Standing on Red Square, looking at the mighty Kremlin, is one of those moments that will stay with you forever. Feel a sense of Russian history that cannot be experienced in the classroom. This 5 day Moscow tour is an exciting introduction to Russia's dynamic, powerful and grandiose capital.
Paul Jelinski History TeacherSee all
- History & Politics
- Religious Studies
- Russian Language
- Art & Design
- History of the Russian Empire
- Rise of Lenin, the Bolshevik government and Communism
- Creation of the Soviet Union
- Soviet space race
- The Great Patriotic War
- Stalin's USSR
- The Cold War
- The Fall of Communism and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union
- International & Russian art
- Developing Russian language, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills
- Learning about Russian culture
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Imagine standing with your students on Red Square. Imagine the expressions on their faces as their gaze sweeps 360 degrees across the mighty red Kremlin walls past Lenin's Mausoleum to the distinctive building that is the History Museum, on to GUM and finally back to the stunning Russian Orthodox masterpiece that is St Basil's Cathedral.
Taking your students to Moscow, one of Europe's most unique and exciting destinations, will give them a valuable learning experience. It is sure to be one of those life events they will never forget. They will hear about Russia’s intriguing history, discover its rich culture and experience its architectural heritage.
Your guide will regale you with stories of the Bolshoi Theatre, the former KGB building, Lubyanka square and the White House as you travel around Moscow by coach, stopping here and there for unmissable photo opportunities. Walk through the Kremlin grounds and tour the impressive Armoury museum. Enjoy a guided tour of the thorough Contemporary History Museum and learn how important the race for space was for the Soviets as you visit the interactive Cosmonaut Museum. With time for souvenir shopping at Izmailovsky Market and a ride on the world-renowned Moscow Metro, your students will return home with a feeling that they have really experienced the very best that Moscow has to offer.
For a detailed outline please see the "Suggested Itinerary" section of this page. It is important to note that we can customise your time in Moscow to suit you and your budget. If you'd like more of a Cold War focus, why not consider the Cold War Bunker, or more those artists in your group we would highly recommend a visit to the Tretyakov Art Gallery. If you'd like to emphasise the Russian culture then we can arrange ballet, opera, ice hockey tickets closer to departure and even a visit to a traditional Russian circus performance. However we shape your itinerary this is sure to be a valuable learning experience for all your students.
What is Included
- Full Russian visa fees (support letter, group invitation, processing fees, consular fee, application support)
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure in Russia with your local TCBC guide
- Experienced local TCBC guide in Moscow for all excursions
- Transportation to all scheduled activities by coach fitted with seat belts
- Coach at your disposal each evening if required
- 4 nights twin room accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels
- Breakfasts and dinners daily
- Free staff places as requested
- ROOF charity donation
- Comprehensive guided sightseeing tour of Moscow, including Red Square and Novodevichy Cemetery
- Lenin's Mausoleum (closed Mondays and Fridays)
- Kremlin guided tour, including visit inside 1 cathedral
- Guided tour of the Armoury
- Contemporary History Museum guided tour
- Moscow Metro tour
- Novodevichy Cemetery guided tour
- Cosmonaut Museum guided tour
- Visit to Izmailovsky souvenir market
- Entrance fees to all included activities
- 24 hour emergency contact numbers
What is not Included
- Flights (see FAQs)
- Medical, trip cancellation / interruption or baggage insurance (see FAQs)
- UK airport transfers (unless requested)
- Gratuities for local guides, drivers and Tour Manager (see FAQs)
- Tickets for evening activities (see FAQs)
5 DAYS - AT A GLANCE
- Day oneArrive, check in, Red Square at night
- Day twoLenin's Mausoleum, Red Square, Old Arbat street, Contemporary History Museum
- Day threeThe Kremlin, Armoury, Metro, Novodevichy Cemetery
- Day fourCosmonaut Museum, Izmailovsky Market
- Day fiveCheck out, flight home
MOSCOW 5 DAYS
Since we specialise in Russia, we can be very flexible with our itineraries. A suggested standard itinerary is described below, however we regularly customise aspects of the trip to suit your curriculum or personal preferences. Please contact us to discuss your needs further and to get a free quote.
DAY 1 - FLY TO RUSSIA
Depart on your flight to Russia. Arrive in Moscow where your local TCBC representative will meet you and accompany you by coach to your hotel for check-in. Following dinner at the hotel, enjoy an introduction to the heart and soul of Moscow as you take a walking tour of breathtaking Red Square at night! Feel the unique atmosphere whilst surrounded by the walls of the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the famous department store GUM. Please note: Red Square by night can be switched to another evening depending on your flight times today.
DAY 2 - LENIN, RED SQUARE, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORY
This morning visit Lenin's Mausoleum on Red Square, his final resting place, (for the moment), whose body has been on display here since 1924. Enjoy a little free time to soak up history and experience standing on Red Square which should actually be translated as "Beautiful Square" from the old Russian. You will also have some time to peek inside GUM, now a high end shopping mall filled with the latest in luxury designer goods, before continuing on your sightseeing tour of Moscow by coach. Pass the world famous Bolshoi Theatre, the sombre building that housed the KGB and the spectacular Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, recently reconstructed after originally being converted into a swimming pool for 40 years! Head to Old Arbat street for lunch and some free time. The Arbat is one of Moscow’s most popular meeting and shopping spots. Here you will find cafes, art galleries, antique stores, souvenir stalls and portrait painters. This afternoon tour the Contemporary History Museum, formerly known as the Museum of the Revolution. This museum reflects upon the most important events affecting Russian society over the past century, concentrating on the transition from Tsarist rule to a Soviet regime. On display are details of many famous politicians, statesmen, eminent scientists, writers, artists and actors, with many examples of Stalinist propaganda and exhibits on the revolution, political struggles and the Russian cultural life of that era. The museum is located in the very centre of Moscow on Tverskaya street in a building which used to house the Moscow English Club between 1831 and 1917. In the evening why not test your bowing skills against your fellow travellers at a local bowling alley (not included, please see "Recommended Activities")
DAY 3 - THE KREMLIN, ARMOURY, METRO & NOVODEVICHY
Start today with a guided tour of the awe-inspiring Kremlin, the historical and political centre of the city, the beating heart of Moscow, and now also one of the most famous museums in the world. The word "kreml" in Russian means "fortress" and that is exactly what this complex is, strategically located on a hill by the banks of the river Moskva. Once inside the Kremlin tourists must follow a well-trodden and guarded route. Much of it is out of bounds, understandably, with most of the interesting stuff hidden well beneath the ground. However you can see the mighty walls and imposing towers of this powerful fortress, the Tsar's Bell and Tsar's Cannon, as well as visit one of the Cathedrals, all of which are wonderfully maintained monuments of Russian church architecture with unique richly decorated interiors and sparkling gold leafed domes. Then tour the splendid Armoury, one of the oldest museums in Russia. As well as housing thousands of exhibits of Russian, Eastern and Western artwork spanning several centuries, the Armoury proudly displays a staggering collection of royal regalia and wealth. You will see immaculately preserved royal carriages from different centuries, ceremonial weapons and arms, tsar's thrones, crowns and coronation dress, Catherine the Great's dresses and many impressive examples of gold and silver craftsmanship, including Faberge Eggs. After lunch, take a ride on the famous Moscow Metro, one of the world's largest public transportation systems with 9 million passengers daily. Many stations are works of art and your guide will show you the highlights as you speed through underground museums replete with chandeliers, mosaics, statues and marble. Then continue your city sightseeing tour with a visit to Sparrow Hills to enjoy the fabulous views of Moscow from the world-renowned University wedding cake building. Make a stop at New Maiden's Convent to admire the shining domes and stroll through Novodevichy Cemetery, the resting place of many notable Russian citizens including Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov, Stalin's wife, Khrushchev, Shostakovich and more recently, Yeltsin. Tonight, for a real traditional cultural experience, why not visit the Moscow Circus, one of the Russians’ favourite forms of entertainment. (not included and depends on schedule and availability)
DAY 4 COSMONAUT MUSEUM, IZMAILOVSKY MARKET
This morning visit the Cosmonaut Museum, located opposite the Hotel Cosmos by the All-Russia Exhibition Centre at VDNKh. An extremely impressive museum, it documents the early days of space exploration until present day, with interesting and detailed displays from the stuffed Belka and Strelka (the first dogs to return safely from space), to the iconic Yuri Gagarin, to a fun explanation as to how astronauts survive a journey into space. This is a very interactive experience for your students and will give them a very good understanding of the space race and why the Soviets valued it so highly. In the afternoon head to Izmailovsky souvenir market, located in the north-east of Moscow, a vast outdoor bazaar, jam-packed with quintessential Russian souvenirs - hats, military watches, lacquer boxes, wooden handicraft, chess sets, amber, matryoshka dolls and much more. This is a place where shopping dreams come true! Tonight why not take in an opera or ballet performance at one of Moscow's famous theatres? (not included and depends on availability)
DAY 5 RETURN HOME
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home. There may be some free time for further activities this morning, depending on your flight time.
There are some excellent museums and sights to add to your itinerary to make it just right for your students and your syllabus. The most popular ones are listed below. For evening activities, please scroll to the bottom of the list.
Only recently opened as a tourist attraction, this highly secretive former bunker lies 65 metres underground. You have the option of taking the lift or walking down (and up!) the 18 flights of stairs. It was built to withstand a nuclear attack and could be sealed off at a moment's notice with huge blast doors. You get a real sense of what life was like for the 2500 employees who worked down there at the height of the Cold War, mostly involved with telecommunications. It's a very interactive visit. You watch a documentary about the Cold War, then your students will take part in a missile launch, learn how to use the old telephone switchboards and enjoy a nice surprise when they turn the lights off and sound the air raid sirens! Bunker 42 is a symbol of the greatness and power of the Motherland and an object of pride for the heroic efforts of those who built it. At the same time it serves as a memory of the futility of the arms race and the necessity to strive for world peace.
The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War is located in Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill. It is dedicated to World War II, referred to in Russia as the "Great Patriotic War", and honours the thousands of heroes of the Soviet Union awarded during the war and at the same time, the millions of Soviets who died in the war. It also displays numerous exhibits about the war including dioramas of key battles. Victory Park is an open air museum featuring fountains, a memorial obelisk, military vehicles, tanks, cannons and a triumphal arch.
A superb visit for those groups with an art focus. The State Tretyakov Gallery is a national treasury of Russian & Soviet fine art and one of the greatest museums in the world. It was formed in 1856 and named after its founder, Pavel Tretyakov, who donated his private collection of approximately 2000 works of art to the City of Moscow in 1892. Without Tretyakov's extensive and generous patronage of the arts, many Russian artists would not have been so successful. The main building of the museum is not far from the Kremlin. The collection consists of about 125,000 works of art, including fine examples of 18th century portraits and 19th century Realism. There is also an impressive collection of ancient Russian icons, most notably by Andrei Rublyov.
We have links with several schools in Moscow with whom we can arrange a cultural exchange. They are always delighted to welcome our school groups and more than happy to show you around their school and classrooms. You will meet teachers and local students and share some tea and biscuits whilst comparing your different educational backgrounds. This visit is dependent on your travel dates.
Formerly known as Zagorsk during Soviet times (in memory of the revolutionary Vladimir Zagorsky), Sergiyev Posad is the centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. The city developed in the 15th century around the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius, Russia's most important monastery. The Lavra, on the UN World Heritage List, contains the Holy Spirit Church and the Assumption Cathedral, together with the tomb of Boris Godunov and a treasure chamber of rich tapestries and many objects of liturgical art. Sergiyev Posad is also home to the Moscow Theological Academy, but aside from its religious significance, Sergiyev Posad has been a centre of woodcarving and toymaking since the 15th century. This is a full day excursion and we therefore recommend an extra day in Moscow to allow for this.
We do not include evening activities because theatres will not have released their playbills or sporting fixtures will not have been scheduled at the time of preparing our quote. We do however provide you with a small table of expected ticket costs and will contact you a couple of months before departure with a list of available options. We can purchase ballet and opera tickets for your group, and research sport events for your stay in Russia, including ice hockey, football and basketball games. Below are some of the other more popular activities.
A night at the circus is one of the Russians' favourite and most traditional forms of entertainment. Experience a fantastic performance from talented acrobats, magicians and animal tamers. Please note that Russians do like to see a wide variety of animals perform and some acts may not be to your taste. If you have any doubts, please ask us to give you more details.
Bowling / Curling / Ice Skating
We can arrange for your students to let off some steam by challenging each other to a game of bowls, practising their skills on the ice rink or for something a little different engaging in a small curling contest.
We regularly use the same hotels in Moscow which are very used to working with our school groups and which meet our standards.
A huge hotel designed by a joint team of Soviet and French architects for the 1980 Olympics, a large statue of Charles de Gaulle outside the main entrance testament to this. Located opposite the VDNKh metro station and the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, the Cosmos advertises itself as a 4 star hotel. It would be more appropriate to describe it as having a 4 star lobby with 3 star rooms. The lobby is spacious, with free wifi and recently updated with a small Italian restaurant and a karaoke area (the casino and one arm bandits have all made way). Rooms are typical of those in a Soviet style hotel with minimum furnishings, but are clean and comfortable enough. Those on higher floors have fantastic views of the city. They serve buffet food for breakfast and dinners, and the quality has improved dramatically over the past few years. This hotel is guilty of hiking its prices astronomically when there is an exhibition in town, but it's always busy with groups and provides a good base for exploring Moscow. The Cosmos is ideal for those teachers who want to give their students more of an "authentic experience" when in Moscow.
The Holiday Inn Simonovsky is a few notches up from the Cosmos and whilst this means it is a more expensive alternative, it is not as much as you may think and definitely worth asking for a quote. It's a fairly new, very clean, modern hotel located closer to the centre than the Cosmos. The rooms are pleasant and comfortable, there is even a pillow menu! The buffet style dinners offer a wide variety of options for all diets and there is free wifi in all public areas. The Holiday Inn Simonovsky has more of a European feel to it than the Cosmos, so you do lose the Soviet authenticity and Russian customer service experience but those schools which have chosen to stay here have thought the additional costs worth it.
Below are some handy links to help you plan your trip to Russia. If you find a broken link or have a good addition to this section, please let us know. Please note that we are not responsible for the content of any external links.
Advice from the British Foreign Office on travel to Russia
Vaccination information for people travelling to Russia from the UK
The NHS site dedicated to Healthcare abroad with handy tips and information on the free European Health Insurance Card
A wealth of information about Russia from a geographic perspective
Online portal to apply for your Russian visa
Information on what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint whether at home or when you are travelling.
World Wildlife Fund - Russia
Russia's branch of the worldwide organisation helping to protect what remains of Russia's habitat for plant and wildlife.
How do I get more information or make a booking?
Please contact us here
Where can I find your booking conditions?
Please click here
Are Russian visa fees included?
Do you help with the visa process?
Yes, we do. The application process to obtain a Russian visa can change at a moment's notice and that is why we are close at hand to assist! Currently you need to complete an online application form and print it off to send to our visa partners. Closer to your departure date we will be in touch with a step by step guideline of how to apply. You can now apply for a Russian visa 5 months before departure, and you will need to send off your group's passports for about 3 weeks. Passports should not expire earlier than 6 months after the date of your return from Russia and there should be at least 2 blank pages to allow space for the visa.
Are flights included and what is your ATOL number?
Yes, ATOL 10834
What is your free staff ratio?
We normally include 1 free staff place for every 10 paying participants, but we are flexible with this. Please contact us for more details.
Can you arrange travel insurance?
A fully comprehensive school group travel insurance policy is included as a matter of course in all our quotes. For more information please see our booking conditions.
What is my luggage allowance?
Each airline has different policies on luggage allowance and it is best to visit your airline’s website to check the latest allowance. Here are some of the most popular airline links:
What are the current hand baggage restrictions?
This handy site details what you can and can't carry in your hand baggage, including current restrictions on the quantities of liquids and size and type of hand baggage allowed.
Where can I get the latest travel advice?
For the latest travel advice please visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website
Will I need any vaccinations?
Please click here for up to date travel health information provided by the NHS
What money should I take?
It is preferable to take some Roubles with you to Russia which are now easy to get a hold of in the UK. This will save the whole group needing to withdraw money on arrival, although ATM’s are not difficult to find. Credit cards can be used in many shops nowadays also.
What is the current exchange rate?
Please see this handy currency converter for the latest rates
How much should we budget per day?
All breakfasts, dinners and entrances are included, so you will only need additional money for lunches, souvenirs and snacks. We suggest allowing around £5-£10 per person per day to cover the lunches, snacks and bottled water.
Do we need to tip anybody?
We ask that you recognise the service your receive from your local guides and drivers, and Tour Manager if you have one. We will provide you with a gratuity guideline in our quote.
Are there any hidden expenses?
Never. Our aim is to include as much as possible in our quotes so you can work out exactly how much money your students will need in Russia. There will be no hidden costs on tour - everything will be explained clearly beforehand. There are, however, some items we cannot include this far in advance, for example tickets for evening activities, as these are dependent on schedules and ticket availability which we usually will not know until two months before departure. Nearer your departure time we will look at all the options for your group and inform you of ticket prices. The only other items your students will need extra money for in Russia will be their lunches, snacks and any souvenirs they may wish to buy. Gratuities are not included, but we suggest you collect this money in advance of departure.
Do you organise UK airport transfers?
Yes we do. Just let us know of this requirement at the outset
How will we get around Russia?
In Moscow you will have the use of a coach fitted with seat belts. You can have a guided tour of the local metro system, but no excursions will be run using public transportation.
What is the time difference between the UK and Russia?
Russia is GMT +3hrs
Do I need to take an adaptor plug?
You will need to take a two pin adaptor plug for Russia
What clothes should we bring?
If your tour takes place during Easter or over October half term, the weather in Russia can be unpredictable. It's advisable to pack a good warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves, plus a water proof jacket and sensible shoes. If you are travelling between December and February then we advise you to take those thermals with you. February is generally the coldest month and the thermals will be well used, but the best way to beat the cold is layers, layers, layers. Remember you are likely to be outside a great deal so it's important to bring the correct clothing.
Summer in Russia can be surprisingly warm so it is possible to pack lighter clothing, however always be prepared for the rain. Again, sensible footwear is essential.
Will there be hairdryers in the rooms?
Some hotels do provide hairdryers, but they won't be of the standard you are used to back home. We suggest you bring your own, and to save on luggage space and weight, it's best to get together with your room-mates and bring one hairdryer per room.
Can I drink the water?
We don't recommend you drink the tap water. Bottled water is readily available and we recommend that you use this to brush your teeth. It is fine to shower in the water in Moscow as long as you don't drink the shower water.
What will the food be like?
The food options for tourists in Russia has improved dramatically over the years. There is no comparison between what there once was and what there now is. Moscow is brimming with new trendy cafes, restaurants and fast food options, both foreign and local. This means that there is a wide variety of choice to suit any budget when it comes to lunch for your students. Your local guide will point out the options and make recommendations close to your lunch location and meeting point.
Breakfasts are included daily at the hotel and are buffet style with a good selection of food.
Dinners are either at your hotel or at a city centre restaurant, depending on your sightseeing programme. Hotel dinners are usually buffet style whereas dinners at a restaurant are more likely to be set menu. All cater for vegetarians and any other dietary requirements as long as we can inform them well in advance.
Checklist of essential items to bring
- Passport & visa
- Photocopies of passports
- Spending money (preferably roubles converted before trip)
- Standard European continental power adaptor 220v
- Camera (perhaps suggest not to bring expensive video cameras)
- Hairdryers if not supplied by your hotel (one per room)
- Toiletries and travel tissues
- Medications and supporting prescriptions or letter from your GP
- Food supplements if you are on a special diet
- Small suitcase and daypack