Russia: One Week Itinerary

Do you remember reading Russian folklore when you were a little girl? Or playing with the Matryoshka nested dolls…and using the tiniest one to keep a secret? Have you ever wanted to get a picture clicked in front of the colourful Russian churches, with onion shaped domes and spires? Or wondered how the graceful ballet dancers manage their entire weight on just one toe?

Russia, the largest country in the world has been on my bucketlist for the longest time. This is where the first ‘women only’ tour of Ticking the Bucketlist is headed. We are off tomorrow and would be spending one week in this enchanting land!

Here is what our ‘one week in Russia’ itinerary looks like….

Day 1: Moscow – Izmailovsky Flea Market and ‘Moscow by Night’

We start our trip from Delhi on an Aeroflot flight and reach Moscow at about 0835 in the morning. We head straight to our hotel to stretch our legs and get some shut-eye. We need to charge our batteries for the Russian sojourn. We are staying in the Best Western Vega at the Izmailovsky area, which is very famous for its local flea market. The Izmailovsky Market is the best place in Moscow for souvenir shopping …dolls, porcelain, jewelry boxes…we will buy them all from here.

In the evening, we will head out on a walking tour to explore Moscow at night. There are glitzy bars…and there are sinister stories. There are bright lights…and there are tales of sorcerers. Let the excitement begin… drumroll!!!

Day 2: Moscow – Moscow City Tour and Kremlin Tour

A red building at the Red Square of the Kremlin

Having seen the city’s light the previous night, it is time to see the city’s colours this morning. We will set off on the Moscow City Tour shows us the highlights of city, starting with the Red Square. This is our day to click a 1000 pictures in front of all the monuments that represent Moscow…St Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi theatre, the Olympic Stadium and the Sparrow Hills.

Exploring the Kremlin

Today is also the day to visit and learn more about the most famous monument in Russia. Kremlin, literally means a fort inside a city. Dynasties built on the site, one century after another and the site came to known as the Kremlin in the 14the century. The walled structure of the Kremlin includes palaces and cathedrals… and a historical past!

Later in the evening, we will enjoy the Russian circus that many of us have seen to television ever so often. Acrobats, clowns and animals….its is time to let the little girl in you come out and clap her hands! 

Day 3: Moscow – Metro Stations and Arbat Street followed by the Bolshoi Ballet 

Mosaics on the walls of the metro station

Today, we set out to explore the metro stations of Moscow, each of which is a stellar work of art. Stunning frescos and chandeliers in marble surroundings… it’s a work of art! We will then walk along the Arbat street, which is the city’s only pedestrian street, lined with shops and cafes.

As the night unfolds, I intend to don a classy dress and get set to watch one of the finest shows on earth at the Bolshoi Theatre. I have always been awestruck by the art form and would love to see some of the best performers in the world move gracefully. A performance that is rated as one of the best in the world has to be ticked off my bucketlist!

Day 4: Moscow – Day Tour to Sergiev Posad followed by a crazy bar hopping night!

Sergiev Posad is one the strongest spiritual centres in Russia. Home to stunning churches, Sergiev Posad will give us a flavour of the famous ‘Golden Ring’ of Russia. The tour will take 5-7 hours and we will be back at the hotel in second half.

Exploring Sergiev Posad

This will be our last night in Moscow, and we are not going to leave the city without sampling some fine Russian vodka. So, this night is dedicated to bar hopping and pub crawling. Hope to meet some travellers and make new friends.

Day 5: Saint Petersburg – Sapsan train experience to Saint Petersburg and Matryoshka Doll painting class

Saint Petersburg, our next destination, is at least 700 km away from Moscow… and we will zip zap zoom on the Sapsan (the high speed train) to get there in about four hours! The high speed trains are engineering marvels, worth experiencing and we ride this iron horse in the afternoon, reaching St Peterburg in the evening.

As a group, we also join a masterclass to paint our own nested Matryoshka dolls… our own little souvenir to carry and remind us of a fun week in Russia.

With our very own Matryoshka dolls!

Later, at about mid night, we will hop on a little boat to watch St Petersburg unfurl its magic as bridges in the city are raised to let the big ships through. The ‘City of White Nights’ will will possibly cast its spell on us.

Day 6: Saint Petersburg – City Tour and Peterhof Palace

The day starts with a city tour of Saint Petersburg that will give us a peek into what this city has… many bridges, stunning castles, colourful cathedrals and fortresses.

Post lunch, we will head to the Peterhof Palace, also called the Russian Versailles. With spring having set in, the gardens would be green and the fountains will put up a show…I am excited!

Peterhof Palace

Day 7: Saint Petersburg – Hermitage Museum and Shopping

The highlights tour on the previous day will surely make us want to see more of Saint Petersburg…and we will do so by visiting the Hermitage Museum, which is also called the ‘Louvre of Russia’. The Hermitage complex itself is of architectural delight … and the collections have stories to speak which will hopefully, spike our interest enough to make to go back read our history textbooks.

The Hermitage Museum

The rest of the day is totally free to visit any of the other monuments or simply shop … it’s every girl’s favourite sport, isn’t it?

Our last night Russia… Oh Russia!!!! Tonight we will explore the party scene in SPB … or maybe … pack for the next day?

Day 8: Saint Petersburg …Bye Bye Russia

Memories, souvenirs and new friendships… it’s time take them all back to India! We check out of our hotel and take the flight from SPB to Delhi, via Moscow.

Farewell Russia!




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11 Responses

  1. Your photos are beautiful! I have always wanted to visit Russia, especially after seeing Anastasia (the Disney movie) 🙂 I can’t believe those mosaics are on the walls at the METRO STATION! How unreal. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow that is quite an awesome itinerary. I mean… huge Russia in 1 week. I am still dreaming of St. Petersbourg. So many people told me that it is gorgeous. And I would die to see the Ballet

  3. I’ve only been to St Petersburg so far, and did a few tours in the city and around. But I have a good friend in Moscow, so the incentive is definitely there to go back. I enjoy doing those by night experiences and see how cities transform in different times of day – especially if it’s topped with a circus visit, amazing 🙂

  4. We are thinking of heading to Russia next Summer so will deffo use this itinerary, looks amazing! Would love to visit the Kremlin in Moscow! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Rahul Khurana

    I have always been fascinated by Russia. I like the colourful rounds domes on the Palaces just like an Aladin’s Palace. FIFA Football World will be held in Russia next year and I will try my best to visit this beautiful country and will follow your itinerary and contact you. 🙂

  6. Moscow and Kremlin city tour looks amazing. Your one week itinerary is helpful and complete tour of Russian delights. St.Petersburg city tour is also enchanting and splendid. I really want to have Russian vacation now after seeing your pictures

  7. Wow, this is awesome. Well weaved itinerary! We had always dreamed of taking pictures of those onion-domed palaces and those colors on the palaces are just mind blowing. We didn’t know that there is a Versailles in Russia the exterior paint and the colors look much similar. We had loved it in France and would love to visit it in Russia too.

  8. I haven’t visited Russia, but it’s definitely on the list! This a great itinerary, I love how you included things to do but also gave some leeway to do things on your own as well (like shopping haha). Beautiful pictures, the buildings and Russian dolls are stunning! I wonder if they’re all hand painted.

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