St. Petersburg Vacation
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Day 1:Arrival in St. Petersburg
On arrival in St. Petersburg you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. Your St. Petersburg tour begins right away as on the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of this truly unique and beautiful city.
Welcome to St. Petersburg, the former capital of Imperial Russia, home of the Tsars and one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic cities. St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 on the banks of the Neva River and the Gulf of Finland. The city has seen its share of historical events including the Decembrist revolt, the palace coup and murder of Tsar Pavel, the intrigues of Catherine the Great, the assassination Tsar Alexander II, the influence of Rasputin on the Russian royal family, the Revolution of 1905 and the October Revolution of 1917 which brought the communists to power. During WWII, the city then known as Leningrad, went through a harrowing two and a half year blockade and siege by the Nazi invaders resulting in the deaths of over 1 million of its citizens. Today, St. Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city with a population of over 5 million. It is also known as the center of Russian art, culture and literature – former citizens included Pushkin and Dostoevsky just to name a few. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of beautiful palaces and monuments including the Winter Palace. The city is also known as the Venice of the North because of its location on various islands in the Neva River and its many canals and bridges. St. Petersburg is home to the world famous Hermitage Museum which contains one of the world’s largest collections of art including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso as well as many other old masters and impressionists. We are sure that you will find St. Petersburg one of the most if not the most fascinating places you have ever visited. Welcome to this most beautiful and mysterious of cities.
Day 2:Breakfast at the hotel
Panoramic City Tour. This tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with all of the city´s major highlights. Our professional guide will take you down Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg´s most famous and vibrant thoroughfare. There you will see some of the city´s most interesting architectural monuments including the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace. You will then proceed to Vasilevsky Island - the area of the city that Peter the Great originally planned to be the city center. This island juts out into the Gulf of Finland - reminding you of St. Petersburg´s close proximity to the sea and maritime history. The tour will include a visit to St. Isaac´s Cathedral, the fourth highest cathedral in the world with a splendid interior and whose cupola holds over 100 kg of gold. You will then proceed to the Peter and Paul Fortress - a symbol of St. Petersburg and also the oldest building in the city. While there, you will visit Peter and Paul Cathedral, the burial place of the Russian Tsars from Peter the Great onward. You will then be taken back to your hotel to relax.
In the evening you will have free time to stroll along the city streets and to dine at a restaurant of your choice. If you would like recommendations on good places to eat, just ask us.
Day 3:Breakfast at the hotel
After breakfast we will head to one of the greatest and largest art museums in the world - the Hermitage. The museum consists of five historical buildings including the Winter Palace - the residence of the Russian Tsars. The museum contains over 3 million pieces of art with dates ranging from high antiquity to the present day. Among the Hermitage´s treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens and a large collection of impressionists and post impressionists including Matisse and Picasso as well as many others. We will spend 3 hours at the museum, however, to view the collection in its entirety would take almost 15 years, spending 8 hours a day in the museum and taking one minute to examine each exhibit.
In the evening, enjoy a ballet or opera performance at the Mariinsky Theater - one of the world´s greatest musical companies (optional). Another option would be to attend one of Russia´s premier folk shows, "Feel yourself Russian!" The show is performed by the best folk company in the city. During the intermission, delicious Russian appetizers will be served. (optional)
Day 4After a good breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted to the town of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo). The Palace and Park of Tsarskoye Selo is a former country residence of the Russian emperors. It is a fascinating monument of the world´s architectural and gardening arts of the XVIII-XIX centuries. Its 3 parks occupy an area of 600 hectares on which are located over 100 architectural monuments: from magnificent palaces and grand monuments to intimate pavilions and park sculptures designed by masters of the Venetian school such as P. Baratta, A. Tarsia and D. Bonazza. The center of Tsarskoye Selo is Catherine´s Palace, containing exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and Western-European paintings, unique collections of porcelain, amber, arms and decorative bronze sculptures. The Palace also contains the Amber Room - a truly unique work of craftsmanship – a room made entirely of amber. The room was looted by the Nazi’s during WWII but luckily most of its pieces were recovered. The room was fully rebuilt in 2003. Tsarskoye Selo was also the main residence of the last Tsar Nicolas II and his family.
Lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
In the afternoon, we will visit to the Imperial suburb of Pavlovsk. Built in the late XVIII and early XIX centuries, the palace and park was used as a summer residence for emperor Paul I and his family. The landscape park, one of the largest in Europe, covers an area of 600 hectares. The museum in the palace displays an excellent collection of portraits by Russian artists and a number of Pavlovsk landscape paintings and drawings.
Day 5Breakfast at the hotel
Visit to Peterhof. Peterhof ( Petrodvorets) is a jewel of Russian art - a town of parks, palaces and fountains. In the past, it was used as an exquisite summer residence by the Russian Tsars. You will visit the Grand Palace - the largest and the most famous palace of the residence which was often used for gala receptions. After this you will proceed to the Lower Park (Nizhny Park) which is a genuine masterpiece of landscape design. The park is adorned with more than 150 fountains and 4 monumental cascades. There are several small palaces and pavilions on the park territory, such as the Monplaisir, Catherine´s Block, Marli, Hermitage, the Bath Block and many more. If you are ready to walk a lot you will also enjoy a magnificent view of the Gulf of Finland
Free Time or boat cruise along the Neva River or canals (optional)
Day 6Breakfast at the hotel
Visit to the Yusupov Palace. The palace is notable both for its beauty and for the historical events that have taken place within its walls. During our visit you will admire the elaborate ceremonial rooms, a unique home theater and the cozy basement drawing-rooms, associated with the murder of Grigory Rasputin. You will learn more about the history of the palace and the death of Rasputin at the hands of Prince Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich on the night of December 16, 1916 – it is truly a fascinating story full of mystery and intrigue.
Day 7Breakfast at the hotel.Free time for shopping and independent sightseeing. Today you will have time to explore St. Petersburg on your own, buy souvenirs and just take in the atmosphere of this beautiful and mysterious city. You can also choose from one of our many optional excursions if you would still like to learn more about the city or have a particular interest in the arts or history.
Day 8Breakfast at the hotel
Hotel check out
Transfer to airport
Say goodbye to St. Petersburg, the Venice of the North and one of the most interesting and colorful cities in the world. We hope to welcome you back to Russia sometime in the future. Do Svidaniya or until we meet again!
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