St Petersburg has to be seen with your own eyes. A stunning destination and the most European of Russian cities, nestled amongst islands, bridges and waterways, overflowing with history and art that has helped shape the world.
- 5 days
- Approx. 4 hrs
- The Hermitage & Palace Square
- Peter and Paul Fortress
- Catherine Palace
- Nevsky Prospekt & River Neva
- Yusupov 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 Russia, night tour
Depart on your flight to Russia. Arrive in St Petersburg, usually late afternoon, where your local TCBC representative will meet you and accompany you by coach to your hotel for check-in.
Subject to timings we can organise a brief night tour of this beautiful city, regarded as the most westernised of Russia's cities. Established in 1703 by Peter the Great, who took his lead from cities such as Venice and Amsterdam following extensive European travel and education, discover how the location of St Petersburg allowed Peter to deploy his skill as a ship-builder and establish a navy.
Peter desired that his new city be surrounded by water and a shining example of art and culture throughout Europe and the rest of Russia. Touring this city provides a fabulous way to evaluate whether he achieved this and to what extent westernisation took hold during his reign.
St Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia until 1918. Learn why its name was changed to Petrograd, then Leningrad and most recently back to St Petersburg in 1991.
Day 2 - 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 3 - 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 4 - Local school, Political History museum
Subject to travel dates, we can arrange for you to visit a local school this morning. Take a tour of the facilities, sit in on a class and have the opportunity to discuss and compare your methods of education with Russian students and teachers over a cup of tea.
Later on, explore the highly-regarded Political History Museum, founded in 1919 and dedicate to telling the stories of famous Russian politicians, revolutionaries and party leaders. Located in a historical part of the city centre in a building which in 1917 housed the headquarters of the Bolshevik revolutionists and was very often visited by famous Bolsheviks such as Lenin and Stalin.
Current exhibitions and displays focus on the main political, economic and cultural changes of Russia in the 19th-21st centuries and the turning points of Russian history. Don’t miss the stunning exhibitions on the division between utopia and reality in Soviet Russia, and the in-depth exploration of the Revolution.
Day 5 - 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 of booking until your return home
We will help you every step of the way with your visa application
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 guide in 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 hotel, twin rooms for students and single rooms for teachers
Breakfasts and dinners daily at the hotel, but sometimes in local city centre restaurants depending on your schedule
Guided tours of Peter and Paul Fortress, the Hermitage, Yusupov Palace, Political History Museum, 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 St Petersburg 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 St Petersburg 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 St Petersburg are used to working with our school groups and meet our high standards
Park Inn Pribaltiskaya
Personally audited by TCBC staff. 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 Nikolayevsky 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.
TCBC staff last visited this hotel in August 2018. A brand new hostel in St Petersburg and Meininger's first in Russia. Located in the same building as the Holiday Inn Sadovaya, it's also right next to the lovely canals, bridges and St Nicholas Cathedral whilst being a short coach ride to the very centre of the city.
It's quirky and colourful inside and because it's new it feels more like a hotel than a hostel, something that's reflected in the accommodation prices. The only difference you would notice is that the rooms have dorm beds and less facilities, but still the hostel has all you need to enjoy your stay in St Petersburg.
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.
Another excellent trip. Thank you for your guidance and incredibly efficient service before going. Your guides were exceptional out there - they really brought the Russian story to life.