One visit may not be enough to comprehend the vastness of Russia. But it is certainly enough time to take in – and marvel at – the national treasures that are Moscow and St Petersburg.
Our Russia specialists recommend a twin-centre trip linking the two prime cities of this extraordinary land. Conveniently, the high-speed Sapsan train will get you from one to the other in less than four hours.
In St Petersburg, you will be enchanted by Dutch-style canals and the sheer grandeur of the city’s imperial palaces. Best among these lavish piles are Pavlovsk, Peterhof and the baroque Catherine Palace at Pushkin. Although the jewel in the crown remains the Romanov’s old Winter Palace, an astounding white, blue and gold confection that now houses one of the world’s finest art collections in its Hermitage Museum. You should also save time for the fabulous Faberge Museum, a little opera or ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, and a stroll along Nevsky Prospekt – Russia’s own Champs Elysees.
Stand in Moscow’s Red Square and, again, prepare to be stunned. Photographs simply cannot do justice to the incredible patterned domes of St Basil’s Cathedral. Everywhere you look there are great buildings with golden domes glinting in the sunlight, contrasting with the old tenant buildings made famous by dissident writers of the Stalin era.
For a taste of Moscow’s vast stock of artistic treasures, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Kremlin Armoury and the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, with its impressive collection of Impressionist and Old Master paintings, are a must. Meanwhile, the Bolshoi Theatre offers a taste of the world-class ballet and opera for which Moscow is famed.
Inspired to start planning your tailor-made holiday to Russia? Speak to an expert today.