Step outside the classroom on a school trip of a lifetime to 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 to a country they may not visit on their own.
Paul Jelinski History TeacherSee all
- History & Politics
- Religious Studies
- Russian Language
- Art & Design
- Tsarist Russia, Peter the Great
- History of the Russian Empire
- Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917
- Rise of Lenin, the Bolshevik government and Communism
- Creation of the Soviet Union
- Soviet space race
- The Great Patriotic War
- The Siege of Leningrad
- 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
Our latest Russia brochure A note about Russian Visas
Russia is our most popular destination. There is something about a school trip to Russia that is special. There is a little of everything - history, politics, culture and fun, but most of all it opens up your students eyes to a part of the world that often gets more bad press than good. Which is why seeing Russia for yourself is so special.
Our 6 day tour, outlined in the "Suggested Itinerary" section of this page, has been perfected from experience to show you and your students the very best that Moscow and St Petersburg have to offer. Stand on Red Square in front of Lenin's Mausoleum and the Kremlin and feel how the political will of a few can shape the world we live in. Take an overnight train from the current capital to the former capital and visit the Hermitage, home to some of the most exquisite examples of fine art in the world.
With the Tsars, Lenin, Communism, Stalin, the Cold War all making their presence felt at every turn, a trip to Russia is certainly an educational experience and these topics will help bring your classroom to life. But the benefits of visiting Russia are not purely academic, it's a highly cultural experience too. An unusual alphabet, an exotic language, new cuisine, friendly people. All of this helps your students form their own opinions of the people and the country and on their return home will leave them with a real sense that this one was one of the best and most unforgettable experiences of their lives.
We filmed Withington Girls' School on one of their recent trips to Russia with us. The result was a 10 minute movie of their adventure aimed at giving teachers, students and parents a better idea of how beneficial a trip to Russia can be.
What is Included
- Return flights
- 1 piece of hold luggage per person
- Airport taxes and security charges
- ATOL Protection Contribution
- Russian visa group invitation and visa support letter
- Your Russian visas (both processing fees and consular fee)
- Visa application support
- School group travel insurance policy
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure with your local TCBC guide
- Experienced local TCBC guides in Moscow and St Petersburg for all your excursions
- Transportation to all scheduled activities by coach fitted with seat belts
- Coach at your disposal each evening if required
- Overnight train between Moscow and St Petersburg, 4 berth
- Additional berths on night train to avoid students sharing with locals
- 4 nights accommodation at 3 or 4 star hotels
- Twin rooms for students and single rooms for teachers
- Hotel registration fee in St Petersburg
- Breakfasts and dinners daily
- Comprehensive guided sightseeing tour of Moscow, including Red Square and Novodevichy Cemetery
- Lenin’s Mausoleum
- Kremlin guided tour, including visit inside 1 cathedral
- Contemporary History Museum guided tour
- Moscow Metro tour
- Comprehensive St Petersburg city sightseeing tour
- Peter and Paul Fortress guided tour, including Prisons
- Hermitage guided tour
- Yusupov Palace guided tour, including Rasputin exhibition
- Memorial to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad
- Excursion to village of Pushkin and guided tour of Catherine Palace
- Entrance fees to all included activities
- Free staff places as requested
- 24 hour emergency contact numbers
- Donation to charity - we support the Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund and make a small contribution to their organisation from each tour that travels with us
What is not Included
- UK airport transfers (unless requested)
- Gratuities for Tour Manager, local guides and drivers (see FAQs)
- Tickets for evening activities (see FAQs)
6 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, Moscow Metro, Novodevichy Cemetery, overnight train
- Day fourSt Petersburg city tour, Peter & Paul Fortress
- Day fiveHermitage, Yusupov Palace
- Day sixCatherine Palace in Pushkin, return flight
RUSSIAN CLASSIC 6 DAYS
Since we specialise in Russia, we can be very flexible with our itineraries. Russian Classic is our suggested standard itinerary as outlined 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 your hotel, enjoy an introduction to the heart and soul of Moscow as you take a stroll around Red Square at night. Feel the unique atmosphere, surrounded by the imposing Kremlin walls, Lenin’s Mausoleum, beautiful 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, 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. 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) Later on, transfer to the train station for your overnight journey to spectacular St Petersburg.
DAY 4 - ST PETERSBURG SIGHTSEEING & PETER AND PAUL FORTRESS
You will be met at the train station by your expert local TCBC St Petersburg guide. After breakfast, take a comprehensive guided sightseeing tour of this beautiful former capital city. Amongst many striking sights see the Church of the Spilt Blood, rivalling the beauty of St Basil’s in Moscow, Kazan Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman and the remarkable battleship Aurora. Stop for a photo outside the majestic St Isaac’s Cathedral, the 4th largest cathedral in the world. Cross the Neva River to tour historic Peter and Paul Fortress and see why Peter the Great selected this location as ideal for the foundation of St Petersburg in 1703. The Cathedral on the island, given away by its tall gleaming golden spire, was the burial place for Russian Emperors since Peter the Great. In 1998, the remains of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family were finally buried here. This evening you will have the option to visit a traditional Russian folklore show in the magnificent setting of the graceful Nikolayevsky Palace. (not included and depends on schedule and availability)
DAY 5 - HERMITAGE & YUSUPOV PALACE
Today enjoy a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and finest art galleries in the world, with a collection of over 3 million exhibits from prehistoric to modern times. Empress Catherine II founded the Hermitage in 1764, when she purchased a large number of Western European paintings. To house the collection she ordered a new building to be constructed. Located along the banks of the River Neva, the permanent museum display now occupies five buildings (the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Great Hermitage, the New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre) together forming a brilliant architectural ensemble. Remarkable architects and sculptors of the 18th and 19th centuries decorated the museum's interiors. A number of staterooms, where official ceremonies used to be held, preserve their sumptuous décor. The Hermitage proudly displays authentic masterpieces by some of the greatest painters and sculptors in the world including da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse. Your guide will introduce you to the most important works of art since you would need several years to see everything. In the afternoon make your way to a quiet stretch of the Moika to visit Yusupov Palace, one of the most sumptuous palaces in St Petersburg, whose history is closely associated with aristocrats, eminent architects and artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. It belonged to the wealthy and respected Yusupov family, and is now famed 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 had been and a small exhibition guides you through the tragic tale. This evening there will be an opportunity to visit the world-renowned Russian ballet (optional and depends on schedule and availability)
DAY 6 - PUSHKIN, CATHERINE PALACE & FLIGHT HOME
After check out, travel south to Catherine Palace, located in the town of Pushkin, approximately 15 miles south of St Petersburg. En route stop at the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad and have a short tour of the small exhibition dedicated to the 900 day blockade, located beneath the monument. Continue on to 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 Palace itself 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. However one of the most wonderful highlights of Catherine Palace 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, the Amber Room has been meticulously restored to its former glory with the help of German funding. After some lunch, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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.
This is an easy activity to add to your sightseeing as it is located within the Kremlin grounds. The Armoury is 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.
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.
An extremely impressive museum located opposite the Hotel Cosmos by the All-Russia Exhibition Centre at VDNKh. 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.
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.
Izmailovsky Souvenir Market
If souvenir shopping is high on your agenda then there is no other place to look than the vast souvenir market at Izmailovo. Jam-packed with quintessential Russian souvenirs - hats, military watches, lacquer boxes, chess sets, amber, matryoshka dolls and many many more, this is a place where shopping dreams come true. Better to go at the weekends as certain areas are closed during weekdays.
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.
This is a very impressive exhibition and well worth visiting if you are wishing to explore the Siege of Leningrad in depth. The building originally housed a large collection of historical and cultural artefacts belonging to Count Rumyantsev, a prominent statesman and diplomat who had worked widely across Europe in the 19th century. This collection was relocated to Moscow and subsequently became a museum for the history of St Petersburg. There are over 4000 exhibits, the main one dedicated to the Siege of Leningrad with a large selection of documents and photographs.
The Political History museum, founded in 1919, is located in a historical part of the city centre in two mansions. One of the mansions used to belong to the Mariinsky theatre prima ballerina Matilda Kseshinskaya. In 1917 it housed the headquarters of the Bolshevik revolutionists and was very often visited by famous Bolsheviks like Lenin, Stalin, Zinovyev and Sverdlov. 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. The Museum is dedicated to telling the stories of famous Russian politicians, reformers, revolutionaries, emperors and party leaders.
The Sergey Kirov Apartment Museum is a fairly small unique museum dedicated to preserving and describing the life of Kirov, a prominent Communist Party leader in Leningrad. The museum is a five room apartment where Kirov lived from 1926 to 1934, when he was assassinated at his offices in the Smolny Institute. The museum is surprisingly intact, with a remarkable collection of authentic personal belongings. Stalin visited this apartment several times so you are left with a real feeling of standing in Stalin's footsteps. The aim of the museum is twofold - to give the visitor an idea of a Communist Party leader's life and to show how a wealthy person would have lived in those times.
Piskariovskoye Cemetery is located in the north of St Petersburg, about a 30 minute drive from the centre. This cemetery was founded in 1939 and was named after the village Piskaryovka, located near by. During the Great Patriotic War, Piskariovskoye Cemetery became one of the main burial places for the inhabitants of Leningrad. More than 470,000 people were buried here in mass graves - victims of the Siege of Leningrad and soldiers who died fighting against the Nazis. Most of the graves have no names, and the only thing which is known about the people buried here is that they were either fighting to protect the city or were trying to survive in besieged Leningrad. After the war a memorial immortalising the memory of the fallen people was built. Granite steps, starting from the Eternal Flame, lead to the centre of the cemetery, where an impressive bronze monument of Motherland stands. Stone pavilions were built next to the main entrance, which now house a small exhibition of the photos taken during the blockade. Here you can also find pages from a diary which belonged to Tanya Savicheva, a Leningrad schoolgirl, who was trying to survive in besieged Leningrad in the winter of 1941-42.
Alexander Palace in the village of Tsarskoe Selo was built by order of Catherine II for the wedding of her beloved grandson great duke Alexander Pavlovich, who later became an Emperor of Russia - Alexander I. Unlike Alexander I, who preferred staying at Catherine's Palace when visiting Tsarskoye Selo, the last emperor of Russia, Nicholas II cherished visiting Alexander Palace. He spent the last years of his reign living here and it was from this Palace that his family was deported to Siberia in 1917. Since then Alexander Palace has been used as a sanatorium for NKVD employees and during the period of Nazi occupation an SS division settled in the Palace. In 2009 the Palace was opened to the public as a museum and hosts a permanent exhibition "Reminiscences in Alexander Palace" displaying furniture and personal belongings of the last Emperor of Russia and his family.
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.
A very popular and enjoyable evening out and one of the highlights of the trip for most of our students. Sit in the luxurious surroundings of Nikolayevsky Palace and allow some talented local St Petersburg artists and musicians to wow you with traditional dances and songs. Several acts, all different from the others, make up this 90 minute spectacle, including balalaikas, traditional Russian dance routines and impressive vocalists!
We regularly use the same two or three hotels in Russia 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.
The 4 star Pribaltiskaya is a member of the Park Inn chain of hotels which in turn belong to the same group as the Radisson SAS hotels. This means that a lot of investment has been made into upgrading and renovating the Pribaltiskaya in recent years. The rooms are bright, comfortable and clean, some with fantastic views of the Gulf of Finland on which the hotel is located. The public areas are wide and spacious, perfect for groups to gather. The cuisine has also been improved with a good buffet selection for breakfasts and dinners. The hotel has many facilities on offer, including a massive waterpark attached to the back by an inner walkway. The Pribaltiskaya is very popular with our school groups and a perfect base to discover St Petersburg from.
Ibis St Petersburg Centre is a good quality 3 star hotel with 221 comfortable rooms. It's located right in the centre of St Petersburg, just 5 minutes walk from Moscow train station and Nevsky Prospekt. Wifi connection is free for guests and all rooms come equipped with air conditioning and hairdryers. Breakfasts and dinners can be arranged at the hotel for your groups.
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
Information on applying for a Russian visa
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 flights included and what is your ATOL number?
Yes, ATOL 10834
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.
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 and St Petersburg you will have the use of a coach fitted with seat belts. You will travel by overnight train in between the two cities. You can have a guided tour of the local metro systems, but no excursions will be run using public transportation.
What is the overnight train like?
This is usually a highlight of the trip for most students. Carriages are made up of 9 compartments with 4 beds in each. Compartments can be locked from the inside (twice) and there is space to store luggage under the bottom two berths and above the top two. There are two toilets, one at the end of each carriage. The journey takes approximately 8 hours.
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, particularly on the night train and in St Petersburg. It is fine to shower in the water in Moscow and St Petersburg 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. Both Moscow and St Petersburg are 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. The breakfast following the night train is usually taken at a city centre restaurant or cafe, but again it is buffet style.
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