Moscow and St. Petersburg Backstage Theatre Tour7 Days | Moscow, St. Petersburg

Moscow and St. Petersburg Backstage Theatre Tour

Russian ballet and classical music, performed at legendary venues like Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, are world-famous. This thematic Moscow and St. Petersburg backstage theatre tour is a unique opportunity to discover the history of performing arts in Russia, go backstage to understand what it takes to create such impressive performances, and marvel at the talents of some of the best dancers and musicians in the world as you watch them perform. As you explore Russia’s two historical capitals, you’ll also visit many other non-theatrical attractions – including Moscow’s famous Red Square and Kremlin and St. Petersburg’s stunning palaces and churches.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Moscow – Arrival
 
Arrive in Moscow, meet your driver, and transfer to the hotel (check in is possible from 14:00). Free time before beginning Moscow and St. Petersburg Backstage Theatre Tour. Overnight at the hotel.
During your free time in Moscow, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Night city tour: “Evening lights of Moscow”;
River cruise on the motor ship “Flotilla Radisson Royal”.
Day 2: Moscow
 
After breakfast, take a guided tour of Russia’s capital city, Moscow. Like Rome, this is a city on seven hills. Your tour of the metropolis starts at Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in the south-west of the city. Elevated 78 metres above the river, these hills are Moscow’s main panoramic viewpoint. They offer excellent views of most of the city’s attractions: the Kremlin, Stalin’s famous “Seven Sisters” skyscrapers (such as the main building of Moscow State University), the modern Moscow City skyscrapers, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences, Russia’s “White House”, Shukhov Tower, Luzhniki Stadium, and the Ostankino TV Tower. After visiting Vorobyovy Gory, descend to the Memorial Complex on Poklonnaya Gora (Victory Park) to see the Church of St. George the Victorious, the Triumphal Arch, and the major street of Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Then, visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world. The original cathedral was destroyed in the 1930s by order of Stalin and only rebuilt in the 1990s. The cathedral has a 69-metre-high dome, on the inside of which are beautiful images from the New Testament. Continue the tour at the famed Red Square, walking past St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, the famous GUM department store, the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden. The day ends at the impressive Kremlin and its cathedrals (closed on Thursdays, may be possible to move this visit to Day 3). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 8-9 hours
During your free time in Moscow, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Armoury in the Kremlin (except Thursdays);
Tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre or other performances.
Day 3: Moscow
 
After breakfast, discover the backstage life of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre as you learn about the theatre’s history and visit unique places the audience does not usually get to visit. See the underground hall, the stage on which the great ballerinas Ulanova and Plisetskaya danced, the costume workshops, a rehearsal room (if you’re lucky, you may even get to see the stars rehearsing!), and the best seats in the house. The theatre visit will be followed by a walking tour of one of Moscow’s oldest streets, Old Arbat, on which you’ll learn where Chekhov's muse lived, how the State Vakhtangov Academic Theatre was created, and much more. End the day with a visit to the Tretyakov Gallery, which boasts the world’s largest collection of Russian art. Its 60 halls present more than 100,000 priceless paintings, ancient religious icons, sculptures, and other works of Russian masters. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
During your free time in Moscow, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Attendance at the Russian national ballet’s “Kostroma” performance, a captivating spectacle—boasting 50 dancers, 600 unique costumes, 300 different props, and eight set changes—that will introduce you to Russia’s history and multi-ethnic people (from 15 June to 15 September).
Tickets to concerts, the circus, or other performances.
Day 4: Moscow – St. Petersburg
 
Early transfer to Leningradsky station to catch the 07:30 Sapsan high-speed train to St. Petersburg (700 km). Enjoy your packed breakfast onboard. Upon arrival at 11:25, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel to drop off your luggage. Afterwards, take a guided tour of Peter the Great’s masterpiece, the elegant city of St. Petersburg. The tour starts at Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s central artery and the main place for Petersburgers to meet each other and take walks. As you follow this famous thoroughfare, you’ll come across numerous historical attractions including the Anichkov Bridge over the Fontanka River (one of the symbols of the city), Catherine’s Garden, Gostiny Dvor, Griboedov Canal, the Admiralty, the Field of Mars, Palace Square (the location of the stunning Winter Palace), and Senate Square (the site of the “Bronze Horseman”, the impressive statue of the city’s founder). Continue to the famous religious monuments of St. Isaac’s Cathedral (the world’s fourth largest Christian church), the colourful Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (which is decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaics), and Kazan Cathedral (the city’s main church, where the main icon of the Kazan Mother of God is kept). Explore the Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra Monastery, the city’s first and largest monastery, before walking past the legendary revolutionary naval cruiser, Aurora, which played a key role in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. End the day with a tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress, a fascinating monument of military history and architecture. In addition to the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, where all Russian emperors are buried, see the Triumphal Gate of the fortress, the Petrovsky Gate, the fortress bastions that became Russia’s political prison in the 19th century, the Mint, and the Commandant’s pier. Return to the city. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
During your free time in St. Petersburg, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsky Palace);
Grand Model of Russia (a vast indoor scale model depicting Russia’s scenery, buildings and everyday life);
Visit to Mikhailovsky Castle;
Visit to Menshikov Palace.
Day 5: St. Petersburg
 
After breakfast, take the themed walking tour “Russian ballet and St. Petersburg”. The tour starts with a visit to the Alexandrinsky Theatre and, nearby, the State Museum of Theatre and Music, which showcases the history of Russian ballet. Highlights include seeing the pointe shoes of famous ballerinas and standing at the ballet barre where these performers trained. Continue the tour with a walk along Zodchego Rossi Street past the Academy of Russian Ballet and along Nevsky Prospekt to Arts Square, where you’ll see the Mikhailovsky Theatre building. Then drive to the Mariinsky Theatre, one of Russia’s largest and most famous musical theatres, to take a unique backstage tour. See the auditorium, visit the Royal Box, look behind the stage, and see the workshops where the sets and props are made. After the backstage tour, experience the evocative music, stunning dancing, and beautiful costumes for yourself as you attend a ballet performance at this legendary venue. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 6: St. Petersburg
 
After breakfast, visit the Yusupov Palace (closed on Thursdays and replaced with an alternative sight), which holds an important place in Russian history as the location of Rasputin’s assassination. Highlights include grand halls, the family’s living quarters, an exhibition about the assassination, and the tranquil palace gardens. Continue to the State Hermitage Museum, one of the world’s largest and most impressive art museums, which is set within the stunning Winter Palace. Take a guided tour of the museum’s most impressive exhibits, including Western European paintings and sculptures, primitive art from the Caucasus, and Egyptian and Classical antiquities. Free time to continue exploring the Museum or the rest of the city on your own or to do an optional activity (see below). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
During your free time in St. Petersburg, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Classical music concert in the Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir – discover the history of the palace and the Russian Empire while enjoying masterpieces of Russian classical music performed by many of St. Petersburg’s leading musicians and singers.
Day 7: St. Petersburg – Departure
 
Breakfast followed by hotel check-out (by 12:00). Free time until your transfer to St. Petersburg International Airport. Departure. End of Moscow and St. Petersburg Backstage Theatre Tour.
  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan type car, 3-7 pax by minivan, 8-13 pax by 30 seat bus, 14+ pax by 40-50 seat bus);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour programme in each city with local, English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Ticket for train Moscow – St. Petersburg;
  • Visa support for Russian tourist visa;
  • In groups of 11 or more travellers, 1 person travels free of charge and is accommodated in a single room.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Consular fees for Russia tourist visa;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Tips/gratuities for guides and drivers (although these would be appreciated).

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Moscow - 2 nights
Veliy Hotel Mokhovaya Moscow, Sverchkov 8 Hotel, Starosadskiy Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel Moscow - BaumanskayaGodunov Hotel, Arbat House Hotel, Pushkin Hotel, Brick Design Hotel
St. Petersburg - 3 nights
Ibis St. Petersburg Centre, Station Hotel L1, Hotel Bristol, Mini-hotel CentreSolo Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky, Original Sokos Olympia Garden, Vedensky Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky

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