St Petersburg to Istanbul Overview

Jump aboard this amazing tour of Eastern Europe. Travel from St Petersburg to Istanbul via Moscow, Budapest, Kyiv, Brasov, the Carpathians and Plovdiv.

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Explore the heart of Eastern Europe - Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria

Join us on a journey to discover the splendours of St Petersburg, the iconic Kremlin in Moscow and ancient Novgorod, the birthplace of history and religion in Russia. Travel onwards through Ukraine by train and head to Kyiv, elegantly situated along the glorious Dnipro River. Take time out to explore the majestic Carpathian Mountains before crossing stunning countryside to arrive in romantic and cosmopolitan Budapest. Continue this epic Eastern European adventure past the haunted castles of Transylvania and across stunning mountains to Bulgaria and beyond. Be enchanted by medieval monasteries, old-world towns and the warm hospitality of this region before ending the journey in magnificent Istanbul.

  • Admire Istanbul's majestic mosques

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    St Petersburg, Russia
  • Finish:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Group size:

    Min 4 , Max 12
  • Ages:

    Min 12
  • Meals:

    15 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Accommodation:

    Guesthouse (7 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (15 nts), Overnight sleeper train (5 nts), Pension (3 nts)
  • Transport:

    Bicycle, Boat, Bus, Metro, Minibus, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train, Tram
  • Included activities:

    Bucharest - Guided walking tour, Budapest - Guided bike tour, Chernobyl Museum, Cooking Class, Kolomiya, Eger - Wine tasting, Gorno Draglishte - Rila Monastery, Guided walk in Carpathians, Kyiv - Orientation Walk, Lviv - Guided walking tour, Maramures - Guided tour, Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury guided tour, Moscow - Lenin's Mausoleum, Moscow - Red Square, Novgorod - Family visit & dinner, Novgorod - Public Banya, Novgorod - Walking Tour & Kremlin, Plodiv - Guided tour, St Petersburg - Boat tour

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    713kg pp per trip
  • Notes:

    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information. 2. This trip finishes in Istanbul on day 32 at 12pm midday. 3. 2013 Itinerary change St Petersburg to Istanbul trips departing in 2013 will be 33 days long (rather than 32) and start on Saturdays. The updated price and full itinerary will be available later this year. The revised itinerary is: Days 1-2 St Petersburg Days 3-4 Novgorod Days 5-7 Moscow Day 8-10 Kviv Days 11-12 Carpathian Mountains Days 13-14 Lviv Days 15-16 Budapest Day 17 Eger Days18-19 Maramures Day 20 Sighisoara Day 21 Viscri Days 22-23 Brasov Day 24 Bucharest Days 25-26 Veliko Tarnovo Day 27 Sofia Day 28 Gorno Draglishte Days 29-30 Bansko Days 31-32 Plovdiv Day 33 Istanbul

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About Bulgaria , Hungary , Romania , Russia , Turkey , Ukraine

St Petersburg to Istanbul Summary

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Days 1-2 St Petersburg

Arrive in St Petersburg, Russia, and be dazzled by a multitude of palaces, museums and galleries.

Days 3-4 Novgorod

Travel to Novgorod on the banks of the Volkhov River. Explore the graceful Kremlin with a local guide before joining a local family for a Russian tea party.

Days 5-6 Moscow

Arrive in the enigmatic city of Moscow and grab some pirozhki - Russian pastries - to fuel explorations of the Kremlin, Red Square and Lenin’s mausoleum.

Days 7-9 Kyiv

Roam the cobbled streets of Kyiv, the 'Mother of Slavic Cities' and gain valuable insight into Ukraine's tragic history with a visit to the Chernobyl Museum.

Days 10-11 Carpathian Mountains

Travel deep into the stunning Carpathian Mountains and join in a cooking class, learning to make traditional Ukrainian delicacies. Appreciate the Carpathian’s eclectic mix of Eastern European culture, discover lovingly decorated Hutsul houses, complete with private chapels and ornate wells, and soak up the immense natural beauty of this region while hiking.

Days 12-13 Lviv

Be captivated by the crumbling facades of Lviv's old town.

Days 14-15 Budapest

Head out on a cycling tour to uncover what Budapest, the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, has to offer.

Day 16 Eger

Sip on ‘Bull’s Blood’, a red wine native to Hungary's Eger region, while exploring wine cellars in the evocatively named, 'Valley of the Beautiful Women'.

Days 17-18 Maramures

Discover one of the last peasant cultures in Europe on a visit to rural Maramures, the heart and soul of Romania.

Day 19 Sighisoara

Travel through pastoral fields to Sighisoara before crossing into Transylvania, a magical place that conjures images of haunted castles, gothic churches and vampires – it doesn’t disappoint!

Day 20 Viscri

Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family in Viscri.

Days 21-22 Brasov

Why not change things up with a night out in the lively medieval town of Brasov.

Day 23 Bucharest

Travel on to Bucharest, where a guided tour visits the expansive Piata Unirii Square and prodigious 12-storey Palace of Parliament, supposedly the largest civilian administrative building in the world.

Days 24-25 Veliko Tarnovo

Cross the Friendship Bridge into Bulgaria and travel to scenic Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the Tsarevets Fortress that looms impressively over the town, tread the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter or relax in the cafes or vinarnas and people watch.

Day 26 Sofia

Make tracks to Sofia. Marvel at the gold-domed Aleksander Nevski Church.

Day 27 Gorno Draglishte

Be a guest of a local family during a stay in the Rila Mountains.

Days 28-29 Bansko

Stretch legs on an invigorating hike through alpine scenery and try the local cuisine at night.

Days 30-31 Plovdiv

Wander among impressive Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv and take an optional trip to a nearby hot springs before an overnight train to Istanbul.

Day 32 Istanbul

Finish up among a myriad of mosques and a bevy of bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey's eclectic and very beautiful capital.
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