An Insider’s View of Russia’s Great Cities

This indispensable introduction to some of Russia’s great cities gives an insider’s view of the real Russia, spotlighting not only the glittering palaces and dignified official edifices of the Russian Empire, but also a birch bark crafts class in historic Novgorod and the unforgettable warmth of a meal in a Russian home.

Please note

This itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Insider’s Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered.

Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    No minimum number of travelers
  • Travels to:
    Russia, Western Russia
  • Private Journey:
    Moscow to St. Petersburg

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Experience Russian hospitality in a private home
    Venture inside a private Russian home for a traditional home-cooked meal of Russian specialties such as blini and borscht....
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  • Wander the halls of one of the world’s great museums
    Marvel at the fabulous collection of art on display in the world-renowned Hermitage Museum....
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  • Tour the Usupoff Palace, where Rasputin spent his last evening
    The Usupoff Palace's interior boasts a marble staircase, crystal chandeliers, gilded candelabras and magnificently painted ceilings; this is where the plot to...
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  • Attend a performance at a renowned St. Petersburg theater
    Enjoy a memorable ballet or opera performance at one of the renowned theaters of St. Petersburg, where some of the world’s finest dancers, composers...
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • 30 years of Western Russia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Russia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • MIR affiliate offices in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk and Ulan Ude
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Moscow

Gather in Moscow, Russia’s capital city. Admire Red Square and the Kremlin, visit UNESCO-listed Novodevichy Convent and tour the opulent stations of the Moscow Metro. Browse the moving collection of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery and tour the Armory Museum, housing Russian treasures. Wander through Izmailovo Park and spend an evening dining in a Russian home.


  • Moscow’s 850-year-old Kremlin and Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The Armory Museum, housing Russia’s national treasures
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Day 4: Klin, Tver, Novgorod

Drive out to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s estate in Klin, where the composer spent the last year of his life. Enjoy a short concert at the estate, then continue on to Tver, the city that Catherine the Great redesigned after it burnt to the ground. Next is Veliky Novgorod (Novgorod the Great), one of Russia’s most ancient cities. Explore its UNESCO-listed kremlin, the medieval market stalls of Yaroslav’s Court and the 11th century St. Sophia Cathedral. Learn from a master craftsman at a hands-on class on traditional Novgorod birch bark crafts.


  • House Museum of Tchaikovsky, with piano concert
  • Neoclassical downtown Tver, built by Catherine the Great
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Days 5-10: St. Petersburg

Drive to St. Petersburg; designed by the best architects and built by the best artisans of the era, St. Petersburg’s architecture displays a rare harmony. Observe the lifestyles of the czars at Catherine’s Palace, with its brilliant blue exterior and carved and gilded interior. Admire the golden gravity-fed fountains at Peterhof. Explore the elegant Usupoff Palace with its jewel-box theater and spend a morning at the world-class Hermitage Museum. The museum survived the ravages of World War II, with most of its enormous collection protected in the basement storage vaults or hidden in cellars throughout the city. Take a stroll along broad Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg’s main street, and enjoy a romantic evening at one of the city’s sophisticated theaters.


  • Historic city center of St. Petersburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Imperial Porcelain Museum and Factory, where the czars’ dishware was made
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices

There are no departures available at this time.

Please contact us for more information and a MIR Destination Specialist will contact you shortly. Thank you!

Please note

This itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Insider’s Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered.

Group Size

This itinerary is available on a custom, private basis. Contact us for more information.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in superior tourist class hotels in central locations.
  • 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners per the itinerary. A few lunches and dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to experiment on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • For groups of four or more travelers, services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met upon arrival and transferred to the airport on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private coach, van, or car (type of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Before Your Tour

  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application and instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange an extended program in St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Baltics or Central Europe before or after your tour. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations we utilize are superior tourist class, please keep in mind that some aspects of the tourism infrastructure in Russia are not up to the standards North American travelers expect. Services are improving in the region; however you may encounter problems with bureaucratic service, road conditions and availability and quality of public restrooms.

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