A Week in St. Petersburg & Moscow: 8-Day Sample Itinerary
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Day 1: White Nights in St. Petersburg
Arrive in St. Petersburg, your home for the next four days. Peter the Great turned this former swampland into Russia’s Western-inspired cultural capital by commissioning Italian architects to design the city to outshine Versailles. Ornate palaces and grand state buildings surrounded by a network of canals all contribute to St. Petersburg’s grandeur.
Day 2: Zayachy Island
Strategically located on Zayachy Island, Peter and Paul Fortress was originally built to defend St. Petersburg. However, it was quickly turned into a political prison whose inmates have included Dostoevsky, Gorky, and Trotsky. In the fortress’s center stands the magnificent Peter and Paul Cathedral, on whose soaring spire rests a golden angel. An integral part of St. Petersburg’s history, Peter and Paul Cathedral is the final resting place of Russia’s czars, including Peter the Great.
Day 3: Russia’s Versailles
After visiting the lavishly designed Grand Choral Synagogue, Europe’s second largest synagogue, head to the stately Summer Palace. Commissioned by Peter the Great to rival Versailles, this baroque palace is surrounded by the elaborate Summer Gardens, replete with fountains, statues, and pavilions.
Day 4: Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum fully lives up to, and surpasses, its reputation of having a monumentously varied and fascinating collection. Housed in the Winter Palace, Catherine the Great’s former home, the building is a work of art in itself. Gaze from intricate architecture to displayed artifacts, jewels, and art that range from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The most amazing aspect of these priceless works is that they’re only a fraction of the Hermitage’s collection!
Day 5: Magnificent Moscow
Journey to Moscow, Russia’s capital and Europe’s largest city. The city is filled with monuments to its integral role in the cultural, historical, and political developments in Russia. Today see remements of its World War II history with a visit to Joseph Stalin’s secret bunker. Linked to the Kremlin, it was originally closed to the public for decades.
Day 6: The Epics of Moscow
Today is a day of historical visitations. Start with Red Square, site of so many political demonstrations. Head inside of fortress walls of the Kremlin, the self-contained mini-city that is Russia’s political center. Inside the Kremlin the beautiful facades of Assumption Cathedral and Archangel Cathedral can be seen at Cathedral Square. Continue to the Armory – once producer of weapons, it is now a showcase of royal treasures.
Day 7: Artistic Avenues Above Ground & Below
Today tour the Moscow Metro Subway – that’s right, the subway! In addition to being highly efficient, the Moscow Metro is a work of art, adorned with sculptures, mosaics, chandeliers, and socialist art. After viewing this underground masterpiece, go above ground to the State Tretyakov Gallery. This marvelous collection of Russian masterpieces truly captures the country’s artistic soul.
Day 8: Journey Home
Board your plane for a safe flight home.