(Moscow, St. Petersburg)
Winter in Russia is a captivating wonderland of picturesque sights and bustling activity from the ice sculptures at the All-Russian exhibition Center and skating at Red Square to the Troyka Sleigh Rides, a traditional Russian sleigh led by horses, and so much more! Spend an afternoon Christmas shopping in a virtual winter wonderland before exploring the famous Vodka Museum. Enjoy famous museums and palaces that are much less crowded this time of year. Unforgettable experiences, stunning scenery and welcoming locals, winter in Russia is not to be missed! A fascinating tour of this important country, enjoy it with the comfort of your private guide, 24/7 support, private transfers, and the flexibility of starting whenever you want and moving at your own pace.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and assistant is provided.
A welcome package with small wooden doll Matreshka, nice book on Russia, vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
We will provide you with a letter of Invitation for your Russian Visa. Once payment has been received, the letter along with other important documents will be sent to you.
Explore the All-Rusian Exhibition Center (VVTs) known by its Soviet-era name, VDNKh - the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements. A fascinating monument to Russia's transitional period, the exhibition centre is a mixture of faded Soviet pomp and unregulated, rapacious capitalism. The VVTs is a bizarre juxtaposition: part agricultural fair, part trade expo, part shopping centre and part street market, with amusements as diverse as paint-balling, ice sculptures - as well as the ubiquitous slot-machine arcades - on offer in various parts of the grounds. The park itself is an intriguing example of 20th century landscaping with buildings which are preposterously magnificent. The VVTs is truly unique, and well worth a visit, especially as there is plenty more to be seen nearby, including the wonderful Cosmonautics Museum, the Soviet era - monument "Worker and Collective Farm Girl", Ostankino estate and TV tower. Continue with the famous Red Square which starts outside the Kremlin´s walls. View the panorama of the Kremlin from the Sophiiskaya Embankment, Lubyanka Square, Tverskaya Street, The White House of Russia and Victory Park, St. Basil Cathedrals, Lenin Mausoleum, Manezh Square and shopping. Entrance fees are not included.
The ice skating rink on Red Square which covers more than 3000 square meters is one of the most well-known ice skating rinks in Moscow. Consider taking advantage of this popular winter sport while you are enjoying the city's most famous landmark. It is open from Nov. 28 to Mar. 13th every day from 10 a.m. to the midnight.
Enjoy a private guided tour of the Kremlin and the Armoury Chamber. The Kremlin is the city´s former military fortification, a palace, an armoury, the sovereign treasury, and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlin is the center of Russia´s political life and State power. The Armoury Palace features weaponry, imperial regalia, and unique art. Entrance fees to the Kremlin and Armoury Chamber are included.
Consider spending time at a classic Russian bathhouse, located in Kuznetsky historical district of Moscow. Sanduny baths isthe oldest (since 1806) sauna in Moscow, and boasts a rich and traditional interior decor. It's huge halls, tall ceilings, sculptured decorations and beautiful statues give you the authentic Russian banya feeling, and the healing effect of traditional Russian bath. You can relax and unwind in the five sauna areas with spacious rooms for relaxation, showers and swimming pools.
Visit the Russian handicraft centre – Izmaylovo, famous for its open air souvenir market. Izmaylovo is one of the oldest parts of Moscow, where the second Romanov Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich had his summer residence where his son Peter the Great was brought up. At the present moment the complex occupies the territory of 17 hectares and includes: trade town (with streets of private booth-shops where you can see and buy great variety of traditional Russian crafts objects – famous matryoshkas, wood-carving goods, porcelain, glass, birch bark items, Russian Army uniforms, badges, etc.), “Russian Yard” – a copy of a traditional wooden settlement with wooden churches, houses. After shopping continue to the Vodka History Museum that has settled down in Kremlin in Izmailovo to learn about centuries –long history of Russian vodka and its role in the history of the country. You will have a unique opportunity to see that the process of wine distillation (the original name for vodka production) was very up-to-date for that time period. In the museum halls you can see an originally made installation, showing a Russian monk by the first distillation unit equipped with all the necessary devices and, first of all, with a coil pipe! The museum can justly be proud of its collection of over 600 exhibits: various brands of vodka, XVIIIth century vodka recipes, vodka posters, vodka labels and vodka bottles of different sizes, from shkalik (or kosushka) to shtof and quarter. As an option you can taste different types of vodka and traditional Russian aperitifs (pickles, black bread, pancakes etc). If you would like to include vodka tasting please contact us for more details.
A transfer between the train station and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and assistant is provided.
Watch the changing landscapes on your fast speed train ride from Moscow to St. Petersburg, departing in the afternoon.
Take a panoramic tour and get acquainted with the main architectural and historical monuments of St Petersburg, ride along its main streets and prospects.. Drive along world famous "Nevsky Prospect" lined with marble palaces of Russian royalty and aristocracy, with most fashionable boutiques. View Monastery of Alexander Nevsky with its magnificent Trinity Cathedral and its cemetery where Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky and other world celebrities were buried. Visit St. Peter and St. Paul's fortress, view St. Isaac Cathedral with «The Bronze Horseman». Stop in the Field of Mars with the eternal flame lit in the centre of the monument to victims of revolutions and wars, at the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood at its background, one of the most unusual monuments of Russian Orthodox. Drive through the Square of Arts which is a perfect classical ensemble of the city, enjoy an overwhelming beauty of the third largest square in the world, the Palace Square with the Alexander Column, the Triumphal Arch of the general Staff building, and the Winter Palace complex. Entrance fee to Peter and Paul's Fortress is included in the tour price.
Enjoy a private guided tour of the Hermitage and admire the gems of the collection. During the tour you will see the State Rooms of the Winter Palace, a part of the collection of paintings of Old Masters and other exciting exhibits and works of art. Value the splendour of the Gala stairway, Peter's Memorial Hall, the Armorial Hall, the Gallery of 1812 with its numerous portraits, the Pavilion Hall and its various amusements, and other gala rooms. You are sure to enjoy the works of applied arts, precious items and paintings. The collection of Western European art, numbering over 600,000 items, is considered to be one of the finest in the world. It presents all the stages of the development of art from the Middle Ages to the present. Enjoy masterpieces by outstanding Western European artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Michelangelo, Francisco de Goya, Renoir, and Picasso. You will have an opportunity to see such world-famous masterpieces as works by Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. Admire the richest collection of ancient and early medieval items, works of art from Ancient Greece and Rome, fabulous treasures of oriental culture, and wonderful European art. Entrance fees to the Hermitage Museum and transport is included.
Refined luxury, splendour of high life, dramatic relationships and the history of rich aristocratic family are reflected in the expositions of Yusupov Palace, one of the most mysterious places in St. Petersburg. Yusupov Palace once belonging to princes Yusupovs noble family is one of the most beautiful palaces in St. Petersburg. Princes Yusupovs had always been in the center of high life. Wonderful balls and masquerades, regularly held at the palace, amazed the contemporaries with the luxury and refinement. The palace retains its genuine interiors of the 19th century. The influence of the art of various cultures can be traced in the Turkish study, Oaken dining-room, Musical chambers and the chamber of Henry II. The real gem of the palace is the exotic Moresque chamber. The luxurious decorations of the interiors are dazzling: murals, carvings, marble, mirrors, gilded chandelier, silk clothes and refined furniture. The cellar of the palace became the setting of the murder of one of the most scandalous figures in Russian history -Grigory Rasputin. The legendary favourite of the wife of Emperor Nicolas II, Rasputin convinced the royal family that he possessed supernatural powers and that only he could cure the heir to the throne Alexis, who suffered from hemophilia. Rasputin had strong influence on the decisions of the tsar and tsarina. The tour end in the Palace or at the hotel. Entrance fee is included in the tour price.
Take a full day tour to Pushkin, originally named Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar's Village), famous for the marvelous Catherine Palace and park. The town, also known as Pushkin, in honour of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, was the main summer residence of the royal family. The collection of the palace includes a large number of precious works of art, such as furniture, porcelain, statues, canvases, including personal belongings of Russian emperors and members of their families. Visit one of the most remarkable interiors of Catherine Palace, the Amber Room. Your private guide will tell the story of the Catherine Palace's construction, and will get to know about the tragic moments in the palace's history, connected with the Nazi occupation during the World War II. Continue to Pavlovsk, site of the only fully-restored former imperial palace following the Nazi’s ravage. The palace-and-park ensemble was presented by the Russian empress Catherine the Great to her son Paul on the occasion of the birth of his first son, Alexander. The palace's Greek Hall is adorned with green Corinthian columns making the ballroom the most elegant interior of the Palace in Pavlovsk. The park of Pavlovsk is the largest park in Russia with valleys,and various statues laid out at the end of the 18th century. Enjoy horse sleigh ride, the quintessential and breathtaking Russian winter experience. Entrance fees and sleigh ride are included in the tour price.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
Peter 1 Hotel (4*) is located in the historical and cultural centre of the city, within walking distance from the Red Square and the Cathedral of Christ of the Saviour. The Big Theatre, State Duma, Manezhnaya Square as well as the State Tretjakov Gallery are some of the major attractions near the property. The hotel is housed in a six-story building and was constructed in the late XIX century. In 2005-2006 the hotel was totally renovated, and today is considered to be a modern hotel of the highest quality, while effortlessly combining its historical vestiges. The property has 133 spacious and originally decorated rooms.
Angleterre Hotel (4*) is located next to the St. Isaac's Cathedral in the heart of St. Petersburg, and is only 5 minutes from Nevsky Prospect. Many of the main attractions of the city are close to the hotel, such as the famous Hermitage Museum, Peter's & Paul's Fortress, and the many palaces and gardens interspersed throughout the city. Each of the hotel's 188 bedrooms and five suites are decorated in a style that combines classic with contemporary, blending Russian and European furniture and accessories. Borsalino Brasserie provides a stylish setting with an innovative menu of contemporary European food combined with fresh local ingredients. The hotel features a fitness centre, a swimming pool, sauna, a turbo solarium, and a beauty studio.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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