From icons and onion domes to suprematism and the Stalin baroque, Russian art and architecture seems to many visitors to Russia to be a rather baffling array of exotic forms and alien sensibilities.
In fact, Russian art and architecture are not nearly so difficult to understand as many people think, and knowing even a little bit about why they look the way they do and what they mean brings to life the culture and personality of the entire country.
Arrival to St Pete. Transfer to the hotel from the airport. “I aspire to magnificent liberty, Rush to wonderful place!” - said the poet A.Blok. St Petersburg – is a cradle of Russian culture, one of the most enchanting, romantic and mystical cities of the world. This great city on the Neva river is a unique museum, monument of national glory, founded by Peter the I. We invite you to feel the spirit of history, romance and magic of the marvelous city – Northern Venice!
Breakfast at the hotel included. After that we are going to take the guided excursion to the Russian Art Museum, the first state museum of Russian fine arts in the country. The Russian Museum today is a unique depository of artistic treasures, a famous restoration centre, an authoritative institute of academic research, one of the major cultural and educational centers in Russia, and a research and instructional centre of art museums of the Russian Federation, overseeing activities of 260 art museums in Russia.
"Have you ever been to the Wax Museum? Even if so, you shouldn't miss a chance to visit this one, indeed. Let’s see whether the figures look like real people and whether they resemble those fictional characters whom we imagine. The collection include expositions: The "Bible story", "The Myths of old and new", the "World History", "Cabinet of Curiosities Museum of Wonders" and many others. In the afternoon – transfer to the station and departure for Moscow with fast train Sapsan, which arrives in Moscow 3 hours later.
Welcome to Moscow
Breakfast at the hotel included. One more diamond of Russian Art is waiting for us - Pushkin Fine Art Museum. The exposition of the Museum includes today a vast collection of tinted plaster casts of famous ancient, medieval and Renaissance sculptures and a collection of original works of foreign artists, sculptors and graphics together with objects of decorative arts.
Kremlin, the Heart of Moscow
After breakfast explore the very heart of Moscow on a private walking tour. Walk the Kremlin grounds and enter several cathedrals. Marvel at historic Red Square, and visit the Lenin Mausoleum, the History Museum, and St. Basil’s on this 1,5-hour guided tour. Evening transfer and departure for Yekaterinburg.
Welcome to Yekaterinburg
Evening arrival in Yekaterinburg. Transfer to the central hotel and check-into the room.
After breakfast our guide will meet you at the hotel reception and take you to unique United Museum of Ural Writers, which is situated in Literary Quarter – truly poetic and charming peaceful corner in the center of the city. The complex unites 3 museums in honor of famous Ural writers and Chamber Theater. (all tickets included). Evening departure for Novosibirsk.
Welcome to Novosibirsk
Evening arrival in Novosibirsk. Have a rest after rail journey!
Today we are expect to do the sightseeing tour to the scientific city Akademgorodok (30 km outside the city) – the only scientific city in the world, where all the branches of science are presented. Visit of the famous Geology Museum at Geology Research Institute, Open-Air Train Museum (with collection of the old Trans-Siberian Trains), and the Ob reservoir – an artificial sea.
On Transsib train
Breakfast and check-out of your room. Afternoon departure for Irkutsk.
Welcome to Irkutsk
Late evening arrival in Irkutsk and check-into the room in the Victory hotel.
Pearl of SiberiaWe invite you to see why Irkutsk is called “The Pearl of Siberia” - historical city center, the place of Irkutsk fort building, the “Eternal fire”, Polish church, Spasskaya church, Epiphany cathedral, the museum of the Decembrists, Znamensky convent, the place of Admiral Kolchak death, the embankment of Angara river, monument to Alexander III, the Holy Cross church, one of the highest points in Irkutsk City. There is a great panoramic view of the city from this place. Here you will be able to see how the bell-ringer works and listen to the ringing the old church bells.
You can spend an entire day walking the streets of Irkutsk and not come across two homes that are alike. This city is comprised almost entirely of old, traditional Siberian houses, and each one is completely unique. They often have bright, carved shutters that contrast sharply with the dark wooden exterior.
On the train
In the evening the driver will take you to the train station to catch the train to Vladivostok, one of the high-class expresses. The one who undertakes the trip along the way will necessarily observe all the beauty and charm of Russian nature. You will be passing Ulan-Ude, Chita, Khabarovsk along the way. The trains along Trans Siberian stop only for 5 to 20 minutes. If you decide to go outside, don't miss the hiss as the train might start leaving. We suggest you enjoy your comfortable compartment and amuse yourself with one of the Russian novels from your free Trans-Siberian Kindle.
The Ruler of the East
Early arrival in Vladivostok. In the afternoon we would like to introduce the military history of Vladivostok. This tour will take you back to the years when the Fortress of Vladivostok was guarding the city with all its guns. You will visit two of the old batteries which now serve as the museums. Also you will visit the Voroshilovskaya Battery situated on the territory of the actual military base at Russky Island. You cannot help but admire this outstanding structure erected over 80 years ago. The modern Pacific Navy warships stationed in the heart of Vladivostok will add to the military portrait of the present-day city.
Balance of the morning on your own to explore the city. Check-out of your room. Transfer to the airport. End of the program.