Christmas in St. Petersburg
Tsar Peter the Great founded St Petersburg in 1703 on the marshes at the mouth of the Neva River where the Rus Vikings, the founders of ‘Russia’, had passed through centuries earlier. Peter’s city of timber, mud and stone was transformed by the Tsarina Catherine into a Baroque fantasy. This glorious 18th century city is characterised by elegant and extravagant architecture: St Peter and Paul fortress and Cathedral, where Peter the Great is buried along with many of his descendants; the fabulous Winter Palace which now forms part of the Hermitage, one of the largest collections of art, furniture, and historical and archaeological artefacts in the world.
Deposit: £500 Single supplement: £280
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 - London - St Petersburg
We fly to the former imperial capital and second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg, and transfer to our hotel. In the evening we enjoy our first dinner together as a group.
|Hotel||Kempinski Hotel Moika 22|
Day 2 - St Petersburg
Today we start with a tour of the city which includes some of the iconic buildings of the city centre, beginning with St. Peter and Paul Fortress, standing on an island beside the wide River Neva, before moving to Vasilievsky Ostrov to explore the carefully designed town plan of this new city. After lunch we make our way to the Yussupov Palace, where the shadowy Grigori Rasputin was murdered in 1916.
Day 3 - St Petersburg
We spend a full day at the Hermitage, home to the Russian tsars for over 200 years and now the second-largest art museum in the world today. It contains one of the largest collections of art, furniture, and historical and archaeological artefacts, housed in Catherine the Great’s Winter Palace. A highlight is the Pazyryk carpet, woven around 500 BC and preserved under the Siberian permafrost. This magnificent piece of craftmanship, almost two metres square is decorated with griffins, stags, horsemen and lotus buds. After lunch you can explore the Hermitage at your own pace.
Day 4 - St Petersburg
Stroll in Pavlovsk Palace gardens, another imperial residence, set in large ‘English’ style Palladian landscaped gardens – follies, neo classical temples and sculpted slopes. Drive south-east to Catherine Palace, famous for its ‘whipped cream’ Rococo facades, gilded with over 100kg of gold. The Amber Room is decorated floor to ceiling with shimmering panels of amber, gold leaf and mirrored glass. It was designed and built in Germany before being given to Peter the Great by the Emperor of Prussia.
Day 5 - St Petersburg
A ‘Revolution Day’ awaits with all the sites visited connected with it; the Smolny Historical and Memorial Museum, the Museum of Political History of Russia and St.Petersburg-Finlyandsky, a railway station famous for having been the location where Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from exile. In the afternoon there is free time – you may choose to visit The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood or visit the State Russian Museum.
Day 6 - St Petersburg
This morning we visit Alexander Nevsky Lavra, a monastery that incorporates two Baroque churches and the cemetery where many famous Russians are buried, including Tchaikovsky. After lunch we continue to Peterhof, arguably the most impressive of the estates that surround St. Petersburg with its lavish gardens , famous for the use of hydraulics to drive a series of cascades and fountains and ‘surprise’ installations, before visiting the more intimate Monplaisir Palace.
Day 7 - St Petersburg - London
After breakfast at our hotel we depart for the airport and our return flight back to the UK.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|21 December 2021||ASPX211221||21 December 2021 (Tuesday)||27 December 2021 (Monday)||John Oxley||£3,495