistry and engineering the fountains of Petrodvorets are truly unique. You'll also visit the favorite palace of Peter I, the more modest Monplaisir Palace, with its sea-view and stately reception hall.
Depart St. Petersburg for Moscow (Saturday) After breakfast, your guide will meet you and escort you on a walking tour of Nevsky Prospekt, the three mile long avenue considered the backbone of St. Petersburg. Stop at Gostiny Dvor, the city's oldest and largest shopping center and Eliseyevsky, an extravagantly beautiful pre-Revolutionary food store, decorated with crystal chandeliers and selling the finest caviar in St. Petersburg.
The rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore St. Petersburg on your own. Tonight you board the overnight train back to Moscow. You will be met in the lobby and transferred to the railway station for your departure.
Depart Moscow for home (Sunday) This morning you will find yourself back in Moscow. You will be met upon arrival and transferred from the railway station to the airport for your departure.
Price: $2100 single / $2625 for two**
**Note: This price estimate is based on five-star hotel accommodations in high season.other hotel options can be quoted upon request. The price, itinerary and hotel presented here are subject to change prior to purchase due to changes in museum schedules, exchange rates, time of year, etc.
All St. Petersburg Tours and Services offered through Incredible Adventures are provided by our incredible friends at MIR Corporation.
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