Saint Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia Yusupov Palace - St. Petersburg, Russia

Exeter’s Perfect Week in Russia

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Masterfully designed by Ala Osmond, one of Exeter's Russia experts - this is her perfect week in Russia.  Russia boasts a wealth of culture and opulence that is unmatched anywhere in the world, a tradition that continues from the great tsars through to the modern-day oligarchs. To truly understand this fascinating nation, and uncover its secrets, we recommend a Custom tour of its two great cities, Moscow and St Petersburg. We hope this itinerary gives you some inspiration.

Please contact Exeter International to customize and tailor your own program.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$8,725 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability.

Day 1
Arrival | Moscow Saint Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia

Arrival in Moscow. Your guide and driver will be waiting to welcome you after baggage claim in the main arrival terminal.

You will be transferred to your hotel, a short walk from Red Square and the Kremlin.

If you feel like stretching your legs this afternoon you may want to walk over to the nearby Zaryadye park for sweeping views of the Red Square and St. Basil Cathedral. With 32 acres of recreation space right in the very centre of the city, the park is located steps from Red Square. Designed by Diller, Scofido & Renfro, architects who created the New York Highline, the concept is described as ‘wild urban’ – with the park merging historical streets with nature. For many years the area was the site of the largest hotel in the world (the Hotel Rossiya) however the area then remained vacant for many years since the hotel was demolished over a decade ago. There is a great upscale restaurant style food court here which we recommend for lunch.

Dinner at Grand Café Dr Zhivago. Owned by one of the most successful restaurateurs in Moscow, Alexander Rapoport, this fashionable Russian restaurant is very popular with both Muscovites and visitors. Classic Russian dishes very well executed – the Russian ravioli (pelmeni) are some of the best in town- our three favorites: duck, crab and classic beef, or indulge in black caviar. The white-washed interior with bright red accents is show- stopping. This is the perfect introduction to Russian food and to Moscow. Reservations will be made on your behalf. The cost of your meal is payable locally.

Exeter Services: Arrival transfer with Guide

Hotel: Metropol

Day 2
Moscow | Moscow Kremlin - Moscow, Russia

This morning you will meet your guide for the short walk to Red Square and the Kremlin. The backdrop to any news reports about Russia, Red Square is almost mythic. Ancient and historic the square dates from the 15th century. Framed by Lenin’s tomb and the Kremlin walls on one side, GUM department store on the other, and two of Moscow’s most iconic buildings at each end: fairy-tale St Basil’s cathedral and The Russian History Museum, Red Square is iconic, and doesn’t disappoint.

Today you will visit the Kremlin, it’s expansive grounds and Armory Museum, including its vast collection of Imperial Russian artwork. You will have the opportunity to see the Kremlin’s unique and intimate collection of ImperialFabergeEasterEggs. AlsointheArmoryaremanyofthemostimportantImperialthronesandcrowns, including the most historic, Cap of Monomachus. Included in your Kremlin visit today is entry into the Diamond Vaults. Admission to these extraordinary rooms is by special appointment with the Kremlin and your guide is not allowed to enter with you. Your entry to the Diamond Vaults is with a pre-set group of other visitors, and you will have approximately twenty minutes to browse these rooms on your own. You will see Catherine the Great’s scepter with its famous Orlov Diamond and one of the largest collections of diamonds and gemstones in the world!

Enjoy lunch on Red Square at Café Bosco located in the GUM department store. Reservations will be made on your behalf. The cost of your meal is payable locally.

Later, your guide will take you on a tour of the Moscow Metro. The stations, most built between 1930 and 1960 are underground palaces, featuring exquisite frescoes, statues, mosaics and stained glass. Today this massive public transportation system is one of the largest in the world, carrying over 9 million passengers per day (twice as many as London or Paris!). Your guide will be delighted to show you as many stations as you like before escorting you back to your hotel where you then have the remainder of your evening at leisure.

Notethatallofyourtouringtodayisonfootandtherewillbesignificantperiodsofwalkingandstanding. Please dress for comfort today!

For dinner tonight, we recommend dinner at Twins Garden. The Berezutsky brothers (Twins) boast that two thirds of the food in their restaurant comes from their own farm and consider their restaurant a true farm-to- table restaurant like no other. This is modern Russian cooking at its best, all with Russian produce, and a complete contrast from Dr Zhivago. Reservations will be made on your behalf. The cost of your meal is payable locally. Your hotel can arrange a car for you at additional cost.

Exeter Services: Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Metropol

Day 3
Moscow | Moscow Cosmonaut Museum - Moscow, Russia

Today is dedicated to the history of the Soviet and Cold War era. Meet your guide this morning in your hotel lobby. Your first visit will be to the Museum of Cosmonautics which tells the story of the space race – one of the defining moments of the Cold War. Russia was victorious in being the very first to send a human into space. Russians are, quite rightly, very proud of the achievement.

You can’t miss the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, a titanium triangle supporting a rocket near the main entrance to the All-Russian Exhibition Centre. (you may wish to visit the park and the pavilions that have recently been restored – weather and time allows after your visit to the museum). Erected in 1964, it celebrates Soviet achievements in space. Underneath the monument, is the Museum of Cosmonautics that includes famous exhibits as the stuffed space dogs, Belka and Strelka, together with the nose-section of the rocket they travelled in.

Later, visit one of Moscow’s VDNKh, one of Moscow’s main parks that has a pavilion for every different Soviet Republic. The park has seen investment of $46M and is a unique insight to Russia’s Soviet era empire.

Today, we would recommend lunch at Depo – an old beautiful tram depot built between 1874 and 1932 – which has become the city’s newest foodie hangout (it has been open less than a year) There are 200 stalls, shops and restaurants, and it will be busy and buzzy on a Sunday lunchtime – another great way to see locals enjoying their city. The cost of your meal is payable locally.

Later, you will have a private tour of the Cold War Bunker. The Nuclear Bunker reveals the Cold War chapter in the history of Russia, when the country was full on alert and the tension between superpowers had the world fearing a nuclear war.

Walking down a leafy street, with a street market and a bijou onion domed church this visit will take you back to the era when many civilian buildings in Moscow were there just to disguise military instillations.

The bunker was built 200 feet below Moscow and during its construction the residents of the area were told that the metro tunnels were being extended. Its main function was to sustain communication for the government of the state in case of a nuclear attack. More than 2000 people worked here (and of course could not discuss even with their closest family where they worked) some of whom have been back to visit since it was bought

at auction several years ago by an ex-military civilian and turned into a museum. A fascinating and haunting experience.

Tonight, we recommend dinner at Strana Kotoroy Net (The Country that No Longer Exists). The name refers to the former Soviet Union and the cuisine is inspired from every republic of this country that no longer exists. Wonderful cheesy bread from Georgia, sardines from Riga, plov (rice dish) from Uzbekistan are all highlights of the menu. This is a great choice to experience excellent ethnic food that you cannot taste at home, but in a very hip and happening atmosphere. Located in the same building as the Four Seasons. on your behalf. The cost of your meal is payable locally.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Metropol

Day 4
Moscow - St. Petersburg | Moscow - St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Russia

This morning you will depart on the luxury, high-speed Sapsan train from Moscow to St. Petersburg in first class. Depart Moscow at 9:40AM – arriving St Petersburg 1:30PM.

On arrival in St. Petersburg you will be welcomed by your private driver and guide and transferred to your hotel. Porterage will be arranged both in Moscow and St Petersburg at the train station. After you have checked in, you will have time to relax or perhaps to take a walk along the Neva River, just a short stroll from your hotel.

At 4:30PM you will meet your guide and driver who will take you to the Russian Museum, housing one of the finest collections of purely Russian art in the world. From Andrey Rublev’s famous icons and Repin’s impressionist Imperial portraits, to 20th Century modern masters such as Kandinsky and Malevich.

Finally, today at approximately 6:30PM you will visit the magnificent Church on Spilled Blood on Canal Griboyedova. This is the only church in the world covered completely inside and out by mosaics of tiles and precious and semi-precious stones. This is the best time of day to visit the church, which is the only church of its kind in St. Petersburg.

This evening we recommend Birch for dinner – probably the best restaurant in Russia right now! Owned by four local chefs, it’s a food-driven, sleek and modern restaurant that offers creative cuisine that may or may not be Russian but is always delicious. Your driver will transfer you back to your hotel after dinner. Reservations will be made on your behalf. The cost of your meal is payable locally.

Exeter Services: Station Transfers; Guide (3 Hours); Evening Vehicle (5 hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte Astoria

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