The Trans–Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Western Russia to the Russian Far East. It is the longest railway line in the world, with a length of over 9,289 kilometres (5,772 miles), from the capital Moscow, the largest city in Russia, to Vladivostok, which is next to the Sea of Japan.
Choosing this tour you will have a lifetime experience enjoying Moscow, St Petersburg and main cities of the epic Trans-Siberian railway like Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Irkursk as well as the magnificent lake Baikal!
A fascinating experience is about to begin!
Day 1, St Petersburg
Day 2, St Petersburg
Our big city tour is the best way to know the history of St Petersburg through its gorgeous palaces and classic buildings of museums, wide avenues and granite embankments, big squares and little streets, cathedrals and drawbridges and feel the vibe of a European city in a country with two thirds of a territory lays in Asia.
We will see Nevsky Prospekt with its numerous palaces and the mighty Kazan Cathedral, admire the water panoramas of the Neva river from the Palace, Admiralty and University embankments, have a photo stops at the Palace Square, see the word famous Winter Palace, the former tsars’ residence and the Alexander’s Column and at a Spit of the Vasilyevsky island with well-known Rostral columns, heading towards the monument to Peter I, the founder of the city, the Bronze Horsman at the Senat Square. Several rivers and numerous canals cross the city and we will see Moika and Fontanka rivers, the Summer Garden, first park of the city and the mysterious Michael’s castle.
Another well-known places like the Theatre Square and the Mariinsky Theater, Arts Square and the Russian Museum, Naval Cathedral of St Nicholas, Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood and St Isaac’s square with the largest city cathedral of the same name, the battleship Aurora, symbol of the revolution will definitely impress you!
The Peter and Paul’s Fortress is famous for being the first building of St. Petersburg. It was founded on May 16, 1703 as the citadel of St. Petersburg, and this date is considered the birthday of the city. The lands where Peter the Great began to build the new capital of the Russian Empire were recently recaptured from the Swedes in the Northern War, and the fortress was supposed to protect the new city from possible attacks. The fortress is located on a small island in the Neva delta, has 6 bastions connected by brick walls 20 meters thick, and these characteristics made it very advanced for that time. For almost 300 years, Peter and Paul’s Cathedral standing in the center of the fortress was the highest building in the city with a 122-meter-high golden spire topped with an angel-shaped weathervane. It was the first cathedral of the new capital of Russia, and its interiors amazed people with the luxury of decoration, gilded wood carvings of the altar and crystal lamps, all this was very different from ancient Russian churches. In addition, the cathedral became the pantheon of all Russian tsars from Peter the Great to the last tsar Nicholas II.
Day 3, St Petersburg
A tour to the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, is actually a combination of two tours in one, on the one hand you will admire the masterpieces of painting and sculpture, on the other the ceremonial halls of the Winter palace, the former Tsars’ residence like the Throne room, The Nicolas hall, Field marshal’s hall, The Armorial hall, Malachite room, The White hall, Small dining room, Rutanda and many others.
The history of the Hermitage collection goes back to the times of Catherine the Great when she bought 225 paintings by Flemish and Dutch artists from the German merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky in 1764. Now among the thousands of paintings, we can distinguish the following internationally recognized masterpieces as Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna Litta” and “Madonna Benoit”, Raphael’s “Madonna Connestabile” and “The Holy Family”, Caravaggio’s “Lutenist”, paintings by Titian, Murillo, El Greco and many other famous painters. Also the Hermitage is proud to have one of the world’s best collections of French paintings of the late XIX – early XX centuries.
Day 4, St Petersburg
Peterhof is the first suburban Tsar’s residence built in European style ever in Russia. Today it’s the world famous palace and parks architectural ensemble with a unique fountain system. Peter the Great founded it in 1710 after the victory over the Swedes at Poltava anticipating getting an access to the Baltic Sea as a result of the Russian victory in the Northern war. Later Peterhof was loved and cherished by many Russian Emperors and Empresses.
Nowadays Peterhof is the most popular museum in Russia due to a mix of diverse architecture represented by the Grand Palace and the smaller palaces like Monplaisir and Marli and entertainment and joy that more than 150 fountains together with a magnificent Grand Cascade bring. This man-made splendor is framed by the beauty of nature, the Upper and Lower Parks, as well as the Gulf of Finland, where the palace faces reminding us about its founder’s strive for freedom, openness and drive.
Tour program includes
In St Petersburg
– City tour
– Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood (outside)
– The Hermitage museum
– Peter&Paul Fortress and cathedral
– Peterhoff residence, the Grand Palace and the Lower Park with Fountains
Day 5, Moscow
During this big Moscow city tour you will see and enjoy the most famous and interesting attractions of the Russian capital, its avenues and squares, modern scyscrapers and its predecessors, Stalin’s «vysotki», iconic Red square, St Basil’s Cathedral and great panoramas of the Kremlin, elegant Bolshoi Theatre and the Triumphal Arch, the Novodevichiy Convent, the main building of Moscow University at the Sparrow Hill, the White House and a former KGB building at Lubyanka street, the memorial complex dedicated to the Victory in the 2nd World War on Mount Poklonnaya and much more.
You will also visit Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the largest Orthodox Cathedral in Russia that has a very big and challenging history. Being constructed in the 19th century, it was the main Cathedral of the Russian Empire but at Soviet times, it was demolished and rebuilt at the end of the 20th century.
The Moscow metro is famous for its unique decoration resembling real underground palaces with walls lined with marble, bronze and granite sculptures, mosaics and lamps of rare shape. By 2010, 44 stations were recognized as the objects of cultural heritage. Among the most interesting and fascinating are Ploschad Revolutsii, Mayakovskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Komsomolskaya, Arbatskaya, Kievskaya, Teatralnaya, Dostoevskaya stations.
Day 6, Moscow
You can’t imagine the Russian capital without iconic Red Square, St.Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. We will have a walk at the territory of the Kremlin and visit inside the ancient churches of the 15-16th centuries (The Archangel, The Assumption and the Annunciation Cathedrals), where Russian tsars were crowned, near the 81 meter high Bell Tower of Ivan the Great built in the beginning of the 16th century we will listen to its 22 famous bells. The Big Kremlin Palace, a residence of the Russian President we will see from outside.
After lunch we will visit the famous Tretyakov gallery, the national museum of Russian art. It is named after its founder, Moscow entrepreneur and philanthropist Pablo Tretyakov, who devoted his entire life to the collection of works of art. Currently, the museum has more than 100 thousand works, from anonymous icons to avant-garde works by Vasily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich.
Day 7, Moscow
Sergiev Posad, located 71 km from Moscow, is one of the cities that form the so called Golden Ring, the popular route through the ancient lands of Russia. The town known since 1340, is a picturesque place famous for the imposing monastery-fortress the Monastery of the Holy Trinity of St. Sergius. It is a center of great religious and cultural value. Its architectural ensemble consists of the tower and the walls of the ancient fortresses, the Trinity Cathedral, the Dukhovskaya Church, the Assumption (Uspensky) Cathedral, the Church of Zosima and Savvaty. The monk Sergius of Radonezh founded a wooden temple here in 1340 and gradually it became the largest monastery in the country. Icon painters Andrei Rublev and Daniel Chorny decorated later the main monastery church with world famous frescoes. The suburbs of Sergiyev Posad are also very attractive and you can enjoy the Russian nature, quiet rivers, small villages and vast spaces.
Day 8, Moscow
Moscow part of the tour includes
– Moscow city tour
– Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
– – the Kremlin, territory, churches
– – Red Square
– St.Basil’s Cathedral (outside)
-The Tretyakov Gallery
– Moscow metro tour
– a tour to Sergiyev Posad
Day 9, Kazan
Kazan, a capital of Tatarstan republic of Russia, is located on the banks of the Volga river.
The Kazan Khanate became a part of the Russian state after the siege and capture of its capital, Kazan in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible. This was one of the most significant events in the medieval history of Russia. Your day in Kazan will start with a panoramic tour during which you can enjoy the beauty of the Kazan Kremlin built by the order of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the khan’s castle. The Kazan Kremlin was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 2000. You will also admire the Annunciation cathedral built in the 16th century and the leaning tower of Syuyumbike, named after the last Tsarina of Kazan, one of the city’s symbols. The guide will also show you the Kul Sharif Mosque, the Square of Freedom, several orthodox cathedrals and churches and the Palace of the Tatarstan President.
Day 10, Kazan
The island of Sviyazhsk is located where three rivers cross, it’s a very picturesque place with a big history. The history of Sviyazhsk began in 1551, when Ivan the Terrible decided to build a wooden fortress on the island. After four weeks only Sviyazhsk became a support base for the Russian troops in the war against the Kazan Khanate. During the tour you will know a lot about the history of this place, see Assumption Cathedral and the Monastery of John the Baptist where the Trinity church is located, the only remaining wooden building of Sviyazhsk.
The Raifa Bogoroditsky Monastery is one of the most beautiful sites in Tatarstan. The Monastery was founded in the 16th-17th centuries. Here everyone can feel an amazing and unique atmosphere of solitude and quiet due to the primeval silence and remoteness of the place. Anyone visiting the monastery can enjoy a wonderful harmony of the architectural ensemble, crenellated walls of white stone, the Gate bell-tower looking into the sky, golden crosses on the green and sky-blue temple domes.
Day 11, Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is an important city in the central part of Russia located on the eastern side of the Ural mountains, the natural border between Europe and Asia. The city was founded in 1723 by Vasily Tatischev and named in honor of Catherine, wife of Peter the Great, future Catherine I. During the city tour of Yekaterinburg, you will be able to see the classical architectural monuments of the 18-19th centuries, the obelisk “The virtual border” between Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg became one of the most important industrial center of the country during the Soviet era.
One of the most tragic events of the Russian history happened here, in Yekaterinburg. The family of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, himself, his wife Alexandra and their children, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatyana, Maria, Anastasia, and the heir to the Russian throne Alexis were violently assassinated by the bolsheviks in the Ipatiev’s house on July 17, 1918.
Day 12, Yekaterinburg
The Geological Museum has an excellent collection of local stones and minerals, more than 40,000 exhibits. There you may see the exhibition «Secrets of the Chelyabinsk meteorite», which presents the largest collection of meteorites in the Urals, including lunar and martian, as well as the exhibition «Ural gems for Kremlin stars», where the large faceted gems that decorated the stars of the Moscow Kremlin towers in the 30s of the 20th century are presented.
Day 13, Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia, after Moscow and St Petersburg and has population of 1,6 mln people. The city is located southwest of the Siberian federal district on the banks of the Ob river, its name means «the new city of Siberia». It has the largest railway station along the Trans-Siberian railway route. Until 1925 it was known as Novonikolaievsk, named after the Tsar Nicholas II. Today Novosibirsk is one of the largest scientific centers.
Day 14, Novosibirsk
In the middle of Siberia
Day 15, on train to Irkutsk
You will have a wonderful day enjoying the beauty of Siberian nature through your train window and have a feeling of being on the road)
Day 16, Irkutsk
Irkutsk, located in Eastern Siberia on the banks of the Angara River is the sixth city in region by population; around 620 thousand people live here now. The city was founded in 1661 and got its name from the name of the Irkut River, which flows into the Angara. Irkutsk’s historical center is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the pre-revolutionary period, Irkutsk was a merchant city, and its development and prosperity were based on very profitable trade relations with China, as well as the Siberian gold industry. During our big Irkutsk city tour, we will drive through the central streets and see the key sights of the city.
On the way, the guide will introduce you to the most important events from its history; tell you about the merchants who ran the city. Also you will know a lot about cultures’ and religions’ mixing on these lands and recall famous Russian personalities, Mikhail Speransky, Alexander III, Alexander Kolchak who played a big role in Irkutsk development. Of course the guide will share with you a lot of details about Decembrists revolt of 1825. The Decemberists were Russian military officers and noblemen, who were members of different anti-government secret societies and eventually organized the revolt in December 1825, aiming to overthrow the Imperial power in Russia. The uprising was defeated and 121 noblemen were condemned to different penalties and sentences. And many of them were in hard labor in Nerchinsk near Irkutsk. The Volkonsky estate and the monument to the wives of the Decembrists, who followed their husbands to Siberia is a separate chapter in the chronicle of the city.
During the tour and several photo stops you will see the place where the first Irkutsk fortress was located and you will know the story about the foundation of the city. At the Count Speransky Square you will hear about the personality of all Siberia governor in 1819-21 and a prominent politician; at the Moscow Gates, you will find out why they are turned with an arch to the river, near the monument to Alexander III you will know his role in Irkutks further development.
During the tour, you will pass the Three Churches Square, it’s a very attractive and interesting place for tourists where you will see the Epiphany Cathedral, built in 1746, and a snow-white Church of the Savior with wonderful frescoes, the colorful Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan, as well as the Znamensky Convent, one of the oldest in Siberia.
After lunch you will have a walk along the historic Karl Marx Street, you will admire the old mansions and apartment buildings. In the Tourist Quarter, where we will see the examples of the ancient city wooden architecture, please take a closer look at the carved lace of wooden houses, it’s so unique and russian by spirit. After that, you will be able to walk along the embankment of the mighty Angara river.
Day 17, Irkutsk
The Listvyanka village is known from the middle of the 16th century and stays on the shore of Lake Baikal, namely where the Angara River begins. During this tour you will see one of the most significant showplace of that village – the Shaman’s Stone, which is the natural boundary between Lake Baikal and the Angara River, the only one river that takes flow from the lake. The guide will told you the beautiful legend about Lake Baikal and his daughter, the Angara river.
On the way to L Listvyanka you will visit the Museum of Wooden Architecture “TALTSY” in which the exposition of culture and everyday life of peoples of East Siberia is presented. You will see Evenki summer and autumn camp, cascade of three water mills, Ilimskaya Kazanskaya Church, the Trinity Church and others.
Once at the top of the observation deck, which is located at an altitude of 725 m, you can see a beautiful panorama of the lake itself and the source of the Angara River and Lake Baikal.
Day 18, Irkutsk