Off season tours in St Petersburg and Moscow, yes or no?

Updated: Mar 7

We live in the era of new tourism: it is much easier to get to the destination, the average age of travelers has been getting younger, it is not only about the interest in sitting on a beach. We travel to reflect, learn, reset and figure out what really matters to us.

In this case, what can you expect from Moscow and St Petersburg tours? Perhaps you don't quite await this but Russia will bring cultural immersion. In order to plan everything correctly, I advise you to devote at least three days to each city. Perhaps you doubt the safety of such a trip and it is in vain, many of my tourists say that walking around the business capital (Moscow) or cultural metropolis (Piter) of Russia they feel more comfortable and safer than at home in London, Paris or new York. Believe me that propaganda is not only a weapon of the USSR, locals will not ever think to blame foreigners for their troubles, it is a game of politicians.

Well the first significant plus of such a trip is the absence of crowds of tourists. If you are more comfortable you can book tickets online although I give almost one hundred percent guarantee that there will be no queues. Add to this good good deals on flights and hotels: Moscow - Russian Seasons, Hotel National, Savoy; St Petersburg - Grand Hotel Europe, Astoria Hotel.

Hermitage museum, "Madonna Litta" by Leonardo da Vinci, fragment.

Winter is a wonderful period when great works of art are waiting for you. Visit the Hermitage and find inspiration studying old masters or Impressionists. Compare Russian school of painting with the European in the Russian Museum. Take a walk through the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow. Be sure to visit the Kremlin and the Armory because it's the deeper history of the Russian state: the richest repository of art and the holiest place for the Russian ruler (no matter the Tsar, Emperor, party Secretary or President). St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, its prototype St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, and the Novodevichy monastery are particularly suitable for viewing the beauty of Church places.

Of course, this can not limit the cultural program, but if you make the trip more meaningful and stress free, then add your usual activities and local experience to the program - a visit to a Spa, gym or bar in both cities there are excellent places: in St. Petersburg you can find your place on Rubinstein street, or visit New Holland and/or Sevkabel port (two last mentioned places are clusters of bars, cafes, shops); in Moscow, the Danilovsky market or Food Store, as well as Garage and WinZavod clusters.

New Holland, art, food, shops cluster

Everyone has different tastes, and yet ballet, Opera or concert in historical interiors is something special. In winter, all theaters are attracting the local public, which means a variety of repertoire. The most famous theater in Russia is the Bolshoi theater in Moscow, the prices are not the lowest, but you will be in the main theater of the country! You can read more about St. Petersburg theaters here: the Mariinsky theater, the Alexandrinsky theater, and the Mikhailovsky theater.

What else can you add to the trip? In Moscow, you can visit Bunker 42 on Taganka. This complex combines a cold war Museum - a bunker that goes to a depth of 65 meters, and the deepest restaurant in Russia, which transfers to the atmosphere of the USSR. It will also be interesting to take a cruise on the Moscow river, Yes, even in winter. Among the unusual St Petersburg Russia tours are dog ride and sleigh ride, see my winter tour.

Dogs ride

Of course, I gave you only guidelines, but I hope I convinced you of the benefits of low-season travel which starts in the middle of October and finishes by the end of April. By the way, you can also hire St Petersburg guide at attractive prices.

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