Private 16-Day Definitive Russia - Firebird Tours ®
Sergiev Posad, Russia
Suzdal, Russia
Moscow, Russia
Kizhi Island, Russia
St. Petersburg, Russia

You are here

Trip Overview

Get an in-depth exploration of Russia during the fully-customizable private tour with included Russian visas and best hotels that covers it all! Traverse the ancient Golden Ring towns called "Russian Vatican". Enjoy the unmissable sights of both capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg, including the Kremlin, Red Square, Novodevichy Convent, Peterhof, Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, as well as the Tretyakov Gallery and Hermitage Museum. Explore the gorgeous region of Karelia, its Kizhi Island and traditional villages. And to top it off, have fun during tours and activities like the Imperial Porcelain master class, a visit to the Vodka Museum, boat rides and night tours. This private Russian itinerary is what you've been looking for.
 

Tour type:
Private tour
Tour rating:
4.89 / 5, Based on
  • BEST HOTELS
  • Centrally-located 4 and 5-star hotels:
    15 nights
  • BEST CONNECTIONS
  • Private airport/railway station transfers
    3 train rides between cities
    Private drivers for day trips
    5 boat rides
  • BEST SIGHTSEEING
  • 10 guided city tours
    4 guided day-tours outside cities
  • MEALS
  • 15 breakfasts
    Russian Vodka Museum Visit
    Karelian tea ceremony with kalitki

Day-by-Day

Day 1
Arrival to Moscow

Welcome to the legendary capital of Russia - Moscow! Upon arrival, your private driver transfers you to the hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free to relax in your cozy room, dine in one of the nearby restaurants or start exploring the amazing city center on your own.

No meals included.

Day 2
Tour to the Trinity Lavra in Sergiev Posad

Following early breakfast and check-out, your private guide-driver picks you up at the hotel in Moscow and takes you to Sergiev Posad known as "Russian Vatican" for its magnificent blue and golden cupolas scattered all around the town.

Upon arrival, you enjoy a wonderful sightseeing tour around the most cherished treasures of Sergiev Posad. The highlight of the day is a tour lead by a churchman in the spiritual center of Russian Orthodoxy - the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.

After a lunch break, your guide takes you to a cozy town Suzdal, and after check-in, you have a free evening to enjoy the atmosphere of provincial Russia.

Breakfast is included.

Day 3
Tour of Suzdal & Vladimir and Return to Moscow

After breakfast meet your guide at the hotel lobby and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Suzdal known as a city-museum of the Golden Ring. Suzdal boasts its large number of preserved historical monuments of ancient Russian art and architecture.

During the tour, you visit UNESCO World Heritage Site - the brilliant architectural complex of the Kremlin. Continue your trip to the Museum of Wooden Architecture which is an example of classical ancient Russia.

After a lunch break, you are taken to Vladimir to witness unique architectural creations. During your tour around this town, you go inside the Dormition Cathedral that preserves the world famous frescoes of Andrei Rublev dating back to the 15th century. Together with your guide you explore the architectural complex of the Cathedral of St. Dimitriy (exterior) and walk along a central pedestrian street full of galleries, artists, and local souvenirs. Once the tour is over your driver takes you to Moscow hotel.

Breakfast is included.

Day 4
Moscow Panoramic City Tour

Following breakfast, you meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby and embark on a 4-hour panoramic city tour of Moscow.

First you enjoy a guided tour to one of the most beautiful Russia’s monasteries - the Novodevichy Convent. On the way to the Novodevichy Convent, you see the spectacular Cathedral of Christ the Savior and learn the story of its destruction and reconstruction.

During the tour, you explore the unique interiors of the Convent and visit its Cemetery that is considered one of Moscow’s most prestigious resting places. Many famous Russian political leaders, actors, scientists, poets and musicians are buried there, including Mstislav Rostropovich, Mikhail Bulgakov, Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Boris Yeltsin. The cemetery has a park-like ambiance, dotted with small chapels and beautiful monuments, that makes you feel like strolling in the park of sculptures.

Today you also have a chance to enjoy one of the best city views at Sparrow Hills and see the grand building of Moscow State University, the highest of seven Stalinist skyscrapers of Moscow.

After the tour you are transferred to your hotel and have the afternoon and evening at leisure to continue exploring Moscow on your own. Alternatively, you may choose one of our carefully planned optional tours.

Breakfast is included.

Day 5
Exploring the Kremlin, Armoury Chamber & the Heart of Moscow

This day is dedicated to the exploration of one of the most outstanding Moscow icons - the Kremlin and the heart of Moscow - the Red Square.

Following breakfast, you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and walk to the Kremlin territory where you have a chance to explore the gems hidden behind the Kremlin walls such as the Cathedral Square and the Assumption and Annunciation cathedrals. Then you visit the famous Armoury Chamber that houses a unique collection of crown jewels, stunning coronation finery, hand-forged armor and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and world-famous Fabergé eggs.

After a short break for coffee, you take a walk through the beautiful Red Square, go inside the colorful St. Basil's Cathedral and explore the famous GUM department store. After the tour, you walk back to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Breakfast is included.

Day 6
Tretyakov Gallery and Moscow Subway Tour & Moscow by Night

After breakfast, you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and walk to the nearby subway station to take a short ride on the Moscow Subway and feel the taste of local life.

Shortly you arrive at the world-famous treasure trove of the Russian fine art, the Tretyakov Gallery, where you have amazing time viewing the gems of its collection, including the famous masterpieces of Ivan Aivazovsky, Mikhail Vrubel and Viktor Vasnetsov. Then you have another quick subway ride to explore the most beautiful stations of Moscow Subway, which is known to be one of the most beautiful and efficient metro systems in the world.

After the tour, you walk back to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.

In the evening, you meet your guide and driver to explore the illuminated capital. Your tour starts with a 2.5-hour boat ride (1st class boat tickets are included) along the Moskva river, during which you see the Moscow from a completely different perspective and have an opportunity to enjoy dinner and drinks with amazing views.

Next you enjoy a wonderful panoramic city tour that offers a unique opportunity to see the shining of Kremlin towers, the illuminated St. Basil's Cathedral dominating Red Square, and the beautifully lit walls of the Novodevichy Convent, as well as the sparkle of the many streets and avenues of Moscow. See Moscow in absolutely different evening colors! After the tour, you are transferred to your hotel.

Breakfast is included.

Day 7
Market Tour & Russian Cooking Class

In the morning after breakfast you meet with our representative. You are taken on an exclusive cooking class to get the real taste of Russia.

Together with a professional English-speaking chef you first go to a local market to buy fresh local produce. Then during the cooking class you learn the secrets of making a perfect Russian borscht, learn to make traditional pelmeni dumplings and thin blini pancakes.

Breakfast is included.

Day 8
Train to Saint-Petersburg & Panoramic City Tour with a Boat Ride

Following breakfast and check-out, your private driver meets you at the hotel lobby and transfers you to the Leningradsky train station for your departure to Saint-Petersburg. At the train station, you board the modern high-speed Sapsan train (Business class tickets are included) that takes you to Moscow in comfort and safety in just 4 hours. A meal onboard the train is included. Upon arrival, you are met by your private guide, who takes you on an amazing panoramic city tour around the most cherished gems of St. Petersburg with your private driver.

You start the tour with a drive along the Nevsky Prospect, the Summer Garden, and after crossing the Neva River you have a chance to see the legendary Cruiser Aurora.

Afterwards, you visit the Peter and Paul Fortress - a burial place of almost all the Russian emperors and empresses from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and his family.

After a scenic drive along the University Embankment, you have a chance to see the Bronze Horseman, an equestrian statue of Peter the Great.

A highlight of the tour is a guided tour of the magnificent St. Isaac's Cathedral, which is known to be the second tallest Orthodox church in the world.

Before arriving to your hotel for check-in, you see some other major sights as the Mariinsky Theater, St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral and the Alexandrinsky Theatre. After check-in, you have the evening at leisure.

Breakfast and meal on the train included.

Day 9
Imperial Porcelain Master Class & Vodka Museum Visit

After breakfast you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and proceed with your private driver to the Imperial Porcelain Factory. The Imperial Porcelain Factory, founded in 1744 in Saint-Petersburg, is the first porcelain factory in Russia and the third oldest in Europe. The museum exhibition showcases porcelain pieces and art objects of the Imperial and Soviet times. Here you also take part in a workshop on porcelain painting under the guidance of experienced painters, after which you get to take home a hand-painted souvenir.

Later this day, you have private guided tour of the Russian Vodka Museum and learn more about a significant part of Russia's culture and the favorite nation's distilled beverage. Enjoy the tour and get to know many fascinating facts about the history of vodka, anecdotes and traditions related to this drink. After the tour, you have a tasting of three different vodka shots accompanied by traditional Russian snacks. After the tour, you return to your hotel in St. Petersburg and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Breakfast is included.

Day 10
Trip to Pushkin

After breakfast you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and head with your private driver to one of the gems of Russian palatial architecture - the brilliant Catherine's Palace which is located in Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) about an hour south from the center of St. Petersburg.

This striking example of baroque architecture was once gifted by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine I. Later on it serviсed as summer residences to many Russian Emperors and empresses who contributed a lot into its development and further beautification.

During the tour, we walk through the lavish parks and gardens of this outstanding palace and enjoy its gorgeous interiors, including the replica of the world-renowned Amber Room.

After the tour, you return to your hotel in St. Petersburg and have the rest of the day free.

Breakfast is included.

Day 11
Tour of the Hermitage Museum, Savior on Spilled Blood & Saint-Petersburg by Night Tour

Following breakfast you meet your guide at the hotel lobby and walk to the legendary Hermitage Museum along the Nevsky Prospect and admire the Kazan Cathedral and the Admiralty building along the way.

The Hermitage Museum houses its unique collection of world art, including the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, El Greco, Francisco Goya and Thomas Gainsborough in the halls of the Winter Palace.

You then cross the Palace square to enter the General Staff Building which houses Hermitage's superb collection of Modern European Art, primarily consisting of the world-famous French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.

After a short break for coffee, you explore the Palace Square, have a tour of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, which stands where Russia's great emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded.

You then walk to the Arts Square and explore its beautiful ensemble including the Mikhailovsky Palace and the Mikhailovsky Theater.

After the tour, you walk to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Late in the evening, around midnight, your guide meets you at the hotel lobby and takes you on an exciting walk to marvel at the city center in absolutely different evening colors and witness the famous drawing bridges. Tonight you get to see the magically illuminated buildings as well as the opening of the most beautifully lit bridges in the very city center that takes place at around 1 a.m. every night from April to November.

Breakfast is included.

Day 12
Trip to Peterhof

It is impossible to imagine a trip to St. Petersburg without a visit to the famous Russian Versailles - the glorious Peterhof! And today you travel with your private guide and driver to the outskirts of St. Petersburg to explore the former summer residence of Russian Tsars.

During the tour you visit the famous Bath Cottage, which offers a fascinating insight into everyday life of Russian court, take a walk in the beautiful Lower Park, lavishly adorned with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, and explore the Grand Palace (from the outside).

The highlight of the tour is a unique hydrofoil ride back to St. Petersburg. Upon your return to the city, your private driver transfers you to the hotel and you have the rest of the day at leisure.

Breakfast is included.

Day 13
Day at Leisure & Train to Petrozavodsk

Following breakfast and check-out you have some free time to continue exploring the city on your own or sign up for one of our carefully planned optional tours.

In the late afternoon, you have a transfer to the train station for your train to Petrozavodsk. Upon arrival, walk to the hotel for check-in and have a good rest before your trip to Kizhi, planned for the next day.

Breakfast is included.

Day 14
Kizhi Island Tour

Today after breakfast meet your guide and walk to the pier along the embankment to board a hydrofoil that takes you to the breathtaking miracle of wooden architecture - Kizhi Island, where some scenes of the Anna Karenina movie were filmed. The duration of the transfer is about 1.5 hours.

Upon arrival, you have a tour of the Open Air Museum Kizhi. During your walking tour, you explore its famous Pogost including the dazzling 22-domed Transfiguration Church built without a single nail, beautiful windmills, and ancient Russian wooden houses. After a short lunch stop, you visit a local carpentry restoration center.

In the afternoon after the tour, you depart back to Petrozavodsk and have the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Please note: the trip to Kizhi Island is subject to weather conditions. Hydrofoil to Kizhi Island is scheduled from May 15th to October 15th. Hovercraft for the winter period is scheduled from January 15 to April 1st. 

Breakfast is included.

Day 15
Exploring Karelian Traditional Village Life & Departure to St. Petersburg

Following breakfast and check-out, meet your private guide and embark on a tour to Karelian Villages Pryzha and Kinerma.

The first stop on the route is an ethnographic center in Pryazha Village. Here you get to listen to a live performance of the folk songs in Karelian language and witness a demonstration of traditional local musical instruments including kantele.

Continue to Kinerma village, where you meet a hostess for a welcoming tea ceremony with kalitki (Karelian traditional small pies) and varenye (whole-fruit jam). Stroll along the village to observe the houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries according to the local traditions and enjoy the beauty of Karelian nature.

After the tour, you are taken to the train station where you board a train back to St. Petersburg. Upon arrival you have a transfer to the hotel.

Breakfast and welcoming tea ceremony treats included.

Day 16
Departure

This is the final day of your amazing trip to Russia! After breakfast you check out from your hotel and meet your private driver who takes you to the airport for your flight back home.

We hope you've enjoyed both magnificent Russian capitals and return home with lifelong memories and unforgettable impressions. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips.

Breakfast is included.


Included

15 nights in centrally-located 4 and 5-star hotels

  • Hand picked hotels
  • Best location for sightseeing
  • Breakfasts
15 nights in centrally-located 4 and 5-star hotels

Always included:

  • Best location for sightseeing
  • Breakfasts
  • All taxes and fees

What's Included
  • Accommodation at remarkable 5-star hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and 4-star hotels in Suzdal and Petrozavodsk;
  • Breakfasts at the hotels;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary;
  • Rich sightseeing tours with professional English-speaking guides;
  • Entrances fees to Sergiev Posad Lavra, Museum of Wooden Architecture, Dormition Cathedral, St. Basil's Cathedral, Tretyakov Gallery, Kremlin territory & Amber Chamber, Novodevichy Convent, Moscow subway, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress, Hermitage Museum, Bath Cottage and Lower Park in Peterhof, Pushkin Park and Catherine's Palace, Open-air Museum of Kizhi, Ethnography center;
  • 1st class tickets for Radisson boat ride on Moskva river;
  • Private boat ride in Saint-Petersburg;
  • Hydrofoil ride from Peterhof to Saint-Petersburg;
  • Business class high-speed Sapsan train tickets from Moscow to St. Petersburg;
  • Regular class high-speed Lastochka train tickets between St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk;
  • Full Russian visa processing service for US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens and visa support service (invitation) for customers from all other countries;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

Not included: international flights, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.

Tour Highlights
  • Fully tailor-made program according to your interest;
  • Your own professional local guides and drivers;
  • High-speed train transportation between cities;
  • Discover architectural treasures of ancient Russia on a 2-days Golden Ring tour;
  • Touch history in the red-walled Kremlin of Moscow and cobblestone Red Square with your experienced guide in the capital of Russia;
  • Trace the vital milestones in the history of Russian art by witnessing the masterpieces at the Tretyakov Gallery;
  • Enjoy unique activities, including a Russian Cooking Class, an Imperial Porcelain Master Class, as well as a guided visit to the Vodka Museum;
  • Marvel at the grandeur of the former residence of Russian tsars and the vast collection of finest art from all over the world on your tour of the Hermitage Museum;
  • Perceive the nature and the contrast of styles of lavish gardens of Peterhof and Pushkin during a leisure walk with your guide.
  • Explore the wonders of Karelia Region, including the famous Kizhi Island and its wooden Pogost, the city of Petrozavodsk, and a Karelian traditional village.
What to Know
  • Russian climate may be unpredictable and weather can be quite harsh even during summers, bringing a water-resistant jacket, umbrella, and some warm clothes is a must.
  • Debit and credit cards are accepted in most places in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and there are plenty of ATMs if you need some cash for meals and tips.
  • Usual tip size in restaurants is 10% of the check. Recommended tips for guides and drivers is $8-12 per day for a great level of service.

Dates & Rates

Package type Price
Friends Trip (4+ travelers)
$5,312
Deposit $1,063
Two travelers: double occupancy
$5,914
Deposit $1,183

Note: The prices are valid for the tour starting on Mondays, excluding May 27, 2019.

Package type Price
Friends Trip (4+ travelers)
$5,312
Deposit $1,063
Two travelers: double occupancy
$5,914
Deposit $1,183

Map


Reviews

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

Amazing!! This was probably one of the best trips I have had overseas

Amazing!! This was probably one of the best trips I have had overseas. It was my mother's first ever trip out of the US. She loved it! The Classic Moscow & St. Petersburg tours were well organized and provided great pictures and lots of information. Our tour guide in Moscow was awesome. And our tour guide in St ...

Read more
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

The Volga Dream Cruise met or even exceeded our expectations

I really enjoyed the trip. We were very pleased with the hotels in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The accommodations were good and the breakfasts were lavish. But the best part was that both hotels were so well located. The guides in both cities were knowledgeable. The Hermitage was so crowded that it made it difficult to ...

Read more
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords with Helsinki and St. Petersburg

Thank you for planning the trip of a lifetime. Everyone in our group had a great time on the trip. The itinerary that you have planned for us was just what we were hoping. We were already excited about the trip after receiving the itinerary. The trip more than exceeded our expectations. Read more

More Firebird Tours reviews

Reviews

Julie Glass

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

Amazing!! This was probably one of the best trips I have had overseas

Amazing!! This was probably one of the best trips I have had overseas. It was my mother's first ever trip out of the US. She ...

Read more

Linda Snowman

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

The Volga Dream Cruise met or even exceeded our expectations

I really enjoyed the trip. We were very pleased with the hotels in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The accommodations were good...

Read more

Mark Liang

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords with Helsinki and St. Petersburg

Thank you for planning the trip of a lifetime. Everyone in our group had a great time on the trip. The itinerary that you ...

Read more

More Firebird Tours reviews


E.g., Nov 16 2018