8 days/7 nights
This is a comprehensive programme with 12 guided tours included; the palace of Tsarskoe Selo and the famous “amber room”; a visit to Petrodvorets, known as the “Russian Versailles”; a visit to the fabulous collections in the Hermitage: English-speaking guide for all tours.
Summer —our Nordic summer is very short, but the possibilities are endless. The high season for tourism starts in May and lasts till September. Drawbridges, the magic of the White Nights, fascinating boat tours through the canals, cruises through the Gulf of Finland on board a hydrofoil, the 150 fountains of Petrodvorets (the Russian Versailles) – this is just a modest list of things that Saint-Petersburg can offer in the summer.
Our advice: The weather varies a lot from summer to summer. It is sometimes cold and rainy, but also may be absolutely fabulous, like last summer, with temperatures of over 30° for 2 weeks at a time. In any case you should pack an umbrella, a water-proof jacket and a pullover.
Day 1: Arrive in Saint-Petersburg, transfer to a hotel.
Day 2: Tour of the ancient capital of the Empire, visit to the cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Christ. General overview of the history and architecture.
Visit to the Fortress of Peter and Paul, an amazing example of Peter’s baroque, which being more Nordic than Italianate reflects the taste of the Tsar. It was built in 1703 in order to protect three branches of the River Neva against the Swedish navy. It also served as a political prison where the Tsar incarcerated his opponents. Inside this giant fortress there used to be a small wooden church, later rebuilt as an imposing cathedral, where its founder Peter the Great is buried as well as all the Romanovs.
Visit to the Russian State Museum which is located in the centre of the City in the lavish Mikhailovsky palace, built by the architect Carlo Rossi for Prince Michael. Here you can find all the schools and styles of Russian art and an exceptional collection of icons.
Day 3: Visit the Hermitage, the most celebrated and the most important of Russian museums, one of the most beautiful in the world, not only because of its collections, but the buildings themselves. Five palaces of the Hermitage with their ceremonial suits also contain the collections of Italian, Flemish, Spanish, Dutch, German and French paintings, the works of French impressionists, the chefs d’oeuvre of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso.
Continue the guided tour. Overview of the Hermitage surrounding area: Milionnaja street, Winter Canal, Mars’ Fields and Marble palace. Walk along Nevsky Prospect to the Cathedral of Kazan (visit).
Optional: boat trip on the Neva and the canals
Day 4: Tour of Petrodvorets, “the Russian Versailles”, residence of the tsars built at the beginning of 18th century: an amazing ensemble of parks, palaces and fountains.
Church of the Saviour of the Spilt Blood. Here you can admire the richness of the neo-Russian style in the very heart of classical Saint-Petersburg. Resembling the Russian churches of the 16th Century from the outside, it is covered entirely in mosaics inside.
Day 5: Visit the cathedral of Saint Isaac with its gilded marble iconostas and enormous red granite columns. The cathedral is situated in the very centre of Saint-Petersburg. This technological miracle does not belong to any particular architectural style, but borrows from them all. It was built according to the plan of the classic Greek cross that supports five domes and has the third tallest dome in the world (after Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and London’s Saint Paul’s). This unique architectural monument was designed by French architect August Montferrand.
Visit Yussupov’s palace, built in 1760 by Vallin de la Mothe. It has highly ornate interiors and its Italian inspired theatre is a real jewel. The infamous Rasputin was killed here on 16th December 1916.
Visit the Cathedral of Saint Nicolas the Mariner.
Day 6: Tour of Tsarskoe Selo at Pushkin. Visit the famous imperial residence in the baroque palace that was designed by Rasstrelli in the 18th century and that contains the legendary “amber room”.
Visit the Palace of Pavlovsk, the residence of Paul the First, Catherine the Great’s son, built by the best classical architects of the18th Century. Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, today it’s completely restored and makes a wonderful impression by its elegant and harmonious mood and collections of porcelain, tapestries and paintings.
Day 7: free day
Optional: Trip to Novgorod
Real Russian ancient architecture can be found just 180 km away from Saint-Petersburg. The cradle of Russia, it was first major crossroads on the route from the Baltic to the Mediterranean that followed the great Russian rivers to the Black Sea.
Tour of the city. Visit to Kremlin (founded in 1044), the Cathedral of Saint-Sophie (1045), and the court of Yaroslav, which used to be the merchants’ quarter of the City, with its arcades facing the river.
Visit to Saint-George (Yuriev) Monastery and the open-air museum of rural Russian architecture.
Return to Saint-Petersburg.
Day 8: Departure. Transfer to the airport.
We can offer you tickets for the regular flights to Saint-Petersburg with British Airways and Aeroflot.
If you want to find the cheapest tickets, you may want to try www.lastminute.com, www.ebookers.com or www.ba.com. You can also compare the flight prices at www.cheapflights.co.uk or www.travelsupermarket.com.
This is one of our most appreciated programmes. It is very suitable for your first visit to Saint-Petersburg, but this is only an example. You can always compose your own programme. Just consult us and we’ll be happy to help.Back to top
Saint-Petersburg by night
What a chance to cruise the rivers and the canals all night, away from city traffic, watching the drawbridges to open!Back to top