Step outside the classroom to explore Moscow and St Petersburg. Our signature 6 day tour is designed to inspire and impress, with a packed itinerary and value for money, this is a fantastic opportunity to take your students on a school trip of a lifetime.
- 6 days
- Approx. 4 hrs
- Red Square
- Lenin's Mausoleum
- The Kremlin
- Overnight train journey
- The Hermitage
- Catherine Palace
For the latest travel advice, including passport and visa information, visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website
All our itineraries can be fully customised to meet your learning objectives, budget and required trip length
Day 1 - Fly to Moscow, night tour, metro
Depart on your flight to Russia. Arrive in Moscow, usually late afternoon, where your local TCBC representative will meet you and accompany you by coach to your hotel for check-in.
Tonight, after dinner, enjoy an introduction to the heart and soul of Moscow. Head to Red Square, framed by the impressive Kremlin walls, GUM department store, St Basil's Cathedral and the State Historical Museum. Learn why it's referred to as "Red" Square (nothing to do with the colour!) and explore the significance of this spectacular Square in representing the nature of government in Russia and the impact of war. Imagine the Square in use in November 1941 with tanks heading off to the front line in WW2 and also in 1945 for the victory parade with Nazi flags being trampled underfoot.
You may also have the opportunity to stroll over to the beautiful Zaryadye Park, opened at the end of 2017 on the spot where the infamous Hotel Rossiya used to stand, and walk out over the impressive floating bridge which appears to hover over the Moskva River for stunning views of the Kremlin and St Basil's.
Then step back in time to Soviet days, by riding the famous Moscow Metro, a series of underground palaces resplendent with chandeliers, marble, granite and mosaics, a Communist showpiece. Much of the system was designed in the 1920s and 1930s by engineers from the London Underground, who were subsequently deported in 1933 for “espionage”, ending all business relationships between the UK and the USSR.
Day 2 - Lenin's Mausoleum, City tour, Gulag museum
This morning, see first-hand how significant Lenin’s overthrow of the Provisional Government and subsequent totalitarian rule is in Russian history by visiting him – now the world’s most famous mummy – in his mausoleum, a great example of Soviet monumental architecture. This is the final resting place of the former Soviet leader, whose body has been on display here since 1924 - consider if you think he will ever be moved?
Then travel through Moscow by coach, passing some of the most famous landmarks - the Bolshoi Theatre, the sombre Lubyanka building that was KGB headquarters, the spectacular Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, reconstructed after originally being converted into a swimming pool for 40 years, all the while keeping an eye out for Stalin’s “Seven Sisters” skyscrapers on the horizon.
Stroll through Novodevichy Cemetery, the resting place of some of Russia's most influential leaders and notable citizens including Khrushchev, Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov, Stalin's wife and more recently, Yeltsin.
Later on visit the Gulag Museum and experience some of the chill of life in the Gulags in this informative and hands-on museum, focusing on the politically repressive Stalin period of the 1930s to 1950s.
Day 3 - The Kremlin, Stalin's Bunker, Izmailovsky Park, overnight train
Today, explore the interior of the mighty Kremlin, the historical and political centre of Moscow. As you enter this powerful fortress through one of the imposing towers, try to spot the iconic red stars that replaced the gilded eagles which had symbolised Imperial Russia.
After lunch, get into the mindset of Stalin by visiting his secret bunker hidden underneath a sports stadium built as a ‘cover’ for his project – the inclusion of Stalin’s objects and the styling of the bunker allows students to form their own opinions on this powerful and highly controversial leader.
Then explore Izmailovsky souvenir market, a vast outdoor bazaar, for those last minute quintessential Russian souvenirs such as hats, military watches, lacquer boxes and matryoshka dolls.
Tonight, take the 8 hour train journey from Moscow to St Petersburg. A highlight of the trip, there's something special about travelling through the Russian countryside on this most traditional form of transport with the rocking motion gently lulling you to sleep.
Day 4 - Arrive St Petersburg, City tour, Peter and Paul Fortress
Travel by coach around St Petersburg stopping at some of the most famous landmarks. Admire the Church of the Spilled Blood, rivalling the beauty of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow and built on the very spot where Alexander II was assassinated. Pass the beautiful Kazan Cathedral, outside of which the first political demonstration by workers’ associations in Russia took place, in 1876.
See the statue depicting Peter the Great as a skilled horseman, now a symbol of the city, and named the Bronze Horseman after Pushkin's influential poem about it. It was commissioned by Catherine the Great as a way of legitimising her claim to the throne and linking herself with Peter’s power. Then take a closer look at the battleship Aurora, now permanently moored in St Petersburg and which fired the blank shot which signalled the start of the 1917 October Revolution.
Later, cross the River Neva to tour the historic Peter and Paul Fortress, used as a prison in the late 1800s and a prison and execution ground following the 1917 Revolution. Learn why Peter the Great selected this location as ideal for the foundation of St Petersburg in 1703. The Cathedral on the island, with its iconic golden spire, is the burial place for nearly all Russian Tsars. In 1998, the remains of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family were finally buried here.
Day 5 - Hermitage, Palace Square, Yusupov Palace
Today enjoy a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum, located on the banks of the River Neva and established in 1764 by Empress Catherine II to house a large number of Western European paintings she had purchased. Now it is one of the biggest and finest art galleries in the world, with a collection of over 3 million exhibits including masterpieces from celebrated artists such as da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse. Your guide will introduce you to the most important works of art since you would need several years to see everything!
The permanent museum display occupies five buildings (including the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Theatre) together forming a brilliant architectural ensemble framing St Petersburg's central square - Palace Square. Many significant events took place here, including the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1905 and parts of the 1917 October Revolution.
After lunch, make your way to a quiet stretch of the Moika to visit Yusupov Palace, one of the most sumptuous palaces in St Petersburg. It belonged to the wealthy and respected Yusupov family and walking around you will understand some of the reasons why there was an uprising against the rich. The Palace is also known for being the scene of Rasputin's murder in December 1916. A self proclaimed holy man, Rasputin's death was an even bigger mystery than his life itself and a small exhibition guides you through the tragic tale.
Day 6 - WWII Memorial, Catherine Palace, fly home
After check out, stop off in Victory Square to see the world-famous Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, built in the 1970s, to commemorate those who helped defend Leningrad during the infamous 900 day siege of WW2.
Continue on to the village of Pushkin, often referred to as Tsarskoye Selo (Royal Village) as this was its original name when founded in the 18th century as the summer residence of the Russian Tsars. Pushkin studied here for six years and the town was renamed after him to commemorate his tragic death in 1937. The resplendent Catherine Palace dates back to the 18th century when architect Rastrelli was commissioned by Catherine to rebuild the original summer palace.
Nowadays Catherine Palace has become world-renowned for its elegant architecture, both on the exterior and interior, and its beautifully landscaped parks and ponds. One of the highlights is the Amber Room, an entire room decorated solely in amber. Left in a bad state by the Nazis after 1945, with most of the original amber missing, it has been meticulously restored to its former glory with the help of German funding. Students can gain an understanding of the long-lasting impact of war on property.
Later on, transfer to Pulkovo airport for your flight home.
Full TCBC support from the moment you book until you return home
Help every step of the way with the visa application process
We'll source the best available flights based on your school's location
Our experienced local guides will be with you all day, every day
You'll have all our necessary contact details to hand should the need arise
Detailed itinerary, with all entrance fees included, no hidden costs
Includes your group invitation, support letter, processing fees, consular fees and support throughout the application process and provision of biometric data
Return flights, 1 piece of hold luggage per person, airport taxes and security charges and ATOL Protection Contribution
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure with your local TCBC guide. We can also arrange your UK airport transfers if you wish
Experienced local TCBC guides in Moscow and St Petersburg for all your excursions. Will accompany your group full time from early morning until late evening
Coach, fitted with seat belts, at your disposal throughout, including evenings
4 nights accommodation at 3 or 4 star hotels, twin rooms for students and single rooms for teachers
Overnight train between Moscow and St Petersburg, 4 berth. We buy any remaining berths to keep your group's compartments private.
Breakfasts and dinners daily at hotels, but sometimes in local city centre restaurants depending on your schedule
Guided tours of Red Square, Lenin’s Mausoleum, the Kremlin, Novodevichy Cemetery, Gulag museum, Moscow metro and Stalin’s Bunker
Guided tours of Peter and Paul Fortress, the Hermitage, Yusupov Palace, Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad and Catherine Palace
All entrance fees are included, there will be no hidden costs. The only money your students will need on tour will be for lunches and souvenirs.
24 hour emergency contact details of TCBC's office and your local guide's mobile number
The normal free staff place ratio is 1:10 but this is flexible and we'll work to whichever ratio you require
We'll visit your school and give a presentation to parents before departure. We introduce TCBC, run through the itinerary and what to expect and answer any questions
Free to download tour app to take with you on tour, providing you and group with important tour info
We support the Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund and make a small contribution to their organisation from each tour that travels with us
Please check at school to ensure you are covered by an adequate travel insurance policy which we will need to see a copy of. We can help you source cover if you need
We generally don't include lunches unless requested. We prefer to let the students explore the local options and choose for themselves
If you feel you have received excellent service, then our local guides and drivers will appreciate being tipped. Guidelines will be outlined in your quote
Event availability isn't usually known at the time of booking. We will inform you of ballet, opera, circus, folklore show and sports event options closer to departure
Whether you teach History, Politics, Economics, Art, MFL or Religious Studies, we can design a Russia itinerary to suit your curriculum requirements.
Together with our Education Advisor Ruth Tarrant, we have compiled useful links that show how the sights visited on your tour specifically relate to your students' studies. These will be very helpful when you come to submit the tour for approval at school.
It's important that your tour meets your learning objectives. Please feel free to download our handy introduction describing all the ways a trip to Russia can be linked to the curriculum.
We have also prepared much more detailed specifications relating to particular modules. Simply enter your name and email address, select the module you'd like and we'll send it over.
The hotels we use in Russia are used to working with our school groups and meet our high standards
Holiday Inn Tagansky
Personally audited by TCBC staff in April 2018, this is a bright, modern hotel, located in central Moscow, 15 minutes drive from St Basil's Cathedral and Red Square. This hotel has a European feel with all the comforts you would expect from a Holiday Inn. The rooms are a good size, clean, comfortable and even come with a pillow menu. There is free wifi throughout and a wide choice of food for all diets at the tasty breakfast and dinner buffets.
TCBC has an excellent relationship with this hotel and we use it regularly for our groups. It may be a little more pricey than other accommodation options but the schools who have stayed here have felt it well worth it.
Personally audited by TCBC staff in April 2018. A Soviet institution, designed by French architects for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and with a huge statue of Charles de Gaulle right on its doorstep, the best way to describe this huge hotel is "4 star lobby, 2 star rooms", giving it an average of 3 stars. Some of the rooms are exactly as they were almost 40 years ago!
Located on busy Prospekt Mira in the North of Moscow, there is a metro station right outside with a direct line to Red Square. Even though the hotel is undergoing a period of renovation floor by floor and has a fantastic team of people working behind the scenes, you can still enjoy a traditional Soviet experience staying at this hotel.
A highlight of the trip! Gently make your way across the Russian countryside on this 8 hour overnight train ride. Students are roomed in 4 berth compartments with 2 lower and 2 upper bunks. At first sight, the compartments may appear small, however it's a miracle how much you can fit in them, including 4 students and their luggage.
There are no showers on the overnight train. Restrooms are at each end of the carriages with 9 compartments per carriage. There is an attendant in each carriage to take care of all your needs and each compartment door locks in 2 places to keep your students secure.
Park Inn Pribaltiskaya
Personally audited by TCBC staff in April 2018. Our most popular accommodation in St Petersburg, this hotel is located on Vasilyevsky Island, overlooking the Gulf of Finland, about a 20 minute drive from the heart of the city. Whilst very Soviet in appearance, the interior has been very much westernised and recently renovated.
The rooms are modern and comfortable, there is free wifi throughout and there is a wide choice of food at the breakfast buffet. There are many common areas suitable for holding group meetings, quizzes etc. With a supermarket on the doorstep, this hotel provides all the facilities to ensure you a pleasant stay in St Petersburg.
Holiday Inn Sadovaya
TCBC staff stayed at this hotel in August 2018. A brand new hotel in a picturesque area of St Petersburg, on the banks of a canal where 7 bridges meet and just opposite St Nicholas Cathedral, named after the patron saint of travel.
There are only 2 floors of accommodation, but very long corridors. As you would expect the rooms are all new, modern and clean with every comfort. Free wifi throughout is standard. The breakfast has a good variety of choice and best of all, you and your students can pack up a "grab and go" bag for the morning/lunch in case you get a little peckish.
Help with your visa application
We have years of experience of dealing with Russian visa applications. We'll guide you through the process and make things as simple as possible.
Our 6th visit to Russia was the best yet, TCBC continuing to improve the itinerary year on year, finding new museums and excursions to educate and entertain. We felt thoroughly looked after by our guides and by TCBC before our departure. Taking 30 teenagers away is a big responsibility and TCBC make it seem a lot easier, thank you!