Golden Ring Tour

You will love this unique tour of Moscow, Suzdal, Vladimir and St. Petersburg which combines the urban and provincial Russia. Your tour will include a Sergiev Posad Excursion, tours of Suzdal, St. Petersburg, Peterhof, Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral, Catherine Palace, Alexander Palace, Nevsky Monastery, the Hermitage and many others.

Day 1 Moscow

Arrive Moscow. Transfer from Moscow airport to Melody Hotel - a cozy Western-style hotel close to the center of Moscow: Our driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time for a city metro tour, the Moscow River tour or other short excursion to help you orient yourself around Moscow.

Day 2 Moscow

Almost the whole day today will be devoted to the Red Square and attractions nearby. You and your guide will take the metro to the Red Square. You will start the day with the tour of the famous Moscow Kremlin. We refer to it as the Moscow Kremlin since, as you will discover during your visit to Russia, that there are many Kremlins (fortresses) in the country. The Moscow Kremlin is the seat of Government of the Russian Federation. In addition to the Presidential Palace and the Duma (legislature) there are many other sites within the walls of the Kremlin. After you have visited the Cathedral of the Assumption, where the czars were crowned, you will continue your tour at the Kremlin Armory Museum - home for the collection of Czars' famous possessions. This museum houses examples of the renowned Faberge eggs, gowns worn by the Empresses of Russia including the amazing coronation gown of Empress Catherine II (Great) and thousands of priceless artifacts from the estates of the czars. After lunch, you will visit St. Basil's Cathedral which was built by Czar Ivan IV ( also known as The Terrible) in the 16th century. It is located in the Red Square, next to the Kremlin. You will tour the Cathedral to better appreciate both the exterior and interior of this amazing structure.

Before you finish the day you will walk around the Red Square, see the outside of Lenin's Tomb, the famous GUM Department store, and many other sites nearby. An evening show at the Moscow Circus will complete the day 2 of your tour.

Day 3 Moscow

Today, the tour starts with the famed Moscow Metro. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to the world's most beautiful subway stations. The subway stations were built during Stalin era to prove to the west that Russia had become a modern country. One of your subway stops will be to visit the Novodevichy Convent, or the New Maiden Convent. This famous convent makes a picturesque and peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Peter The Great imprisoned his sister Sophia there in an attempt to curtail her efforts to seat their brother Ivan on the Russian throne. Later the Novodevichy Convent has become the final resting place of many famous Russians including Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Stalin's wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva-Stalin (1902-1932), composers Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). Following your tour of Novodecvihy, you visit the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This famous cathedral is a replica of the original Cathedral which was destroyed by the Communists during the Soviet times. It has been rebuilt since the fall of the Soviet Union and it is truly spectacular.

Day 4 Moscow

Today, you and your guide will continue your tour of the Moscow Metro as you travel to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Built as a memorial to the Second World War, the Museum of the Great Patriotic War is a magnificent memorial to the horrendous event which cost over 25 million Soviet lives. You will see the awe inspiring mall, monuments and exhibits inside as well as exhibits of military equipment outside. Whether you are interested in military history or not, the scope of this tragedy and the effect it had on millions of survivors, makes this visit interesting to everyone. Your next stop will be at the home of arguably, the most famous writer of all time, Leo Tolstoy. The Tolstoy Museum is actually the Moscow home of Leo Tolstoy. It was at this house many pages of his monumental masterpieces "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" were written.

Day 5 Moscow

This will be your last day in Moscow. You will leave the hustle and bustle of a huge metropolitan area for the serenity and beauty of provincial Russia. From now until you board the train in Vladimir bound for St. Petersburg, you will have a private car and driver. Your first stop will be at the village of Sergiev Posad and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The beautiful St. Sergius is still a working monastery, and your tour guide will be one of the nuns or monks. Even in modern times you can't help but notice how beautiful and serene the monastery and convent are. Lunch and dinner options, once away from Moscow, will be more like those frequented by Russian citizens. Sergiev Posad will be the first stop on your tour of the Golden Ring. From Sergiev Posad you will continue to Suzdal - one of the most interesting and beautiful of the villages of the Golden Ring. You will spend a night in a charming hotel in Suzdal.

Day 6 Moscow-St. Peters

Your guide will lead you on an interesting exploration of the ancient cathedrals of Russia and the quaint provincial Russian shops in Suzdal and Vladimir. Today, even more than in Sergiev Posad, you have the opportunity to see the "Real Russia". After your visit to Suzdal and Vladimir you will be taken to the train station to board the overnight train to St. Petersburg. You will have a sleeping compartment for a nice rest on your way to St. Petersburg.**

Day 7 St. Peters

You will arrive in St. Petersburg, the "Venice of the North" at approximately 10 a.m. Waiting for you at the train station will be your St. Petersburg guide and driver. Following check in at your hotel you will begin your tour of this fantastic city.

You will start with a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral. One of the tallest domes of all catholic cathedrals in the world, St. Isaac's Cathedral is covered with 220 pounds of pure gold. It was commissioned by Alexander I in 1818 and took more than 30 years to build. St. Isaac's is followed by another favorite destination: the Yusupov Palace & Rasputin Murder Tour. You will see the the areas of the palace where Gregory Rasputin was lured and poisoned by wealthy friends of the last Czar. The tour through the palace, which includes the main exposition (reception rooms of the Yusoupovs, 1st and 2 nd level) plus the Theatre and the Rasputin exposition, will leave you speechless.

Day 8 St. Peters

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will take a short walk to the Hydrofoil pier. The modern hydrofoil will take you to Peterhof - a place, considered by many to be the Crown Jewel of sights in all of Russia. Built by Peter the Great, Peterhof is truly a wonder with its stunning architecture, lush gardens and the magnificent fountains.

Today, the Peterhof fountain ensemble consists of over 150 fountains and four cascades. The piping system occupies 54km/33.5 m. Much of the system remains in place as planned by Peter the Great. In addition to the Palace and gardens you will visit some of the sights many visitors do not have time to visit. The first of these is the Czars bath house (known as Banya) and the kitchens. We take the hydrofoil back to the city and continue with a short walk to the Russian Museum. The Russian Museum contains only the works of Russian artists. The collection in the museum will take your breath away. If you like paintings, these are among the best in the world.

Day 9 St. Peters

This morning your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel to begin your journey to the Catherine Palace. The Catherine Palace is home of the world famous "Amber Room". The Amber Room has only been available for viewing in the last few years after the government spent many years of painstaking reconstruction. It is assumed that the original version of this amazing room was stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

Catherine Palace is located in the village of Pushkin (named for the famous poet). The area is also called "Tzarskoe Selo" or "Village of the Czars". Another point of interest in Pushkin is the Alexander Palace. The Alexander Palace was built by Catherine the Great for her grandson, the future Alexander I. The palace was the last home for the doomed Romanov family, who included the famous Grand Duchess Anastasia. The museum in the Alexander Palace showcases the interiors as closely as possible to their state in August 1917 when the Romanovs lived there. The tragedy of the story of the Romanovs and the intimacy of the private rooms creates a lasting impression on those who see them, creating sympathy for the Tsar and his family.

For children, this is an especially interesting tour. All western children have seen the Disney's "Anastasia". The popular movie "Anastasia" is loosely based on the life and times of Grand Duchess Anastasia, the daughter of the last czar Nicholas II. Many of the private effects of real Anastasia and her siblings are in the Alexander Palace. The Alexander Palace museum has proved to be one of the most popular museums in Russia and is a must see for all foreigners and tourists.

Tonight you will be our guest at the wonderful Russian folk show "Feel Yourself Russian", held at the beautiful Nickolaevsky Palace. This program is a favorite of all of our clients.

Day 10 St. Peters

For some, today's stops are the true reason to visit it. Petersburg. The Hermitage and the Winter Palace are the sites of many infamous moments in Russian history. The precocious behavior of Catherine the Great, the death of Alexander II, the Sunday Massacre, and the speeches of Vladimir Lenin to the citizens after the successful Revolution - all of these events occurred just outside, on the balcony, or within the walls of these Russian landmarks.

You will have an opportunity to see the massive art collection belonging to Catherine the Great which is now housed in the Hermitage. Just outside the Hermitage, in the middle of the square, you will see the monument to Alexander I honoring his defeat of the mighty Napoleon. Next you will visit the signature site on the skyline of St. Petersburg, the Church on the Spilled Blood. It was built as a memorial to Czar Alexander II on the site of his assassination. While the exterior of the Church on Spilled Blood is impressive, wait until you go inside! You will see the preserved sight of the bomb blast that fatally injured the Czar. Thousands of man hours in artistic restoration were expended to restore the mural covered walls.

Finally today you will enjoy a real treat from Go To Russia Travel - the River and Canal Tour. This tour covers the canals in St. Petersburg and the Neva River. This tour is not the typical tourist canal boat tour offered on the streets of St. Petersburg, but a private tour by a Retro powerboat built by our very own Captain Andrei. Your route covers twice as much territory than the regular tourist boat tour. You will enjoy the quiet of narrow canals and grand views of St. Petersburg's gala center from the Neva

Day 11 St. Peters

Today, your visits will interest the whole family but the first stop will be particularly exciting for the youngsters in your group. ( Please note: if you have no young people in your family we will adjust the itinerary.) This stop is the St. Petersburg Oceanarium, home to many different marine species.

Next stop is the Nevsky Monastery. Founded by Peter the Great in 1710, this orthodox monastery is the most important in St. Petersburg. The St. Trinity Cathedral is worth a visit and so is the cemetery, where you can see the graves of Russia's great composers and writers, including Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Glinka and Dostoevsky. This cemetery is open until 7pm. You can buy fresh holy bread in the monastery's bakery in the afternoon (on your left as you approach the Trinity Cathedral from the entrance).

Our final stop is the Russian Farmers' Market, so you can see where the locals shop for their meat and produce. This is an especially interesting slice of Russian life.

Day 12 St. Petersburg –Moscow-Delhi

Goodbye! This morning you will be met by your driver who will take you to the St. Petersburg airport for your flight back to Moscow.

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