The world’s largest country offers it all, from historic cities and idyllic countryside to artistic riches, epic train rides and vodka-fuelled nightlife.

Off the Beaten Track

Russia’s vast geographical distances and cultural differences mean you don’t tick off its highlights in the way you might those of a smaller nation. Instead, view Russia as a collection of distinct territories, each one deserving separate attention.

Rather than transiting via Moscow, consider flying direct to a regional centre such as Irkutsk, Novosibirsk or Yekaterinburg and striking out from there. With a welcome spread of Western-style hostels along the Trans-Siberian route and the ease of booking trains and flights online, it’s never been easier to organise this kind of trip.

Why I Love Russia

By Simon Richmond, Writer
A traveller’s relationship with Russia is never an easy one, but over two decades of exploring this multifaceted country, I’ve yet to tire of it or be disappointed. It’s a thrill to discover the latest on the dynamic and liberal art scene in the major cities and I particularly relish the serene countryside, with Lake Baikal a favourite location. Above all, it has been encounters and passionate conversations with warmly welcoming, highly educated and hospitable Russians that have made the most lasting impression on me.

Arty & Adventurous

Whether you’re a culture vulture in search of inspiration from great artists and writers or an adventure addict looking for new horizons to conquer, Russia amply delivers. Tread in the footsteps of literary greats, including Tolstoy and Pushkin, on their country estates. Arrange a ski holiday in Krasnaya Polyana, newly spruced up for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, go trekking in the Altai, or even climb an active volcano in Kamchatka – the varied possibilities will make you head spin.

Historic & Contemporary

If ancient walled fortresses, glittering palaces and swirly-spired churches are what you’re after, focus on European Russia. Here Moscow and St Petersburg are the must-see destinations, twin repositories of eye-boggling national treasures, political energies and contemporary creativity. Within easy reach of these cities are charming historical towns and villages, such as Veliky Novgorod, Pskov and Suzdal, where the vistas dotted with onion domes and lined with gingerbread cottages measure up to the rural Russia of popular imagination.

A Riddle Worth Solving

We won’t lie: tolerating bureaucracy, corruption and occasional discomfort, particularly away from the booming urban centres, remains an integral part of the Russian travel experience. However, a small degree of perseverance will be amply rewarded and one of the great joys of travel in Russia is being swept away by the boundless hospitality of the people.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it best when he talked about Russia’s ‘ancient, deeply rooted autonomous culture…full of riddles and surprises to Western thinking’. You, too, will be beguiled by the beauty of its arts and the quixotic nature of its people.
Source: Lonely Planet

Itinerary Details

DAY 1: Arrival in Moscow

Arrival: Upon your arrival in Moscow, our representative will greet you at the airport, holding a Make My Trip placard, who will drop you to your hotel and help you check in. The rest of the day is free to rest or to spend at leisure.

DAY 2: Half day Moscow city tour

Moscow City Tour: The city tour is a 4 hour tour of Moscow by bus. This is a half-day orientation tour that will take you around the city and cover Moscow’s landmarks. We will stop for approximately 10-20 minutes at each place. This is a complimentary orientation tour and does not include any entry tickets. The tour covers the famous Park of Victory, the 16th century New Maiden Convent, Sparrow Hills (for a beautiful view of the city!), Moscow State University and Christ the Saviour Cathedral- one of the most imposing and controversial buildings in Russia. We will stop at the city center for a quick visit to the Red Square, where the colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral is located. This cathedral has shaped the identity of Russia for years! The State Universal Mega Mall is located very close to the city center and is a great place to shop the famous brands. The Kremlin is also located in the city center and is home to the president and the famous armoury chamber. Across the street is the stunning Bolshoi Theatre, where the popular ballet- Swan Lake, originated.

Day 3: Moscow Day at Leisure

The day is free to spend at leisure. You can book an optional tour to the Kremlin or the Russian Circus, or visit the mall located in the city centre or the famous Pushkin area to dine at the famous Pushkin Café (rated #1 in the list of things to do in Russia, by Lonely Planet!) for authentic Russian meal.

Day 4: Proceed to St. Petersburg from Moscow

Sapsan: After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted to the railway station for your high-speed Sapsan train to St. Petersburg. The train journey is an approximate duration of 4 hours. You will be greeted by our tour guide right outside your train compartment, and will be escorted to the hotel for a prompt check in. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to discover the city on your own.

Day 5: Enjoy St. Petersburg City Tour

Arrival: Upon your arrival in St. Petersburg, our representative will greet you at the airport, holding a Make My Trip placard. You will immediately proceed for a city tour of St. Petersburg. City Tour: This is a half day orientation tour that will take you around the city and to the famous stops and buildings of St. Petersburg. Each stop will be approximately 10-25 minutes, allowing you enough time to take pictures or learn more about the monuments. Entry tickets are not included in the city tour. The city tour will cover the main street located in the heart of the city: Nevskiy avenue; along with the Bronze Horseman: a monument of Emperor Peter I, who opened the window to Europe for Russia. Peter and Paul’s fortress, Blood of the Savior Cathedral and the majestic Isaac Cathedral will also be covered in the tour. We will cross the Palace Bridge, Mars Field and Hermitage Museum among others.

Day 6: Enjoy St. Petersburg on own or choose from optional tours

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel at your leisure; and head for the optional tours you have booked. You can also opt to enjoy the city on your own. The metro is a convenient and economical means of traveling through the city. Among the recommended optional are Hermitage Museum: The Winter Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, Folklore. Show in the evening.

Day 7: Check out and proceed for your return flight