Day 1: St. Petersburg
During this tour, your driver will pick you up from the ship in the morning and take you back in the evening. St. Petersburg is filled with interesting sights, palaces, museums, galleries and it is difficult to see them all all in just few days. There are five places that you absolutely must see : Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaak's Cathedral, the Hermitage and Peterhof. Today, we will visit Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaak's Cathedral, the Hermitage and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. The tour will last for about 8 hours.
Peter and Paul Fortress: Peter and Paul Fortress has served many roles except for the one that it was designed for - to defend the city from the sea. It was a political prison for the dissidents of the tsarist regime. During the soviet era it was transformed into a museum and since the collapse of the USSR it became the tomb of the Russian emperors. St Isaac's Cathedral: St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Its gigantic golden cupolas, an excellent observation deck that overlooks the entire city, rich inside decorations and artifacts make this cathedral one of the most popular tourist sights in St Petersburg.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood: The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was built to commemorate one of Russia's greatest emperors, Alexander II. The church was built on a spot, where the emperor had been murdered when radical dissident threw a bomb in his carriage. Alexander II is most famous for liberating Russian serfs (2 years before the abolition of slavery in the US in fact). On this tour, we will only observe the church from the outside.
The Hermitage: St Petersburg has dozens of beautiful palaces, but the Winter Palace stands above them all. First of all, it is one of the best collections of art in the world. Secondly, this collection is located in the very building where Russian emperors lived. It is here that they rose to power and its if from these walls that they ruled 1/5 of the world's territories. It was also here that the Bolsheviks overthrew their reign. The Bolsheviks were tempted to destroy the palace, the symbol of tsars, but its artistic value was so immense that they transformed it into the museum. They say, that if you were to spend three minutes by each of the exhibits in the Hermitage, it would take you three years to see them all! But don't worry, you will have an experienced private guide who will show you the best of the Hermitage in 4 hours.
Day 2: Peterhof. Peterhof is a lavish royal residence on the outskirts of the city. It is most famous for its fountain park that rivals that of Versailles. Peterhof was the official summer residence of Russian tsars and is home to the Summer Palace.
Optional: Lunch at a local restaurant. Additional price: $35 per person.
Day 3: Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo). Catherine Palace was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine. The Palace is most known for its legendary Amber Room that was looted by the German troops during the World War II. The room was reconstructed in 2003.
Optional: Lunch in "Podvorye" restaurant. It is a traditional Russian restaurant that features excellent Russian cuisine and on-site folk singers. Additional price: $65 per person.
- Hotels: Hotel Acme or Herzen House Hotel, 3-stars
- Available hotel upgrades: Pushka Inn Hotel (4*) or Grand Europe Hotel (5*).
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Europe Russia Local Culture Cultural Journey