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St Petersburg: Pictures & Palaces

Resort:St Petersburg: Pictures & Palaces
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Russia
Price From: £1640.00

Overview

St Petersburg has remained almost unchanged since it was built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Conceived by Peter the Great as a ‘window to the west’, the city became a living exhibit of Russias status as an important European nation. Designed to impress visitors, St Petersburg is home to sumptuous palaces, impressive cathedrals and numerous museums, including one of the world’s largest and finest – the Hermitage.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to St Petersburg

Fly from direct London (regional connections available) to St Petersburg and transfer to the hotel. After an introductory lecture and welcome dinner, stay 5 nights at the centrally located Ambassador Hotel (or similar), which offers comfortable accommodation in a historic 19th-century building. (N)

Day 2: St Petersburg

Morning city tour, starting at Peter and Pauls Fortress, which is the oldest building in St Petersburg and contains the tombs of the tsars and tsarinas from Peter the Great onwards. Continue to the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood. Built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, the church is noted for its riot of colour, with more than 20 types of mineral used in its decoration. In the afternoon, visit the State Russian Museum, which contains a magnificent collection of Russian art, beautifully displayed in one of Rossis finest neoclassical creations, the Mikhailovsky Palace. (B) (D)

Day 3: St Petersburg

Full-day visit to the Hermitage, with its opulent staterooms and exceptional collection of European masterpieces and impressionist paintings. The visit will include a private tour of the Treasure Gallery (Gold Room), subject to confirmation. (B, D)

Day 4: St Petersburg

Morning visit to the neoclassical Shuvalov Palace, home to the Faberg Museum, the world’s largest single collection of Faberg artefacts. Continue to the baroque Menshikov Palace, built for Peter the Greats advisor. Afternoon at leisure or revisit the Hermitage independently. (B)

Day 5: Pushkin Pavlovsk

Drive to Pushkin on the outskirts of the city to visit Catherine Palace (Tsarskoe Selo), including the Amber Room. Listen to the story of the rooms restoration and watch amber being worked while enjoying a glass of wine. Continue to the Palace at Pavlovsk, designed by Charles Cameron and subsequently expanded by several highly accomplished architects, including Quarenghi and Rossi. Return to your hotel for a farewell dinner. (B, D)

Day 6: Fly to London

Morning visit to Yusupov Palace, which sits on a quiet stretch of the Moika river and was the scene of Rasputins murder. A special visit to the private apartments of Zinaida and Felix has been arranged (subject to confirmation). Transfer to the airport for a flight to London. (B)