Moscow and Yekaterinburg Tour9 Days | Moscow, Yekaterinburg

Moscow and Yekaterinburg Tour

Discover the industrial city of Yekaterinburg, known as the place where the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and his family were executed. In addition to visiting the site of the execution and other sights related to the Romanov family, this Moscow and Yekaterinburg tour showcases the fascinating history of mining and metallurgy in the region. See Yekaterinburg’s birthplace, the dam built to provide water to what was the world’s largest metallurgical plant; find out how the famous Ural gold rush began in Berezovsky; and admire the buildings built by Nevyansk’s industrialists. Experience Siberian culture and folk history with visits to the “Old Believer” village of Byngi, the 17th century village of Koptelovo, and Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha’s Museum of Traditional Wooden Architecture and Folk Art. Finally, in Moscow, admire the legendary Kremlin, Stalin’s famous skyscrapers, and the Tretyakov Gallery’s vast collection of Russian fine art.

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 to begin your Moscow and Yekaterinburg Tour with independent discovery of Russia’s capital city. Overnight at the hotel.

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Armoury in the Kremlin (except Thursdays);
Night city tour, ‘Evening lights of Moscow’;
River cruise on the motor ship ‘Flotilla Radisson Royal’;
Tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre, concerts, the circus, or other performances.

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 78m above the river, these hills are Moscow’s main panoramic viewpoint and 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 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 69m-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, 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 and replaced with an alternative sight). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 8-9 hours
Day 3: Moscow – Yekaterinburg
 
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to Sheremetyevo airport to take the 10:00 flight to the western Siberian city of Yekaterinburg (1,417 km, 2h15min). Upon arrival at 14:15 in Yekaterinburg, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. After check-in, meet your guide for a sightseeing tour of the city. Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great and named after his wife, Empress Catherine I, Yekaterinburg is famous as the place where the deposed Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were executed. It is also known for its industrial history – established for industrial purposes as a “window to Asia”, it contrasts with St. Petersburg, the so-called “window to Europe”, which was intended to become the country’s cultural and administrative showcase. On the tour, you’ll learn how Yekaterinburg emerged and developed, starting with a visit to its birthplace – the dam, called “Plotinka” by locals, that blocked the Iset River to provide water to what used to be the world’s largest metallurgical plant. The area is now a city park. Continue to the monument to Yekaterinburg’s founders, De Genin and Tatishchev, and 1905 Square, which hosts a statue of Lenin. Discover the Old City, including the 18th century streets, the former outskirts of Yekaterinburg, and the mansions of merchants and gold miners. The House of Sevastyanov, is a stunning example of such a mansion. Then visit Voznesenskaya Gorka, where you’ll hear the legends and secrets of Yekaterinburg’s “golden age”. Moving forward in time, discover the city’s Soviet architecture, including many impressive examples of constructivism. Complete your journey through Yekaterinburg’s history with a visit to Yekaterinburg City, the futuristic centre of modern social and business life. Here you’ll see Yekaterinburg’s tallest building, the Iset Tower, as well as the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, the large central stadium, and the “Pineapple Building” set to be the headquarters of the Russian Copper Company. End the tour with impressive city views from the observation deck on the 52nd floor of the Vysotsky Business Centre. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 4: Yekaterinburg – Nevyansk – Byngi – Yekaterinburg
 
Breakfast followed by an excursion to one of the oldest towns in the Urals, Nevyansk (88 km, 1h20m). The town was founded in 1701 along with the first iron-smelting plant in the Urals. Its history is inextricably linked with that of the famous Demidov dynasty and its founder, who managed and then owned the Urals’ state metallurgical plants, including the plant in Nevyansk. On your sightseeing tour, admire the picturesque surroundings of the city and see the monument to the founders of Nevyansk, the main exhibition at the Museum of History of the Nevyansk Region, and, of course, the famous Sloping Tower (1732), one of the architectural symbols of the Urals. Near the Sloping Tower, visit the grandiose Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. This was built in 1830 by the next largest dynasty of industrialists in the Urals, the Yakovlevs, who bought the Nevyansky and several other factories in the Urals from the Demidovs in 1769. According to legend, a local priest set a condition that the bell tower of the new church had to be higher than the Demidovs’ Sloping Tower. Today, the restored 64-meter bell tower – which you may climb – is the tallest in the Middle Urals outside Yekaterinburg. After the tour of Nevyansk, have lunch at a local café.
The second half of the day is devoted to the city’s gold mining history, which started in the 19th century and continues to this day. Until 1812, any gold-bearing land was confiscated and became the property of the state. However, in 1812 a new law gave the right to private owners to engage in gold mining. The Nevyansk area became one of the epicentres of the “gold rush” that broke out in the Urals, which later swept Siberia and extended to Alaska. As you drive through the outskirts of Nevyansk, you’ll see open pits where work was completed long ago and some where it is still going on.
Drive to the Old Believer village of Byngi (7 km), most inhabitants of which were gold miners. The village has preserved many old houses built with the proceeds from gold mining. However, its main tourist attraction is the St. Nicholas Church, one of the oldest churches in the Middle Urals. Enter the church and admire the icons and covered with a thin layer of gold leaf and made using the techniques of the Nevyansk school of icon painting. Nearby, gold miners found the world’s oldest wooden sculpture, the Shigir Idol, which is more than 9,500 years old. This sculpture can now be seen in the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore in Yekaterinburg. Return to the city. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 5: Yekaterinburg – Berezovsky – Yekaterinburg
 
After breakfast, transfer to the town of Berezovsky, which holds a significant place in Russian industrial history as the starting point of the gold rush in the Urals and wider Russia. Here in 1745, a local peasant, Erofei Markov, made the first discovery of gold ore in Russia. In 1814, mining engineer Lev Brusnitsyn found loose gold in the Berezovka River. The Berezovsky gold mine still operates today, making it the longest-running gold mine in the world. Your sightseeing tour of Berezovsky includes visits to the Monument to Erofei Markov, Victory Park, Assumption Church, and Berezovsky Museum of the History of the Gold and Platinum Industry of the Urals. This museum’s exhibitions cover the entire history of gold mining, including the development of the gold mining industry in Berezovsky and the wider Urals from the 18th century to the present day.
After lunch at a local café, visit the “Russian Gold” Mine Museum. Wearing a helmet with a lantern, discover the old mine, including examples of miners’ tools and the figures of workers (as the temperature in the mine is only about 5°C, we recommend you wear warm clothes, even in summer).
Return to Yekaterinburg (20 km, 40 min). Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Trip to the Obelisk marking the border between Europe and Asia (73 km, 1h20m);
Self-guided walking tour through Yekaterinburg’s historical centre (following the “Red Line” tourist route marked on the city streets and listening to an audio guide);
Visit to the Museum of Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first President;
Visit to the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore;
Master class on making traditional dumplings;
Tickets to performances at the Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Ural Opera Ballet Theatre).

Day 6: Yekaterinburg – Koptelovo – Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha – Yekaterinburg
 
After an early breakfast, drive to the 17th century village of Koptelovo (140 km, 2 hours). This village was first mentioned in a document from 1639, making it almost 100 years older than Yekaterinburg. It originated with the construction of the House of Ivan Koptelov next to an ice-free spring. Villagers still adhere to the old traditions and will be happy to tell you about their customs and daily life. Visit the 17th-century Hut of Katya's Grandmother, which has only had its roof changed since then, and see the remains of the stone Ascension Church. Continue to the famous Koptelovsky Museum of the History of Agriculture and Peasant Life to learn about the village’s rich history. At the end of the tour, enjoy a homemade lunch in the best traditions of Siberian hospitality. After lunch, drive north to another old village, Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha (33 km, 30 minutes). Founded by the first Russian settlers in the 17th century, this village is home to a unique Museum of Traditional Wooden Architecture and Folk Art. Explore the buildings, including wooden huts from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, an inn, chapels, a fragment of a Russian fortress, a fire station, a blacksmith shop, and other old objects. The pearl of the museum’s collection is the beautiful Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord and its impressive paintings from the walls of Ural houses. Return to Yekaterinburg. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 7: Yekaterinburg
 
After breakfast, take a tour of the iconic places of the city related to the Romanov dynasty in the Urals. Yekaterinburg is famous as the place where the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and his family spent their last days and were executed. Today’s thematic excursion starts at the Church on the Blood (Church of All Saints), a functioning Orthodox church built on the site of the house of engineer Nikolai Ipatiev, where the last members of the Romanov dynasty were held and then shot on the night of 17 July 1918. Next to the church is the wooden Chapel of St. Elizabeth, named after Elizabeth Feodorovna, Nicholas II’s sister-in-law. Continue to the Ganina Yama monastery complex (8 km away), where the remains of the Romanovs were brought after the execution. The Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers has seven churches, one for each family member who was killed. On the way to the monastery, visit the Romanov Memorial in Porosenkovy Log, where the family’s remains were discovered in 1978 (the royal family is now buried in St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Cathedral). Return to the city. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Trip to the Obelisk marking the border between Europe and Asia (73 km, 1h 20m);
Self-guided walking tour through Yekaterinburg’s historical centre (following the “Red Line” tourist route marked on the city streets and listening to an audio guide);
Visit to the Museum of Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first President;
Visit to the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore;
Master class on making traditional dumplings;
Tickets to performances at the Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Ural Opera Ballet Theatre).

Day 8: Yekaterinburg – Moscow
 
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport to take the 08:15 flight from Yekaterinburg to Moscow (1,417 km, 2h30 min). Upon arrival in Moscow at 08:50, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. After check-in, continue your Moscow and Yekaterinburg Tour with a walking tour of Zamoskvorechye, the oldest part of Moscow. Discover the 18th century buildings where the richest merchants, the elite of Russia’s commercial and industrial world, lived. Visit the Tretyakov Gallery, which boasts the world’s largest collection of works of Russian fine art. Its 60 halls present more than 100,000 priceless paintings, ancient religious icons, sculptures, and other works of Russian masters. End the tour with an excursion to the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve (15 km), the former country residence of the Russian tsars that is now an open-air museum of architecture in a beautiful natural setting (closed on Mondays and replaced with an alternative sight). Free time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 9: Moscow – Departure
 
Breakfast and hotel check-out (by 12:00). Free time until your transfer to Moscow International Airport. Departure. End of the Moscow and Yekaterinburg 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
  • Lunches on Days 4, 5, and 6
  • Visa support for Russian tourist visa
  • Economy class tickets for flights Moscow – Yekaterinburg – Moscow
  • 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 tour
  • Full board (lunches and dinners, unless specified above)
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Consular fees for Russia tourist visa
  • Tips/gratuities for guides and drivers (although these would be appreciated)
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour
  • Personal travel insurance.

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Moscow - 3 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
Yekaterinburg - 5 nights
Tenet, Green Park, Grand Avenue, Tsentralny Hotel YekaterinburgMoskovskaya Gorka, Novotel, Yekaterinburg Centre, Four Elements Ekaterinburg, Renome

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