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«EXPLORING»

Day 1

Arrival to St Petersburg. Transfer from railway station/airport.

Day 2

St. Petersburg city-sightseeing tour including visit to Peter & Paul Fortress- duration 3 hours.
Welcome to this tour of St. Petersburg! You will be introduces to the greatest marvel of Russia’s past and present, known to the world as the «Northern Capital of Russia» and the «the Venice of the North». Your tour will cover all of the highlights of the city, we will drive along the Nevsky Prospect — the heart of the city and make picture stops at the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, the Senates Square and the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Art’s Square and the Russian Museum as well as at the two magnificent churches, the «Spilled Blood» and the Nikolsky Cathedral.

During the tour we visit Peter & Paul Fortress. The origins of the city are traced to this fortress built by Peter the Great on Hare Island. Peter planned it as a defense against the Swedes but defeated them before it was finished. It is here that the first political prison was built in Russia, it was the main use of the fortress up to 1917 and this has been preserved and is today a museum. Most worth seeing is the St. Peter & Paul Cathedral with its landmark needle-thin spire, all of Russia’s pre-Revolutionary rulers from Peter the Great are buried here. The small island surrounded by fortress walls preserves an ancient atmosphere of the 18th century.

Visit to the Hermitage Museum — duration 3 hours.
In the morning you will have a tour to the largest museum in the county and one of the finest in the world — the famous Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage, as its name suggests, is a solitary place, the dwelling of a hermit. It is the name that Russia’s Empress Catherine the Great bestowed on the part of her palace where she kept unique art treasures.
Today it’s one of the world’s largest museums, which contains works of art by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, French impressionists, as well as various objects of applied art, coins, medals, and other treasures from hoary antiquity to the present. It is said, that if you study each item in the collection for just 10 seconds, a complete tour will still take 2,5 years! The collection of the museum number over 3 million items and displayed in the 400 halls of the museum.

We have no time to visit all of them, but the main only: starting at the Main staircase — Fieldmarshal hall — Memorial room of Peter the Great- Emblem Hall- Gallery of heroes of 1812 — Throne room — Pavilion hall — Italian art — Leonardo da Vinci- Rafael Lodges — Rafael hall — Michelangelo — Big Italian hall — New Hermitage — Spanish art — Rembrandt hall — Small Dutch masters — Rubens — French art — Impressionists — Malachite room — Small dining room — Gallery of Russian art with portraits of all Russian tsars.

Day 3

Pushkin, Catherine Palace — duration 5 hours.
Tsarskoye Selo (formerly known as Pushkin) is one of St. Petersburg’s numerous Imperial estates. Located just 25 kilometres south of the city, the estate boasts a large landscape park, dotted with architectural follies, and centred on the magnificent blue, white and gold Catherine Palace. The Catherine Palace houses some beautiful Baroque interiors, including the luxurious Grand Hall, a long, gold, mirrored ballroom. The Palace also boasts a unique Amber Room, whose priceless amber panels were stolen by Nazi troops during WWII, but which are now being painstakingly recreated by Russian craftsmen. Tsarskoye Selo boasts almost 600 hectares of beautiful parkland. In front of the Catherine Palace visitors can enjoy formal gardens with finely trimmed trees and bushes, geometrically designed flowerbeds and fine marble statues.

Lunch at restaurant «Podvorie»
Built in the ancient Russian style, all in wood, surrounded with a fence, it stands on the border of Pavlovsky park. When you cross the doorway, you will as if enter a traditional Russian country house — low wooden ceilings, benches, on a wooden table — a samovar. Here you will be treated, of course, vodka, with Russian traditional snacks — borsh, salted cucumbers & cabbage, pancakes with honey... While lunch you will be delighted with folklore performance — Russian Cossacks.

Guided tour of the Yusupov Palace — duration 2 hours.
The richest of non-imperial palaces of St. Petersburg, this palace was the home of the noble and powerful Yusupov family, relatives to the Russian Czars. The Yusupovs were great collectors of art, and their collection was known well beyond Russia. After the revolution most of the collection was moved to the Hermitage, though traces of the incredible wealth that once kept this palace pulsating with life still remain: the various sitting rooms, the intricate chandeliers and candelabras that adorn every room and corridor. The beautiful home theater of the palace looks like a cozy version of the famous Mariinsky theatre. The palace has been registered in the catalogue named «European Private Mansions of Interest».

It was in this palace where the assassination of Rasputin, one of the most scandalous figures in Russian history, took place. One can feel the drama of the moment seeing wax figures of the conspirators waiting in a small room on the ground floor. In the cellar where it happened there are two more wax figures: Rasputin and young Felix Yusupov talking over the set table minutes before the assassination.

Day 4

Tour to Peterhof — duration 5 hours.
This tour will take you to Peterhof, which is the palace of the sea god. The world-famous palace, fountain and park ensemble of Peterhof is an outstanding landmark of Russian artistic culture of the 18-19th centuries. Founded in the very beginning of the 18th century by Emperor Peter the Great not far from his new northern capital St Petersburg, Peterhof was intended to become the most splendid official royal summer residence. Its wonderful parks, 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, remarkable collections of sculpture, painting and works of the minor arts make Peterhof a veritable gem of art, often called «Capital of Fountains», unique in the world. After 1917 the Peterhof ensemble was taken into state custody and turned into architecture and art museum. Nowadays, due to the unforgettable beauty of its fountains, parks and palaces, Peterhof has become the most attractive for numerous Russian and foreign visitors suburban royal park and palace ensemble of the northern Russia’s capital.

Visits included — Grand Palace & Low Park:
We first visit the Grand Palace, standing high on a hill, separating the Upper and Lower Parks. We will pass through the 18th century interiors — Russian baroque and early classicism and will see the Oak Study, the only room preserved in the style of Peter the Great. Then we will go down to see the Grand Cascade, and there will be an opportunity for you to take some unforgettable photographs of the fountains of the Grand cascade (64 fountains, 37 gilded statues) Then we will go down for a walk in the Low Park to see fountains, statues and numerous little palaces and pavilions.

Day 5

Departure transfer to railway station/airport.

Important
Hotel accommodation is not included into the package and available upon request. We are pleased to suggest you any hotel you like and depending on budget.

Package includes:
— Transportation and guide for all transfers and sightseeing as listed into the program;
— Entrance fee to the museums as per program.

The cost of such an event 2 pax: from 24 800 Rub per pax
3-6 pax: from 18 375 Rub per pax

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«TASTING»

Spend a weekend in St. Petersburg — a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the main sights of the city for 2 days.

«LEARNING»

Busy program in St Petersburg — visiting all the main sights: the Peter and Paul Fortress, Hermitage, Peterhof.